AUSTIN, Texas — Saturday’s overtime loss at Texas dropped West Virginia to the No. 3 seed in next week’s Big 12 Tournament, with Texas Tech moving up to claim the No. 2 seed.
That’s a minor distinction, but possibly a significant one.
Finishing third means the Mountaineers’ quarterfinal opponent won’t come from the league’s bottom quartet of teams who are forced to play in Wednesday night’s opening round. Instead West Virginia (22-9, 11-7) will meet sixth-seeded Baylor (18-13, 8-10) — which also has a first-round bye — on Thursday night at 9 p.m. Eastern.
During the regular season, the Mountaineers swept Baylor 57-54 in Morgantown and 71-60 in Waco.
Much like the desperate Texas team that WVU encountered on the final day of the regular season, the Bears also are on the bubble. Their RPI dipped to 61 after losing 77-67 to Kansas State on Saturday.
West Virginia has made back-to-back appearances in the Big 12 championship game, losing to Kansas and Iowa State.
Big 12 Men’s Tournament
Wednesday, First round
No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 5 TCU , 12:30 p.m. (ESPN/2)
No. 1 Kansas vs. Game 1 Winner, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN/2)
No. 2 Texas Tech vs. Game 2 Winner, 7 p.m. (ESPN/2)
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 6 Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 9 p.m. (ESPN/2)
Championship game, 6 p.m. (ESPN)