Cover Photo: WVU Athletics
ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi updated his bubble projections yesterday morning. He still has West Virginia in as one of the “last four byes.” WVU is in the same category with Memphis, Boise State and Auburn. These projections place West Virginia as a 10-seed against Maryland in Sacramento. Prior to the Iowa State game, Lunardi marked WVU as one of the last teams in the field. West Virginia now has five quad-1 wins. WVU’s NET ranking increased by three spots to No. 23.
West Virginia has wasted a lot of opportunities this season to unofficially secure themselves into the NCAA Tournament. However, West Virginia has set themselves up to be in a perfect position heading into the final regular season game. WVU is playing more for momentum than seed lines or bracketology on Saturday. A win over Kansas State on Senior Day can continue that momentum heading into the conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament.
Huggins should consider playing small the rest of the way, as he might be forced to anyways with the injury to Wague. Playing small has clearly worked over the past two games. West Virginia is a turnover away from taking Kansas into overtime. They throw Matthews at the five and steal the game from Iowa State in Ames. West Virginia is still a team that can improve. The Mountaineers still need to fix the turnover issue. They won’t win many games turning it over 21 times. The Mountaineers can breathe for a minute and focus on hosting a ranked Wildcats team on Saturday with Big 12 seed implications on the line. If WVU wins and Oklahoma State loses to Texas Tech, the Mountaineers will take the 7-seed and face Oklahoma in the first round.
This season may not have started the best, but something in the orange tells me we’re not done.