Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers got the absolutely best draw possible in the NCAA Tournament and can make a serious, deep run over the next couple of weeks!
A first round matchup against Morehead State is the ideal matchup for the Mountaineers. While Morehead State has won 16 of its last 17 games, they have done so against very average Ohio Valley Conference competition. The three difficult games that Morehead has played this season – against Clemson (51-66 loss), Ohio State (44-77 loss) and Richmond (64-82 loss) – have not been close.
If/when West Virginia gets past Morehead State, a potential matchup against the winner of San Diego State and Syracuse awaits them.
Round of 32
San Diego State, the winners of the Mountain West Tournament, finished the season 23-4 overall and 14-3 in conference play. Again, their schedule has been very mediocre and they have losses to Utah State, Colorado State and BYU this season.
Syracuse, 16-9 and 9-7 in the ACC, are a bit of a surprise to even be in the NCAA Tournament this season. Although obviously well-coached by the legendary Jim Boeheim, the Orange simply don’t have the talent this season to compete with a team like West Virginia.
If/when the Mountaineers beat the San Diego State/Syracuse winner, they will likely play the 2 seeded Houston Cougars. Houston is a deep, tough, veteran team, but they play in the weak American Athletic Conference. At 24-3 overall this season, Houston will be a tough team to beat, but if West Virginia is making shots and playing the defense they are capable of, a win against Houston is very possible.
Looking way ahead, a potential Elite 8 game against Illinois is about as good of a matchup as West Virginia could have possibly hoped for. Of all the #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, Illinois has proven to be the most beatable this season. Winners of the Big Ten tournament, Illinois is a very talented team, but again, they aren’t a team that West Virginia can’t beat if they are playing well.
The NCAA Selection Committee ranked the West Virginia Mountaineers as the #10 ranked team overall in the NCAA Tournament, seeded them as a 3 seed and gave them the least challenging possible path to the Final Four.
Getting to the Final Four certainly won’t be easy, but thanks to a tremendously favorable seeding by the Selection Committee, the West Virginia Mountaineers are now primed to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament!