Mountaineers check in at No. 11 in latest AP Poll - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Mountaineers check in at No. 11 in latest AP Poll

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James "Beetle" Bolden leads the Mountaineers' pregame huddle. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) James "Beetle" Bolden leads the Mountaineers' pregame huddle. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)
MORGANTOWN -

The Mountaineers are ranked No. 11 in the latest Associated Press Poll released Monday afternoon.

West Virginia went 1-1 since last week’s poll was released, first suffering a 9-point loss at Baylor on Monday before handing Iowa State an 87-76 loss in the regular season finale on Friday.

The win over the Cyclones wrapped up the No. 2 seed heading into this week’s Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City as West Virginia will face the winner of Wednesday’s match-up between 7-seed Texas Tech and 10-seed Texas.

“I think the difference is finality,” Bob Huggins said when comparing postseason play to the regular season grind. “You can’t say, okay, on to the next game, because there aren’t any.”

The Mountaineers are a combined 3-1 against the Red Raiders and the Longhorns this season, taking both home games, but dropping an overtime contest on the road at Texas Tech.

A year ago, under Big 12 Coach of the Year Tubby Smith, the Red Raiders also finished No. 7 in the conference before dropping the tournament opener to last place TCU, which went on to face WVU in the quarterfinals. Now they’ll face Texas, which finished 10th in the league despite being picked No. 3 in the preseason poll.

Many of the coaches responsible with picking that preseason pecking order will ask you now not to judge them for any mistakes they made in October.

“Going into the year, I thought it was the toughest year for me to pick where people are going to finish because you could make a case for everybody to be on the top end,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said Monday. “That’s why our league has been ranked so high RPI-wise is because of the great depth.”

RealTimeRPI.com ranks the Big 12 as the nation’s second-best conference behind the ACC and ESPN’s Bracketology shows the league getting half of its 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament.
“I would think we had more one-possession games or more close games this year than ever before in league history,” Drew said. “If not, it had to be right up there because it seemed like every game we scouted was a one-possession game. It seemed like most games we played in were one-possession games and very, very, very few were double-digit games.”

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently picks West Virginia as a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament, facing No. 13 Vermont in a first round match-up in Buffalo as part of the South Region.

Kansas remains the No. 1 team in the latest AP Poll with Baylor at No. 9 and Iowa State checking in at No. 23.

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