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NCAA Tournament: Strengths and weaknesses of top 16 overall seeds

Signs on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium promote the NCAA March Madness tournament on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Indianapolis.Ncaa March Madness And Big Ten Basketball Courts Inside Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis March 4 2021
Signs on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium promote the NCAA March Madness tournament on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Indianapolis.Ncaa March Madness And Big Ten Basketball Courts Inside Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis March 4 2021 /
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NCAA Tournament West Virginia Mountaineers Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Tournament West Virginia Mountaineers Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

West Virginia Mountaineers: 18-9 (11-6)

Weakness 

The obvious weakness that must be stated is; if a team is hitting from beyond the arc, said team will defeat West Virginia. Every time the Mountaineers apply any pressure prior to mid-court everybody starts to reminisce about the ‘Press Virginia’ days, and while those days are in the past, it does not mean Coach Huggins does not have his guys work on defense.

This season Coach Huggins has his team pressuring the ball as soon as it crosses mid-court, this includes double teams, which leaves the Mountaineers extremely vulnerable to quick ball movement. The constant ‘trap and recover’ leaves a man open at the three-point line, every single time. This is often overlooked because the Mountaineers force 15 turnovers per game, but an open player can hurt you in more ways than just hitting a three.

Strength

There can be no argument that Coach Huggins has guys who want to play for him. The departure of Oscar Tshiebwe after ten games should have been enough to sink the Mountaineers in the competitive Big 12, yet they finished the season going 10-7 and capturing a No. 4 seed.  The strength of the mountaineers is that they have players that fill roles. Coach Huggins will most likely have an eight-man rotation as Miles McBride will run the point and average almost five assists with fewer than two turnovers per game.

Sean McNeil hits 38 percent of his three-pointers which has the benefit of preventing the defense from collapsing on Derek Culver in the post, who is difficult to stop without help. For the first time in a long time, the offense is the strength for a Bob Huggins team as it was the second-highest scoring in Big 12 play.