West Virginia was without its Truck, but it got a major pickup from Joe Mazzulla.
As a result, Mountaineer fans will be tailgating at the Final Four.
Saturday night's 73-66 win over Kentucky was one for the ages.
West Virginia outplayed, outhustled and outcoached a Wildcat team that was the heavy favorite to win the national title.
Now, those glorious two words are well within West Virginia's grasp.
Not since The Logo -the legendary Jerry West -led WVU to within one point of the NCAA championship has West Virginia been this close to the first major sport championship in school history.
Just like in Las Vegas, a one-armed bandit stole this show.
With point guard Truck Bryant out for the season, Mazzulla was West Virginia's only ball-handling option.
While Mazzulla is a scrappy player, that represented a scary situation against a lightning-quick team like Kentucky.
But Mazzulla -before fouling out in the final minute -scored a career-high 17 points, and clearly was the catalyst for what is the biggest win in the lifetime of most WVU fans.
While Kentucky arguably had the better athletes. West Virginia clearly was the better team.
Da'Sean Butler, after getting off to an 0-for-4 start, hit four 3-point goals in a four-minute span late in the first half as West Virginia erased an early 16-9 deficit and put itself squarely back in the game.
The always-steady Kevin Jones had 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Devin Ebanks, after failing to score in the first half, came up with 12 points in the final 20 minutes, including four straight points that gave West Virginia a 61-45 lead with 4:25 to play, setting off a Big East party in the partisan Carrier Dome.
Wellington Smith, who scored West Virginia's first 3 points and made the first of its 10 3-point goals, had four assists and hit a pair of clutch free throws with WVU clinging to a rapidly disappearing 7-point lead with 1:40 to play.
Even John Flowers and Cam Thoroughman played roles in the win, Flowers getting a triple-4 as he scored 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out 4 assists, while Thoroughman's only basket gave WVU a 10-point lead with 6:53 to play.
Kentucky, make no mistake, was as good as advertised. Its athleticism was phenomenal. But the young Cats got rattled in the second half and the veteran Mountaineers took it to them.
As a result, get ready for Late Night With Bob Huggins, live from Dave Letterman's hometown of Indianapolis. There's no way Butler is going to play in the prime time game next Saturday night. Rather, the late game and the national spotlight clearly will be on West Virginia, which will find out today whether it will be playing Duke or Baylor.
Mountaineer fans have waited 51 years to see their team get back to the Final Four. They'll be glad to wait another week to see that long-running dream turn into a reality.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com