The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 1, 2010

WVU’s Butler, Smith set for home finale

MORGANTOWN — The nice thing about this Big Monday turnaround for West Virginia is that Da’Sean Butler and Wellington Smith don’t have too long to think about it.

It is Senior Day and they are the seniors.

But this is something so much more than that, for West Virginia is pushing for national prominence, thinking it can land a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, fully aware of the trials and tribulations of such teams as Kentucky and Kansas and Villanova.

This is a year when nothing is certain, so if WVU can turn the final two regular season games into important victories, first at 7 p.m. tonight against a struggling Georgetown team that has dropped three of four, and then on the road in revenge game against Connecticut, that also has dropped three of four, anything seems possible.

Big Monday is not easy. You play Saturday, then instead of having two or three days to get ready for an opponent, you have only one and when it’s a team like Georgetown, that runs an offense you seldom see, it becomes tougher.

"Everybody wants to do it,'' Coach Bob Huggins said Saturday after West Virginia beat Cincinnati, to clinch a double bye in the Big East Tournament. "But then you do it and it's hard.''

It is a tricky, complicating situation, although it is quite similar to the way things are in the NCAA Tournament.

"You have to practice, but you can't to the point that they don't have any legs [against Georgetown],'' Huggins said.

In some ways, as pushed as the Mountaineers have been this year and with Da’Sean Butler struggling as badly as he has, backing off might not be the worst thing that can happen, especially with as much emotion as there will be Butler on this night.

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