Morgantown, West Virginia – After beating Kansas State in its regular season finale, West Virginia is now a near lock to receive a bid to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Mountaineers can certainly improve their seed by winning some games in the Big 12 Championship this week, but they will already play during March Madness, regardless of how they play in the Big 12 Championship.
With that said, Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology has a very interesting first round matchup for West Virginia in his latest release. Although Lunardi doesn’t get every correct every year, he has been surprisingly accurate over the years.
In Lunardi’s just-released bracket, he has the West Virginia Mountaineers as a 10 seed playing none other than John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats, who are 21-10 overall and in 3rd in the SEC Conference, in Columbus, Ohio. Kentucky, of course, features former West Virginia forward Oscar Tshiebwe, who played for the Mountaineers from 2019-2020. Tshiebwe won the National Player of the Year award last season and is averaging 16.4 points and 13.1 rebounds per game for the Wildcats this season.
This would certainly be an interesting first round opponent for the Mountaineers. However, if they were able to get past Kentucky in this particular bracket, the Mountaineers would likely advance to play the #2 seed Purdue Boilermakers, a team they suffered an early season 80-68 loss to back in November.
West Virginia is a much more mature and cohesive team than they were at the beginning of the season, however, and the Mountaineers feel like they can beat anyone in the country right now and if Lunardi’s current bracket holds up, they will feel confident that they can advance and make some major noise in the NCAA Tournament.
West Virginia is back in action on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:00PM in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Championship.