West Virginia Mountaineers (20-10, 11-7 Big East): Mountaineers Looking Toward NCAA Tourney

West Virginia Mountaineers (20-10, 11-7 Big East)

Big East Tournament Seed: No. 6;  plays Marquette/Providence winner on Wednesday (9 p.m. on ESPN)

Head Coach: Bob Huggins is one of the most intense coaches in the country, and has turned West Virginia into a powerhouse in his four years in Morgantown. Huggie Bear will make it four straight tourney appearances at West Virginia with an invite this year.

Team MVP: Junior forward Kevin Jones is the Mountaineers’ best all-around player. The big-man gives them size inside (6-foot-8, 260-pounds), but also can knock down the occasional three pointer. In their regular season finale Saturday, Jones, who scored 25 points and pulled down 16 boards, was dominant in a big win over Louisville.

Playing For: A good seed in the NCAA Tournament. Right now, many tournament projections have West Virginia in the No. 5-6 seed range. That’s probably where they end up, but a best case scenario could see them move up to a No. 3 spot.

Breakdown: Huggins’ teams are always physical and this West Virginia team is no different. They aren’t a great scoring team, but they can play well defensively in the half court. That quality gives WVU a chance against anybody. WVU avoids big scoring runs from its opponents, as the Mountaineers allow teams to shoot just 28-percent from 3-point range.

Truck Bryant is an erratic scorer from the point guard position. If WVU can get scoring from Bryant, who can put up big nights, the Mountaineers are tough to beat. He splits time with veteran Joe Mazzulla, who plays distributor. the question is: Can WVU shoot well enough from the perimeter to make a run in the tournament?

-- written by Chris Celletti.

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