Now, mix those two things together - playing against perhaps the best all-round player in the college game and against a 30-3 team on its home floor - and there seems plenty of reason for pessimism regarding West Virginia's chances in today's 12:15 p.m. game.
Funny thing, though. There's not much pessimism at all.
"I think this team plays very well with their backs up against the wall,'' WVU senior center Ayana Dunning said. "And we do a good job of playing on the road. I think in the Big 12 we had a better road record than we did at home.''
Indeed, West Virginia was 5-4 on the road and 4-5 at home in Big 12 games. And it's not like the Mountaineers haven't played great players, either. If Delle Donne is the best all-round player in the country, she's probably not the player of the year. That would be Baylor's Brittney Griner. In fact, over the last two years WVU has faced (or will have faced after today) all four of the finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year award - Delle Donne, Griner, Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins and Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike.
So it's not as if they're going to be in awe.
Still, Delle Donne is pretty special, a 6-5 guard who shoots 49 percent on 3s and handles the ball.
"What I remember about her is the touch that she had,'' said Dunning, who played with Delle Donne in the McDonald's All-America game when both were high school seniors. "She can shoot the ball from anywhere. And to be 6-5 and be able to do that is such a great advantage. You don't find many women's guards that play that position at that height.
"But she's not going to beat us alone. She only scores 25 points a game.''
Only, of course, is a relative thing. Averaging only 25 points makes Delle Donne one of the top scorers in the country, male or female, but Dunning's point is well taken. West Virginia isn't going to lose 25-to-anything or even 30 or 35 to whatever the Mountaineers might score.
Delle Donne is going to have to have some help.
"We just need to focus on stopping everybody else and not letting anyone else have career nights,'' Dunning said.
Still, Carey isn't about to let Delle Donne just have whatever points she wants.
"We're going to cheat some,'' Carey said. "I don't want to say where we're cheating, but we just have to hope a couple of them don't have career nights. And if they start having career nights then we'll have to go guard them, and that leaves her one-on-one a lot.''
Carey will also have you know that Delaware just might be more bummed over its first-round draw than WVU apparently is. The Mountaineers are pretty used to tough NCAA draws. In each of the last two years the Mountaineers were in an 8-9 game that led to a second-rounder with a No. 1 seed, first Baylor and then Stanford.
This year it's Delaware that sits there with a No. 6 seed and finds itself paired with a low seed, but from a power conference that sent seven of its 10 teams to the tournament.
"I wouldn't want to do that if we were a higher seed, going in and playing those types of teams,'' Carey said. "Not only are we tested, we're tested on the road, we're tested traveling and we [have some experienced players]. Yeah, if I'm Delaware I'm not real happy about the draw.''
In other words, it's a matchup that could delay that bus trip back by a couple of days.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.