Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00pm EST
Written by Nick Raffoul
The No.12-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers will take on the Kansas State Wildcats at the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas in a Big 12 Conference clash on Saturday afternoon.
West Virginia has been steadily climbing up the national rankings over the past few weeks. The Mountaineers have built quite a stellar NCAA Tournament resume to this point in the season. They are 14-2 in their first 16 games with eight quality wins and an 8-3 record in Tier-A and Tier-B games. Meanwhile, Kansas State is still searching for its first quality win of the year and its first Big 12 victory after dropping its first four conference contests. Can the Mountaineers avoid an upset on the road against Kansas State on Saturday afternoon?
Mountaineers climb to No. 4 in KenPom RankingsWest Virginia cruised to another double-digit conference win on Tuesday night, defeating TCU at home 81-49. Derek Culver had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Oscar Tshiebwe, Miles McBride, and Jermaine Haley all chipped in 11 points apiece in the win. West Virginia limited TCU to just 31.8 percent shooting from the field and forced 20 turnovers on the night to improve to 3-1 in Big 12 conference play.
Bob Huggins’ squad enters the weekend ranked No. 4 in the latest KenPom rankings and 12th in the latest AP Polls. The Mountaineers have scored 107.1 points per 100 possessions for the season (49th in the NCAA) despite turning the ball over on a whopping 21.4 percent of their offensive possessions (287th in the NCAA). West Virginia has shot just 49.2 percent from inside the arc (164th in the NCAA), 30.3 percent from long-range (290th in the NCAA), and 64.9 percent from the charity stripe as a team (312th in the NCAA) so far this season. However, Huggins’ squad has done a good job making up points on the offensive glass and at the free-throw line. West Virginia owns an offensive rebounding rate of 38.8 percent (3rd in the NCAA) and a free-throw rate of 41.4 percent (14th in the NCAA) through their first 16 contests.
As you might expect from a Huggins’-led team, the Mountaineers enter this matchup ranked among the top defensive teams in the country in several major categories. West Virginia has limited opponents to an NCAA-low 82.6 points per 100 possessions (1st in the NCAA) and an effective field goal percentage of only 39.4 percent (1st in the NCAA). The Mountaineers have also forced teams to turn the ball over 22.0 percent of the time (54th in the NCAA) while holding them to just 23.8 percent shooting from 3-point range (2nd in the NCAA).
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We currently do not have a prediction for this team, check back closer to the game day!