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Huggins Still Sees Opportunity

Bob Huggins caught up with the national media on Monday morning, and talked about a variety of topics. Not the least of which was the poor showing by the Mountaineers in the second half versus Baylor. For the West Virginia head coach, though, it was more about what the opponents were doing rather than what his team was not.

Huggins still sees WVU as an NCAA Tournament team.

“I think the obvious answer is Baylor,” he said. “We had a hard time scoring the ball and they seemingly scored at will. They scored on 20-of-25 possessions in the second half. They played really well and they did a great job isoing us.

“Honestly, they had some guys that stepped up that hadn’t stepped up all year and we didn’t do a good job of playing defense and forcing turnovers.”

Even with the loss in what many deemed a loser is eliminated matchup between bubble teams, Huggins still feels his squad has a very good chance of making the NCAA Tournament.

“The good and the bad of this league is you have an opportunity every game for a signature win,” he said. “We got Iowa State, who is ranked in the Top 20 and has a great RPI. Then we got TCU, Oklahoma and Kansas, so we have plenty of opportunities out there for signature wins.”

With such a rough and tumble league, some pundits feel the Big12 might beat each other up and cause an otherwise NCAA-worthy team to miss the Tournament. Or, if they do make it, to be seeded lower than they should. Huggins isn’t buying it.

“Regardless of what they say, I think (the selection committee) rely heavily on RPIs and the RPIs in this league are very good,” he said. “I can remember a few years ago the chairman said they were not going to use RPI, that they were going to use strength of schedule… but strength of schedule is part of RPI.

“As in the past, I think you’ll be rewarded for playing the people you play. When you’re in the best league in the country, that (speaks for itself).”

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Huggins said he had been on the road recruiting yesterday, not affording him an opportunity to speak with Eron Harris about Wednesday’s game. Harris was ejected in the last matchup with Iowa State for swinging wildly to block a shot and punch the opposing player in the head. Huggins says he will talk with him about that before the game Wednesday.

As of this morning, there was also no update on Terry Henderson and his status for the game.

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