A redemptive road for the Mountaineers

NEW YORK -- It's only a basketball game, 40 minutes of chucking a ball into a modernized peach basket. It can't cure what ails you. It can't erase mistakes and it can't rewrite the past.

But sometimes, when the stars align and the moment is just right, a basketball game can mean a little bit more.

"I'm standing here, 56 years old and compared to when I was 26, I didn't understand,'' West Virginia assistant coach Billy Hahn said. "I didn't realize everything you have to go through and overcome in your life and when a moment like this finally comes, there aren't words. There just aren't words.''

And then Hahn covered his mouth and blinked hard to make sure the tears stayed tucked in the corner of his eyes.

For West Virginia, a 60-58 victory over Georgetown delivered the first Big East tournament title in program history -- and the school's first league tourney title of any kind since the 1984 Atlantic 10 crown. But for the players, the coaches, the school and the state, it delivered so much more...

To read O'Neil's column in its entirety, click here.