KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas dominated from the start of its Big 12 quarterfinal with West Virginia, winning 87-63 on Thursday afternoon in a packed T-Mobile Center.
Kansas (26-6) will now face TCU in the Big 12 semifinals at 6 p.m. on Friday.
For the Jayhawks, it turned into a cruise control kind of game. Kansas started forward David McCormack, whose status was in doubt going into the game. But the Jayhawks’ performance ensured he would only have to play a few minutes.
And, by resting McCormack, he may be more available for Friday’s game, during which he’ll likely have to defend TCU center Eddie Lampkin. He had 10 points and nine rebounds, along with the go-ahead basket, in a 65-60 win over Texas.
The Jayhawks jumped out to a 19-4 lead before West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was ejected from the game after receiving two technical fouls. At the time, he was arguing against a technical foul called on guard Taz Sherman.
Kansas forward Jalen Wilson went to the line to shoot six free throws, and the rout was on.
Kansas coach Bill Self was able to play most of his bench, but it was his Big 12 Player of the Year, Ochai Agbaji, who paced the Jayhawks with 18 points. Wilson added 15 points. With McCormack playing sparingly, Mitch Lightfoot drew a lot of playing time inside and scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. Christian Braun added 11 points.
Malik Curry led the Mountaineers with 19 points, while Sherman added 10. With the loss, the Mountaineers dropped to 16-17 for the season. It’s unclear if there will be a postseason tournament interested in the Mountaineers with a losing record.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.