WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

PREGAME: WVU basketball hosts No. 11 Texas Tech

On the surface, the West Virginia University men’s basketball team’s 8-4 record so far this season isn’t that bad. What gives fans and observers pause, however, is how out of sync WVU has look for long stretches in the first 12 games. It’s not typical behavior for a Bob Huggins team and reason enough to sound the alarm. If WVU can’t get its act together in Big 12 play, the Mountaineers will be lucky to get an NIT invite, let alone consideration for the NCAA tournament.

What West Virginia does between this evening, when the Mountaineers open conference play at home against No. 11 Texas Tech, and the end of the season will determine WVU’s postseason fate. Including a nonconference Jan. 26 game at No. 3 Tennessee, West Virginia has 19 games remaining on its schedule. If WVU were to win out, that would put the Mounties at 27-4 — let’s assume for a moment that doesn’t happen. What is the best case scenario for WVU in conference play? If West Virginia goes .500 in the Big 12 and loses at Tennessee, that results in a 17-14 record and would make the Mountaineers a tough sell for the Big Dance.

My point being, it’s do or die time for the WVU men’s basketball team. The Mountaineers haven’t been at their best through the nonconference portion of their schedule — if that continues it will be a long season with a short March for Bob Huggins and his crew.

Tonight’s starters for WVU: Jordan McCabe, Chase Harler, Wesley Harris, Esa Ahmad, Logan Routt.

Sagaba Konate is still on crutches, so we know he’ll be out tonight against Texas Tech.

Check back for after the game for video from Bob Huggins postgame press conference.