MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – West Virginia is in a tough spot. The Mountaineers will have to win the Big 12 Conference Tournament in order to make back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
According to Barttovik.com, if WVU defeats Kansas State, Kansas and Texas, while losing in the finals, the Mountaineers would still miss out on March Madness. West Virginia will have to go all the way and “shock the world.”
The NIT eliminated the rule about teams needing to be over .500 to quality for the tournament. The regular season champions that don’t make the NCAA Tournament end up automatically qualifying for the tournament. As long as a bunch of mid-major conference tournaments don’t go the way they’re supposed to go, WVU should receive an NIT invite if they impress this week in Kansas City.
If West Virginia loses in the first round to Kansas State, chances are that the Mountaineers will be CBI Tournament bound. WVU last competed in the CBI in 2019, losing in the second round to Coastal Carolina in Morgantown.
The main question that arises is if West Virginia would accept a postseason bid by the NIT or CBI. Last year, a lot of quality schools passed up on NIT bids, as they felt as if there was no point of playing.
WVU head coach Bob Huggins didn’t say his team wouldn’t accept an NIT or CBI invite.
“I would play all summer if we could,” Huggins said. “I think that’s how you get better.”
This week in Kansas City will determine what West Virginia does after the conference tournament. The Mountaineers could easier not play following their exit, or they could end up winning the whole thing and stealing an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.