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The West Virginia Mountaineers will meet the #2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday, December 29th and will then travel to play the Kansas Jayhawks the following Saturday, January 4th.

Obviously this is going to be a challenging stretch for Bob Huggins’ team, two games that will truly show what the Mountaineers are made of.  At 10-1 and ranked #22 in the nation, West Virginia is vastly underrated based on strength of schedule, opponents’ records, RPI ranking and the new NET rankings, which is what the NCAA Selection Committee uses to determine March Madness rankings.

The Mountaineers have the 4th best strength of schedule, the best opponents’ combined records, and are currently ranked #1 in the RPI, which the NCAA no longer uses in its NCAA Tournament selection and seeding process.  However, the NCAA now uses the NET ranking as its new primary evaluation tool for selecting and seeding teams for the NCAA Tournament in March.

The NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET, will rely on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency and the quality of wins and losses.  West Virginia is currently ranked 10th int he NET rankings.

West Virginia’s #22 ranking in the Associated Press poll and #23 in the Coaches Poll doesn’t really add up based on every single tool used for ranking teams right now.  While the Mountaineers have earned a Top 10 ranking, polls are essentially meaningless until March.

Wins against Ohio State on Sunday and at Kansas next Saturday will put the Mountaineers where they belong, which is in the #5-10 range.  Strength of scheudle, RPI rankings, opponents’ records, NET and every other ranking tool agrees that the West Virginia Mountaineers are one of the top teams in the country this season.

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