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WVU Eliminated From Big 12 Tournament by Kansas, 78-61



Photo: Denny Medley (Big 12)

KANSAS CITY — In the quarterfinals round of the Big 12 Tournament, 1-seed Kansas defeated West Virginia, 78-61.

Kansas (26-6, 13-5 Big 12) will now move to play Iowa State in the semifinal round while West Virginia (19-14, 7-11 Big 12) heads home and awaits their postseason destiny.

West Virginia kept up with Kansas through the first 10 minutes, before the Jayhawks went on a 14-0 run. WVU was able to cut their early deficit down to eight points by halftime.

WVU continued to fight throughout the second half but couldn’t overcome the deficit.

WVU fifth-year guard Erik Stevenson hit a jump shot with 10 minutes to go in the game to cut the Kansas lead down to seven. Stevenson finished with a team-high 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting.

Other notable scorers for West Virginia were Mitchell (11), Toussaint (11) and Matthews (8).

Big 12 Player of the Year Jalen Wilson gave West Virginia’s defense problems throughout the game, scoring 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

The Jayhawks won the rebounding battle, 37-31, scoring on 16 second-chance opportunities.

Kansas men’s basketball announced on Thursday morning that head coach Bill Self has suffered an illness and will not coach against West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals.

Norm Roberts served as acting head coach.

“Self is doing well and receiving great care at the University of Kansas Health System,” according to the University.

Kansas starting forward Kevin McCullar came off the bench against WVU, due to a back injury. McCullar was limited in practice on Wednesday but gave it a go on Thursday. McCullar played 26 minutes, recording three points and seven rebounds.

Heading into the game, West Virginia was projected a 9-seed in the latest bracketology by Joe Lunardi. WVU would play Illinois in the first round, with the winner most likely playing 1-seed Alabama in Birmingham.

Kansas will move on to play 5-seed Iowa State in the semifinal round of the Big 12 Tournament. West Virginia will head home and prepare to find out what their NCAA Tournament bid seeding is. Selection Sunday show starts at 6 p.m. on CBS.

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