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Five Things to Know Before WVU vs. Kansas State

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Senior Dimon Carrigan hugs Isaiah Cottrell post game. (WVSN photo by Kelsie LeRose)

As West Virginia and Kansas State prepare for a first round Big 12 Conference Tournament matchup, let’s take a look at five things to know before the game.

Rubber Match

Back on Jan. 8, the Wildcats made the trip to Morgantown short-handed. Kansas State was without head coach Bruce Weber, as well as multiple players due to COVID health and safety protocols. The Mountaineers ended up winning this game, 71-68.

West Virginia started slow, but a great second half performance by Sean McNeil put the team in a position to steal the game away from the Wildcats. McNeil finished the game with 26 points, with 19 of those coming in the second half. The senior guard shot 9-of-15 and 4-of-6 from three. WVU knocked down their free-throws at the end of the game and secured their first win the Big 12.

On Feb. 14, Kansas State took the second game between the two, in Manhattan, KS. The Wildcats won 78-73. The Mountaineers had a great scoring half in the first, but had another scoring drought in the second half, letting KSU get back into the game.

Winner Plays No. 1 Kansas on Thursday

Whoever wins the rubber match between WVU and K-State will play No. 1-seed Kansas on Thursday afternoon. The Mountaineers are 0-2 against the Jayhawks this season, losing in Lawrence 85-59 and 71-58 in Morgantown.

West Virginia Has Been Here Before

In 2019, the Mountaineers were 12-19 finishing 10th in the conference. In the first two rounds, West Virginia shocked the world, beating Oklahoma and Texas Tech, the eventual national runner-ups. The Mountaineers fell to Kansas in the semi-final round, just two wins from stealing an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. Huggins threw out a lineup of Derek Culver, Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Jordan McCabe, who all were freshmen at the time.

The trio of freshmen performed very well, as Matthews recorded a career high with 28 points against the Red Raiders. Culver and McCabe also produced great play during the conference tournament.

“I can remember Jordan McCabe running a team and running it pretty well,” Huggins said. “I can remember Emmitt Matthews stealing a ball and going down, dunking it over top of a guy. I can remember how hard and how committed those guys were to winning.”

Betting Lines

The spread for the West Virginia and Kansas State game is -1 KSU. The WVU money line is +100.

The over/under is 138.5.

How to Watch and Listen

You can watch West Virginia take on Kansas State on Wednesday, at 7 p.m., on ESPNU. The Big 12 Conference Tournament matchup will take place inside the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mountaineer Sports Network will broadcast the game on the radio, with Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs once again calling WVU games for the entirety of this season.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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