Kansas erases 16-point deficit, downs West Virginia

Trailing by 16 points twice in the first half, the 10th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks started to play with a resolve.

Some might argue that they started to beat the No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers at their own game.

Kansas came all the way back Monday with a strong defensive effort and timely shooting from Sky Mykhailiuk and Devonte’ Graham to take down West Virginia, 71-66.

As a result, the Jayhawks (15-3, 5-1) assumed sole possession of first place in the Big 12, all while breaking a three-game road losing streak to West Virginia (15-3, 4-2) in Morgantown.

A big play came with less than eight minutes left, with Kansas still down by 10. Graham went to the basket to score, drawing a fourth foul on West Virginia’s best player, Jevon Carter.

As Carter went to the bench, Graham made the free throw to cut the Mountaineers’ lead to seven.

By the time West Virginia was able to get Carter back onto the floor three minutes later, Kansas had the momentum and soon took the lead.

“I feel like when he’s in the game, their offense flow way better,” Graham told ESPN. ‘He create and make plays for others. He’s just an offensive threat. Without him in in the game, they really struggled, and we kind of made a run.”

In the end, Mykhailiuk and Graham carried the Jayhawks down the stretch, combining for 26 points in the second half, when Kansas outscored West Virginia 43-25.

Defensively, Kansas held West Virginia to 10 for 28 percent and 1 for 13 on threes after intermission.

On Saturday, both teams get back into action, with the Jayhawks hosting the Baylor Bears, while West Virginia hosts Texas.

Villanova takes over No. 1, with West Virginia No. 2, in AP Top 25

Villanova is No. 1 again in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Monday.

West Virginia has jumped to No. 2, up from sixth, in the highest ranking for the program since December of 1959.

Jerry West was a West Virginia senior at the time.

Texas Tech moved up to No. 8, the first time for the Red Raiders have been in the top ten since 1996.

Here’s the Top 25

1. Villanova (14-1) Big East
2. West Virginia (14-1) Big 12
3. Virginia (14-1) ACC
4. Michigan State (15-2) Big Ten
5. Wichita State (13-2) AAC
5. Purdue (15-2) Big 10
7. Duke (13-2) ACC
8. Texas Tech (14-1) Big 12
9. Oklahoma (12-2) Big 12
10. Xavier, Ohio (15-2) Big East
11. Arizona State (13-2) Pac-12
12. Kansas (12-3) Big 12
13. Seton Hall (14-2) Big East
14. Cincinnati (14-2) AAC
15. Gonzaga (14-3) West Coast
16. TCU (13-2) Big 12
17. Arizona (12-4) Pac-12
18. Miami, Fla. (13-2) ACC
19. Clemson (14-1) ACC
20. North Carolina (12-4) ACC
21. Kentucky (12-3) SEC
22. Auburn (14-1) SEC
23. Florida State (12-3) ACC
24. Tennessee (10-4) SEC
25. Creighton (13-3) Big East