• WHEN/WHERE: 8 tonight at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va.
• TV/RADIO: ESPN; KCSP (610 AM)
• ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (9-10, 2-4 Big 12): It’s been a frustrating entrance to the Big 12 for West Virginia and coach Bob Huggins, who has had to resort to using 12 different players in the starting lineup this season. It was just three years ago that Huggins had his alma mater in the Final Four. But after finishing 19-14 and losing in the NCAA first round last season — their last in the Big East — the Mountaineers are rebuilding in new surroundings. West Virginia’s only league wins came at Texas and at home against TCU. The Mountaineers rank 314th in the country in field-goal percentage (39.5), while Kansas has spent most of the year ranked first in field-goal percentage defense. Thus, Kansas coach Bill Self expects another slow, physical night against a team that will have to shorten the game to have a chance.
• ABOUT KANSAS (18-1, 6-0 Big 12): The Jayhawks’ three Big 12 road games have all been lessons in winning ugly. But Kansas enters Monday night with a 17-game winning streak — the longest in the country — and a perfect conference mark. Just a third of the way through the Big 12 schedule, Kansas has opened up one-game lead on Baylor and at least a two-game lead on every other team in the conference. Freshman Perry Ellis posted another solid reserve performance against Oklahoma on Saturday; he’s averaged 5.5 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game in his last four contests. … The Jayhawks are second in the nation in blocks per game at 7.6. The Kansas program and Self are both facing West Virginia for the first time in men’s basketball, while Huggins is 0-4 against KU.
• BOTTOM LINE: This will be Kansas’ first trip to the WVU Coliseum, a place with a long history of being hostile and loud. That should count for something. But after escaping K-State with a victory last week, the Jayhawks seem to have a gift for playing tough when they need to.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org