"There are some disappointments, I am sure, but if you took the quality of play, the consistency over the season, our league beat an awful lot of good people along the way. The bottom line is I don't think we have to apologize for the way we are playing. We're just happy we are surviving ourselves. We would like to have some of our neighborhood buddies with us but they aren't, so we play on."
No, the Mountaineers weren't treated all that badly this year with the tournament draw. Yes, they had to face a No. 1 seed, Baylor, on its home court in the second round, but that's the way the women's draw works. Unlike the men's tournament, where teams aren't allowed to play on their home courts, the top-seeded women are rewarded with just that perk. Connecticut, Stanford and Tennessee also played at home the first two rounds.
Think about this, though. WVU was a No. 9 seed and had to play No. 8 Houston in Texas. No other 8-9 game was played in either team's home state.
In and of itself, that's no big deal. The Mountaineers deserved whatever they got after tanking the second half of the regular season and falling from perhaps a two or three seed to a nine.
But a year ago, West Virginia was a No. 3 seed and was also sent to Texas, where in the first round it was paired against a No. 14 seed from Texas (Lamar) and then would have faced a No. 6 seed on its home floor had Texas not been upset in the first round. That's two straight years WVU has been to Texas and was seeded to play teams from Texas in every game there.
By the way, the Big East women are suffering no NCAA letdown like the men. Five teams are in the Sweet 16, including three of the four in the East Regional - UConn, Georgetown and DePaul. Louisville and Notre Dame are also alive, and the Big East's record to date is 14-4. The league went 9-0 in the first round.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.