Against Baylor, Huggins tried everything.
On the opening possession of the second half, Baylor dumped it to the 6-9 Jefferson, who beat WVU freshman Nathan Adrian, got fouled and made two free throws.
Adrian was yanked from the game nine seconds into the half. As Huggins admonished him on the bench, Adrian's replacement, Remi Dibo, fouled the 7-1 Austin to create a potential 3-point play. After a 36-second stint on the floor, Dibo headed to the bench with three fouls and Adrian subbed back in.
The Baylor bigs finished with more made baskets (22) than WVU's bigs attempted (18).
There was a 40-point swing in points in the paint from the first meeting.
Last week it was written in this column space that in order for the Mountaineers to celebrate on Selection Sunday, it'd need to hold serve on three remaining home games and steal a road win against either Oklahoma or Iowa State.
Now the Mountaineers' grip on the NIT seems loose.
As our WVU beat writer Mike Casazza pointed out Saturday, 253 of the last 256 teams selected for the National Invitation Tournament teams have been at least two games above .500. If the Mountaineers split their final four regular season games and lose in the Big 12 tournament, that'll leave them 17-15.
That scenario would require them to either win on the road against the Sooners or Cyclones, teams WVU beat in Morgantown this season, or upset Kansas at home to conclude the regular season. If West Virginia does none of those things, it'll need to win a game in the conference tournament to reach 17 victories.
Postseason fate is to be determined, but it seems almost certain a Bob Huggins-coached team will not be in the Big Dance again. Huggins hasn't missed consecutive trips to the NCAAs since his first two seasons at Cincinnati (1990 and '91).
He followed that up with 14 consecutive NCAA berths with the Bearcats, where his teams had a reputation for tough, physical defense. In fact, his teams had separate streaks of 57 and 58 games without a team cracking 80 points.
This season's Mountaineers have given up 80-plus points a dozen times - an all-time high for a Huggins team. WVU gave up 80 points just eight times in Huggins' first five seasons at West Virginia before the opposition hit that number seven times last year and 12 this season.
WVU allowed 88 points in back-to-back losses to Texas and Baylor in the past week, which is the first time since the 2000-01 season (89-76 loss to Notre Dame and 95-73 loss to Connecticut) that has happened.
It had never happened to Huggins in 32 seasons and 1,036 games as a college coach before the last two games.
"If you take 10 people and have them walk through the gym and a ball is laying there, probably nine of them are going to pick it up and shoot it," a dismayed Huggins said after Saturday's game. "It's fun; I don't know why, but it's fun.
"Obviously going and studying what your guy is going to do is not a lot of fun. We're not ever going to get back to where we were until we guard again."