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Bubble bursts as Mountaineers women narrowly miss NCAA berth

West Virginia coach Mike Carey talks with guard Bria Holmes during a game against Kansas State this season. The Mountaineers (18-14) narrowly missed out on an NCAA tournament bid Monday.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia, sporting an 18-14 record and No. 75 RPI, narrowly failed to make the NCAA women’s tournament Monday night, the Mountaineers’ first omission since 2009.

The selection committee identified West Virginia as one of its first four teams left out.

West Virginia subsequently accepted a WNIT bid and learned it will host Buffalo on Thursday, creating a men’s/women’s postseason double-dip against the Bulls.

“We are excited about the opportunity to play in the WNIT,” said Mountaineers coach Mike Carey. “This will be a good challenge for us. I expect us to play hard with the goal to win this tournament.”

Typifying their up-and-down season, the Mountaineers won four games against Big 12 teams that made the NCAAs but also dropped two regular-season games to last-place Texas Tech. Needing to make a run at last week’s conference tournament, WVU won an opening-round game against Texas Tech before losing to Oklahoma in the quarterfinals.

The Sooners were among five Big 12 teams that made the NCAA field, joining Baylor, Texas, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

In 14 seasons under Carey, the Mountaineers have made eight NCAA appearances and two WNITs.

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