MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia was likely playing for its life on Friday in the Big 12 Tournament Quarterfinal. If the ball rolled the other way, this article might be a little different.
Once Terryn Milton’s game-winning shot decided to fall through the net after hanging on the rim, WVU might have slipped right out of the NCAA Tournament field. The Mountaineers entered the contest on the bubble, and according to ESPN’s Charlie Creme, they’re still there — just not on the right side of it.
Creme lists the Mountaineers as one of the “First Four Out” in his latest projection released on Friday, slotting them in as the 70th team in the field.
“West Virginia’s last-second loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals might be the backbreaker for the Mountaineers’ NCAA tournament chances,” Creme wrote.
He added that while they have plenty of strong wins, like two wins over Baylor and an upset of Iowa State, its weak nonconference schedule does nothing to help lift the team over other contenders.
“Losses have proved costly for Big 12 teams on consecutive days,” Creme added. “Kansas falling to TCU in the first round might now mean a First Four game for the Jayhawks.”
The women’s bracket will be fully unveiled on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.