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NCAA Basketball Big 12 BasketballKansas JayhawksWest Virginia Mountaineers

Kansas Jayhawks Must Put West Virginia Mountaineers Away Early

Jeff Withey Ben McLemore Kevin Young Travis Releford Elijah Johnson Kansas Jayhawks

Peter Aiken-US Presswire

In the season that continues to surprise even the most rabid college basketball fans, no team is safe.

This week already the Indiana Hoosiers, Duke Blue Devils, Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators have all fallen victim to the upset.

So who is next?

The Kansas Jayhawks want to avoid being on that list. They face a struggling West Virginia Mountaineers squad who are on the bottom half of the Big 12 standings.

The Jayhawks on the other hand could continue secure a ninth straight Big 12 regular season title with the win.

However, went the Jayhawks went to Morgantown, Wv. in late January, they did not play a complete game and edged the Mountaineers by a 61-56 score.

One huge plus for the Jayhawks is their distinct home court advantage at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Although the Jayhawks have lost once at home this season to Big 12 rival Oklahoma State, under Head Coach Bill Self those losses have been far and few between.

In fact, the Jayhawks are an amazing 161-8 under Self’s tenure at Phog Allen Fieldhouse so obviously winning on the road will be an almost impossible task.

West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins is no stranger to Self or Kansas, as he was the former Kansas State Wildcats Head Coach during the 2006-07 season. Huggins left Kansas State to return to his alma mater and under Huggins the program is 133-71 in his six years.

More concerning to the Jayhawks is that Huggins can play a slow down brand of offensive basketball which hurt Kansas in their first matchup.

The best plan of attack for Kansas is to come out fast like they did against the Texas Longhorns and TCU Horned Frogs the past two Saturdays and end the game in the first twenty minutes of play. If the Jayhawks have to play 40 mintues, it could mean another upset in the making.

If the Jayhawks can jump all over the Mountaineers, they will only have two more games left to win to secure not only the Big 12 title but maybe even a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo