Virtually impossible would be the task of finding out if any team has ever won 32 games and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight and returned its eight top scorers the next season.
However, the Hilltoppers (13-0, 7-0), No. 1 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll, have won by just nine (101-92) and five (114-109) points to Pitt Johnstown and at Shepherd, respectively, their last two games. That was the third-highest single-game point total for UPJ and the highest for the Rams.
That marks just the fourth time in Crutchfield's nine years West Liberty has won back-to-back games by fewer than 10 points.
While there obviously is no cause for alarm, since they average a nation-best 115.1 points, one of the times it happened in Crutchfield's tenure was back-to-back NCAA Tournament games in 2010-11.
"I know one thing for sure, you can't win unless you play good defense," Crutchfield said. "If you look at the number of possessions in the (Shepherd) game, it was enormous. We're never going to be the No. 1 defensive team in the country, but our points per possessions on defense is good."
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PATRICK BEILEIN, the first-year coach at Wesleyan, admits he wasn't much of a defender during his four years (2002-06) at West Virginia.
In fact, when asked if he "is teaching his team good defense, since he didn't play a lot of defense in college," he replied with, "that's a fair question."
"Defensively, in college, my dad would say like, 'OK Pat, when that shot goes up, if it's not your man, just go find someone to box out, because you're not going to get the rebounds, you're not athletic, so go hit somebody so somebody else can come and get the rebound," he said. "I was like, 'That's fine with me.'"
Wesleyan (6-5, 3-4), however, has not lost its defensive attitude under Beilein.
The Bobcats are fourth in the conference in scoring defense, but still are being outrebounded by an average of more than two per game.
Last year they led the league in scoring defense (65.1), field-goal percentage defense (41.5) and 3-point percentage defense (32.2).
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SPEAKING OF Beilein, his father John, who had a 104-60 record at WVU (2002-07), reached the Elite Eight in 2005, and won the National Invitation Tournament in 2007.
In his sixth season at Michigan, the Wolverines are undefeated (15-0) and ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25.
"What a fabulous job, I'm really happy for him," Patrick Beilein said. "Every D1 job he's had, he left after the five years because he's rebuilt it.
"It's his sixth year at Michigan, now he's finally staying to see almost his finished product. I'm really excited for him. I wish I had a few of his guys here at Wesleyan, the guys who don't play much. I'd start taking him, but I don't think he's going to let me do that."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.