Final Four Capsules: West Virginia Mountaineers

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

By Paul Gotham

With four teams alive and kicking in the quest to cut down the nets in Indianapolis, it is time to look at how each of them got to this point.

West Virginia Mountaineers

Previous Tournament Appearances

1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959 (national runner-up), 1960 (Sweet 16), 1962, 1963 (Sweet 16), 1965, 1967, 1982 (second round), 1983, 1984, (second round), 1986, 1987, 1989 (second round), 1992, 1998 (Sweet 16), 2005 (Elite Eight), 2006 (Sweet 16), 2008 (Sweet 16), 2009.

Tournament Games

Round One: Defeated No. 15 Morgan State, 77-50
Round Two: Defeated No. 10 Missouri, 68-59
Sweet Sixteen: Defeated No. 11 Washington, 69-56
Elite Eight: Defeated No. 1 Kentucky, 73-66

Ranked teams played during the season and results

12/23 #21 Mississippi W 76-66

1/1 at #4 Purdue L 62-77

1/16 #5 Syracuse L 71-72

1/23 #25 Ohio State W 71-65

2/3 #21 Pittsburgh W 70-51

2/8 #5 Villanova L 75-82

2/12 At #23 Pittsburgh L 95-98

3/1 #20 Georgetown W 81-68

3/6 at #9 Villanova W 68-66

3/13 #13 Georgetown W 60-58

Un-ranked NCAA Tournament teams played against

11/27 Texas A&M W 73-66

12/29 Marquette W 63-62

1/9 at Notre Dame L 68-70

1/30 Louisville W 77-74

Stats of identity

6.6 Rebound margin – tenth in nation and second in the Final Four only to No.1 Michigan State.

1.31 : 1 Assist to turnover ration – best among the remaining four.

15.6 Assists – second to Michigan State among the quartet.

131 The amount of offensive rebounds Kevin Jones has this year.

6 The number of game-winng shots hit by Da’Sean Butler this year.

Butler leads the team with 17.4 points. The senior leads the way with 70 3-pointers made in 196 attempts. Butler also leads with 117 assists. Butler’s 162 free throws leads the way as does his 78.3 percent from the stripe for players logging at least ten minutes per game.

Devin Ebanks grabs a team-leading 8.2 rebounds.

Riddle of the day

Will injured point guard “Truck” Bryant play? Can anyone put it past Bob Huggins? Is “Huggy” Bear playing games? Trying to gain an advantage?

A 1-3-1 zone worked against a young Kentucky team. Can the zone work against a team that can hit from the outside? Huggins basketball is never pretty, but it is often effective.

3 Responses to "Final Four Capsules: West Virginia Mountaineers"

  1. Wally   April 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    This is gonna be a great game. This Duke team plays smart and doesn’t beat itself (like almost all Duke teams), and I think they ALSO have the toughness not to be outmuscled or outhustled. A great combo! Meanwhile, there’s something about this WVU team … an extreme competitiveness and a belief that they’re on a special mission for an entire state of rabid fans … they will do WHATEVER it takes to beat you, they play as a team, and they play better under pressure. Again, this should be a great game … very hard to pick a winner. I’ll flip a coin and go with the Mountaineers.

  2. crossword pete   April 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Without Wally’s in-depth analysis, let me just say that my bracket has WVa penciled in as the 2010 champion.

  3. Wally   April 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Pete —
    That was overly generous … Casey does “in-depth analysis” … mine is but a “shallow summary” 🙂

    I also have WVU getting to the Finals in my bracket, but losing to Kansas (one of the many suckers who thought KU was to be champ.)

    Michigan State … Butler … who knew??

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