It seems just about every year you'll hear a college basketball analyst say on TV that the one team they wouldn't want to play in the NCAA Tournament is West Virginia.
In years past, it was because of the ferocious defense the Mountaineers played that teams wanted no part of. Now, it's West Virginia's offense that no one wants to see. One could argue that this is the best offensive team that Bob Huggins has ever had at his alma mater. Since the departure of Oscar Tshiebwe, the Mountaineers have been filling it up on the offensive end by stretching the floor and running a four-out, one-in offense. This allows for one-on-one matchups out on the arc for the perimeter shooters like Sean McNeil, Taz Sherman, Miles McBride, and Jalen Bridges while leaving big man Derek Culver by himself underneath the bucket.
This new style of play could be what allows West Virginia to go further than they did during the Press Virginia years, which was the Sweet Sixteen. According to Mark Titus of FOX Sports, West Virginia is one of only seven teams that he believes can win this year's NCAA Tournament. The other six teams consisted of Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Alabama.
Despite West Virginia's poor defense at times, they've still been able to beat some quality teams and had a chance to beat No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 3 Baylor who are two of the best teams in the country. If it weren't for a couple of missed calls and self-inflicted wounds at the ends of those games, West Virginia could have and should have defeated both of them. To this day, the Mountaineers are still the only team to lose to Gonzaga by single digits, which has to say something, right?
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