West Virginia's National Title Odds Might Shock You
What a difference a year makes.
Just a year ago, the Mountaineers were sitting at 9-10 on the season and 1-6 in Big 12 play. Fast forward a year later and West Virginia is easily the nation's most improved team with a 15-3 record, including wins over Wichita State, Ohio State and Texas Tech.
West Virginia hasn't just been good, but they've been dominant at times. Over the team's last two home games, they've beat their opponents by an average of 35 points and have an average rebounding margin of +21 in those games.
The scary thing about the Mountaineers is that they still haven't hit their ceiling. Yes, the defense has been suffocating, and quite frankly the nation's best, but Huggins still sees room for improvement on that end of the floor. The offense has been inconsistent, but it's not like they don't have guys that know how to put the ball in the cup. When you have young guys still learning the offense and speed of the game, plus veterans going through slumps, you would expect many teams to drop games left and right - not the Mountaineers.
In fact, they have weathered the storm thanks to true freshmen Oscar Tshiebwe and Deuce McBride, who have been a pleasant addition to this year's squad. Couple that with the emergence of Gabe Osabuohien's presence and toughness and all of a sudden, it takes a lot of pressure off of your veterans. It allows those older guys to shoot out of their slumps and get back to form all while still winning games. Mountaineer fans shouldn't worry too much about that road loss to Kansas State as it appears to only be an anomaly, especially when they can rebound from that by handling Texas like they did.
Now that we are past the halfway point of the season, you can label West Virginia as national championship contenders. If you were to go to VegasInsider.com, you will find that the Mountaineers currently have the 5th best odds to win the national championship at 16/1. Kansas leads the way at 7/1, while Baylor and Gonzaga follow closely behind at 10/1.
Is this the year for West Virginia to get it done? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!