Norman, OK. – Saturday afternoon’s men’s basketball game was nothing short of tough to watch at times. And that’s just from the television sets and couches of Mountaineers fans across the country. The Mountaineers traveled to Norman and tipped off just a few short hours after being named an early 2-seed in this year’s March Madness.
And madness was an overarching feeling watching yesterday’s two halves of basketball, for Coach Huggins and fans combined. In a game that had many pull out their hair, the Mountaineers lost 69-59 and falling to 6-4 in conference play.
Saturday’s loss gave West Virginia a 3-5 away game record for the 2019-2020 season. In a league where every single opponent is hundreds and hundreds of miles away, a 3-5 away game record with eight games left in the season will simply just not do.
This season’s 3-5 road record thus far in the season is better than last season’s 2-8 road record, but just barely. This team is already leaps and bounds better than last year’s but the travel woes seem to still be a very cantankerous spot for West Virginia basketball.
In a conference truly as competitive as the Big 12, seasons are made and lost on the road. Now these young Mountaineers need to realize this and compete at the same level they are able to compete at when home in Morgantown. At this point in the season, the question that must be answered is what can fix the travel woes this team has. What can be done in order to salvage the next eight games of the season, with half of them being away games (and one of those is just seven days away at the number one team in the country).
The Mountaineers have a chance to bounce back this Wednesday in the Coliseum as the Mountaineers host potential one-seeds the Kansas Jayhawks. The teams have split their series many times over the last years and Wednesday night in Morgantown is a chance for redemption and a launching pad for the away game at Waco against the top-ranked Baylor Bears.
Whatever the travel woes may be, these issues are something that will only continue to hinder the Mountaineers in the coming weeks as we get into the thick of March. If this team wants to fulfill any sort of dreams of a competitive post-season, playing on the road and winning those games will be the biggest obstacle to overcome.