TV Schedule: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN News
Arena: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, W.V.
Line: West Virginia (-10.5)
After opening Big 12 play with four straight wins including a victory over the then No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks, the West Virginia Mountaineers have come back to earth a bit, losing two of their last three games.
West Virginia is still tied for the lead in the Big 12 standings with the Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears, but six of the 10 Big 12 teams are one game or less outside of the top spot. Any loss to a bottom four Big 12 team could be the difference between a top seed in the Big 12 tournament and finishing fifth or worse.
Kansas State has fallen just short of major upsets all season long. If just a few possessions had gone their way, the Wildcats might be looking at a guaranteed 2016 NCAA tournament spot, but instead they sit at 2-5 in Big 12 play and likely need a miracle to make the Big Dance. A win over West Virginia on the road could be exactly what this team needs to turn their season around before it’s too late.
That being said, West Virginia might be the most underrated team in the Big 12. The Mountaineers have already shown that they are one of the best teams in the country this season and proven that against Kansas. Expect them to win big at home and keep fighting for the Big 12 regular season title.
Prediction: West Virginia 78, Kansas State 68