WVU basketball: It’s time to play Kansas again in title

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 17: Marcus Garrett
LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 17: Marcus Garrett /

The WVU basketball team has been trying to sit atop the Big 12 standings since it entered the conference more than five years ago.

The Mountaineers have had several chances to knock off the perennial class of the conference and that chance comes again on Saturday. The WVU basketball team will be taking on Kansas in the Big 12 Championship Game.

The Mountaineers and Jayhawks will tip off in Kansas City in front of a packed house. West Virginia is the underdog, like in most cases with this matchup, but a homesteading crowd will likely make the Sprint Center feel like Allen Fieldhouse — a place the WVU basketball team has never earned a victory.

Still, the Mountaineers definitely have a chance. Even though the Jayhawks beat the Mountaineers twice this season, a lot of that had to do with the WVU basketball team shooting itself in the foot and some other outside factors.

The Mountaineers are in the Big 12 Championship Game for the third time. This is kind of what was to be expected with the football team making an easy transition from the Big East to the Big 12. With Dana Holgorsen in charge during the move, expectations haven’t necessarily been met. It’s the complete opposite with the WVU basketball team.

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What Bob Huggins has done with the program is nothing short of amazing. There have been plenty of challenges and hurdles to cross, but Huggins has handled everything the way it should be handled. He has put the WVU basketball team in a position to succeed and it seems like not enough people, including the most diehard West Virginia fans, recognize that.

Maybe it will take a Big 12 Championship for people to truly appreciate Huggins and his players. The Mountaineers will win the title if it pressures Kansas and make shots. Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter are playing their best basketball right now and they both can score 20 point apiece.

If the Jayhawks attempt to take those senior leaders out of the game, Esa Ahmad and Sagaba Konate will both have to fill the void. Not one of them, but both. It seems like that has been hard for them both to do this season.

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The game is sure to be a classic and it could be a historic victory for the Mountaineers. Win or lose, getting to this point for the third consecutive year is an accomplishment that so many other teams would wish to achieve.