As it has been for much of the season, if the NCAA Tournament started today, the Mountaineers would be comfortably in.
While West Virginia has struggled lately, they remain in the AP Top 25 at No. 20 and are highly regarded in the computer rankings as well. The NCAA’s NET rankings, which are used to determine at-large invitations to the Big Dance have the team at No. 17 and Ken Pomeroy’s KenPom rankings have the Mountaineers all the way up at No. 10.
Cast any remaining doubt from your minds. WVU is in the Tournament barring an act of God (or four consecutive losses and a 1-9 finish).
What remains in flux, especially as the team is mired in a 1-5 stretch, is WVU’s ultimate seeding for the tourney. In January, Bob Huggins’ squad looked like it was in line for a top 3 seed. Now, the latest predictions have them in a much more precarious position.
In his latest projection, Andy Katz has the Mountaineers as a 7th seed in the Indianapolis region playing East Tenneessee State from the Southern Conference. The 26-4 Buccaneers are ranked 61st in KenPom. Also in the region are number one overall Kansas, 4-seed Louisville, 2-seed Maryland, 3 Villanova and 6 Ohio State.
Over at ESPN, Joe Lunardi also deemed WVU a 7-seed. The only difference is the region, with the Mountaineers heading to New York to play Xavier in an East region headed by top seed San Deigo State.
At the Sporting News, the Mountaineers are projected to be a 6-seed. Even more favorably is CBS Sports, which has the Mountaineers as a 5-seed in the West region facing off against Stephen F. Austin in the first round.
While the Mountaineers are very likely a tournament team, their fate is still up in the air. With three games left on the schedule, the Mountaineers could find themselves back in the conversation for a 4- or 5-seed, or with the tournament lives hanging precariously in the balance.