West Virginia likely to be 8-or 9-seed in tournament
Published: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2011 22:03
West Virginia women's basketball coach Mike Carey would have liked to get one more win at last weekend's Big East Conference Tournament.
Even when the 10th-seeded Mountaineers lost to seventh-seed St. John's 59-51 Saturday in the second round of the Big East Tournament, Carey was confident he was in the NCAA Tournament.
"Not at all," Carey said following the loss, when asked if he was nervous about Selection Monday. "We were in before this game. We've won 23 basketball games, and we were .500 in the Big East. We've been top 25 all year. I don't see why we wouldn't be in."
West Virginia could have used another win for seeing purposes, though. A team that once was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation would now be lucky to get a top-seven seed in the NCAA Tournament.
According to ESPN.com's most recent edition of Bracketology, West Virginia is currently a 9-seed playing in Stanford, Calif., against Texas Tech.
Another site, realtimeRPI.com, has West Virginia as a 7-seed playing mid-major powerhouse Wisconsin-Green Bay.
West Virginia would likely be happy win a 7 or 10-seed, though, considering the winner of the 8 and 9-seed game will matchup against a No. 1 seed in the second round barring an upset by a 16 seed.
The Mountaineers have an RPI of 27, which will certainly help their cause, but their record against the RPI top 35 will not. WVU is just 1-9 against those teams.
The NCAA Selection Committee takes multiple criteria into consideration when selecting the field – overall record, strength of schedule, RPI and recent performance.
The recent performance will hurt the Mountaineers the most. Even though the team finished 23-9, including a 9-9 mark in the Big East, West Virginia went ice-cold down the stretch, finishing the regular season on a 3-7 skid.
West Virginia was able to earn a must-win game against St. John's on Senior Night in the regular season finale 69-49 but then fell to the Red Storm 59-51 in the second round of the Big East Tournament less than a week later.
West Virginia's strength of schedule is 49, but its affiliation to the Big East should help its seeding come selection time, as it's arguably the most competitive conference in college basketball.
Many head coaches around the Big East think the conference will get a record 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament.
"If you put Syracuse, St. John's, Georgetown or West Virginia up against any team in the country, and take out the top three teams in the nation, I bet one of us can win any one of those games," said St. John's head coach Kim Barnes-Arico following her team's win over the Mountaineers Saturday. "I think our league is deserving of 10 teams."