Morgan State, Missuori, Washington, Kentucky and now the Mountaineers have found themselves in their first final four since Jerry West donned a WVU uniform in 1959 against another one of the most renowned programs in the country... Duke. Can the gritty and determined Mountaineer squad led by home bred Coach Huggins find it in them to move one step closer to a first ever National Championship?
This team has been playing their best basketball of the season going all the way back to the Big East Championship run, another first for the "good guys". They have played the last two games without Truck Bryant, the starting point guard for most of the season. Rumor has it that he will be attempting to play in the final four although I have seen conflicting stories. In either case, Joe Mazzula has been the true leader of this team in the Big Dance so far and I do not see that changing.
If any of you West Virginia fans haven't read the article yet, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports posted a great story today on what this team and Coach Huggins means to the state of West Virginia. The link is below.
Huggins is making it perfectly clear that his goal is not the final four, it is the National Championship. Now whether that happens in this his third year, or not, I believe it will be achieved while he is at the helm. This team is not glamorous but they find ways to win ball games and much of it stems from the tenacious defense they play to go along with the offensive rebounding. As witnessed yesterday, if they can't hit two pointers, they do have the ability to shoot long range as well... bringing the defense outside and opening up the middle for quick cuts.
No matter what happens this coming Saturday, I am so proud of what this Mountaineer team has accomplished this year and will be looking forward to more in the years to come!
On a side note, I converted my wife (born and raised all of her life in Ohio) to a WVU football fan three years ago and have been season ticket holders since then. She has now become a basketfall fanatic for these Mountaineers but states this is where she "draws the line".
Congrats to Duke, Michigan State and Butler for making it to the 2010 Final Four! Let's Go Mountaineers!