ESPN’s Joe Lunardi just released his latest Bracketology, and the West Virginia Mountaineers are listed as the No. 2 seed in the East region, with a first round matchup against the No. 15 Drake Bulldogs. If the Mountaineers were to hold this position, the first and second round games would be played in Pittsburgh, with the second round matchup coming against the winner of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Butler Bulldogs.
Lunardi tweeted his rankings Tuesday evening, and had West Virginia as the 11th overall team in his projections. That’s actually a drop from last week’s rankings, in which the Mountaineers were the 7th overall team. Lunardi does list West Virginia as an automatic qualifier, meaning he believes the Mountaineers will win the Big 12 Conference.
First seed list of 2018 (CAPS=AQ): 01-Duke, 02-Nova, 03-MICHST, 04-Asu, 05-XAV, 06-Unc, 07-Ku, 08-Purd, 09-Okla, 10-A&m, 11-WVU, 12-UVA, 13-WichSt, 14-Zona, 15-Tcu, 16-UK...— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) January 3, 2018
Of course, this is still ridiculously early to get too worked up by projections. The Mountaineers still have to compete in the toughest league in the country, and things could get crazy over the next month and a half.