MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia has wavered from either side of the bubble since the beginning of Big 12 play. Luckily for Mountaineer fans, their team is in an advantageous position with one game to go in the regular season.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his weekly bracketology update on Friday and denoted WVU as a “Last Four Byes” team. That means that, if the NCAA Tournament were to begin Saturday, the Mountaineers would be an 11-seed without a play-in game.
Specifically, Lunardi slated a Round of 64 matchup with 6-seed Northwestern, and a possible second-round matchup with either No. 3 Marquette or No. 14 Furman. Interestingly enough in this scenario, WVU would also have possible Sweet 16 clashes with Baylor and Kentucky.
Bracketologists across the college basketball sphere are unanimous with Lunardi in putting WVU on the fringe of the field. Just how close WVU is to the edge varies, however.
Some highly-rated outlets, like DRatings and Primetime Bracketology, agree with Lunardi, giving the Mountaineers an 11-seed without a play-in game. Others, like 1-3-1 Sports, slot WVU as a “Last Four In” squad, predicting a trip to Dayton for the Mountaineers.
WVU has maintained confidence in its resume, which with 17 wins, is admittedly all over the place. The numbers-crunchers like Ken Pomeroy love the Mountaineers, as they sit No. 19 in the KenPom rankings with the fourth-toughest strength of schedule rating in the country. They also fly relatively high in the NET Rankings at No. 24 and earned a vote in the AP Top 25 on Monday (shortly before earning a crucial win on the road.).
Much of this talk could be washed away on Saturday, though, as the Mountainers would likely punch its ticket to the Big Dance with a win over No. 11 Kansas State.