MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- For most of the latter part of the season, West Virginia has appeared all but locked into the seventh spot in the Big 12 standings. On the final day of the regular season, that changed.
The Mountaineers' 83-74 loss to Iowa State Saturday, combined with Texas' 71-69 overtime win at Texas Tech, dropped WVU (13-18, 6-12 Big 12) into the No. 8 spot in the 10-team league, behind the Longhorns (15-16, 7-11).
It's not much of a difference, but it does alter West Virginia's seed in the Big 12 tournament this week in Kansas City, Mo. The Mountaineers will now face No. 9 Texas Tech (10-19, 3-15) in Wednesday's first play-in game at the Sprint Center. As the No. 7 seed, Texas will face last-place (11-20, 2-14) TCU in the other play-in game. TCU upset cold-shooting Oklahoma 70-67 Saturday.
The WVU-Texas Tech game will open the tournament at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Texas' game with TCU is listed as a 9:30 p.m. start, although that will likely be closer to 9:45 p.m., depending upon the length of the first game. West Virginia beat the Red Raiders twice this season, 77-61 in Lubbock and 66-64 in Morgantown.
The two Wednesday winners are playing for a spot in the Thursday quarterfinals with the top six teams in the standings. The downside to the slip to the No. 8 seed is that the WVU-Texas Tech winner draws the tournament's No. 1 seed, fourth-ranked Kansas. That 3 p.m. quarterfinal game on Thursday will come only about 18 hours after the first-round game ends.