NCAAB Picks: Kansas vs West Virginia, March 9, 2023

NCAAB Picks: Kansas vs West Virginia, March 9, 2023

 

Odds

Time 3:00 p.m. EST
Mountaineers money line +140
Mountaineers spread +3 (-110)
Jayhawks money line -140
Jayhawks spread -3 (-110)
Over / under 149.5

 

2022-2023 season stats

  West Virginia Mountaineers Kansas Jayhawks
Record 19-13 25-6
Conference record 7-11 13-5
Streak W2 L2
Points per game 76.00 75.00
Points allowed per game 71.00 68.00
Rebounds per game 33.00 36.00
Rebounds allowed per game 32.00 34.00
Over / under record 18-11 16-13
 

Preview

Let's get to the upcoming matchup between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Kansas Jayhawks in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET.

West Virginia is coming off a win against Texas Tech in the first round of the conference tournament and has won four of its last five games. Meanwhile, Kansas lost to Texas in its regular-season finale but has won four of its past five overall.

Although Kansas beat West Virginia twice in the regular season, it's important to note that the Mountaineers put up a good fight in both games. In the first matchup, West Virginia struggled with shooting, only making 35.1 percent of its shots, including a paltry 20 percent from beyond the arc. Furthermore, they were outrebounded 43-35, which certainly didn't help their cause. In the second game, the Mountaineers won the rebounding battle by collecting 14 offensive rebounds, but they also had 21 turnovers and only made 6 of their 21 three-point attempts.

With that being said, if West Virginia can tighten up their offense and capitalize on their second-chance opportunities, they could potentially upset Kansas. However, the Jayhawks have a dominant offense and will be looking to assert their dominance on both ends of the court. Based on my analysis, I believe that Kansas will win this game, but it won't be a blowout like the previous two matchups.

 

West Virginia Mountaineers

I must say that West Virginia put on a dominant performance in their first-round game against Texas Tech in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament. The Mountaineers came into the tournament with some confidence, having finished the regular season strong with wins over Iowa State and Kansas State. They certainly carried that momentum into their game against Texas Tech, and it showed in their impressive victory.

West Virginia shot 40.9 percent from the field in the game, which was a solid performance given the level of defense they were facing from Texas Tech. However, it was their defensive effort that really stood out. The Mountaineers held Texas Tech to just 36.4 percent shooting from the field and an abysmal 26.1 percent from beyond the arc. They also forced 15 turnovers, which helped to create some easy scoring opportunities.

One of the keys to West Virginia's success this season has been their rebounding. They had a +5 rebounding margin in the game against Texas Tech, which included an impressive 19 offensive rebounds. The ability to create second-chance opportunities can be a huge advantage in college basketball, and West Virginia has certainly capitalized on that this season.

When it comes to the players to watch on this West Virginia team, senior guard Erik Stevenson is certainly one of them. He led the team in scoring this season with an average of 15.5 points per game, shooting 44.0 percent from the field and an impressive 39.2 percent from beyond the arc. Other players to keep an eye on include senior forward Tre Mitchell, senior guard Kedrian Johnson, senior forward Emmitt Matthews Jr., and senior guard Joe Toussaint.

In terms of their overall offensive numbers, West Virginia is averaging 76.7 points per game, which ranks 63rd in the nation. They shoot 45.5 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc, which are respectable numbers. They also convert 73.9 percent of their free throws and average 31.4 rebounds per game, with a +2.6 rebounding margin.

Defensively, West Virginia gives up an average of 71.1 points per game, which is not particularly impressive. However, they are still ranked 53rd in adjusted defensive efficiency, which takes into account the quality of their opponents. Their opponents shoot 44.7 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc, which are decent defensive numbers. They are also ranked 190th in assist-per-turnover ratio, which is an area where they could certainly improve.

Looking ahead, West Virginia will face the Kansas Jayhawks in their next game. Kansas is a tough opponent, having beaten West Virginia twice already this season. In their first meeting, West Virginia shot just 35.1 percent from the field and was outrebounded by a significant margin. In their second meeting, the Mountaineers won the rebounding battle but were plagued by turnovers and poor shooting from beyond the arc.

