All Hands on Deck


TONY'S TAKE
By Tony Caridi for WVUsports.com
February 08, 2012 08:51 AM

With all due respect to former President John F. Kennedy, it’s time for us to ask not what WVU’s basketball team can do for you, but rather, ask what you can do for West Virginia’s basketball team.

And here’s the answer: Try to do everything you can this week to be in the Coliseum for games against Notre Dame on Wednesday night and against Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

What could be described as the penultimate moment of West Virginia’s season has arrived. Coach Bob Huggins and his squad will square off against two teams who come to Morgantown with a combined nine-game winning streak.

The Irish are sizzling hot; they’ve defeated three ranked teams during their four-game win streak. One of those teams was then No. 1-ranked Syracuse. Many considered Notre Dame’s season over when senior captain Tim Abromaitis was lost with a knee injury.

Think again, says Coach Mike Brey, who is a lock for conference coach of the year and has likely turned in the best coaching job of his tenure. Notre Dame plays patient, drains the clock, and causes fits with its ability to shoot the ball. Luke Harangody-clone Jack Cooley is averaging almost 11 points and eight rebounds per game.

The Louisville Cardinals will arrive in Morgantown on Saturday well rested after spending their Monday night laughing at Connecticut. They didn’t beat UConn on Big Monday, they embarrassed them. Rick Pitino’s squad has lost two straight in Morgantown by a combined five points. Both games involved controversial officiating.

You think old Rick might be a bit jacked up on Saturday? Uh, yeah.

So what can you do?

Well, you can honestly make a difference. Basketball, like no other sport, is a home court game. The electricity generated by fans serves as the fuel for players to reach their peak level of efficiency. It would be easy to characterize these two games as just two old regular season contests. The reality is that the outcome of these two games will be massive when the NCAA selection committee meets to pick this year’s tournament field.

If there’s any chance you can, then please come to the Coliseum and do your part this week. Then, when Selection Sunday rolls around, you’ll know you did everything you could to help send the Mountaineers to their fifth-consecutive NCAA tourney.
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