Could the Kansas Jayhawks Stumble Against West Virginia Tonight?

By Mike Atkinson
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks are in Morgantown, WV to face off against the lowly West Virginia Mountaineers tonight in a Big 12 conference game.

On paper, it appears as though the Jayhawks, who are 18-1 (6-0 in Big 12 play), could win the game easily with their players’ arms tied behind their backs. The Jayhawks are ranked number three in the AP Poll and own the number two RPI ranking.

The Mountaineers on the other hand are only 9-10 (2-4 in the Big 12). WVU currently averages a shooting percentage around 39 percent and has struggled recently on both sides of the ball.

Is there any possible way Kansas comes into Morgantown and doesn’t leave with a win?

Well, call me crazy, but I think there is a chance the Mountaineers can upset the Jayhawks.

This game has a classic David vs. Goliath feel to it. The Mountaineers are heavy underdogs, so much so, that Kansas could sleep on them. The Jayhawks will be playing in the WVU Coliseum, likely in front of a sold out crowd of 14,000 or more.

If Kansas thinks it can stroll in and get a win without showing up, there may be a chance for one of the biggest upsets of the 2012 college basketball season.

Keep in mind, too, that Kansas was nearly upset by the Iowa State Cyclones a few days ago at home and only beat the Texas Longhorns by five. In the game of college basketball anything can happen. Also, for what it’s worth, WVU head coach Bob Huggins, has a contract incentive to beat the Jayhawks. If he does, he has another 25 grand heading his way.

As bad as the Mountaineers have been this season, they have shown sparks of greatness. For about 10 minutes each game, WVU shows up and looks like a solid basketball team. They have shown that they are capable of playing well for a short period of time.

Unfortunately, 10 minutes a game is obviously not good enough to get a win against any solid team, but if WVU can extend the time it plays well, it could give Kansas a shock.

WVU tends to play better in big games, or games it shouldn’t win. It upset the Virginia Tech Hokies earlier in the season, but the Jayhawks are a lot better than the Hokies; a lot better. If WVU even wants to begin an upset, it will have to play perfect from start to finish.

I’m not saying it will happen. I’m just saying Kansas needs to take care of business to avoid stumbling against a weak conference opponent. When conference play rolls around, there is no such thing as an easy win.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS.

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