Morgantown-West Virginia had lost three of its last four games and it was looking as if the Mountaineers would fall again when Juwan Staten saved the day.
The senior guard made a spinning layup through the lane with four seconds on the clock to lift No. 23 West Virginia past No. 8 Kansas 62-61 on Monday night.
Staten led the Mountaineers with 20 points. Jevon Carter added 13 points. Jonathan Holton had five points and nine rebounds.
Perry Ellis and the Jayhawks had one final chance but the junior forward missed a layup between two West Virginia defenders as time expired and the student section poured onto the court to sing Country Roads.
Perry Ellis scored 19 points for the Jayhawks. Frank Mason III added 18 and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Kansas took its first lead of the game in the second half when Oubre made a jumper with 19:20 left.
Staten ended the 10-0 Jayhawks’ run when he dropped a three-pointer, pulling the Mountaineers within four.
Kansas, who went 0-for-3 from beyond-the-arc in the first half, was hitting threes left and right in the second half. The Jayhawks made 6-of-9 from three-point range in the second.
Staten hit back-to-back baskets with 9:35 left to cut the Jayhawks lead to 49-47. Both teams exchanged leads several times after.
Carter nailed back-to-back three pointers to put West Virginia ahead 60-59 with 2:31 to play. Kansas would regain the lead when Mason made a layup with 2:13 left, but the Jayhawks wouldn’t score again.
After losing to Iowa State on Saturday, West Virginia came out with vengeance in the first half.
“We went harder than what we’ve been going in a short turn around,” said head coach Bob Huggins. “We watched film today and had another walk through. Seth Greenburg said that was a great walkthrough. We had a lot of bounce in our step.”
Gary Browne began the game with a three to start an 8-0 run for the Mountaineers.
Jaysean Paige gave West Virginia its largest lead of the game when he made a shot from beyond-the-arc to put the Mountaineers ahead 17-8 with 10:27 left.
Mason pulled the Jayhawks within one with 45 seconds to go. The Mountaineers took a 33-30 lead into the locker room.
West Virginia won its 20th game for the first time in four years with the upset over Kansas and the win likely earned the Mountaineers a bid in the NCAA tournament.
West Virginia will travel to Stillwater on Saturday to take on the red-hot Oklahoma State Cowboys.