Monday, March 27, 2017

Home wins detrimental to winning the Big 12 Championship

Kansas guard Josh Jackson celebrates with teammate Landen Lucas during the second half against Texas Tech. (Photo Credit:  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports

Kansas guard Josh Jackson celebrates with teammate Landen Lucas during the second half against Texas Tech.
(Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sports)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Winning in the Big 12 is never an easy mission. Winning on the road is more challenging because of the home rowdy home environments.

Because of the league’s toughness winning at home is all the more imperative.

The ability to be so prevailing on its home court sets Kansas apart from all the others. This is why the Jayhawks have won 12 consecutive Big 12 Championships.

Kansas wins at the Phog. The last loss the Jayhawks suffered at the Phog Allen Fieldhouse was in 2013 when Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart was doing backflips to celebrate the victory.

That was 52 games ago, which is the nation’s longest home winning streak.

During Bill Self’s tenure at the school, they are 215-9 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Which is why Kansas wins the conference year in and year out. The Jayhawks don’t have bad losses at home.

Brandon Watkins (20) dunks in the second half of WVU's 89-68 win over No.1 Baylor on Tuesday, January 10, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Brandon Watkins (20) dunks in the second half of WVU’s 89-68 win over No.1 Baylor on Tuesday, January 10, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

If Kansas wins its 13th straight league title, they would tie UCLA for the longest string of conference championships in NCAA history.

UCLA won 13 straight Pac-10 titles under coaches John Wooden, Gene Bartow and Gary Cunningham from 1967 to 1979. KU is at 12 and counting under Self.

For the West Virginia University basketball team, that is what they need to do if they want to be the conference’s top dog.

The seventh-ranked Mountaineers lost a heartbreaking 89-87 overtime to Oklahoma at the Coliseum earlier in the week.

Last season WVU had a deflating loss at home to Texas, which was a pivotal in crushing the Mountaineers’ hopes of winning the Big 12 crown.

Those types of losses are ones WVU needs to omit if they want to be the preeminent team in the league.

With two conference losses already, the Mountaineers still have a taxing schedule ahead. They have to play Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State twice.

WVU has to travel to Baylor, Oklahoma and TCU still and the rematches with Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech at home.

Jevon Carter guards Oklahoma's Jordan Woodard during the second half of  WVU's 89-87 loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday, January 18, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Jevon Carter guards Oklahoma’s Jordan Woodard during the second half of WVU’s 89-87 loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday, January 18, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Therefore every win is important and definitely not an easy task.

Every team in the country dreams of winning their conference title but only the elite will win.

Bad losses don’t define a season’s success but they can crush hopes of winning titles.

For the Mountaineers, these are the losses that set them apart from Kansas.

It is something that will need to change if WVU wants to be a premiere basketball team in a brutal conference.

 

Cover Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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