Now that the bracket has been announced, we can finally start wringing our hands over WVU's seed and potential path to the Final Four. (You can even print your bracket here.) As you probably know, WVU is the 10 seed in the East Regional with an opening round game against 7 seed Gonzaga. The full regional bracket looks like this:
The fact that the Mountaineers play in Pittsburgh is definitely an advantage, as droves of WVU fans will likely make the short trek north to the Consol Energy Center to watch them play. Plus, not having to travel across the country is a nice edge over a team like Gonzaga, who will be coming from Spokane, Washington. A potential second-round matchup with Ohio State would be intriguing as well, and would draw large numbers from both fan bases.
While I would have preferred an 11 seed in order to avoid a team like Ohio State, I don't think a trip to the Final Four is entirely out of the question if (and I know it's a huge IF) the Mountaineers can string together 4 games of their best basketball. We'll delve into the Gonzaga matchup more later, but at 25-6 (13-3) and having finished second in the West Coast Conference (where St. Mary's and BYU also earned bids), they're no pushover. They also boast a 20-point home win over Notre Dame and a 6-point victory over Oral Roberts. And, they have plenty of tournament experience, so they won't be in awe of the big stage.
But if WVU can play well, it can beat Gonzaga and even Ohio State. Not that I like the Ohio State matchup at all. They're deep and very talented, but they are beatable, losing 7 games on the year, including one to Illinois. Really, the only team in the rest of the bracket that scares me is Florida State, because they're playing so well right now and because they're so athletic. But the Mountaineers have proven that they can play with teams like Syracuse, Kansas State and Cincinnati. Again, I'm not predicting another Final Four here by any means. But if the right guys get hot and play together, anything is possible.