The Shotgun/Throwdown: 2011 NCAA Tournament First Four (3/15/11) Edition

Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's nationally recognized best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Goddards Ale of Wight, in honor of today's Miss Throwdown.

While the men sort of found out their fate on Sunday, the women were left waiting until last night. They will be on their way to Texas to take on Houston this Sunday in the opening round of their NCAA Tournament. The men are busy preparing, healing and several are trying to recover from illness (but you know this already if you follow @JFlow41 on Twitter). Lot's of articles breaking down the Mountaineers' East Region are inside. WVU will learn it's opening opponent sometime later this evening. The "First Four" kicks everything off tonight. We will have an open thread during the UAB/Clemson game, so make sure to join us tonight. Ready or not....the NCAA Tournament is here.

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What You May Have Missed:

NCAA College Basketball Polls - ESPN
#22 in the final AP poll before the Tournament

Mountaineers earn a 9-seed, will face Houston in NCAA Tournament - Daily Athenaeum

Mountaineer Women Draw Houston - WVMETRONEWS.COM

WVU women get No. 9 seed, face Houston - Charleston Daily Mail

Mountaineer women draw Houston - Times West Virginian
Earn No. 9 seed; to play in Texas Sunday

WVU Women's Basketball Gets 9 Seed, Will Face Houston - WVillustrated.com

Third Time's a Charm - MSNsportsNET.Com
The ninth-seeded West Virginia women’s basketball team will be making its seventh NCAA tournament appearance this Sunday at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, against eighth-seeded Houston with tipoff set for 5 p.m. ET.

NCAA Selection Reaction - Mountaineer TV
Coach Mike Carey and player reaction to West Virginia's No. 9 seed in this year's NCAA women's tournament.

Oliver Luck: 'Our goal should be winning the national championship' - Sporting News

Decision Makers | Oliver Luck Interview - WVillustrated.com
Two part video

2011 Hoops & Helmets Rankings - College Football News
#14

College football: Big East spring priorities - Sporting News

West Virginia, Connecticut top Big East spring football preview - SI.com

New coaches heat up Big East CFB - Video - SI.com

Campriani Student-Athlete of the Week - MSNsportsNET.Com
Varsity Sports Report

One of the world’s best ends historical collegiate career - Daily Athenaeum
Nicco Campriani has accomplished it all in his two-year tenure at West Virginia.

News of Note:

West Virginia Men's Basketball Team Report 3/14 - WVillustrated.com

Scouting Tournament Opponents a Full Time Job for Video Staff - WVillustrated.com

NCAA tournament: East Region breakdown - ESPN

Kentucky to win NCAA Tournament Bracket East Regional - SI.com

Breaking Down The NCAA Bracket: East Regional - Rock Chalk Talk

NCAA Game Notes - MSNsportsNET.Com

Return to St. Pete for some seniors - Charleston Gazette

Ailing WVU aims to get better - Charleston Gazette

WVU basketball: Mountaineers will have little time to prepare for first-round opponent - Charleston Daily Mail

Can another so-so offense go oh, so far? - WVU Sports with Mike Casazza

Getting to know your first, er, second-round opponent - WVU Sports with Mike Casazza

Mountaineers face unknown in opener - Inter-Mountain

'First Four' needs some tweaking by NCAA committee - Charleston Daily Mail

Play-in game hurts WVU - Daily Athenaeum

WVU hopes for fun March run - Times West Virginian
Hertzel Column

WVU got a rugged bracket - Parkersburg News and Sentinel

West Virginia University focused on itself - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

WVU's plans are in place for tournament - Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Last year’s Final Four experience should help Mountaineers in ‘11 - Daily Athenaeum

PREVIEW: Bob Huggins Show Tournament Special - WVillustrated.com

A Look Back At Andy Katz's 68 Interviews - ESPN Video - ESPN

What future holds for East region teams - ESPN
Here's a look at what each team in the East region is losing after this year, what kind of recruiting class they're bringing in and what it means to their hopes of making future NCAA tournaments.

Recruiting:

Ohio Update: New Offers - Scout.com

Around the League (and Beyond):

NCAA Tournament notebook: Big East bids, snubs, the First Four - Post Standard

NCAA Tournament Bracket 2011: Inveterate Hoops Junkie Rules For Filling Yours Out - Voodoo Five

Everything I know about picking brackets I learned from UConn - The UConn Blog

Easiest Path to the Final Four? The Case For the Pittsburgh Panthers - South Orange Juice
This is from a Seton Hall blog, mind you

Gibbs delivers calculated message to teammates about postseason - PPG

Louisville-Morehead State matchup will be a battle of the glass - Courier-Journal

Mick Cronin rebuilt Cincinnati with patience, perseverance - Cincinnati Enquirer

SU's big men in general -- and Fab Melo in particular -- show signs of late-season improvement - Post Standard

What Will It Take? - The Nova Blog

A First Look At The Akron Zips, Notre Dame's First Round Opponent - Rakes Of Mallow

Fox and Big 12 near deal worth more than $60 million a year - Sports Business Journal

What's On Tap:

(16) North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs vs. (16) Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans - Preview - ESPN
6:30 tonight from Dayton on truTV

(12) Clemson Tigers vs. (12) UAB Blazers - Preview - ESPN
9:00 tonight from Dayton on truTV

Video of Interest:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Warning: STRONG LANGUAGE

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a UK model whose billboard caused several traffic accidents (easy to see why). Here's today's gallery of Natalie Suliman (click on the picture).

Goddards Ale of Wight image via www.thecastleinn-lulworthcove.co.uk

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