University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar refers to West Virginia's basketball team as one of those teams that's "easy to scout, hard to stop."
But that will be the task at hand for his 11th-seeded Huskies when they battle the East Regional's No. 2 seed in Syracuse at 7:27 p.m. Thursday in a Sweet 16 match-up.
"There's not a whole lot of secrets in what they're doing," Romar said. "They are so efficient at doing it. The combination of their length, athleticism and toughness is not something we have seen this year."
The Huskies are led into the contest by senior forward Quincy Pondexter, who is averaging 19.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Isaiah Thomas, a 5-8 sophomore guard, is scoring at a 17.1 points per game clip. The Huskies, winners of the Pac-10 tournament, are averaging about 80 points per contest.
The Huskies were ranked in the top 15 in the early part of the season, only to stumble when they began making their trip through the conference.
But at some point, the team came together and gelled just in time for madness of March.
"They were on the border line of doubting themselves," Romar said. "To come back from that and be in the Sweet 16 is very rewarding."
WVU, on the other hand, has played this season with high expectations.
The Mountaineers seem to be treating this excursion hrough March as a business trip.
"They're not all giddy about going to the Sweet 16," Huggins said. "We came in, did what we were supposed to do, and now we move on."
The Mountaineers are riding the hot hand of senior forward Da'Sean Butler, who just recently became only the third player in school history to score more than 2,000 points. He joins some lofty company in legends Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley.
Butler was the tournament MVP as WVU captured its first-ever Big East Conference championship, scoring the game-winning bucket in the waning seconds in two of the team's three victories. He scored 28 points in leading WVU to victory Sunday over Missouri.
"Da'Sean does a great job at leading our guys," Huggins said. "He really takes it to heart.
"You only get to spend four years in college, and it's the best time of your life," he continued. "You should enjoy it. But these guys know the difference between having fun and going to work."