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Joe Lunardi Projects WVU Men to Make 2022 March Madness Field

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: West Virginia takes on Morehead St. in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi is working ahead a bit, releasing his projection for the entire 2022 NCAA Tournament field Wednesday morning. Lunardi picked Gonzaga to be the tournament’s top seed, joined by Kansas, Michigan and UCLA as the no. 1-seeds.

For West Virginia, Lunardi has the Mountaineers making the tournament as the no 8-seed in the Midwest Region. In this scenario, WVU would play no. 9-seed Virginia in the first round and could potentially face no. 1-seed UCLA in round two.

Around the Big 12, Lunardi has Texas (5-seed) and Oklahoma State (9-seed) in the West region, Kansas as the conference champion and no. 1-seed in the East region, Texas Tech as the 9-seed in the South region and Baylor in the Midwest region with WVU as a no. 2-seed.

WVU made the 2021 NCAA Tournament as a no. 3-seed with a 19-10 overall record (11-6 in conference play). The Mountaineer roster has been in a state of flux all offseason, however, undercutting any projections for next season. While forward Derek Culver has left and will turn professional, there are still three Mountaineers – Miles “Deuce” McBride, Sean McNeil and Taz Sherman – whose names are still in the NBA draft process but could also return for the 2021-22 season. A senior last year, Sherman could also choose to not use the extra year of eligibility given by the NCAA and not return to WVU without turning pro.

WVU has also been active in the transfer portal this offseason. After losing rising seniors Jordan McCabe and Emmitt Matthews Jr. to the portal shortly after the season, coach Bob Huggins turned around and made several additions. Huggins has added transfers Dimon Carrigan (FIU), Pauly Paulicap (DePaul) and Malik Curry (Old Dominion) to the roster this offseason.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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