MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — According to the latest projection by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, West Virginia sits on the good side of the NCAA bubble.

Lunardi listed West Virginia as the last team in the field Thursday. Now, it’s up to the Mountaineers to stay there.

Though projections are sure to change daily from now through Selection Sunday on March 16, Lunardi’s current bracket would have WVU reporting to Dayton, Ohio, for one of the opening-round play-in games.

In the above audio clip from Thursday, Lunardi commits an error: Giving West Virginia the benefit of a 7-4 league record when it actually is 7-5. But he submits that if he season ended today, Bob Huggins’ team would be the seventh Big 12 team in the tournament.

Of course the season doesn’t end today, and if West Virginia (15-10) is to maintain its .600 winning pace, it would need a strong finishing kick—say, winning four of six to close the regular season and splitting two games at the Big 12 tournament.

On Huggins’ weekly radio show later Thursday night, the coach optimistically said he expects the conference to receive seven bids.

The Mountaineers are 3-8 against the RPI top 50 and 4-8 against the top 100 heading into Saturday night’s game at No. 19-ranked Texas, which sports an RPI of 22.

Currently tied for fourth with Oklahoma in the conference, West Virginia would earn a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament by finishing sixth or higher.

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Comments

  • Country Roads

    I would not be (Surprised )if WVU did not get to play for the Big12 championship. They only have to beat, if I'm not mistaken just four teams maybe three in the conference to that far.

    • mad hatter

      no doubt , we won't play for the conf championship,, but we could win one , maybe two games...

  • GoEers

    It's great to see that WVU is projected to be in the tourney. The last month has been a tremendous turn around for this program. They are going to have to keep winning during this tough stretch of games in order to stay in the projections.

    It's a great day to be a Mountaineer wherever you may be!!

  • Low Rider

    Wow...wouldn't we love to have the Virginia Tech and Purdue games back. It will take 19 or 20 regular season wins for WVU to make the NCAA tourney. With the games we have remaining I only think WVU will win 2. Still a 17-14 record (going into the Big 12 tournament) is a nice improvement from last year.

    Realistically I believe WVU is NIT bound. Let's hope we make a deep run into the NIT and use it as a springboard for 2014!

    • Big Hooptie

      I agree. Unless, we can steal a game like Saturday at Texas or at home v Kansas. Personally, I think Saturday is a must win.

      With six games left, we could lose all of them. Our bench strength - or lack of - is a reality that's hard to overcome.

    • Shawn H

      I would tend to agree with you, but don't be surprised if they make it in. They are playing much better now, but I would like to see some consistency with these guys. We just saw it for an entire game, now let's see it 2 games in a row. It was nice to NOT see that 6 - 8 minute spurt where they don't score.

    • Aaron

      I don't think anyone predicted they would pound Iowa State in the manner they did.

      With the way the players are playing in Huggins as the coach I cannot discount West Virginia running the table.

      It's a great day to be a Mountaineer!!!!!

      • Low Rider

        Love to see us run the table Aaron, but I am not that big of an optimist. Saturday night will tell. If Texas beats us...2 more wins (TCU and Baylor at home).

        • Aaron

          I watched Oklahoma at home agaist Texas Tech. I see no reason why WV can't win there. I also won't write off the final home game.

  • DWM

    Haven't seen William or Larry, aka, the Huggins Haters" posting lately. Maybe their mom's took away their computers, or they didn't pay their internet bill, or maybe they've come to realize that Huggins is a Hall of Fame coach doing a Hall of Fame job with this team.

    Nahh, my guess is mom took away their computers.

    • Grant

      Don't worry, the Madhatter is very active, and the other idiots will be back after we lose a game.

  • Aaron

    I keep reading that it's too early to talk NCAA and I don't get that. Hugs talks it every day. He's said repeatedly that he schedules schools he believes will have a high RPI and the reason he schedules them is to improve WVU's chances of making the NCAA.

