Color me confused, but I really don't get all the love for West Virginia's basketball team in comparison with Pitt's when it comes to perception this season. Now, I get that Pitt had a horrific run of eight straight losses, but it's pretty clear to anyone with a pulse that the Panthers are a completely different team with a healthy Tray Woodall.
Apparently, though, West Virginia is still looking like a solid NCAA tournament team while Pitt is fighting to even get onto the bubble ... and I don't get it.
Fact: Pitt and West Virginia have virtually identical records - Pitt is 15-9 and West Virginia is 16-8.
Fact: Pitt has played to a nearly identical record missing a key player for half the season while the Mountaineers have been mostly healthy
Fact: Pitt beat West Virginia ... in West Virginia
Fact: Both teams have only one ranked win (over Georgetown)
Fact: Pitt is 4-0 in their past four games while West Virginia is 1-3
Now, the huge difference is in the RPI where West Virginia is 30th, while Pitt is 61st (as of Monday), so I can understand how West Virginia gets a slight nod over Pitt. But given all of the above, I have a hard time saying WVU is head and shoulders better than Pitt - especially with Woodall back.
I mentioned earlier this week that I was curious to see where Pitt came out in Joe Lunardi's recent Bracketology. Those rankings came out on Monday and there's still a huge difference between the two according ESPN's resident bracketologist.
Despite West Virginia losing three of their past four games, Lunardi has the Mountaineers as an eight seed in his most recent bracket. Meanwhile, Pitt's nowhere to be found - not even as one of his last eight teams out.
Now, I've got less of a problem with Pitt not being in than I do with the large disparity between the two in the rankings.
Those facts I listed weren't to claim that West Virginia isn't a good team. It's quite possible they're still a better team than post-Woodall Pitt. They were merely to show that the two are pretty even in my mind. If West Virginia is a tournament team, then so is Pitt. Unfortunately, that logic isn't playing out apparently.
All of this will probably come out in the wash, but I'm still a little confused by some of Lunardi's logic.