Not only did the Mountaineers lose to Buffalo on Friday night, they also lost their legendary AP Poll streak. West Virginia has fallen out of the top 25 in the AP Poll for the first time in over 50 weeks. The Mountaineers streak was the 4th longest active streak in the NCAA behind only Kansas, Villanova, and North Carolina.
West Virginia lost to a very good team on Friday night. Buffalo returned 4 starters from their team last year that sent home #1 overall NBA draft pick DeAndre Ayton and his loaded Arizona team from the NCAA tournament in dominating fashion. Also, their 2018 recruiting class was the best in school history. This team was top 25 worthy before the season started, but it took this win against WVU to get them in.
If Buffalo is considered a top 25 team, then it doesn’t make sense to drop WVU from #13 completely out of the rankings. This was a game where Buffalo had to make a shot from near half court to force the game into overtime. It’s almost as if maybe some voters were influenced by the Penn State exhibition game that was not supposed to count.
Losing basketball games early in the season can be meaningless. Don’t forget WVU was blown out by Texas A&M last year and still managed to play in its 3rd consecutive Big 12 Championship Game and make its 3rd Sweet 16 in 4 years. In college football, losing one game can change your whole season. College hoops typically doesn’t heat up until conference play, but WVU fans are hoping this team can be clicking by December 8th when the arch rivals come down Interstate 79 for the Backyard Brawl.
This team is very talented and should improve a lot in the next month. WVU Alumnus Nathan Adrian has spent a lot of time in the practice facility with this young team. Before the season, he said patience was the key to this team. “The team you see at the beginning of the season will not be the team you see at the end of the season.” There are a lot of new guys on this ball club and it’ll take time, but with future Hall of Fame coach Bob Huggins leading this team, there is certainly no reason to panic.