West Virginia fell in heartbreaking fashion to No. 3 Baylor on Tuesday night in overtime. The Mountaineers had several opportunities to win the game in regulation but missed free-throws, turnovers, and mental mistakes cost West Virginia in the end.
As I stated in Tuesday's article, losing to Baylor does not mean it's the end of all hope for West Virginia to get a No. 1 seed in the big dance. A lot can still happen between now and Selection Sunday and quite frankly, West Virginia still controls much of its destiny. Well, to an extent.
With Tuesday's result, three of the four scenarios are now off the table, which you can see crossed out below. However, there is still one scenario remaining, which is scenario no. 2. West Virginia will still need some help but if they take care of business, and receive a little help, anything is possible. Essentially, the Mountaineers can't lose another game up until Selection Sunday. A loss at any point makes it very difficult considering the other teams in the mix.
Scenario No. 1: Win out, win Big 12 tournament
This will be by far the most challenging route considering the level of competition West Virginia will be facing over the next week and a half. However, if they can accomplish this, it's almost a certainty that they will earn a No. 1 seed. This would mean they have at least one win over Baylor and possibly two if they were to meet for the Big 12 title. A 23-6 record while being crowned the Big 12 champion would be pretty hard for the committee to turn down as a one seed. West Virginia controls its own destiny through Selection Sunday in this scenario.
Scenario No. 2: Finish 2-1 in last three, win the Big 12 tournament
If West Virginia's only loss in these final three games comes to Baylor, they will still have a chance at a No. 1 seed. Losing to Oklahoma State would not be a terrible loss by any means, but I believe it would worsen their chances than if the loss occurred to Baylor. The one that would really put West Virginia behind the 8-ball would be losing to TCU on Thursday night - that cannot happen if they want to be on the one line. Winning the Big 12 tournament can easily wipe away a loss to Baylor or Oklahoma State. Again, losing to Baylor isn't the end of the world for West Virginia. Worse things can happen and that's what they need to prevent the most - the worse things actually happening.
Scenario No. 3: Win out, make it to the Big 12 championship
As you can tell, beating Baylor would be huge for West Virginia's resume. If they can do so on Tuesday night, I think they could still earn a No. 1 seed by winning the final three games and just making it to the Big 12 title game. Obviously, they would need some help, but not a ton. At this point, it would be pretty evident that West Virginia is one of the top four teams in the country.
Scenario No. 4: Finish 2-1 in last three with a win over Baylor, lose before Big 12 Championship
If the loss comes to TCU, it will be hard to overcome and earn a No. 1 seed. However, if West Virginia finishes 2-1 in these finals three games with the only loss being to Oklahoma State, they still have a chance. Now, if they follow that up by getting bounced in the first game of the Big 12 tournament, it will be doubtful. Making it to the semifinal round should be enough, but West Virginia will still need some additional help in this scenario.
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