SYRACUSE, NY—No. 2 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Washington
All the talk around this game concerns West Virginia's ability to handle the loss of starting point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant, who broke his foot in practice Tuesday. Still, the Mountaineers have Da'Sean Butler, who hit two game-winning shots in the Big East tournament title run. Joe Mazzula, a redshirt junior who averaged 2.2 points in 14.9 minutes this season, should get the ball but don't be surprised if coach Bob Huggins goes with a four-forward lineup.
Washington is one of the hottest teams in the country, having won nine straight, a streak that has allowed the Huskies to change what many considered to be an unsuccessful season. Their NCAA wins were different as they rallied from 15 points down in the second half to beat Marquette and they led by as many as 23 in cruising past New Mexico. Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas need 20 points combined to become the highest-scoring duo in school history.
West Virginia might take a while to get used to not having Bryant, but the Mountaineers truck on to a 71-64 victory.