WVU is in South Bend, Indiana tonight trying to impress NCAA tournament committee members and a nationally televised audience on ESPN2.
18th ranked Notre Dame (19-8/11-3) has to be motivated, too, as they still have a slim chance to win the Big East regular season(although The Cuse would have to lose two of their remaining three games). But that is so remote a chance that the Fighting Irish have to be playing for pride and for a Top 4 seed in the Big East tournament (they’re a lock for the NCAA’s).
Still, my money is on the Mountaineers (17-10/7-7). They played desperate in their last game and it paid off as we spanked Pitt. It was just what the doctor ordered for this team. Truck came off the bench and played hard. As "Big JohnRadcliff" pointed out earlier this week, Deniz Kilicli is finally stepping up and jamming it down folks’ throats. And KJ is…well, the odds on favorite for Big East Player of the Year. A win at ND on national television would all but sew up the award for Jones.
A victory in South Bend would also certainly cement an NCAA Tournament bid (assuming we beat either DePaul or USF to finish the season). It is the kind of win that the "Committee" generally considers impressive – beating a ranked team on the road at the end of the season. "Upsetting" the Irish (whom we should’ve beat earlier this month) and compiling at least a .500 conference record locks the ‘Eers into the Big Dance.
This game is completely winnable. I still don’t get how Notre Dame is winning. They have very little statistically to consider impressive; no big scorers, no double-digit rebounders. They beat us in Morgantown because KJ had one of his worst games shooting and Truck went scoreless in 40 minutes. A great opportunity lies ahead for WVU if they can keep the same thing from happening this time around.
Tip off is 7:00 p.m. on ESPN 2. LET’S GO MOUNTAINEERS!