WVU women have done enough to get in
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 01:03
Despite three straight losses and a heartbreaker in the Big 12 Conference Tournament Saturday night, the West Virginia women’s basketball team should make the NCAA Tournament – but not in comfortable fashion during the women’s basketball Selection Show Monday night.
Yes, I realize the Mountaineers’ resume isn’t the best with a 17-13 (9-9 Big 12) record. Yes, I also realize West Virginia is a mere 3-6 against AP top 25 teams this season.
All that won’t matter because WVU ended up .500 in arguably the toughest conference in women’s collegiate basketball.
There were some bad losses this season against Duquesne, Iowa and LSU. WVU, however, did beat teams like then-No. 19 Oklahoma State, then-No. 21 Oklahoma and then-No. 24 Iowa State on the road.
Let’s not forget the Mountaineers also beat a 23-5 Boston University team on the road in the early part of the season.
While West Virginia hasn’t been ranked for the majority of the season, did it do enough to be considered safe for the postseason?
Right now, it is a bit up in the air.
Earlier this season, head coach Mike Carey felt the Mountaineers needed to win at least 10 games in league play. WVU was unsuccessful in that respect but is still on the cusp of making the NCAA Tournament.
Currently, West Virginia has been listed as one of the last four teams to make the Big Dance.
WVU shouldn’t feel too comfortable, though.
While I still think this team will make it in, the hypothetical of winning against Oklahoma Saturday night would have really helped the Mountaineers’ cause. Even if the sixth-seeded West Virginia squad would have beaten OU, it would have had to face second-seeded Iowa State in the next round.
Earlier projected brackets had the Mountaineers as a nine or 10 seed going into the NCAA Tournament.
Are the Mountaineers worthy of the 64-team Tourney? Well, I’m no expert, but if you ask me, they did just enough to squeak in. Compared to the past few seasons, this really wasn’t a concern. The main interest to tune in was to see who WVU would face and in what region of the bracket.
This year is a whole different story. A bubble team can only hope that the selection committee favors its resume.
I guess this is all the fun of March – to see if your team was good enough to advance to the NCAA Tournament and to play for the biggest prize in the game.
So, when Monday comes around, it will either be a day of heartbreak or happiness for the WVU women’s basketball team.
Personally, a few weeks ago, I would have never thought this team would be in any danger of missing the NCAA Tournament and be in this predicament. Now, there’s the case that West Virginia could ultimately wind up in the WNIT.
Still, if you want my take on the matter, you will see the Mountaineers as one of 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament come Monday.