Column - WVU can’t lose momentum in Hartford
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 02:03
The calendar has turned and March, the craziest month of them all, has arrived.
The regular season dress rehearsal is complete, and it is now time for the conference tournaments to hit full swing.
The West Virginia women's basketball team will travel to Hartford, Conn., to compete in the Big East Conference Tournament this weekend.
The Mountaineers have had an impressive campaign in 2012 while compiling a 21-8 record overall and an 11-5 mark in conference play – two records not many expected from the young and inexperience team.
With a No. 5 seed in the tournament, West Virginia is in a good position to build on its recent success and make a deep run in Hartford.
Four wins over ranked opponents, including a road victory over second-ranked Notre Dame, have the Mountaineers in a safe position for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
There is still a lot to play for in the Big East Conference tournament.
Momentum has defined head coach Mike Carey's squad this season.
When the unit possesses it, the team can be one of the best in the country. This was highlighted when the Mountaineers won five games earlier in the season, three of which were against ranked foes.
However, when Carey's team doesn't seem to have things rolling, it can play down to its opponent, as in the first half against Pittsburgh just last week.
So, while the Mountaineers are in the Big East tournament, they must do one thing – avoid a letdown that could leave a bad taste in their mouth entering the NCAA Tournament.
West Virginia will await the winner of the No. 12 seed Providence and the No. 13 seed Syracuse.
Earlier in the season, the Mountaineers barely escaped with a four-point win on the road at Syracuse, and were handed a three-point defeat on the road at Providence.
Despite the high seed, both possible opponents played West Virginia closely in the regular season and are both capable of pulling an upset.
What's my point?
West Virginia must continue to play high-quality basketball and build momentum into the NCAA Tournament. It doesn't necessarily need to win the Big East Tournament, or make a deep run. It must avoid a potential shocker in its first game of the Tournament.
But, then again, it is March.
Anything can happen.