The postseason begins Wednesday night for West Virginia men’s basketball as the Mountaineers line up against the Kansas State Wildcats to open the Big 12 Tournament.

Both teams are playing to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive after a pair of difficult stretches to end the season. WVU’s skid landed the Mountaineers with the 9-seed in the conference tournament, while the Wildcats slotted in at No. 8 with a loss on the last day of the regular season.

The winner of this matchup goes on to face top-seeded Kansas at 3 p.m. ET.

West Virginia starters

  • G Kedrian Johnson
  • G Taz Sherman
  • G Sean McNeil
  • F Jalen Bridges
  • F Gabe Osabuohien

Kansas State starters

  • G Mark Smith
  • G Nijel Pack
  • G Mike McGuirl
  • F Ismael Massoud
  • F Selton Miguel


FINAL: West Virginia holds on to beat Kansas State 73-67.

0:44 (WVU 71, KSU 65): WVU is trying to put this one away, but Mark Smith nailed a three-pointer to get the game within six points. The Wildcats will need to foul from now on out.

3:29 (WVU 69, KSU 60): The Wildcats whittled the lead all the way down to tie it up with an 8-0 run, but the Mountaineers have taken control with an 8-0 run of their own. This most recent stretch has come from a big push from behind the arc, as Sherman and Malik Curry have added three-pointers. McNeil’s total is up to 19 points after making a great cut to the basket before the timeout, while Curry has 17 (11 in the second half).

14:55 (WVU 47, KSU 45): Kansas State is getting three 3-ball to work so far. Three of its four field goals in the second half have come from behind the arc, while WVU has attacked the inside. Its offensive rhythm from the first half has waned, though — just before the break, Taz Sherman got a rebound and tried to go 1-on-4 and ended up turning the ball over.

WVU starts the half with possession.


HALF: West Virginia takes a 38-34 lead over Kansas State into the locker room.

3:49 (WVU 30, KSU 29): Now the Wildcats are narrowing the gap by attacking the inside. Their last four buckets have come in the paint, then Ismael Massoud cut the deficit to a point with a pair of free throws.

6:56 (WVU 26, KSU 23): The Wildcats are chipping away, but WVU is still in front, and they’re staying in front with a strong inside game. The Mountaineers already have 14 points in the paint, which nearly doubles their total from their last meeting with WVU.

12:26 (WVU 16, KSU 10): WVU comes out of the break with fire. After allowing a three-pointer to Mark Smith, the Mountaineers go on a 7-point run to get the biggest lead of the game so far. McNeil is up to nine points on a trio of three-pointers.

15:22 (WVU 9, KSU 7): The Mountaineers open the game with a steal by Gabe Osabuohien, who turns it into a layup on the other end. That play is the difference so far as neither team has truly established an advantage. Sean McNeil is off to a hot start, though, making a pair of threes to start the game.

Kansas State won the opening tip. We are underway in Kansas City.