Whatever disappointment West Virginia's Mountaineers experienced on Sunday when they did not receive a No. 1 NCAA regional seed after winning the Big East conference tournament, has been filed away. Coach Bob Huggins' only quibble was with the fact, his team essentially was treated as the No. 7 overall team in the tournament because it's in the East bracket as a second seed opposite top seed Kentucky, which is No. 2 overall.
But with a game to play Friday afternoon against MEAC champion Morgan State, the Mountaineers no that has to be their focus. The Bears are coached by Todd Bozeman, who admitted to recruiting violations long ago at California but paid his dues and finally has resurfaced. He built a tough team he believes can cope with West Virginia's physical style. Morgan State already has knocked off Maryland, the fifth seed in the Midwest, Arkansas, DePaul and Marshall this season. The Bears have proven they can play with schools from major conferences.
The Mountaineers are a veteran team, and they learned a valuable lesson a year ago in a first-round loss to Dayton. "Pay attention to what's in front of you as opposed to looking down the road," said Big East tourney MVP Da'Sean Butler. "Last year, everybody was like, 'I can't wait to see you guys play Kansas, I can't wait to see you play Michigan State.' As a team, I don't think we were focused on Dayton. I made this a point in my head. Honestly, I'm just thinking about Morgan State right now."
Back later from Buffalo with an update on the health of Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku and how coach Jim Boeheim plans to adjust against America East tourney champ Vermont.