Well, the Mountaineer Men (17-11/7-8) have left us with a dramatic end to another season. After the ass-whipping in South Bend, it is apparent that we must win all three of our remaining games (and perhaps at least one Big East Tournament game), to have any chance of making the NCAA Tournament. I believe that if we lose tonight, we're NIT bound. In fact, if we lose any of the next three, then Kevin Jones will sadly miss his first Big Dance.
#10 Marquette (23-5/12-3) has won 11 of its last 12 to climb into the national Top 10. The Golden Eagles are paced by Darius Johnson-Odom (18.7 ppg) and Jae Crowder (17.1 ppg), and the team still has a chance to win the Big East regular season. Syracuse plays at UConn and then home against #17 Louisville, and would have to lose both while Marquette beat WVU, Cincinnati & Georgetown. Not a probable outcome, but a possible one. This translates to a team this is as motivated as Notre Dame was in the same position.
Like many WVU fans, I couldn't even watch the last 10 minutes of last Wednesday's game. With Deniz not being able to make critical shots in the paint and Truck performing another 2nd half disappearing act, I could just feel the wheels coming off. This team has no depth, so if all Big 3 don't perform, we're not good. Kevin Jones still deserves to be the POY, but I fear that tonight is his team's last chance to help him win it.
Huggs needs to shake things up again like he did at Pitt. Why he didn't bring Bryant off the bench to start last game is a mystery, but I'm looking for a variation that will provide a needed spark. If we have any chance of winning tonight, the crowd has to get into it early and often. We very much might be the "X Factor" that snaps Truck & Turk out of their funk. In fact, this may our last chance to will this team to the tournament, too.
Tonight's game at the Coliseum is Friday night's prime time ESPN contest. Tip off is at 9:00 p.m.