Plenty of "Opportunities" for WVU in Final Month of Season - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Plenty of "Opportunities" for WVU in Final Month of Season

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia University Head Coach Bob Huggins frequently talks to his team about "opportunities", not big games or must-win games, just "opportunities".

Huggins and the Mountaineers will have plenty of opportunities to move up the Big East standings with their remaining schedule. Five of the seven games remaining on the regular season schedule are against teams ahead of West Virginia in the standings.

"I wish you didn't tell me that," Huggins said when told about the teams ahead of his in the standings.

West Virginia is not a lock for the NCAA tournament, at least not yet. The Mountaineers, despite their recent three-game losing streak, are in pretty good shape.

WVU is 16-8 overall against the fifth-toughest schedule in the country. That is good enough for No. 26 in the Ratings Percentage Index rankings. The RPI is comprised of a team's winning percentage (25%), its opponents' winning percentage (50%), and the winning percentage of those opponents' opponents (25%).

The RPI is one of the big statistics the NCAA tournament selection committee uses in seeding the 68-teams selected to compete in the tournament.

Four more wins will likely make WVU a lock for the NCAA tournament; however five wins will definitely do the trick. The remaining schedule includes two games against Notre Dame (RPI 56), at Pitt (RPI 65), Louisville (RPI 29), Marquette (RPI 12), DePaul (RPI 182) and at South Florida (RPI 81).

Only DePaul and Pitt trail West Virginia in the Big East standings, but Pitt has won four straight including last week's win at WVU.

West Virginia sits in eight place, but trails Marquette and Georgetown by just two games for second place in the conference. The top four teams at the end of the regular season will receive a double-bye into the Big East Quarterfinals. Fifth through eighth place receive a bye into the second round. The remaining eight teams must win five games to claim the Big East Tournament Championship.

Tiebreakers become very important in the final standings. Right now, there is only one team ahead of West Virginia that owns the tiebreaker over WVU and that is first place Syracuse. It is highly unlikely that will matter because Syracuse has a four game lead over West Virginia. Wins in the final month of the season will not only help WVU climb in the standings, but also help West Virginia at the end of the regular season should it finish tie with one of those schools.

Losses, on the other hand, could put the Mountaineers in a huge hole heading into the Big East tournament.

The Mountaineers snapped a three-game losing streak on Sunday. They return to action at home against Notre Dame on Wednesday night.

 

BIG EAST STANDINGS

School BIG EAST Win Pct. Overall Win Pct.
Syracuse 10-1 .909 23-1 .958
Georgetown 8-3 .727 18-4 .818
Marquette 8-3 .727 19-5 .792
Notre Dame 7-3 .700 15-8 .652
Louisville 6-4 .600 18-5 .783
Cincinnati 6-4 .600 16-7 .696
USF 6-4 .600 13-10 .565
West Virginia 6-5 .545 16-8 .667
UCONN 5-5 .500 15-7 .682
Seton Hall 4-7 .364 15-8 .652
Pitt 4-7 .364 15-9 .625
Rutgers 4-7 .364 12-12 .500
St. John's 4-7 .364 10-13 .435
Villanova 3-8 .273 10-13 .435
DePaul 2-8 .200 11-11 .500
Providence 2-9 .182 13-11 .542
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