The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

April 1, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: Great moments have defined WVU season

MORGANTOWN — A season, no matter what the sport, is much like life itself, a journey from here to there with so many unexpected twists and turns along the way that even as you live it you know not what awaits tomorrow.

So it is with this magic 2010 West Virginia basketball season that has but a few more breaths left before it turns to past tense, with the emphasis on tense because this has been a season during which the Mountaineers walked a tight rope to history.

There were moments throughout the year, taut, tense, wonderful moments where WVU dangled from the edge of a cliff, waiting for someone to step up and save them. It is difficult to narrow to 10 the moments of truth during this season, yet in some ways it is necessary so that we can appreciate just what this team has brought us all, win or lose in Indianapolis over the weekend.

1. We begin at the end, for in some ways this moment characterizes what this team was all about. West Virginia was in Syracuse, a game away from the Final Four, facing the bluest of blue bloods in college basketball, Kentucky.

An underdog they were and they would be saved by the greatest underdog of them all, Joe Mazzulla, who would score 17 points and dazzle Kentucky with his slashing drives to the basket.

But for the moment that mattered we have to think back to the beginning of the year, to a player who could not raise his dominant arm, his left, over his head. He had spent the offseason learning to play right-handed and had struggled so badly early just to play.

Now he stood outside the 3-point line, Kentucky backing off. He looked, he pumped, he shot. The ball arched high and came down swishing through the net. It was his first 3-point goal of the year, his first since early in 2008.

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