In 2009, WVU lost to UConn and was beaten soundly at Marquette and didn't much like the Golden Eagles gloating at the end, but beat Marshall the third game. In 2010, the Mountaineers lost to Villanova and then at Pitt in the triple-overtime classic, but recovered to beat Providence.
Yet with this team and all its youth and all the variables that distinguish these two losses from others, you can't use history as a precedent. These were two disheartening defeats, the kind of things that weigh more in January than they do in November.
Still, if nothing else, the Mountaineers were decidedly better Saturday than they were Wednesday.
"It's not hard when you're that bad to rally and get better," Huggins said. "The battle we have with these young guys when we win is continuing to do the things that enabled us to win."
The Mountaineers had a winning performance in the Carrier Dome. The same team that trailed by double figures for most of the first half at Madison Square Garden and only made a run when St. John's fell asleep managed to be tied or in the lead for all but 99 seconds of the first half against Syracuse and never trailed by more than six points.
Even with the way the game ended and all the missed chances before it, WVU at least had those chances and made good on a vow not to be the team that lost to the Red Storm.
"Losses are different depending on who you lose to and how you lose," senior forward Kevin Jones said. "There's a median you have to find. I'm happy about this performance and I'm happy how we played and how we all came together after a bad loss. But we still lost and you have to get over what happened, try to learn from it and move on."
The Mountaineers won't forget and there's something to be said about using that to their advantage, but you can guarantee whatever emotional edge they bring into tonight's game will be combated. Pitt is no less inspired.
The Panthers once lost eight in a row, but have won back-to-back games and are playing better with point guard Travon Woodall. They're also fighting for their season and know they can't afford many more losses if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.
The strangest part of all this is the same can be said of the Mountaineers. Huggins is honest with his team, which is why he cut to the heart of the issue Saturday after his players had their hearts cut out by the ending. And that issue was not a missed call, but that the Mountaineers are now at a point where things can go good or bad.
"We've put ourselves in a hole and we've got to dig our way out," said Huggins. "We need to get at least nine wins in the league to get a (NCAA) bid and we probably need to get to 10 or 11 to get a decent seed."
Things change fast in the Big East. A week ago WVU had 11 games to go and five were against the four worst teams in the conference. One of those four thumped WVU Wednesday. Another comes to town tonight feeling really good about itself and about making matters worse for its rival.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.