West Virginia faces Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. West Virginia is coming off a home win against Kansas State, while Kansas is coming off a road blowout loss to Texas. My prediction is that Kansas covers the 3-point spread. Kansas is one of the best teams in the country and should be ready for a West Virginia team that could be on the bubble. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
West Virginia vs. Kansas Prediction
Kansas is playing some of the best basketball in the country right now, even though they lost to Texas recently.
Jalen Wilson is one of the best players in the entire country this season. He leads the Jayhawks in scoring at 20 PPG and in rebounds at 8 per game. Gradey Dick is Wilson’s sidekick in scoring and he averages 14.3 PPG as a freshman. Kevin McCullar Jr. is third in scoring and averages 11 PPG. He also is Kansas’ best defender and leads the team in steals per game at 2. K.J. Adams Jr. has also been productive down low for Kansas. He leads the team in blocks per game at 1 per game.
Kansas is solid on both offense and defense this season. They average 75.6 PPG and then allow 68.2 PPG for the season.
On the other side, West Virginia has been inconsistent, but is still in the Tournament hunt for now.
Erik Stevenson is the player that stands out for the West Virginia, and has all season. He leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game. Tre Mitchell has been the best player in the front court next to Stevenson in the backcourt. Tre Mitchell is second in scoring at 11.5 PPG and then leads the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game. Kedrian Johnson helps Stevenson in the backcourt and is third overall in scoring. He averages 11 PPG and then leads the Mountaineers in assists at 3.3 per game and then in steals at 1.8 per game. Emmitt Matthews Jr. has also been very good down low for the Mountaineers, and he averages 10 PPG.
West Virginia is a very good offensive team this season. They score 76.7 PPG, but their defense could use some work because they allow 71 PPG.
Kansas is the overall better team, compared to West Virginia. Kansas should win and cover because of how dominant they’ve been in the Big 12. They might not this tournament, but they’ll win their first game.
West Virginia vs. Kansas Prediction: Kansas -3
West Virginia vs. Kansas Odds
Kansas is a 3-point favorite against West Virginia and is at -145 on the money line. The over/under is also at 149.5. Kansas being favored by this much makes sense because of how good they’ve been all season. The over/under also makes sense because each team is very good on offense. This spread should stay where it’s at too.
West Virginia vs. Kansas Key Matchups
Can Emmitt Matthews Jr. matchup with Jalen Wilson? Can Kevin McCullar Jr. matchup with Erik Stevenson?
Jalen Wilson vs Emmitt Matthews Jr.
Jalen Wilson is one of the best players in all of college basketball this year. He averages 20 points, 2.5 assists, and 8 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Emmitt Matthews Jr. most of the game, who averages 10 points, 1 assist, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. Jalen Wilson is a matchup nightmare for anyone and is why I think Kansas covers the 3-point spread. Matthews Jr. is a decent player, but Wilson is a completely different matchup.
Erik Stevenson vs Kevin McCullar Jr.
Erik Stevenson has been the primary scorer for West Virginia this season. He averages 15.5 points, 2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Kevin McCullar Jr., who averages 11 points, 2 assists, and 7 rebounds per game for the season. Stevenson is the one guy that can help West Virginia cover this spread and win outright, but Kansas is too good. McCullar has been their best defender, and he has his work cut out for him here.