'Plenty of Opportunities' Left for WVU

With two-straight losses dropping his team to .500 in Big 12 Conference play with just a few games left, time is running out for head coach Bob Huggins and the WVU basketball team to make its case for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.

But luckily for them, with four games left on the schedule - and three against teams currently in the top 25 of the RPI - there will still be more than enough opportunities for West Virginia to show whether or not it deserves to be in that conversation.

"The good thing about this league is you have an opportunity (to get a good win) every game," Huggins said Monday on the Big 12 Coaches Teleconference. "We've got plenty of opportunities for a signature win.

"Regardless of what they say, (the selection committee) relies heavily on RPI and I think the RPI in this league is very, very good ... You'll be rewarded for the people that you play, and in the best league in the country, a lot of teams will be rewarded."

Seven of the Big 12's 10 teams are currently ranked in the top 50, with the Mountaineers coming in at No. 82 following Saturday's loss to Baylor at the Coliseum. The 88-75 loss looked at one point like it could have been another momentum-building resume victory for the Mountaineers as WVU went to the locker room with a six-point lead.

But the Bears came out and outscored West Virginia 52-33 in its first game action in a week to cruise to the road win.

"We had a hard time scoring the ball and they seemingly scored at will," Huggins said. "They scored on 20 of 25 possessions in the second half. They just played really well ... They had some guys step up that really hadn't stepped up that well all year.

"We didn't do a good job, we didn't create turnovers, but I think Baylor had more to do with it than the week off did."

While the Mountaineers have started to get themselves into the national conversation with a few good wins in conference play, they will still have a lot of work to do down the stretch to prove they're worthy of a bid. WVU has four wins against teams in the RPI top 50, but holding them back is the fact that the Mountaineers' best non-conference win came against No. 135 William & Mary.

"In our case, we had some great opportunities in the non-conference and let them slip away because we were so young and inexpereicned at that point," Huggins said.

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