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Thankfully, West Virginia’s Nightmare Season is Over

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Without a NIT bid, West Virginia will begin their offseason early

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas vs West Virginia William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

The NIT has made their selections and it does not include the West Virginia Mountaineers. Following what Shane Lyons and Bob Huggins have stated about the CBI, the Mountaineers can finally put this nightmare season to rest and begin the long, arduous task of finding replacements.

It should come as no surprise that the Mountaineers didn’t receive an invite, not when they stand below .500 and had not one but two seven-game losing streaks on their resume. In fact, if you want to use the definition of a winning streak has proposed by the great baseball manager Lou Brown of the Cleveland Indians in the movie Major League - 3 games in a row - you have to go all the way back to December 12 - December 22 when the Mountaineers played Kent State, UAB and Youngstown State to find their last winning streak.

West Virginia started out 11-1, though there were plenty of signs that maybe this team wasn’t as good as the record indicated. Multiple times during that winning streak, the team would get up big before needing to survive. Other times, they needed a big rally to find a way to win.

Once conference play started, the cracks in the armor showed and there did not appear to be much Bob Huggins could do. A loss to Texas started conference play before the Mountaineers beat both Kansas State and Oklahoma State. That 2-1 start would fade quickly as the Mountaineers would lose seven-straight games as they played one of the toughest stretches of basketball anyone could remember. At Kansas, Baylor at home, at Texas Tech proved to be a lot of travel and too much talent for the Mountaineers to overcome.

During this time, Bob Huggins grew desperate, disparate and downright downtrodden as the team just could not find a way to win. Other than a 85-59 loss to Kansas, the games weren’t blowout losses which made much of the losing tougher.

A win at home against Iowa State helped avoid an 8-game losing streak, which would have been the longest of Bob Huggins’ Hall-of-Fame career, but that euphoria would wear off quickly as the Mountaineers returned to their losing way with another 7-game stinker.

Facing a TCU team at the end of the season, West Virginia found a way to win and in some ways, sounded a lot like the football team did after their close loss to Oklahoma. They vowed to make a run in the Big 12 tournament. That run would not come.

With Oklahoma State unable to play for a conference tournament championship, the field was set at 9 teams. West Virginia played Kansas State in a “play-in” game of sorts, with the winner advancing to the right to play Kansas. West Virginia would win 73-67 but Kansas proved once again why they are the #6 team in the nation and West Virginia is going home.

This hasn’t been a fun season and following a football team that finished the year 6-7, fans are now suffering through one of the worst years of fandom in a while. Thankfully, there will be no more suffering as the season is over and the team can focus on replacement and improvement.