When the weekly rankings are released later today, Kansas could ascend to No. 1 in the coaches poll and figures to be no worse than No. 2 in the Associated Press top 25.
What fortuitous timing for West Virginia to be hosting the Jayhawks in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. Surely Morgantown, which carries the rep of providing a rowdy homecourt atmosphere, is in the throes of hoops hysteria, right?
“Honestly there hasn’t been the kind of hoopla that you would think there would be around town,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference. “The paper sure didn’t blow it up today as being a huge, huge game. I’m sure we have a lot to do with it, with our play.”
West Virginia owns a 100 RPI, stands 9-10 overall and is on pace to miss the NCAAs for the first time in Huggins’ six seasons at his alma mater. The Mountaineers are 2-4 in league play with those wins coming over Texas and TCU, teams that are a combined 1-12 in Big 12.
So even though a near-capacity crowd is anticipated at the WVU Coliseum tonight, and despite the Jayhawks (18-1, 6-0) owning the nation’s longest active winning streak at 17 games, Huggins said he senses no buzz around the game.
“I’d just like to win one,” Huggins said. “I never saw it coming that we would struggle the way we’ve struggled.”
Kansas is an 8-point favorite.