The no. 18 West Virginia Mountaineers men’s basketball team enters the postseason after one of their best season since 2009-2010, where the team made the Final Four. Led by Big 12 coach of the year Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers have employed a full-court press, affectionately calling themselves “Press Virginia.” This season has included wins against top opponents, such as their big win at the WVU Coliseum against Kansas on Feb. 16th. Lead by preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Juwan Staten and 4-year contributor Gary Browne, the Mountaineers find themselves in prime position to make a run at the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments. However, they must overcome adversity if they wish to advance deep into both tournaments.
The Mountaineers square off with the no. 16 Baylor Bears in their first matchup of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. The Bears topped the Mountaineers in each of the first two meetings this season. To make matters worse, the Mountaineers will be without Staten and Browne for the duration of the Big 12 tournament. As of now, the talented Mountaineer guards are projected to return for the NCAA tournament. However, their loss represents bad news for West Virginia, as they failed to score 70 points in either of the team’s two losses to the Bears of Baylor.
According to TiqIQ, the average prices for the Mountaineers’ first game in the NCAA tournament during session two is $193.90 on the secondary market. The $93.00 get-in price should come as no surprise to fans, as the Big 12 has been one of the most competitive conferences all season long.
The Mountaineers appear to be in trouble for the immediate future. They face an extremely tough matchup against Baylor in the first round of the conference tournament. Without their two best players, they may not even make it out of the first round. When Staten and Browne return, things could be different for WVU. However, they have failed to beat some of the best teams in the conference, including Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Kansas (second matchup) and Oklahoma. They opened the season with two streaks of seven straight victories, including one over the defending national champions. They will need to put a run together in order to compete for a national championship.
You can watch the entertaining conference tournament live in person using Hipmunk.com. Find your flight to Kansas City to take in the action from one of the NCAA’s best conferences, or even stay for multiple nights and reserve a Kansas City hotel to soak in the final Big 12 competition of the basketball season.