Scenarios for West Virginia to Earn a No. 1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Mountaineers have their eyes set on some pretty big goals down the stretch.
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According to ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi, West Virginia is projected to be a No. 2 seed as of Tuesday morning. With three regular-season games and the Big 12 tournament remaining, a lot can change with where the Mountaineers will end up on Selection Sunday. If they take care of business, they can jump up to a No. 1 seed. If they falter down the stretch, they could easily drop to a No. 3 seed or possibly a No. 4 seed.

To keep things optimistic around here, we break down four scenarios that could play out where West Virginia can reach No. 1 seed status.

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 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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