    It's a daily conversation between him and his ball team. They know where they have to be and who they have to beat to make it to the NCAA. I'm quite sure they are not setting at practice thinking "Well, we only have to win 4 of our remaining 6 so we can go easy Saturday at Texas."

    I'm positive the conversation is more along the lines of "Texas has a very high RPI and if we beat them at Texas, we greatly improve our chances of making the NCAA's."

    I'm with them. If WV goes to Texas and wins, they're chances of making the NCAA's will be greatly increased.

    I know one thing for certain. Before you can win the tournament, you gotta make the tournament. You make the tournament by winning games like Saturday's.

    Let's Go......

    • TruthTeller

      Okay well then lets talk about which football bowl game WVU is going to get into next year and also get your Christmas tree out and start buying your Christmas presents for next year as well. By the way Happy New Years 2015!!!
      Maybe this will give you a clue? Doubt it!!!

  • Aaron

    I keep reading that it's too early to talk NCAA and I don't get that. Hugs talks it every day. He's said repeatedly that he schedules schools he believes will have a high RPI and the reason he schedules them is to improve WVU's chances of making the NCAA.

    It's a daily conversation between him and his ball team. They know where they have to be and who they have to beat to make it to the NCAA. I'm quite sure they are not setting at practice thinking "Well, we only have to win 4 of our remaining 6 so we can go easy Saturday at Texas."

    I'm positive the conversation is more along the lines of "Texas has a very high RPI and if we beat them at Texas, we greatly improve our chances of making the NCAA's."

    I'm with them. If WV goes to Texas and wins, they're chances of making the NCAA's will be greatly increased.

    I know one thing for certain. Before you can win the tournament, you gotta make the tournament. You make the tournament by winning games like Saturday's.

    Let's Go......

  • KeatonsCorner

    Im predicting WVU to make a final four run in the NCAA tournament. I am pretty good at this sort of thing as I frequent all the Message boards and learn a lot from all the comments.

    Huggins has definitely "fixed it" as you are seeing and will continue to see.

    Look for a 10 point victory at Texas on Saturday.

    This is a great day to be a Mountie wherever you are living!

  • tw eagle

    the only guaranteed way for WVU to hit the Big dance is to win the XII tournament . . . possible but unlikely . . .

    IF the Mounties continue their excellent play , they can win out . . . the hardest part for the Mounties , I think , will be adjusting to the officiating that seems to change their focus on calling infractions every time they take a media break . . .

    play hard , hope for the breaks , and pay attention to what your coach is telling you . . .
    the talking heads know little , understand nothing , and are just looking to keep THEIR names in the conversation . . .

    • Grant

      I would think winning 4 of our last 6 and getting to the Big 12 semi- final would pretty much lock WVU into the NCAA. Now, will they do it?

      • tw eagle

        grant , with six more wins (21 total) WVU will certainly make the ncaa tournament . . .

        now , WVU is a young team , short on scholarship bodies . . . IF , they make the ncaa's it is quite a feather in their cap for how they have grown as a team - and a reason to be very proud . . . how far they could go ??? two games ???

        IF , they make the NIT ( almost certainly)
        with a few more wins , they will find themselves being (seeded) favorably . . .with a good possibility of playing 3 or 4 games in the coliseum . . .the competition in the NIT won't be as stiff as in the NCAA's but it will give the Mounties more opportunities to play games - and the best part , having to adjust their mental game . . .they will be going into most of these games as favorites . . . a much different type of "pressure" to deal with while playing . . .

        I dream , and I wish the best for this Mountie team that typifies the word TEAM . . .but deep down the prospect of extra games in the coliseum and a championship trophy . . . U know where my heart lies . . .

        Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

  • TruthTeller

    Too early to talk NCAA tournament. Lets not act like spoiled little rich kids talking Christmas gifts on Halloween. There are still six regular season games to be played and a Big 12 tournament.
    One game at a time. Why does the media always try to stir up trouble? Lets wait until
    NCAA tournament time to talk tournament teams.

