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OTD in 2010: West Virginia Reaches Elite Eight For Third Time in School History

On this day in 2010, the No. 2 seed West Virginia men’s basketball team defeated the No. 11 seed Washington Huskies in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, winning 69-56.

The first half of the game wasn’t too easy for the Mountaineers, as this was the first game without starting point guard Truck Bryant. Bryant had suffered an injury during practice earlier in the week. Washington’s NBA-trio of Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter and Justin Holiday led the Huskies to a two-point lead going into the locker room.

“It was tremendously uncomfortable, especially this time of year,” WVU forward Devin Ebanks said. “Having our point guard [Truck Bryant] out was a huge blow to us. We played kind of poorly in the first half.”

WVU senior guard Da’Sean Butler gave the team a spark out of the break, scoring five points in the first minute of the second half.

West Virginia and Washington kept landing strikes on each other until a jump shot by Casey Mitchell was the start to the biggest run of the night. For the next five minutes of play, WVU went on a 17-4 run to take a 13-point lead with eight minutes left.

The Huskies showed fight by cutting the deficit to single-digits but the Mountaineers cruised to win 69-56 to advance to their third Elite Eight appearance in program history (’59, ’05, ’10).

Kevin Jones finished with a game-high of 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Jones—a sophomore at the time—led the Mountaineers in rebounds with eight, as WVU out-rebounded UW, 49-29.

Butler finished his day in the Carrier Dome with 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting. The 2010 Big East Conference Tournament MVP pulled down seven rebounds and had two steals in the win.

Ebanks had 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals against the Huskies. The former Los Angeles Lakers forward shot 3-of-7 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

As the Mountaineers won their ninth-straight game, ahead was the No. 1 seed Kentucky Wildcats, led by John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson.

Stay tuned for Saturday for the 11th anniversary of the Elite Eight matchup between West Virginia and Kentucky.

Who will be “Dougie-ing” their way to the Final Four? John Wall or John Flowers?

(Top Photo: Associated Press)

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