As you are already aware, the NCAA Tournament has been canceled, dashing the dreams of players, coaches and fans. The West Virginia Mountaineers finished the season at 21-10 and 9-9 in the Big 12 Conference – a huge turnaround from last season – and were playing some of their best basketball of the year before the season was cut short.
As disappointing as this is for fans, it is substantially more frustrating and discouraging for the players and coaches. With that said, there should absolutely be an NCAA Tournament Selection Show this Sunday. The players have earned it and this is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the players’ successes this season.
While the games obviously will not be played, the magic of Selection Sunday would still exist. Players and coaches should gather around the television, fans should still anxiously see who and where their favorite team would have played. The Selection Show is one of the most entertaining, exciting parts of March Madness and it should not be taken away from the players and fans as well.
With this said, the West Virginia Mountaineers would have made some major noise in the NCAA Tournament. In Joe Lunardi’s final Bracketology, he had the Mountaineers as a 7th seed in the East Region. In this bracket, West Virginia would have played the #10 seed Utah State in Tampa in the 1st around.
In the East, Lunardi had Dayton as the #1 seed, Florida State at #2, Villanova at #3, Maryland at #4 and Butler at #5. While no game in the NCAA Tournament is easy, this particular draw for the Mountaineers was relatively undemanding.
Although any team in the region is capable of beating West Virginia on a neutral court on a particularly bad day for the Mountaineers, there isn’t a team in the East that the Mountaineers couldn’t have beaten. While Lundardi’s brackets are far from official and this is unlikely exactly what the tournament would look like, he is often very accurate.
If this was the exact bracket, here is how the Mountaineers may have finished:
1st Round – WVU 72 Utah State 68
Round of 32 – WVU 61 Florida State 48
Sweet Sixteen – Villanova 52 WVU 50
The Mountaineers advancing to the Sweet 16 following a horrific 15-21 season and where very little was expected would be a massive success for Bob Huggins’ team. This run in the NCAA Tournament would set up a season with huge potential for the Mountaineers next year.