MORGANTOWN - The scenarios for what this weekend's games will do to West Virginia's seeding in next week's Big East tournament are almost too many to calculate, what with tiebreakers that include head-to-head records, mini-conferences, sub-mini-conferences and performance against the top teams in the league.
In a nutshell, though, here is what the general layout appears to be in regard to WVU finishing in the top eight of the league standings and securing one of those first-round byes:
For the record, a win and a probable No. 6 seed would allow West Virginia to skip Tuesday's first-round games, but it would mean its first game would be the 9 p.m. Wednesday second-rounder against the winner of Tuesday's No. 11 vs. No. 14 game. Given that there are 11 league teams in the mix for NCAA tournament berths, that means the opener could be against a ranked team such as Villanova or Connecticut.
Should the Mountaineers lose to Louisville and finish seventh or eighth, the Wednesday opener would be at 7 p.m. (seventh) or noon (eighth), probably also against an NCAA-worthy team. The seventh-place team faces the No. 10 vs. No. 15 winner, while the eighth-place team draws the No. 9 vs. No. 16 victor.
If West Virginia loses and slips out of the top eight because Villanova and Marquette both win, that would leave the Mountaineers either ninth or 10th and playing a Tuesday first-round game. The No. 9 seed plays DePaul, the No. 16 seed, at noon on Tuesday. The No. 10 seed faces the No. 15 seed, either Providence or South Florida, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
West Virginia (19-10, 10-7 Big East) boosted its stock Wednesday night with a 65-56 win over No. 16 Connecticut. Saturday's game with Louisville (23-7, 12-5) will be the second this season between the teams. The Cardinals won 55-54 on Jan. 26 in Louisville when Peyton Siva made a layup in the final seconds after WVU led by as many as 12 early in the second half.