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Twelve Days of Mountaineers Day Five: Basketball starts season as Bad Boy Mower Champs

It’s day five of the Twelve Days of Mountaineers and today we take a brief look back at November’s Bad Boy Mower Crossover Classic. (Anyone else call it “Bad Boys” like the movies instead?) The men’s basketball team was originally supposed to participate in the Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas, but just like the rest of the year 2020 that did not happen.

Instead, Huggins and crew made a trip to almost as glamorous Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The once-stacked tournament in the Bahamas turned out to be slightly lackluster in terms of big name teams participating. What one was South Carolina, Duke, Texas A&M turned into Northern Iowa, South Dakota State and Utah State to name a few.

What was once a very competitive tournament suddenly looked to be a sure thing for the Mountaineers. After a shortened season last spring and the lack of scrimmages before the 2020-21 season, this tournament was just what the Mountaineers would need to shake out the cobwebs.

Prior to the season starting, head coach Bob Huggins made it a point of saying this season’s team is his most talented team since the 2010 Final Four squad; aka big shoes to fill. A tournament win in South Dakota was all but necessary for this team.

The Mountaineers started their tournament run on Wednesday, November 25 taking on local team South Dakota State. South Dakota State was a force in their division last season, going undefeated at home and the Bad Bow Mower tournament was essentially a home game. This smelled like a trap from the second it started. Ultimately, the Mountaineers took their first victory of the season and got ready to turn around for its second game the next day.

Thanksgiving Day saw West Virginia going up against Shaka Smart’s old crew, Virginia Commonwealth. After a close game on Wednesday evening, Mountaineer faithful were curious as to what would happen going up against the biggest competition in the tournament. Lights. Out. From the start, there was energy from West Virginia that made fans momentarily forget they had to cancel their Thanksgiving trips to the Bahamas. West Virginia defeated VCU to head to Friday’s championship game.

Friday provided Mountaineer nation a little slice of joy as it was supposed to be the day everyone was preparing their at-home tailgates for what should have been Senior Day for the football team. COVID-19 took the Oklahoma game from West Virginia, but don’t worry because that week we all had a little-known lawnmower company to be thankful. West Virginia took on Western Kentucky in the championship and won the inaugural Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic.

The best thing to come out of the Bad Bow Mower Crossover Classic? This tweet:

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