K-State faces showdown with No. 15 West Virginia
A look at the upcoming weekend around the Big 12:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Kansas State at No. 15 West Virginia. After losing five times in six games, the Mountaineers were struggling to keep pace with Kansas and the rest of the contenders atop the league. K-State got rolled by the Jayhawks on Monday, and a loss Saturday in Morgantown might be fatal to their hopes of pushing for the conference crown.
LOOKING AHEAD: No. 7 Kansas hosts Oklahoma State, which has lost three in a row. Tenth-ranked Texas Tech travels to TCU, winners of three of five. Iowa State plays at Baylor in a matchup of cellar dwellers while No. 12 Oklahoma – fresh off Trae Young’s 44-point effort in a 98-96 win over the Bears – plays Texas in Austin.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jo Laul-Acuil Jr., Baylor. As of Wednesday, he was 13th in the league at 15 points a game, third with 9.2 rebounds, fifth with 1.9 blocks and 12th with a shooting percentage of .516. The Bears’ struggles have nudged them out of the national spotlight, but Laul-Acuil is capping his career in Waco on a high note.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Texas Tech’s Keenan Evans entered Wednesday’s game against Texas second in the league in scoring. Evans would need to average 26.4 points a game to catch Young for first – and that’s if Young didn’t score a single point the rest of the season. That, obviously, is unlikely to happen. … Freshman Mohamed Bamba of Texas is closing in on a rebounding title in what could be his only season in the league. Bamba was averaging 10.9 rebounds ahead of Wednesday’s matchup against Tech – and he’s second in the country with 4.4 blocks a game. … Udoka Azubuike of Kansas is 136 of 178 from the floor this season. But his .764 shooting percentage isn’t tops nationally. Azubuike is just three points behind 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall of Central Florida.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Third-ranked Baylor plays at Texas Tech on Saturday, while No. 8 Texas hosts 22nd-ranked TCU. No. 21 West Virginia, which let the Lady Bears rally to beat them in Morgantown on Sunday, play at Oklahoma. …Tech started league play just 1-9, and shooting a major reason why. The Red Raiders were just 55.9 percent on free throws and 26.9 percent on 3s.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Luke Meredith.
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