The West Virginia University baseball team exceeded many expectations by not only qualifying for the eight-team Big 12 tournament, but earning a three seed on top of it.
West Virginia was picked to finish dead last in the Big 12 prior to the season. Instead of settling for that fate, WVU eventually bought into what new head coach Randy Mazey was preaching and the season turned around.
WVU opened the year winning just eight of its first 20 games. Then the team came together, and the wins started to pile up. WVU finished the season winning 23 of 26 games to earn a 31-25 record with a 13-11 record in Big 12 play.
The road to a potential Big 12 tournament title looks to be a favorable one for the Mountaineers.
The three seed WVU will open the tournament against the six seed Kansas. West Virginia swept Kansas in a three-game series in Beckley earlier this season.
WVU is expected to send its ace, Harrison Musgrave to the mound in game one of the tournament. Musgrave is unbeaten in Big 12 play and has earned Big 12 pitcher of the week honors four times this season. He is 8-1 overall with a 2.14 Earned Run Average.
The Big 12 tournament carries a double-elimination, two division format. The winner of each division will meet in the Big 12 championship game on Sunday. West Virginia's division features the two seed Oklahoma State, the six seed Kansas and the seven seed TCU.
That means West Virginia would not have to deal with the regular season champion, Kansas State, until the Big 12 championship game on Sunday.
The other division features the top seed Kansas State, the four seed Oklahoma, the five seed Baylor and the eight seed Texas Tech.
The tournament will begin Wednesday in Oklahoma City with Oklahoma meeting Baylor. That will be followed by Kansas State and Texas Tech. West Virginia and Kansas are set to meet at 5 o'clock eastern time. Oklahoma State and TCU will close out the first day of action.
The Big 12 tournament champion earns an automatic bid to compete in the NCAA tournament. West Virginia has not played in the NCAA Tournament since 1996.