West Virginia vs. Kansas: Low Scoring Affair Our Free NCAA Basketball Pick

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 1:09 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 1:09 PM GMT

The Kansas Jayhawks are looking for revenge Tuesday night, and the NCAA basketball odds say they'll get it in their rematch against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 151½
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

Is anyone ever going to step up and take charge in the wild and wacky Big 12?  Perhaps, but somehow I get the feeling things won't be any clearer after tonight and could, in fact, be even more muddied.

If the clash between Oklahoma and Texas was part of what made last night Big Monday, then this evening's battle between the West Virginia Mountaineers and Kansas Jayhawks makes it Terrific Tuesday. The 7 PM (ET) tip at Allen Fieldhouse and features a pair of top 10 teams, Kansas No. 6 in both polls released on Monday and West Virginia checking in at No. 10 on each list.

Kansas is listed -7, exactly where the spread opened, and scoreboard bettors are looking at 151½ for the total at the same shop.

West Virginia is currently in charge of the Big 12 race, if you can call a 1-game lead with less than a month to play in the regular season being in charge. Kansas is just a game back with a 7-3 conference mark, the Sooners between them at 8-3 with the Longhorns 7-4 after OU eked out a 63-60 win in that rivalry on Monday.

 

Win Would Give WVU Season Sweep Of KU
I would mention the fact that the No. 1 team in the nation lost the last time these two met, but considering how frequently that has happened this season, it hardly seems noteworthy. Still, that's what happened about a month ago when the Jayhawks traveled to Morgantown where the Mountaineers pasted a 74-63 decision on Kansas, that game closing with West Virginia getting a point on the NCAA basketball odds.

A quick look at the boxscore reveals that contest was decided on the charity stripe where Bob Huggins' guys outscored Bill Self's, 33-13. Looking inside those numbers, however, it was West Virginia's persistent drives in the lane that drew those fouls, the Mountaineers also using bodacious defense to come away with 12 steals as Kansas turned it over 22 times.

The win left the series 4-3 in Kansas' favor, all seven games having been played as Big 12 opponents. West Virginia backers cashed their tickets for the fourth consecutive time, and fifth in the seven meetings. The final fell short of a 156½ total, leaving that column at 4-3 O/U. The Jayhawks are 7-12 O/U on the season while the Mountaineers check in at 9-11 O/U.

 

Kansas On 3-Game Win Streak, Covering Each Victory
That earlier victory over Kansas was the end of an 8-game run for West Virginia (19-4 straight up, 13-7 against the spread) that left the Mountaineers and impressive 15-1 at that time. They have since dropped three of four, looking very sloppy in losses to Texas and at Florida. Two wins over ranked clubs ensued after falling to the Gators, covering each victory at Iowa State and home vs. Baylor this past Saturday.

The Mountaineers have played the last three games without forward Jonathan Holton who is serving a suspension. Huggins said the senior "probably won't" be available on Tuesday, though Holton could return this Saturday when West Virginia hosts TCU.

Kansas (19-4 SU, 12-8 ATS) has won five of seven since falling at West Virginia in January, four of those wins coming at home and the two losses occurring on the road. The Jayhawks will head to Norman this Saturday for a huge showdown with Oklahoma, and still have road dates at Baylor and Texas to come.

Self brings his squad home from Ft. Worth where they enjoyed a relatively easy 75-56 win over TCU last Saturday. It was Kansas' third consecutive win and cover, and the Jayhawks didn't have Wayne Selden Jr. at his best due to the junior guard battling an illness last week.

I love Kansas at home, but my free NCAA basketball pick is on the final coming up short of the total.

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