Messing around with the wonderful distractions at StatSheet.com, I got into a line of thinking about this WVU team and its trends, norms and comparisons. That’s a telling little graphic there.
This WVU team isn’t much different from the five other teams Bob Huggins has had at WVU. Yet it’s nothing like teams Huggins had at Cincinnati or Kansas State.
And the company this season? The best of that bunch is Oklahoma, which is 11-3 and No. 14 in the RPI, thanks in some regard to two wins against the Mountaineers. Marquette (12-3, No. 21) isn’t bad company, either. Everyone else meddles around .500, except Texas A&M (12-3, No. 44) and … you guessed it … Rutgers (11-4, No. 58).
Still, four of the 10 most-comparable teams to WVU are likely NCAA Tournament bound — and I’ll allow disagreements on Rutgers because … well, Rutgers. And this team behaves like other Huggins-led WVU teams, and each has made it to the NCAA Tournament.
Right now, WVU needs to play 18 more games (16 in the regular season, two in the Big 12 Tournament) to be realistically in consideration for the NCAA field. Figure 12 of those are against the RPI top 100. That would be 19 games against the top 100. WVU is 0-7 today. To get to 20 wins requires a 12-6 finish, which isn’t impossible. Twelve of the 18 are against the top 100 and WVU needs, say, eight wins there just to be 8-11 against the top 100.
Long-term, I know, and credit the Mountaineers for this: They’re short-sighted following Saturday’s loss they know they can’t let bother them Wednesday.