It doesn’t matter how big the game is, Bob Huggins will treat it just like any other. His teams will play hard defense, hit the glass and he will dress like he is headed out to walk laps around the Morgantown Senior Citizens Center. But there is a method to his madness and the coach that is so often considered to be the one most likely to underachieve now finds himself in the East Regional Final after West Virginia knocked off Washington SCORE.
Not surprisingly the game was brutal to watch. Both teams spent the majority of their time hitting each other and then complaining to the officials about those hits. Washington held a two-point lead 29-27 at halftime, but then slowly, methodically, West Virginia took control of the paint and the game, building a 8 point lead with ten minutes to go that they essentially kept for the entire game.
The game was played in the cavernous Carrier Dome that was rendered especially hollow by a significant majority of the fans following the Syracuse game on their Blackberry rather than the action on the court, and the rest sitting on their thumbs waiting to cheer on either Kentucky or Cornell in the nightcap. But like with his wardrobe, Huggins doesn’t mind if you don’t pay attention or enjoy the product, so long as his team wins and moves on.
For his part, this is Bob Huggins’ first time in a Regional Final since 1993, a statistic that would probably shock most college basketball fans. But this team may be different. With its back against the wall after the loss to injury of its point guard, this West Virginia team moves to the final against either Kentucky or Cornell ready to give Huggins only the second Final Four of his career. If they make it, don’t count on it being pretty or Huggins being dressed for the occasion. But a win is a win, no matter how poor it may look.