The Mountaineers sustained success at the tail end of the strong Big East era, fielding great teams between 2005 and 2012 that were ranked and made the Tournament every year except 2007 (a narrow miss). The run helped them leverage a conference upgrade to the Big 12 when it became apparent the Big East was falling apart. Two Big 12 years have been disappointing, however, and last year’s 17-16 (9-9 Big 12) finish came to a disappointing end. Despite upsetting #8 Kansas at home for arguably their best win of the season in their last regular season game, they fell uneventfully in the first rounds of the Big 12 Tournament and the NIT. The job will be even tougher now that they’ve lost their #2 and #3 scorers who transferred to better programs, casting doubt over coach Bob Huggins’ style. Leading scorer Juwan Staten (18.1 PPG) has one year left, but the role players around him are question marks. The talent is there for them to make a leap but it hasn’t been proven on a consistent basis.
The West Virginia Mountaineers operate under coach Bob Huggins at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia. They last made the NCAA Tournament in that last Big East year in 2012, the last of seven trips in eight years. The team has 25 Tournament appearances all time, losing the title game in 1959 and in the Final Four in 2010. Their success run that ended a few years ago actually wasn’t the best run in team history; the Mountaineers dominated the Southern Conference in the late 50s and early 60s to the tune of a top 10 ranking every year between 1957 and 1963. 15 NBA players have come from WVU. Devin Ebanks and Kevin Jones are the only active ones, but the most successful by far was state legend Jerry West. Get your West Virginia basketball tickets from Gold Coast Tickets!