West Virginia Basketball: March Madness Team Profile and Season Recap

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Andrew Ortenberg


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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

March Madness is here. It’s going to be a lot different in 2021 with the entire NCAA Tournament in one location, but having been cancelled in 2020 the players are going to be even more enthused than usual and the bettors will be especially eager. With the regular season wining down, it’s time to start looking ahead at the teams that can expect to be serious National Championship contenders. We’ll be breaking them down one by one, and our series continues with the 13th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers.

West Virginia Mountaineers basketball

Performance last five NCAA Tournaments: Sweet 16, First Round, Sweet 16, Sweet 16, DNP

Ranking: 13

Coach: Bob Huggins

Star players: Miles McBride, Derek Culver

Main strengths: Scoring depth (four players in double-figures)

Biggest weakness: Defense

Record: 18-9

West Virginia Mountaineers NCAA Tournament Odds

West Virginia Mountaineers outlook

I think this West Virginia team has a lot of upside, and upside is what really matters when handicapping who can make a deep tournament run. The Mountaineers have played the top two overall seeds in Gonzaga and Baylor. They lost both games by only five points and the Baylor game went to overtime. They’ve shown they can hang with everybody and then some. It has been an interesting year for West Virginia basketball. Usually when head coach Bob Huggins has had elite teams in recent seasons, it has been because WVU played smothering defense that simply wore down opponents with their relentless effort and full-court press. This time around it has been a much different story, as they rank near the top 10 in offensive efficiency but outside the top 60 in defensive efficiency. The offense has been really impressive, with four different guys averaging at least 11.8 points per game. WVU doesn’t have a bad draw as the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region, but being in Illinois’ region may not be ideal.

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