    • BR

      The tournament is a month away so its not to early. This happens EVERY year across the counrty. It makes the games down the stretch more meaningful than say if we were for sure in or out. I dont see anywhere in the column that down plays the fact that we still have work to do. Spoiled rich kids? Truth teller....you are an idiot.

    • Aaron

      Why is it too early to talk NCAA's?

    • GoEers

      Truth Teller--Joe Lunardi from ESPN releases an updated NCAA projection bracket twice a week from now until tournamanet time.

      Does it upset you that he has WVU in the tournament?

      • TruthTeller

        Dude I was going to WVU basketball games when you were a little tad pole swimming around. So don't think you know
        everything about someone from a single posting on a sports forum. Maybe reading comprehension is not your best skill?

  • 5toldU1s

    Somehow I can't take too seriously a prediction where the guy didn't even have our record right. Where does espn even get these guys? Hey-just gotta win and the tournament will take care of itself. Although I agree with Hugs letting the players in on the stuff with the theory that knowledge is power...

  • Aaron

    After Monday nights beat down at the Coliseum, I'm anxious to see how this team responds playing on the road. I would say in a hostile environment but I've watched Texas play at home and what I see are very sparse crowds. Hopefully that changes and the place is packed to the rims.

    • mad hatter

      i really really concur

    • mad hatter

      you seem to have difficulty forming a complete sentence, by any chance did you sleep through english?

  • RAY DANIELS

    just win amd see where the chips fall, 19 wins to even be considered, 20 for sure

  • Phil M.

    Uh Jay Zoom Oliver Luck does not play. He's the AD not a player, no rebounds, no 3 pointers !!

    What does he have to do with whether or not we get In ?

    If you are referring to being in the Big 12, the Big East was no cupcake basketball conference there ace !!

  • Phil M.

    Please do not even start talking about getting in to the tournament. One game at a time. If we do not win at least 3 we are not going anywhere. It might even take 4 wins.

    I hope we do it but do not start looking that far ahead. Next up Texas !!

    Go EERS !!

    • Aaron

      As I've said before, Coach Huggins talks about it every day as that is his goal. He uses that to motivate the players to win one game at a time.

  • jay zoom

    this would be nice--but I doubt it will happen I've never seen 16 OR 17 win team go to the NCAA unless they win the conference. THANKS to OLLIE I doubt that will happen.

    • Aaron

      How is it OLLIE's fault?

      Please remain reasonable and logical.

      If you can.

      • Jephre

        +1

      • GoEers

        Jay Zoom is so jealous of WVU athletics that he can' t even begin to think logical. He has no reasoning for his statements. Typical little brother marshall fan comments from him.

        • The Wisetalker

          Can you ever make one comment without mentioning Marshall?

          What happened...did you try to get into Marshall and they turned you down?

          • Aaron

            Can you answer the question posed above, with reason and logic?

          • GoEers

            Hi Larry...since you and jay zoom and several other Marshall fans are always reading and posting about WVU, can't you guys go away and read and post about Marshall, or are they so irrelevant you feel the need to troll WVU athletics to make yourselves feel better?

      • mad hatter

        you're asking him to be logical? look in the mirror and say that

    • Jon Davis

      Yea wth does luck have to do with this??? So sick and tired of people moaning and groaning about Oliver luck!!! College athletics is a business I hate to tell you. And luck is keeping wvu athletics in the game .... Join the real world homer

    • Uncle Unctuous

      In these parts, sometimes it seems like OL is the Barack Obama of athletics administration. Some will blame him for absolutely anything, right down to their own nagging back pain.

      • J the C

        +1

      • Shawn H

        Yeah! I'm so glad you liberals didn't blame everything on Bush.

    • Steve

      There have been teams with 16 and 17 wins get in the NCAA several times. The main thing is who the wins were against, and they also look at who is playing well late in the season. I don't know how Oliver Luck has any direct effect on this. Do you care to elaborate?