Kansas defeated West Virginia 81-70 to win the Big 12 championship on Saturday night in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the second time in three years the Jayhawks have beaten the Mountaineers to claim the championship title. KU was hot from the field, most notably in the second half when it shot 72 percent. The Jayhawks made an incredible 15 shots from beyond the arc en route to the victory.
With big man Udoka Azubuike sidelined because of a left knee injury, KU needed to fill his production. The emergence of Silvio De Sousa will likely make make the Jayhawks feel confident heading into the NCAA tournament. De Sousa, a freshman, put up 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, notching his first career double double. The Jayhawks expect to have Azubuike back in time for the NCAA tournament, but it is encouraging for them to know they have another reliable presence inside.
WVU outrebounded KU by 10, which was expected for the most part. Eleven Mountaineers saw the floor tonight, and everybody chipped in on the glass. Dexter Miles Jr. poured in 25 points for the Mountaineers, while Jevon Carter added 17 points and nine assists. One of the surprises of the night was how the Jayhawks held Esa Ahmad scoreless. WVU had a huge advantage down low, but KU did a great job forcing difficult shots for the Mountaineer bigs.
WVU and KU are expected to get into the NCAA tournament. The Big 12 could have anywhere from five to nine teams in the Big Dance. KU is expected to earn a No. 1 seed.