The Big 12 Tournament’s quarterfinals matchup between the number one ranked Kansas Jayhawks and the number nine ranked West Virginia Mountaineers was intense from the start of regulation. Kansas entered the game vying to get one step closer to a conference title, while West Virginia battled in an attempt to successfully follow up on their victory over Kansas State and move on to the semifinals.
The Jayhawks came out of the gates hot, starting the game on a 13-2 run as David McCormack powered their offense with nine points in the first six minutes of regulation. The presence of Kansas fans was apparent early at T-Mobile Center, as most of the crowd cheered on in excitement while the Jayhawks used their fast break offense to their advantage. A tough start for the Mountaineers caused them to put up four points in the first ten minutes of the game, at which point Taz Sherman received a technical foul. West Virginia’s head coach Bob Huggins expressed his frustrations with the call which led to him being ejected from the game, midway through the first half.
As the game continued, KU would extend their lead through a strong performance on the defensive glass & with the offensive contributions of their leading scorer Ochai Agbaji. West Virginia would soon get into a grove offensively that kept them within twenty- five points of the Jayhawks, as the first half came to a close with Kansas up 41-19 over West Virginia.
Following their first half struggles, the Mountaineers would start the second half on a 7-0 run, decreasing the gap between the two teams on the scoreboard. As the clock drew closer to triple zeros, the more things changed the more they seemed to stay the same, as the Jayhawks wouldn’t let the Mountaineers get any closer.
Kansas would take the victory with a final score of 87-63, powered by a Christian Braun double-double and 18 points from Ochai Agbaji. Malik Curry led the way for West Virginia with 19 points, but the struggles that the Mountaineers had in the rebound department would ultimately cost them the game.
One of two semifinal matchups in the Big 12 Tournament is now set, as the Kansas Jayhawks will take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Friday night with tip-off at 6:00PM CT at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri.