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Kansas-West Virginia basketball preview

• WHEN/ WHERE: 11 a.m. Saturday at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va.


• ABOUT KANSAS (23-7, 14-3 Big 12) : For the second straight game, the Jayhawks will take the floor without freshman center Joel Embiid, who is resting a lower back strain. Bill Self said the KU medical staff would re-evaluate Embiid on Sunday, and he might return for the Big 12 Tournament next week at the Sprint Center. But the goal is to have a healthy Embiid for the NCAA Tournament. Senior Tarik Black filled in admirably on Senior Day, going nine of nine from the floor. The Jayhawks are 5-3 on the road in the Big 12 after losing two of their last three road games. But they are the only Big 12 team with a winning road record. Kansas leads the all-time series with West Virginia 3-0. If the Jayhawks can win on Saturday, they will post 15 conference victories for the sixth time since the inception of the Big 12.

• ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (16-14, 8-9 Big 12): West Virginia was once 6-4 in the Big 12 and looked like it could push for an NCAA bid with a strong finish. But after an 83-69 loss at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 8, the Mountaineers lost five of seven. A victory on Saturday would give them a .500 record in the Big 12, but their overall resume may still relegate them to the NIT. Still, the Mountaineers are set up to give Kansas a road test. Junior guard Juwan Staten (18.2 points, 5.8 assists) could command all-league honors. He gave the Jayhawks problems in the first game. Shooting guard Eron Harris also started strong at Kansas before Andrew Wiggins’ length shut him down in the second half.

• BOTTOM LINE: What’s left to play for? After winning its 10th straight Big 12 title, Kansas has a chance to claim a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed for the sixth time in eight years. But Self says he just wants to build some momentum heading into the postseason. The Jayhawks can help both causes with a victory.

P No. Kansas Ht. Yr. PPG
F 25 Tarik Black 6-9 Sr. 4.9
F 34 Perry Ellis 6-8 So. 13.2
G 22 Andrew Wiggins 6-8 Fr. 16.0
G 1 Wayne Selden 6-5 Fr. 10.2
G 10 Naadir Tharpe 5-11 Jr. 9.2
P No. West Virginia Ht. Yr. PPG
F 5 Devin Williams 6-9 Fr. 8.3
F 0 Remi Dibo 6-7 Jr. 7.4
F 11 Nathan Adrian 6-9 Fr. 12.1
G 10 Eron Harris 6-3 So. 17.6
G 3 Juwan Staten 6-1 Jr. 18.2