MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Nothing gets the WVU Coliseum rocking quite like a visit from the Kansas Jayhawks. It will be that exact scene on Saturday as the two programs meet in front of a sold-out crowd at 6 p.m.
There have only been two games in the Big 12 Conference era that haven’t reached or were near max capacity at the Coliseum — the 2020-21 season had restricted attendance because of the pandemic. The 2014-15 clash only saw 7,033 fans due to a snowstorm. The Mountaineers pulled the upset in both.
Historically, WVU has fared well against KU on its home court. Mountaineer Nation has had a front-row seat to some of the biggest games of the series, including two that saw a No. 1 Kansas team go down.
Since joining the league, Bob Huggins’ team is 6-18 against the Jayhawks. All of those victories came inside the Coliseum, including a stretch in the 2010s of four straight wins. The Mountaineers were the underdog in each one.
Starting with the most recent, here’s a look at WVU’s wins over the Jayhawks as conference foes:
Feb. 6, 2021: Deuce McBride’s 31 points power WVU to a 91-79 win over No. 23 Jayhawks
One of WVU’s largest wins in the series came two seasons ago with one of the program’s top players in attendance, the late Levi Phillips. The Mountaineers were up 10 points at the break and outscored KU 47-45 in the final half to claim the win.
You would have never known Deuce McBride was still battling a foot injury as he took over the game. He finished with a career-high 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He was a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line. Taz Sherman also had himself a night with 25 points while Derek Culver put up 19 points and nine boards.
Emmitt Matthews downed a triple with 3:35 on the clock to give WVU its first double-digit lead of the second half and it kept it the rest of the way. Huggins referred to Matthews as the “unsung hero” after the game for his defensive effort.
Matthews and Kedrian Johnson are the only players on WVU’s current roster who have seen a win against the Jayhawks.
The Mountaineers managed to keep Ochai Abaji, the top scorer in the league at the time, in check, too. He had 13 points.
Jan. 19, 2019: WVU stuns No. 7 Kansas with late buzzer-beater
Where were you on the day Jermaine Haley cemented himself in WVU history? Whether it was witnessed in person or on TV, it’s one of the memorable moments that stick out in the history of WVU-KU.
That year, WVU only earned four Big 12 Conference wins. The Mountaineers had lost five straight entering the game, including one of worst losses in recent memory in the precursor game as they fell by 31 points at TCU.
The first half saw numerous scoring droughts for both teams as they were knotted at 23 apiece at the break.
Fans’ heart rates spiked over the final 20 minutes as both teams came out of the locker room hot. KU’s largest lead was five points.
WVU ended the contest with seven unanswered points, including Haley’s game-winning layup. The Jayhawks got two opportunities to score over the final seven seconds. Lagerald Vick missed a three-pointer and Dedric Lawson snagged the rebound and got up the final shot but it hit the front of the rim as the horn sounded.
Chaos ensued as fans stormed the court. It marked WVU’s first conference win of the year.
Jan. 24, 2017: No. 18 WVU comfortably upsets No. 1 KU
The 2016-17 season saw the Mountaineers’ largest margin of victory in the series. It marked the second straight year they took down top-ranked Jayhawks at the Coliseum.
It was a back-and-forth opening period. Esa Ahmad set the tone early with a tomahawk dunk. He scored WVU’s first eight points of the contest and finished with a game-high 27 points.
The largest Kansas lead was by six points. The Mountaineers held the three-point advantage at the half.
Sagaba Konate brought the house down with a dunk of his own late in the second half off of a Daxter Miles steal. It put WVU up by 11 points and seemed to be the dagger. The Mountaineers held KU to just six points over the final three minutes en route to the 85-69 win.
The victory was so decisive that a celebratory court storm did not follow like the year prior.
It’s also worth noting Jevon Carter came so close to a triple-double as he finished with nine points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
Jan. 12, 2016: No. 8 Mountaineers defeat No. 1 Jayhawks by double-digits
WVU didn’t have Staten at its disposal for its next battle with KU in Morgantown, but Press Virginia was still alive well as it forced 22 Kansas turnovers.
This top-10 battle wasn’t as close as the two years prior. The Mountaineers held a double-digit lead over the top-ranked team in the nation for most of the second half. The closest KU could get it was seven points with 49 seconds left.
WVU netted 12 of its final 14 points from the charity stripe. It shot 47 free throws compared to 21 for the Jayhawks.
Jaysean Paige had a hot start as he tallied 17 first-half points off the bench. He finished with a game-high 26 points. Devin Williams had a double-double with 17 points and 12 boards while the sophomore Jevon Carter added 10.
Feb. 16, 2015: No. 23 WVU edges No. 8 Kansas in final seconds
The previous season contained another marquee matchup between the two programs as each was ranked in the top 25. On a snowy night in the University City, those who could make it to the Coliseum got to witness one of the top games in series history.
West Virginia held a three-point lead at the half that turned into a one-point victory, its 20th of the season.
The Jayhawks came out of the locker room on a 10-0 run, to take over the lead. WVU didn’t get it back until 7:20 was on the clock and it remained a one to two-possession game the rest of the way.
Frank Mason gave KU the one-point edge with just over two minutes to play. Neither team could cash in on their chances from there. That was until Juwan Staten sent the Coliseum into a frenzy with his layup with four seconds on the clock. Perry Ellis’ shot at the buzzer fell short and a court storm ensued.
Staten led all scorers with 20 points in his final contest of the series.
March 8, 2014: WVU defeats Andrew Wiggins and No. 8 KU
In its second hoops season in the Big 12, West Virginia got its first win against the Jayhawks as a member of the league in its regular season finale. West Virginia led by as many as 25 points and hung on for the narrow victory.
It was a battle of the freshman stars in KU’s Andrew Wiggins and WVU’s Devin Willams. Wiggins did it all for the Jayhawks as he finished with 41 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four blocks before fouling out.
Williams was one of three Mountaineers to put up 20-plus points. He had a season-high 22 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Eron Harris led WVU with 28 points while Juwan Staten added 24 points.
It marked the first time that season that KU allowed three opposing players to score 20 points.