A preview of WVU’s potential path at the Phil Knight Legacy Bracket

Starting Thursday night, West Virginia will begin their journey through the Phil Knight Legacy Arch. The Mountaineers are guaranteed to play No. 24 Purdue in the first round. After that, there are six other programs that WVU can match in the championship. Let’s take a look at the rest of the field.

first round:

No. 24 Bordeaux (3-0)

Purdue made a Sweet-16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. Boilermakers is bringing back big guy Zach Edey, who stands at 7-foot-4. Eddie averages 20.7 points and 13.7 rebounds, and the stadium will give West Virginia plenty of headaches on Thursday.

Second round:

No. 6 Gonzaga (3-1)

Gonzaga enters PK85 hungry after being defeated by Texans last week. The Zags bounced back and defeated a top 5 team from Kentucky by 16 points. It featured F. Drew Tim and guards Julian Strother and Racer Bolton Gonzaga.

Portland State (2-2)

Coming from the Big Sky Conference, Portland State is entering its second year under head coach Jase Coburn. PSU defeated Oregon State 79-66 on the road this past Saturday.

Third round:

No. 8 Duke (4-1)

Duke is entering a new era without Mike Krzyzewski as former Blue Devil John Scheer serves as the new head coach. Scheyer got his Blue Devils off to a 4-1 start and their only loss was against Kansas. Scheyer brought in the No. 1 recruiting class of 2022, highlighted by Dariq Whitehead, Kyle Filipowski, and Dereck Lively.

Florida (3-1)

During the offseason, Florida hired former San Francisco head coach Todd Golden to replace Mike White. Golden recruited the transfer gate well and brought in Will Richard (Belmont), Kyle Lofton (St. Bonaventure) and Adam Fudge (LSU). Pair that with two-time All-SEC receiver running back Colin Castleton and you have a solid core. The Gators were upset last week by Florida Atlantic.

Xavier (3-1)

Like Florida, the Xaviers dumped their former head coach, Travis Steele. The Knights hired a familiar face in Sean Miller, who coached at Xavier from 2004-2009. Xavier is led by VIPs Zack Fremantle and Jack Nung.

Oregon State (3-1)

OSU coach Wayne Tinkle is entering his ninth season as head coach of the Beavers. Tinkle is looking to get his program back to Elite-8 heights in 2021. Last season, Oregon won just three games all year. The Beavers actually matched that win total, but they suffered a nasty loss against Portland State at home.

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