If West Virginia is going to beat Kansas this time around, they will need to play a complete game. They will need to shoot the ball well, play strong defense, and win the rebounding battle. They will also need to limit their turnovers, which has been a problem for them at times this season. If they can do all of those things, they have a chance to pull off the upset and advance further in the tournament.

Overall, West Virginia has had a solid season, and they are certainly capable of making a deep run in the tournament. They have some talented players on their roster, and they have shown that they can compete with some of the best teams in the nation. If they can continue to play at a high level,

 

Kansas Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks, a perennial powerhouse in college basketball, are among the teams that many analysts believe could go far in the tournament. However, after suffering a loss in their last game against Texas, some fans are wondering if Kansas is still a top contender.

Despite the loss, Kansas had an impressive regular season, finishing one game ahead of Texas to claim the conference title. The team's seven-game winning streak was snapped by Texas, but the Jayhawks still have a talented roster and plenty of momentum heading into the Big 12 Tournament.

Junior forward Jalen Wilson is the star player for Kansas, leading the team in scoring with an average of 19.7 points per game during the regular season. He is also a force on the boards, pulling down 8.4 rebounds per game. Other key players for the Jayhawks include freshman guard Gradey Dick, senior guard Kevin McCullar Jr., sophomore forward K.J. Adams Jr., and junior guard Dajuan Harris Jr. These players have all made significant contributions to the team's success this season and will be essential to any hopes of a deep tournament run.

Offensively, Kansas averages 75.6 points per game and shoots 46.4 percent from the field, including 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. The team converts 72.4 percent of their free throws and averages 33.5 rebounds per game, giving them a +1.5 rebounding margin. According to KenPom, Kansas ranks 25th in offensive efficiency and 87th in effective field goal percentage.

Defensively, Kansas gives up 68.2 points per game and holds opponents to a 41.3 percent shooting percentage, including 31.5 percent from three-point range. The Jayhawks rank 9th in defensive efficiency, 26th in assist-per-turnover ratio, and 80th in tempo. These defensive stats demonstrate that Kansas is not only a high-scoring team, but also one that can shut down opponents and limit their scoring opportunities.

Of course, a team's success in March Madness often comes down to factors beyond just talent and statistics. The tournament is known for its unpredictability, with upsets and Cinderella stories occurring every year. However, Kansas has a winning tradition and experienced coaching staff, both of which could give them an edge in the tournament.

Overall, while the loss to Texas was certainly a setback, the Kansas Jayhawks have a lot going for them as they head into March Madness. With a talented roster, strong offensive and defensive play, and a winning tradition, they are certainly a team to watch in the tournament.

 

BETTING TRENDS

Kansas are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games.

Kansas are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.

The total has gone OVER in 9 of Kansas's last 11 games against North Carolina State.

Kansas are 15-0 SU in their last 15 games at home.

 

Prediction

The two teams have faced each other twice this season, with Kansas winning both times, but by narrow margins of two and four points, respectively.

Both teams have had their ups and downs this season, but Kansas has been the more consistent team overall. They finished the regular season with a better record than West Virginia and also finished higher in the conference standings.

Kansas also has a more dominant offense, led by junior forward Jalen Wilson, who is averaging 19.7 points per game, and freshman guard Gradey Dick, who is averaging 14.3 points per game. West Virginia's leading scorer is senior guard Erik Stevenson, who is averaging 15.5 points per game.

Defensively, both teams are fairly evenly matched. Kansas gives up an average of 68.2 points per game, while West Virginia gives up 71.1 points per game. However, Kansas has a better defensive efficiency rating, which takes into account the quality of their opponents.

Based on these factors, it seems likely that Kansas will win the game, but it won't be a blowout. West Virginia has the potential to give Kansas a tough fight, especially if they can tighten up their offense and take advantage of their second-chance opportunities. However, Kansas has a more talented and consistent roster overall, which should give them the edge in the game.

 

PICK: Kansas ML (-140)

 

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