I’ve had a love-hate relationship with West Virginia all season. More like a love-ignore relationship. I forecasted good things for them before the season. I founded the D’Or Fischer fan club after the 10-0 start. Then I sheepishly had to abandon the Mountaineers (and the game diary concept) after it became apparent they were a team that relied on the jump shot, but didn’t have enough guys who could make one.
The Mountaineers came back from the dead on Wednesday – both in the game they played and for the season. They overcame a 14-point deficit with ten minutes left to win at #18 Pittsburgh. Simultaneously, nearly every other bubble team in action lost – and a few of them suffered crippling defeats that should forever take them out of the at-large discussion.
Miami of Ohio, Georgia Tech, Old Dominion, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, George Washington, Memphis, and Iowa – all teams with at-large aspirations Wednesday morning – were losers. Only the first two on that list have serious thoughts of an at-large bid now.
And now so does West Virginia, even with a loss to 5-19 Marshall blighting the tournament application. WVU, winners of five of their last six, finishes at home against Rutgers (a nine point winner over Arkansas Monticello last night) and at Seton Hall. They should be favored in both. If they win those two, a 9-7 Big East record with non-conference road wins over LSU and NC State should be enough.
With 6’11" marksman Kevin Pittsnogle on fire (interesting coincidence: Pittsnogle is Latin for "one who leads his team to victories over Pitt." He scored 49 points in the season sweep of the Panthers), maybe WVU can salvage a bid.