Last season, the Big 12 had half its league -- five of 10 teams -- in the NCAA tournament. All of them had at least 20 regular season wins and 11 victories in league play.
WVU would need five wins between its final five regular season games and the Big 12 tournament to reach 20, and to sweep its remaining home schedule and split a pair of tough road games to get to 11 conference victories.
That is a tall task, but don't discount the Mountaineers if they can't pull that off. If, say, West Virginia goes 3-2 down the stretch and picks up another win in Kansas City, it'll be 19-14 overall. Two years ago, when the Mountaineers last reached the NCAA tournament, WVU received an at-large berth at 19-13.
There have been 17 teams reach the Big Dance with 13 losses, 11 of which had fewer than 20 wins.
Only six teams have received an at-large invitation with 14 losses. The last team to pull it off Arizona in 2008, when the Wildcats went 19-14 in the regular season, earned a No. 10 seed in the West Regional and lost in the first round to ... West Virginia.
That is the history the Mountaineers are up against if they lose two or three more times before the brackets are set.
Or they can adopt the nickname given to Podladtchikov's medal-winning trick -- YOLO, which stands for "You Only Live Once" -- and tweak it for the final five games of the regular season.
A 4-1 finish will give West Virginia 19 wins before the Big 12 tournament. That finish would give the Mountaineers 11 wins in college basketball's top-rated league. They wouldn't have to sweat Selection Sunday, but that is an even more difficult YOLO trick:
You Only Lose Once.
Contact sports editor Chuck McGill at chuck.mcg...@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-7949. Follow him on Twitter @chuckmcgill.