Huggins about to ensure losing league record for first time since '85
Michigan lost at Penn State, Steph Curry went for 54 at The Garden and Lane Kiffin basically blamed his father for Matt Barkley's lack of a Heisman Trophy. So it was a busy day in sports from coast to coast, which is why I can't imagine too many folks paid too much attention to what happened Wednesday night inside WVU Coliseum.
Final: Baylor 65, West Virginia 62.
No, that score won't register nationally because it's not a score that's going to push anybody into or knock anybody out of the Field of 68. But it's still a notable outcome because it means Bob Huggins is now just three days away from ensuring his first losing record in league play in more than two decades unless the Mountaineers somehow win Saturday at Kansas.
And the Mountaineers aren't winning at Kansas.
West Virginia would drop to 6-10 in the Big 12 with a loss at Kansas on Saturday with only two more regular-season games remaining, meaning Huggins will be guaranteed to post a losing a record in league play for the first time since 1985. That's the same year Ronald Reagan began his second term as President of the United States, the same year soccer star Cristiano Rinaldo was born, the same year Beverly Hills Cop was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay. In other words, that was a helluva long time ago.
Huggins has had more perfect league records than losing league records in the past 27 years, which is remarkable and why this season comes as a surprise in general but especially to those of us who ranked West Virginia in the preseason.
Why did we rank West Virginia in the preseason?
On some level, it was rooted in our confidence in transfers Aaric Murray and Juwan Staten. But it mostly had to do with Huggins, and, as we were finalizing the preseason Top 25 (and one), I can remember saying these words to Jeff Goodman: "Huggs never has a bad team."
That statement was one of the few things Goodman and I actually agreed on.
We both had faith in Huggs.
But now Huggs has lost faith in his players.
Murray, the team's leading scorer, only played four minutes against Baylor.
"I'm tired of watching guys throw the ball away and trot down the floor and not get back," Huggins said after the loss. "If you do that, you're not getting back in."
And is this nuts or is this nuts?
Bob Huggins, one of college basketball's best, is entering March with a losing record, a benched star and no real hope of getting things turned around. I guess deep down I always knew pretty much every coach was susceptible to something like this. But it's still weird that something like this is happening to Huggins -- that he's now going to finish with more losses than wins in his league for the first time since he was a 31-year-old coach at Akron.
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