West Virginia has improved its seed in each of its Big 12 Tournament appearances. Maybe this will be the year the Mountaineers can advance in Kansas City.
“We’d like to stay a little longer than we’d stayed in the past,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said Wednesday, a day before his No. 2 seed Mountaineers face either Texas Tech or TCU in the quarterfinals at the Sprint Center.
“We need to win some games.”
West Virginia has yet to win a Big 12 Tournament game in three tries. It lost 71-69 to Texas Tech as a No. 8 seed in 2013, was blown out 66-49 against Texas as a No. 6 seed in 2014 and was beaten 80-70 by Baylor as a No. 5 seed last year.
The Mountaneers’ No. 2 seed is the program’s best in a conference tourney since it was the top seed of the 1989 Atlantic 10 Tournament. West Virginia climbed to second place in the Big 12 this season behind senior guard Jaysean Paige, who was sixth in the league at 14.3 points per game and junior forward Devin Williams, who led the Big 12 with 13 double-doubles.
“It’s really hard,” Huggins said of the Big 12’s competition this year. “I think we were blessed to have some great upperclassmen.”
Huggins last won in the Big 12 Tournament in 2007, his only season as the Kansas State head coach, beating Texas Tech before losing to Kansas in the semifinals.