There was a point in the season in which the West Virginia Mountaineers were ranked as one of the top 5 teams in the country.
However, after dropping nine games after being ranked as high as No. 2 overall, West Virginia found itself entering the NCAA Tournament as a 5-seed. Fortunately for the Mountaineers, that seeding hasn’t cost West Virginia its season, as the Mountaineers have notched wins over Murray State and Marshall by a combined 40 points.
When that dominance is paired with numerous upsets disrupting the NCAA Tournament landscape, West Virginia comes in at No. 4 overall in Bleacher Report’s Sweet 16 power rankings.
“Wreak havoc on defense and keep getting contributions from multiple sources on offense,” Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller said of West Virginia’s championship blueprint. “Too often this season, it was Carter or bust on offense.”
“Case in point: Daxter Miles Jr. is the team’s second-leading scorer for the year, but he hasn’t scored in double figures in either tournament game,” Miller added. “Yet there are a lot of Mountaineers who are capable of putting up points. Konate, Esa Ahmad, Teddy Allen, Lamont West and James “Beetle” Bolden each scored at least 11 in one of the two games. When four or more guys score in double figures, Press Virginia is almost unbeatable.”
However, West Virginia will face arguably its tallest test of the season on Friday against 1-seeded Villanova. The Wildcats present a versatile and explosive offensive headlined by projected Naismith Player of the Year, Jalen Brunson. And much like the Mountaineers, Villanova can smother opponents defensively.
Although Bleacher Report ranked West Virginia as the fourth-best team still in the NCAA Tournament, if the Mountaineers season is going to extend beyond Friday, it will have to come against the team that ranks No. 2 in Bleacher Report’s power rankings.
West Virginia and Villanova will square off at 7:27 p.m. ET on Friday.
The post West Virginia No. 4 in Bleacher Report’s Sweet 16 power rankings appeared first on Diehards.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.