MORGANTOWN -- As far as regular-season finales go, West Virginia couldn't have asked for much more than what it experienced Saturday.
The Mountaineers escaped a five-point deficit with 25 seconds to go and clinched a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament with a 72-70 victory against No. 11 Louisville.
For Bob Huggins' postgame comments, check out Daily Mail video on YouTube:
A season-high crowd of 15,032 at the Coliseum to celebrate Joe Mazzulla, Cam Thoroughman, Jonnie West, John Flowers and Casey Mitchell on Senior Day endured a fantastic finish.
Mitchell made his only two 3-pointers of the game with 18 and eight seconds to go, the second to tie the score 70-70. Louisville's Preston Knowles then hurried the other way and missed a long 3 and inexplicably fouled WVU's Truck Bryant in the left corner with 0.6 seconds remaining.
"That," Bryant said, "might be the dumbest foul I've seen all season."
Bryant made both free throws and gave WVU its first win in 11 opportunities this season when it trailed entering the final minute.
The Mountaineers had also been 1-6 this season in games decided by five or fewer points, including the 55-54 loss at Louisville Jan. 26. WVU was 7-3 in those games last season.
"What a way to win a game," Thoroughman said.
WVU has won three games in a row and four of five. The victory guaranteed the Mountaineers (20-10, 11-7) have Tuesday off as they prepare to defend their first Big East Tournament title. They'll be the No. 6 seed and play the 9:30 p.m. game Wednesday.
"This is a good win for us and we're going into the Big East Tournament with a lot of momentum," said forward Kevin Jones. "We've had a lot of games that came down to the last seconds and we see now it's when we execute and when we do things right at the end that we're successful."
Jones had arguably the finest game of his career, let alone this season, with career-high totals of 25 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Moss was the last WVU player to finish with 25 and 15. He had 29 points and 16 rebounds in a double overtime win against Villanova in 2001.
It's Jones' third straight double-double -- this one was official before halftime -- and fourth in five games. He has nine this season. Jones had 11 offensive rebounds -- the most by a WVU player since Paul Witting had 14 in 1953 -- and scored 10 of WVU's 22 second-chance points.
"I think Kevin was terrific -- absolutely terrific," said Coach Bob Huggins, who has won 20 games or more in 27 of his 29 seasons as a head coach and all four at WVU. "He really, really rebounded the ball. He's had a lot of good rebounding games, but that was special. He kept us in the game."