The Times West Virginian


January 16, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN-NCAA in need of changes



Statistics can sometimes be deceiving, but not so with West Virginia’s basketball team.

They go into Iowa State tonight a game over .500, and a loss would drop them to the .500 mark.

They may just be the perfect example of what a .500 team is, ranking 169th in the nation in scoring offense, 169th in scoring defense and 165th in scoring differential, averaging 2.3 more points a game than they are giving up.


With Virginia Tech, Pitt and Penn State no longer on WVU’s schedule, the Mountaineers are looking for a rival, and the way it’s shaping up, that just could be the University of Texas at Austin.

True, the Longhorns kind of have a rivalry of their own with Oklahoma, but think of the history these two teams are building in recent years.

This year’s basketball meeting went to overtime, WVU overcoming a 10-point deficit in the final 3:35 to win, 57-53.

Then there was the 2006 NCAA third-round game in which Kevin Pittsnogle hit a dramatic three-point shot to tie the game with five seconds to play only to have the Longhorns’ Kenton Paulino bang home a hurried, long-range three for the improbable 74-71 victory.

All-time WVU has played Texas four times in basketball. The scores as they split the four games?

2013: WVU 57, Texas 53

2006: Texas 74, WVU 71

2005: Texas 75, WVU 74

1973: WVU 80, Texas 79

That’s four games split with WVU scoring one more point than Texas.

Oh, and football ... WVU has won the two meetings but ...

1956: WVU 7, Texas 6

2012: WVU 48, Texas 45

Of such things are rivalries born.


Demolition and reconstruction of the WVU football weight room has begun and while it is taking place the weight facility has been moved to a section of the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility.

Former Mountaineer Bruce Irvin, who was a first-round selection of the Seattle Seahawks last year and helped them into the NFL playoffs this season, contributed $100,000 to the project.

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