Campus Corner

KU Chalkboard: What a victory at West Virginia could mean for the Jayhawks

KU's Wayne Selden and the Jayhawks could smile after putting away Iowa State 89-76 on Feb. 2 at Allen Fieldhouse.
KU's Wayne Selden and the Jayhawks could smile after putting away Iowa State 89-76 on Feb. 2 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Kansas City Star

T-minus eight hours until No. 8 Kansas tips off at West Virginia on Big Monday. So let’s start with a couple things: Because of a scheduling oddity, the Jayhawks are seeing the Mountaineers and their “Press Virginia” style for the first time in mid-February. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins has an opportunity to score another $25,000 bonus for beating KU during the regular season. And Kansas’ Perry Ellis can build on a big week.

But here at The Chalkboard, we’re focusing on the Big 12 race, which took another turn after Oklahoma’s loss at K-State on Saturday night. Entering Monday, the Jayhawks had a full two-game lead over Iowa State and a 2 ½-game lead over Oklahoma. If Kansas can find a way to beat West Virginia on Monday night, the Jayhawks’ magic number would be down to three over Oklahoma and Iowa State.

According to KenPom.com, the Jayhawks are a one-point favorite over West Virginia, with a 55 percent chance to win. Win Monday night, and Kansas would need to just win two of their three remaining home games to clinch a share of the title.

Here’s a look at the updated projections for the Big 12’s top four teams — at the moment.

KANSAS (10-2)

Date

Opponent

KenPom projection

2-16

At West Virginia

W, 74-73 (55%)

2-21

TCU

W, 71-59 (88%)

2-23

At Kansas State

W, 68-62 (74%)

2-28

Texas

W, 70-63 (77%)

3-3

West Virginia

W, 78-69 (82%)

3-7

At Oklahoma

L, 71-67 (35%)

FINAL PROJECTION: 14-4

IOWA STATE (8-4)

Date

Opponent

KenPom projection

2-18

At Oklahoma State

L, 75-72 (40%)

2-21

At Texas

L, 75-71 (36%)

2-25

Baylor

W, 77-74 (61%)

2-28

At Kansas State

W, 73-70 (64%)

3-2

Oklahoma

L, 77-76 (52%)

3-7

At TCU

W, 72-71 (56%)

FINAL PROJECTION: 11-7

OKLAHOMA (8-5)

Date

Opponent

KenPom projection

2-17

Texas

W, 67-60 (77%)

2-21

At Texas Tech

W, 67-56 (89%)

2-28

TCU

W, 68-57 (88%)

3-2

At Iowa State

L, 77-76 (46%)

3-7

Kansas

W, 71-67 (65%)

FINAL PROJECTION: 12-6

WEST VIRGINIA (7-5)

Date

Opponent

KenPom projection

2-16

Kansas

L, 74-73 (55%)

2-21

At Oklahoma State

L, 71-66 (31%)

2-24

Texas

W, 69-66 (59%)

2-28

At Baylor

L, 73-66 (23%)

3-3

At Kansas

L, 78-69 (18%)

3-7

Oklahoma State

W, 70-67 (62%)

FINAL PROJECTION: 9-9

STILL HANGING AROUND:

OKLAHOMA STATE (7-6)

Projected: 10-8

BAYLOR (6-6)

Projected: 10-8

A look back at the Baylor victory

From Sunday’s Star: No. 8 Kansas started slow against Baylor but used a second-half surge to improve to 10-2 in the Big 12 on Saturday afternoon.

Player of the game

Landen Lucas was a pleasant surprise off the bench, but freshman wing Kelly Oubre was the most productive player against Baylor. Oubre finished with 18 points on nine shots, posting a 173 offensive rating, and grabbed six rebounds in just 24 minutes. Oubre also continued his extreme home-road shooting splits.

Oubre is shooting 47.8 percent (22 of 46) from three in 12 home games. He’s shooting just 14.3 percent (three of 21) in seven true road games.

Stat of the game

Frank Mason’s streak of 21 straight games in double figures came to an end.

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rustindodd.

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