MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia is off the bubble. At least, for now.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi slotted West Virginia as a No. 9 seed in the East region in his latest projection released Thursday. That is a massive improvement for WVU, which he previously places as a 10-seed in his “Last Four Byes.”
Lunardi’s latest projection would set up a clash with 8-seed Arkansas in Birmingham, Alabama.
West Virginia’s jump came on the heels of its fifth Quadrant 1 win of the season over No. 11 Iowa State. WVU ranks No. 19 in the NET rankings as one of 17 teams in the country with five or more Quad 1 wins.
WVU also remains unbeaten against Quad 2, 3 and 4 opponents.
The Mountaineers have gotten support from the Big 12 Conference, which remains the toughest in the league. According to Lunardi eight teams from the league will make the NCAA Tournament field, the highest percentage (80 percent) of any conference in the country.
West Virginia has the chance for its sixth Quad 1 win on Saturday when it faces No. 5 Texas at noon ET in Austin.