West Virginia is back in the championship game of the Big 12 tournament for the third year in a row, this time taking on Kansas Saturday evening in Kansas City. How are we playing this game with our free college basketball pick? Free College Basketball Picks: Big 12 Tournament Championship Game.
The top-seeded Jayhawks reached this Big 12 tournament championship game by beating Oklahoma State Thursday 82-68, then defeating Kansas State Friday 83-67. Kansas led the Wildcats by 16 early in the second half, allowed that lead shrink to two points with 10 minutes left but re-applied the gas and pulled away for the cover at -8.
The Jayhawks shot 48 percent from the floor Friday, after shooting 56 percent Thursday against the Cowboys.
The 3rd-seeded Mountaineers, meanwhile, reached this championship game by beating Baylor Thursday 78-65, then topping Texas Tech Friday 66-63. West Virginia forced 20 Bears turnovers Thursday, then hit 10-for-20 on 3-pointers Friday.
Both these teams lost their regular-season finales.
Kansas swept two games from West Virginia during the regular season by scores of 71-66 and 77-69. The Mountaineers led that first meeting by 16 points late in the first half but allowed the Jayhawks to rally for the win. West Virginia then led that second meeting by 12 early in the second half before the Jayhawks again rallied for the victory. Kansas famously shot 35 free-throws that day, compared to 2 for the Mountaineers.
The Jayhawks shot 45 percent from the field in those two games combined, while West Virginia shot 42 percent.
On the injury front Kansas is without leading rebounder Udoka Azubuike (14 points, 7 rebs per game this season), who’s dealing with a sore knee.
The Mountaineers had the Jayhawks down twice this season and let them off the hook both times. That better not happen again. Also, West Virginia has lost the Big 12 tournament title game each of the last two seasons. We think the Mountaineers will get that title here.
Free Big 12 Championship Game Pick: West Virginia