West Virginia knocked off George Washington last night in an Atlantic-10 throwback game to remain in the unbeaten club, whose numbers dropped to ten with Hawaii’s heartbreaking loss at Fresno State. The 9-0 start is the best for the Mountaineers since the Jerry West era. While the game at WVU Coliseum was sold out, one can conclude basketball has not quite arrived in Morgantown because no couches were burned in celebration.
WVU graduated to the Big East in the 1995 but they’ve never had much success there, with their only tourney bid coming in 1998 as a 10 seed. Things are changing under third-year head coach John Beilein though, and the Big East is more wide open than people expected this season. UConn has struggled with, or in one case been beaten by, some questionable competition. Syracuse and Pitt figure to finish 1-2 in some order, but then you have WVU fighting it out with UConn, Boston College (the nation’s luckiest team so far), and possibly Villanova and Providence in the second tier of the Big East.
The Mountaineers were on my preseason list of six darkhorse teams that didn’t receive any votes in the preseason polls. So far they’re the only ones to do anything to deserve top 25 consideration. So I think I have found a team to get obsessed over. D’Or Fischer, you da man!
I would be delinquent this morning if I didn’t call out the Furman Paladins. If you’re beating someone 69-8 at the half, chances are that’s a game that shouldn’t be on the schedule. Or at least be like Virginia and make it an exhibition.