Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers (15-16, 4-14) finished in last place in the Big 12 Conference this season and will have to do the impossible by winning the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri this week.
Senior guard Taz Sherman said that the Mountaineers are going to “shock the world” weeks ago, but so far, we haven’t seen the team back up it on the court. Now, with their backs against the wall, it’s time for West Virginia to put up or shut up.
The Mountaineers will have to beat Kansas State tonight in the 8/9 game. If they win that game, they will face the #1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks tomorrow at 3:00PM in the second round. If they somehow manage to upset Kansas, they will face the winner of the TCU versus Texas game in the semifinals. And if they advance in the semifinals, they would play the winner of the likely Baylor versus Texas Tech game in the championship the very next day.
Four days, four wins against really tough competition seems very unlikely, but remember, this West Virginia team is certainly talented enough to beat anyone in the conference. They just haven’t done it yet.
Despite his team’s lackluster performance late in the season, Bob Huggins still very much believes that the Mountaineers are capable of running off four consecutive wins to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, winning the conference tournament is the only way that they will participate in a postseason this season. Although it’s not a requirement to play in the NIT, every team that has played in the NIT since 2006 has had a winning record. At 15-16, West Virginia will at least have to beat Kansas State and Kansas to earn a trip to the NIT.
It looks grim, but Bob Huggins believes, the players believe and anything is possible in March! Let’s Go Mountaineers!