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2016 NCAA Tournament: Five Keys To A West Virginia Final Four Run

The WVU blueprint for making it to Houston.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
1. Guard Play

Kemba Walker, Aaron Craft, Ben Mclemore, Peyton Siva, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke, the Harrison brothers, Shabazz Napier, Travis Trice, and Tyus Jones. That is a sampling of the guards that have played in the past five Final Fours. If the Mountaineers want to make it deep into the tournament the foursome of Daxter Miles, Jevon Carter, Tarik Phillip, and Jaysean Paige, or some combination of them, will have to show up and show out. Specifically, they need to make plays and shots, and minimize turnovers.

2. Finishing at the Rim

For a team that struggles to score on offense finishing at the hoop is essential. The Mountaineers own an offensive rebounding advantage most of the time, but if they don't finish those put backs or layups then the offensive rebounds are mitigated. If Williams can finish half as good as he did against Kansas this team, and the guards do their jobs, then this team can beat anyone.

3. How the refs call it

Depth helps WVU, but not if half the squad is on the bench for long periods. Most importantly Philip and Paige need to avoid fouls. They both have been the best offense creators when nothing is there (although Carter has shown flashes through the last several games), and extended absences by either is a bad look for WVU's offense.

4. Free Throw Shooting

As pointed out earlier by WVUNite on the Musket "West Virginia is sixth in the nation in made free throws at 633, yet the team is 284th in the nation in free throw percentage (67%)." That has to improve, or the Mountaineers are not going to Houston period.

5. Nathan Adrian

What an interesting career so far. It took a year and a half for Adrian to play to the potential we saw his freshman year at WVU, but now he is becoming indispensible. Huggins trusts Adrian to play good defense and to make the right decisions with the ball. Timely three pointers will be needed in any extended run, and Adrian has the chance to be an X factor if he continues to shoot the ball well.