Most predictions had the Mountaineers targeted for a #6 seed, but WVU, holding a #19 ranking in the RPI, held that spot to grab a five seed overall. West Virginia will face the winner of the UAB - Clemson game, which is one of the "First Four" contests slated for Tuesday evening in Dayton.
Should West Virginia get past the Blazers or Tigers on Thursday, they would face the winner of Kentucky and Princeton on Saturday. A game against Kentucky would be a rematch of the East Regional championship a year ago, which the Mountaineers won to advance to the Final Four.
West Virginia is 3-1 all-time against Clemson. The Mountaineers last played the Tigers in the finals of the 2007 NIT, and knocked them off 78-73 to win the championship. WVU defeated the Tigers in back-to-back games in February of 1952 at the old Field House, and dropped a 1994 home NIT match-up at the Coliseum.
West Virginia is 1-2 all-time against UAB. The Mountaineers won their first encounter with the Blazers at home in 1987, but lost to them the next season in Birmingham. In the most recent match-up, WVU dropped a close decision in a holiday tournament in Santa Clara in 1991.
West Virginia will play its first game at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday afternoon at the St. Pete Times Forum.