A pair of ranked teams clash to open up the Big 12 season as No. 16 West Virginia (11-1) heads to Allen Fieldhouse to take on No. 3 Kansas (10-2) on Saturday.
The game (4 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but you can watch it live on ESPN+:
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ESPN+ is the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of over 1,500 college basketball games (including dozens of Big 12 games) this season, plus other live sports every day, all the 30-for-30 documentaries, and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
Or, if you also want the new Disney+ streaming service and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to 25 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can then watch West Virginia vs Kansas live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
West Virginia vs Kansas Preview
For the first time in 15 years, Kansas did not earn a share of the Big 12 regular-season title last year and was upended by Iowa State in the Big 12 tournament.
With Devon Dotson, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Udoka Azubuike returning from that squad, there’s a sense of redemption in the air as the Jayhawks begin conference play.
“I do think it could be motivation. Especially for the guys returning it could be extra motivation — (the feeling that), ‘We didn’t do it last year,’” Kanas coach Bill Self told the Kansas City Star. “I certainly hope that’s the case, but I don’t see it helping (win games) really to any extent at all.
“Every year gets me fired up,” Self added. “We’re real honest with our guys. Our nonconference … there’s about six or seven games you circle saying, ‘These are the most important games of the nonconference.’ You get in the league and say, ‘Well, here are 18 games you circle because they are all equally important.’”
Agbaji echoed that sentiment from his head coach.
“It means a lot,” sophomore wing Agbaji said of winning the Big 12. “Last year some guys didn’t have an opportunity to be on top of the conference. Moving into this year we’re going to take it game by game but our overall goal is to come out as champions.
“We are ready. Coming off last year, the experience we have — Doke, Marcus, me, Devon, David — that experience (of) going through one year of conference, knowing how every game is and how every game is turned up, how much it means every possession, every game (is important),” Agbaji added.
West Virginia has won four in a row since getting stunned by St. John’s back on Dec. 7. Their latest win was a 67-59 triumph over over No. 5 Ohio State behind 17 points from Kaleb Wesson. Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins hopes to see more of the same from his squad against Kansas.
“The key to the game is making shots,” Huggins told the Register-Herald after the win. “We’re both going to rebound and we’re both going to guard. It comes down to being able to make shots.”
There’s a major mutual respect between Self and Huggins as two of the top coaches not only in the conference, but the sport of college basketball.
“Huggs is the fourth-winningest coach in college basketball,” Self said during his Thursday press conference. “He’s really good. And — I don’t know if you know this — he’s kind of a colorful fellow. That also creates some interest that makes it fun. So I think West Virginia coming into our league … was really good for basketball.”
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