And as quick as the run in the NIT happened, it disappeared just as fast. Within a day and a half of the win over Clemson, all of the talk regarding WVU basketball wasn't about the win over the Tigers. Instead, the only time you heard "West Virginia basketball" mentioned was when someone was talking about John Beilein and the Michigan job.
As you know, Beilein ultimately left WVU after five very successful seasons as head coach following his jump from the University of Richmond. As far as coaching is concerned, Beilein arguably had his best overall season in his final year inside the big mushroom. Though the Mountaineers did not make the NCAA Tournament, they did manage to finish with 27 wins, including a second consecutive win over Final Four-bound UCLA. He took a team with one returning starter, and just three returning players who had logged something resembling normal playing time and molded them into a force to be reckoned with in this "rebuilding year."
At the end of the day, the Mountaineers were one of just two teams to finish the postseason with a victory.
Now, let's look at the women's basketball team. After missing the postseason last year, Mike Carey's club entered the 2006-07 season looking to improve on a run to the Big East finals last Spring. The result was a top four seed in this year's Big East Tournament, and an at-large bid in the NCAA field of 64. After a first round pasting of Xavier, the Mountaineers dominated LSU for the first 30 minutes of play in the round of 32 before ultimately being overcome by the powerful Tigers. Seeing as how the Bayou Bengals made the Final Four, taking them to the brink of elimination isn't exactly something to be taken lightly even if the Mountaineers didn't win the game.
In past years, postseason success has been rewarded with a public celebration, normally at the Waterfront Hotel in Morgantown. With so much craziness going on over the past month, though, nothing has been done to celebrate the accomplishments of Mountaineer men's and women's basketball in 2006-07.
Until now, that is.
On Wednesday night, the teams will be honored with a pep rally at the Mountainlair Student Union. The event will take place on the Mountainlair Plaza, located at the back of the building across the street from Boreman Hall. The program is expected to begin at 7:00, but due to an expected large crowd the Plaza will open at 6:15. Admission is free.
Come out to celebrate another great year of West Virginia basketball!