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Blog Entry

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

Posted on: December 26, 2009 6:36 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2009 6:41 pm
 

West Virginia blew a 10-point lead with less than a minute remaining.

Then Devin Ebanks missed a desperation shot at the buzzer.

Then the game went to overtime.

And it was clear, at that point, that Seton Hall would win Saturday's Big East opener because that's just the way these things work. When a team storms back to force overtime, that team has momentum. Add to that the homecourt advantage, and the smart money had the Pirates finishing West Virginia in the extra five minutes just like Kansas stormed back, forced overtime and finished Memphis in the extra five minutes of the 2008 national title game.

Again, that's just the way these things work.

But a funny thing happened on the way to that Seton Hall upset.

West Virginia remained calm, quickly jumped to a five-point lead in OT and won 90-84.

It was a non-verbal version of "We got this."

National Player of the Year candidate Da'Sean Butler and Ebanks (his more-talented-but-less-reliable teammate) combined to score 10 of West Virginia's 13 points in overtime, meaning those two alone outscored Seton Hall in the extra period; Butler assisted on the other bucket, a 3-pointer by Kevin Jones. But the most impressive thing was how the Mountaineers stayed poised despite the fact that they'd just blown a seemingly insurmountable lead, despite the fact that they were on CBS, despite the fact that they were in a road game with a crowd cheering against them.

That's the toughness people talk about when people talk about West Virginia.

So, yes, the collapse was troubling; no way around that. But how West Virginia responded confirmed what a lot of us have thought for a while, that these Mountaineers are solid enough to take Bob Huggins to his second Final Four.
Comments

Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2009 12:19 am
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

Reply to Slick Leonard

So West Virginia is capable of being beaten by a 15 or 16 seed type team? Really? Which WV loss thus far suggests that to you?



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 11:52 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

And also, Gary I gotta give you props you have been on the money with your predictions picking the Wichita St upset last week and I'm pretty sure you called the USC upset over UNLV. However you were wrong about picking against WVU in the 76 Classic Cool .



B4L24




Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 11:46 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

Slick: Who do you think would go to the Final Four?

If not WVU or Purdue.

Those two are the teams that I think will win their respective leagues ( Big East and Big Ten).




Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 10:46 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

I don't think people outside of the big east realize how hard it is to win on the road in the big east even against mid to lower teams (even Rutgers and South Florida give other teams fits on the road). I think at one point last year no Big East team had won on the road. So even though this was Seton Hall it was still on the road.

I think what Gary was trying to say is that WVU showed toughness and poise when they could have collapsed. You need to have that if you are going to go far in the tourney. Last year's team had no leadership and the only senior on the team collapsed under the slightest bit of pressure. I think that is the big difference between last year's one and done and this year's team.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 10:45 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

GOod point...they gave Ohio State the ass pounding of a lifetime.....as they will with perdue.  Perdue is a team that WVU will be mentally prepaired for.  They were supposed to blow out Seaton Hall......but with seaton hall having nothing to loose, playing on national tv, and at home.....makes for a tuff matchup for anyone...would have been their biggest win of the season and one of the best wins in school history.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 10:42 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

Ummmm how about you match them against the 4 best teams in the big east?  Conn, WVU, ND and syracuse....instead of the mid level teams you suggest.    if  you match up the 2 conferences and the play the number 1 vs number 1 ranked teams then 2 vs 2 and son on the big 10 might not win a game.  At best maybe 2 or 3.   The big 10 is WEak in basketball and weaker in football.  Buy at least you have vollyball.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 10:39 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

You are a moron.  The big 10 is as worthless in basketball as they are in football.  OSU and Mich St would be lucky to finish in the top 5 of the big east.  WVU is another example of a great big east team.  The played an away game against a fired up seaton hall team who had nothing to loose.  WVU is/was one of just a few teams in the top 10-20 ranked teams that would have pulled that game out.  Match WVU up against a teams that, on paper, is supposed to give them a game and they will show you why they are ranked 5th in the nation.  This given the fact they are playing with 2 starting point guards banged  up and a power forward on the bench with a 15 game suspension.   Big east vs Big 10....big 10 might win 3 out of 10 games played.



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: December 26, 2009 9:53 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

I suppose we will find out when WVU plays both Purdue and Ohio State.  WVU is struggling without Mazulla on the floor, his shoulder is just too damaged to continue.  WVU is hurting by only having one true point guard in Bryant.  But when Ebanks gets rolling, remember he has only played 7 games and still looks a little rusty.  Wellington is the new surprise on this team, who knew he could shoot threes so well.  Huggs has been holding off on using his devastating 1-3-1 halfcourt trap.  Expect to see it in West Lafayette on NYD.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2009 9:47 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

Whoever said that WVU would lose to four Big 10 teams is so ignorant it's not even funny the Big 10 is in now way at the level that the Big East is. They aren't much better then the Big 10 in football. Michigan St is overrated, Purdue hasn't beaten anyone yet, and after that there is no serious threat to go deep in the Tournament. The Big East has WVU, Syracuse, Villanova, and possibly Georgetown to go deep into the tournament and you will see this when WVU plays Purdue and Ohio St. WVU absolutely DESTROYED Ohio St last year and we were worse last year. It was 76-48, Ohio St's worst home loss in about 25 years, maybe ever. I can't WAIT for WVU to play Purdue and show the country that they are a legit Final Four team and that the Big 10 does not compare to the Big East.




B4L24




Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: December 26, 2009 9:25 pm
 

WVU collapsed, then showed Final Four is possible

You obviously don't remember much since West Virginia lost in the 1st Round LAST YEAR.  They got handled by a decent Dayton team, and I'm sure they got bounced many times in the 1st Round in the last 25 years. 

WVU is a solid team, and I have them in that tier that can make the Final Four, a tier that does include Purdue.  But the one thing that can hurt WVU is they seem to have troubles of putting away teams, if they do that against a real good team it will come back to bite them in the ass.



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