Madness is in the air
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 01:03
It’s March. Anything can happen.
As the Big 12 Conference tournament begins tonight, West Virginia sits one loss away from ending its most disappointing season since veteran head coach Bob Huggins took the helm five seasons ago.
The Mountaineers have been beaten by more than 24 points three separate times this season – the most in a single campaign since 2003.
They’re currently riding a six-game losing streak and have yet to defeat a major conference school with a winning record.
But, despite the lack of execution and underachievement, West Virginia still has a chance to achieve the goal all other schools want to achieve: to make the NCAA tournament and have a shot at cutting down the nets.
That’s the beauty of March, isn’t it?
The low-major conference teams’ seasons don’t even matter until their conference tournaments.
Only one team from those conferences earns the automatic bid for the tournament champion.
I’m am by no means saying West Virginia will win every game of the Big 12 tournament this week and cut down the nets in Kansas City.
I’m just saying the Mountaineers aren’t dead yet and are just four wins away from their sixth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.
You’re probably saying, "Well, duh. Every other major conference team still has a chance. What’s the point, Nick?"
The point is, March is the best time of the year in terms of sports and gives every team a chance to erase all the wrongdoings and failures they’ve had throughout the season.
It gives the teams like West Virginia – who were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 preseason poll and were receiving votes in the preseason top 25 poll – to begin the season.
Just this past weekend, the Liberty Flames won the Big South Conference championship to submit their automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.
The Flames had their fair share of struggles this season, including losing the team’s first eight games and starting the season 1-10.
They also became just the second team ever with 20 losses to go dancing.
The Mountaineers will begin the trek toward the unexpected tonight at 6 p.m. against Texas Tech – a team they’ve beaten twice this season by an average of 9 points each meeting.
The bottom line is: crazier things have happened than a 17-loss West Virginia team winning four straight games in the conference tournament.
Again, I don’t expect the Mountaineers to come close to winning the Big 12 tournament this week.
But don’t give up hope on anything during this special time of year that is March Madness, and embrace the excitement.
March gives the underdogs an opportunity to cement their mark on history.