Yes, the 2020-21 college basketball season just ended but why not start talking about the excitement of next year's tournament? It's that time of year when all that is really going on in Morgantown is spring football and baseball, so a little basketball talk can't hurt.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi thinks the same as he can't wait for the 2021-22 season to get underway. This morning, he released his first bracketology projection for next year and has West Virginia starting out as a No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region (Chicago) facing off against No. 11 Belmont.
As low of a seeding as that may sound, you have to take into consideration that there are still a ton of question marks surrounding the Mountaineers' roster. Sean McNeil, Taz Sherman, and Miles McBride have all entered their names into the 2021 NBA Draft and Derek Culver has not come out publicly about his future intentions. Once those decisions are made to return or leave, you'll see West Virginia's stock move once again. If all return, Lunardi may push the Mountaineers up to as high as a No. 3 seed. If two or more of them remain in the draft and don't return, then we could see them slide to a No. 7 or maybe even a No. 8 seed.
Bob Huggins has already been active in the transfer portal by adding tremendous shot-blocker Dimon Carrigan from Florida International and scoring guard Malik Curry from Old Dominion. Should McBride and either Sherman/McNeil return, the Mountaineers will be in pretty good shape. That is assuming that Culver returns as well.
Below is a look at West Virginia's projected region:
1. Kansas vs 16. Yale
8. Louisville vs 9. Arizona
5. Kentucky vs 12. UC Irvine
4. Michigan State vs 13. Colgate
6. West Virginia vs 11. Belmont
3. Florida State vs 14. Wofford
7. Xavier vs 10. Florida
2. Michigan vs 15. Grand Canyon
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