It’s 10:00 pm Thursday night and like most of Mountaineer Nation, I’m humming (singing) Country Roads while watching this Texas-Kansas matchup. When you read this, we’ll know who the Mountaineers are going up against in Friday night’s Big 12 Championship semifinals game. Since we don’t know that right now in this moment, I’m going to sit back and enjoy this moment and ask the question we all want to know.
It’s March, the madness is getting started and we’re all asking if the Mountaineers have found that Mountaineer magic we’ve been lacking this season. Have they? Survey seems to be saying yes.
The Mountaineers have had a season that has fallen short of many expectations, but seem to be hitting a mini stride at just the right time. This year’s team had not won an away game since November in the Myrtle Beach Invitational, only to arrive in Kansas City to win two games in a row. At a time when the Mountaineers have literally nothing to lose, this team has finally come together and found they do have everything in fact to gain.
Head Coach Bob Huggins has been saying all season that he can’t want to win more than his players, and has lamented that his players have to find that drive and motivation. Maybe these guys have finally spent enough time on a treadmill with their own thoughts and remembered that they are playing for an entire state who loves this team (and coach) with more gusto and emotion than most fan bases. Maybe these guys realized just how special that ole Huggy Bear is. Maybe they’ve figured out how to pass, shoot, defend and gel as a team finally.
Whatever it is, this Mountaineers basketball team came to Kansas City with a big humble pie in their bags, ready to shake things up and play like there’s no tomorrow. Because for this season, a loss means there is no tomorrow.
Right now, Texas and Kansas are tied on my television and the Mountaineers are in Kansas City working their post-game magic on one another, knowing they have another game to fight for, another day to make their fans and state proud.
It’s the best the Mountaineers have played all year and it’s at just the right time. Take a second and enjoy this moment. Who knows what tomorrow night’s game will bring, but one thing is for sure: the Mountaineers have found that sweet mix of chemistry, desire, drive and good old Mountaineer magic to hopefully bring a hell of a lot of madness to March.
Let’s go Mountaineers.