The Mountaineers got a favorable site with its location in the Thursday/Saturday pod in Washington, D.C., but will face the tenth-seeded Arizona Wildcats in the opening round. Arizona, considered a bubble team, earned its seed with a high strength of schedule ranking. Other ten seeds included South Alabama, Davidson and St. Mary's.
The road won't get any easier for West Virginia should it be able to defeat its western foe, as the Mountaineers would then likely face Duke in the second round. The Blue Devils play 15 seed Belmont in the opening round.
With its selection as the seven seed, West Virginia showed that it was clearly in the field of 65 prior to the Connecticut and Providence wins in the Big East tournament. At least seventeen at-large teams were positioned below WVU in the final bracket, showing that the Mountaineers had a bid in hand prior to their participation in the Big East tournament. That fact certainly won't quiet agitators and pseudo-experts that yammer on merely to create controversy, as they will conveniently ignore their errors when repeating the process next year, but it certainly has to be satisfying for West Virginia and the Big East conference.
However, that, like the personas of those detractors, are small potatoes at this point. The important factors include West Virginia's first round matchup and potential second round contest. In Arizona, WVU will be facing a battle-hardened team that played excellent competition in the Pac10, and also faced Kansas, Illinois, Memphis, Houston and Texas A&M in non-conference play. And should WVU get past the Wildcats, it would face Duke, which might have gotten a bit of a break with the number two seed.
WVU was one of eight Big East teams to receive bids. Georgetown, Pitt, Louisville, Connecticut, Marquette, Notre Dame, and Villanova were the other seven. Villanova was the last at-large team to be selected.