The 17th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers hit the road Tuesday night hoping to overcome its third subpar shooting performance in four in an important road contest against surging Kansas State.
"If we win Tuesday and Saturday (against Texas Tech at home), then I would say, yeah, this changed the season for them," West Virginia head-coach bob Huggins said. "If we go to Kansas State and lay an egg, then no."
WVU is tied with Virginia and Gonzaga for most wins (9) away from home this season.
— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) January 26, 2015
The Mountaineers are a half-game behind the Wildcats and one back of first-place Kansas, with Iowa State, Texas and Baylor also in the crowded mix for the conference lead.
Analyzing The West Virginia at Kansas State Line & My ATS Pick
Matchup: No. 17 West Virginia Mountaineers vs Kansas State Wildcats
Date: Jan. 27, 2015
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Stadium: Bramlage Coliseum
TV Info: ESPN 2
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: West Virginia Vs Kansas State
Click here for Live College Hoops Odds
The West Virginia Mountaineers Will Beat the Kansas State Wildcats If
The defense steps it up – – The Mountaineers gave up 85 points to TCU, a team that Texas held to 48 in an 86 to 85 overtime victory on Jan. 24. TCU has some scorers, but the Horned Frogs shot 42.9% from three-point land and 49% from the floor. That’s crazy.
Juwan Staten doesn’t turn the ball over – The West Virginia point guard has a turnover to assist ratio of 16 to 4. That means that he’s turning over the ball 4 times more than the steals that he’s getting. On the road against a decent Big 12 team, means that for West Virginia to have any success Staten has to take care of the basketball.
Someone other than Devin Williams grabs rebounds – Devin Williams is averaging 7.9 boards per game but that equates to 35 per matchup. The Mountaineers give up 31.3, which mean that the difference is only slight enough to give West Virginia an advantage on the boards. Someone, like what Jonathan Holton did versus TCU with 8 boards, needs to step it up on the glass for the Mountaineers to win.
The Kansas State Wildcats Will Beat the West Virginia Mountaineers If
They hit their three-point shots – Kansas State usually averages plus 35% from behind the three-point line. Against Oklahoma State, though, they only hit 2 out of 8. Oklahoma State plays a different game than West Virginia, meaning that the Wildcats, if they want to keep up, will have to nail it from behind the arc.
Get defensive pressure on the ball – Since the Mountaineers guard, Juwan Staten, doesn’t always take care of the basketball, West Virginia should pressure the ball every time they can on defense. West Virginia will take a lot of three-point shots. So, playing man-to-man will be the best way to do that.
Work for your shot on offense – The way for Kansas State to beat West Virginia is to not get into a high-scoring game like what TCU did. Kansas State only scores 65.7 points per game. Why not take advantage by slowing the game down and forcing West Virginia into bad shots?
Bet On the Kansas State Wildcats to Beat the West Virginia Mountaineers
While Kansas State has gone 5 and 1 straight up in their last 6 games, the Mountaineers lost to Iowa State, beat Oklahoma, lost to Texas and then beat TCU in overtime. It looks like West Virginia is in a strange lose one and then win one pattern.
Kansas State is 9 and 2 at home this season and the Mountaineers don’t appear to have any real advantages over the team from Manhattan, Kansas. The Wildcats should win this game.
WVU has now won its last four overtime games and nine of its last 11 overtime contests.
— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) January 24, 2015
My Final Score Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats 66, West Virginia Mountaineers 62