Commentary

Making it rain all the way to Indy

Turnovers and 3-point shooting propel Mountaineers to the Final Four

Updated: March 27, 2010, 11:37 PM ET
By Mike Hume | ESPN Insider
Da'Sean ButlerJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesDa'Sean Butler and West Virginia aren't No. 1 yet, but they did just beat a No. 1 seed.

The "Instant Intel" series is designed to immediately respond to a team's victory by looking ahead to its next opponent.

After 20 minutes, the game should have been over. Kentucky was relentless on the interior and dominant on the backboards, undercutting what figured to be West Virginia's biggest advantage. Instead, it was the Wildcats who entered the locker room facing a two-point deficit. From there, it only got worse for John Calipari's team.

The statistics at the 20-minute mark were staggering. Kentucky owned the glass, outrebounding West Virginia 9-3 on the offensive boards and 25-10 overall in the first half. Moreover, the Mountaineers missed every single 2-point shot they attempted against the Wildcats, the nation's best shot-blocking squad.

And still it was the Mountaineers with the lead.

For all of the 2-point misses, behind the arc, West Virginia made it rain so often (7-of-14) you would have thought it was monsoon season in Bombay. That shooting performance propelled the Mountaineers through the first half and straight into the Final Four. Of course, if they're forced to rely on a similar performance in Indy, the odds of the Mountaineers cutting down the nets are about as good as those of Bob Huggins swapping his sideline sweatsuit for a shirt and tie.


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