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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Friday (4/2/10) Edition

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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 Barley Island Brewing Company, in honor of our host state of Indiana.

Coverage is getting heavier and my heart and stomach are having harder times dealing with this wait. You can say I'm a bit uptight at the moment. Keep the tips, suggestions and requests coming and don't forget to VOTE. Also, if you're going to the games this weekend, send in pics of the experience, we may use them in a post (but we're not promising). I'll be back tomorrow with a game day edition, as usual. One more day...

What You May Have Missed:

Final Four Report - MSNsportsNET.Com
MSN's Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs file their first (video) report from Lucas Oil Arena

Final Four Practice Presser Videos -

Friday's Gold And Blue Report - WVMetroNews

FanHouse TV: Duke-West Virginia - NCAABB FanHouse

Mountaineers nearing the summit -
In case you missed Oregon Mountaineer's Fan Shot

Indianapolis offers plenty to do for Final Four fans - Charleston Daily Mail

Full Throttle In Indianapolis - WVMetroNews

Day 1 Press conference Photos -

Final Four Photo Gallery I - BGN

Final Four Photo Gallery II - BGN

Butler 3rd Team All-American - MSNsportsNET.Com

Butler Named to Wooden Team - MSNsportsNET.Com

Mountaineers Behind The Scenes - MSNsportsNET.Com

Going to the Final Four? We'd like your photos - Charleston Daily Mail's experts make picks for Saturday night's Final Four games -

Searching for WVU AD, Herd and UC hoops coaches - Charleston Gazette

WVU so close in 1959 - Martinsburg Journal
Mickey's Column

Morgantown Cautions Fans The World Is Watching - NCAABB FanHouse

News of Note:

Don't disregard these Final Four players - Sporting News

Final Four 3 Reasons: Duke vs. West Virginia - Sporting News

Same Teams, No Similarities - WVMetroNews

A coaching view of the Final Four - ESPN

Scouting the Final Four: Coaches’ Takes –

Final Four lacks top NBA talent - PPG

Final Four Notebook - MSNsportsNET.Com

Underdog role suits West Virginia just fine - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Report: WVU lagging behind in academics - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Taking both figures into account "indicates that West Virginia has had a low graduation rate, but the current team is going to improve that significantly," Institute director Rich Lapchick said.

Doing What They Do -

WVU's Final Four motto reflects team's approach - Charleston Gazette

‘We do what we do’ - Times West Virginian
Hertzel Column

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins driven by hard work, winning - Joe Posnanski -
Best article I've read on Huggs to date. This was sent to me by several of you readers, Thanks.

West Virginia's Huggins is as huggable as a porcupine - Bellingham Herald
I would hope this is what Reilly was trying to do.

Huggins bringing intensity to West Virginia - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Love Him or Hate Him, WVU's Huggins Isn't Changing - WHSV

Bob Huggins Quiz - Cincinnati Enquirer

Huggins' former teammates proud of his accomplishments - Charleston Gazette

Men who brought Huggs back to WVU aren't surprised by his success - Charleston Gazette

WVa's Huggins isn't about to change for anyone - Martinsburg Journal (AP)

Fashion police weighing in on Huggins' attire - ESPN

At Final Four, experience wins out over one-and-done - Charleston Gazette

Team breakdown: West Virginia - Beyond the Arc -

Rebounding key as WVU prepares to face Duke - Times West Virginian

Mike Gansey Podcast: Watch Out For West Virginia’s Athleticism On Defense And Hope Duke Shoots Poorly – Lost Lettermen

Final Four teams make it to Indy with defense - Register-Herald (AP)

Reminiscing - Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WVU Has Found Balance Between Work and Play - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Bob Huggins: Darryl Bryant 'highly unlikely' to play - ESPN (AP)

Jones getting down to business at hand - Parkersburg News and Sentinel

WVU notebook -- Bryant unlikely to play - Charleston Gazette

Test Against The Best - BGN
Video interview with Wells

One more net in mind for WVU - Parkersburg News and Sentinel

'Eers Eyeing Blue Devils ... and Beyond - EerSports

Jerry West talks losing - Dan Patrick Show

Hoppy's Commentary from Indianapolis - WVMetroNews

West Virginia University Sports News - WVMetroNews
Too many links from here to clip today...feel free to browse here and the MetroNews homepage.

MountaineerBob’s KDKA Morning Show Interview - WV Mountaineer Sports

WVU pep band splits up for tournament trip - Charleston Daily Mail

Kanawha couple splits loyalties over Final Four - Charleston Daily Mail

Blue & Gold Fever - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Friendly City in a Frenzy for Game - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Fans line up for gold and blue gear - Charleston Daily Mail

Final Four Gear - Football Fanatics
In case you were looking for some...(I'm hoping/holding out for another kind, personally)

News of the Enemy:

Vitale: Duke to top off turbulent tourney with NCAA title in hand - USA Today

Does Duke's success lead to resentment? - Charleston Daily Mail

Blue Devils know they are a target - Register-Herald (AP)

March Mastery More Than Just Magic for Izzo, Krzyzewski - NCAABB FanHouse

Around the League (and Beyond):

Butler coach Brad Stevens has boyish looks that belie a brainy approach to basketball - Washington Post

Butler Coach Brad Stevens Mistaken for Player by Security Guard - NCAABB FanHouse (AP)

Recruiting turned Tom Izzo into Mr. March - Detroit News

NCAA: 'Bigger Field Won't Mean More Missed Classes ... We Think' - NCAABB FanHouse

Dayton wins [final? ed.] NIT with 79-68 victory over North Carolina - Star Ledger

20 years after title run, Runnin' Rebels still indignant - ESPN

Don't Shoot The Messenger: Greg Monroe As Good As Gone - Casual Hoya

Rick Pitino isn't done making his mark in Louisville - Courier-Journal

Big-time runner ready to bring out the best in Syracuse University ball carriers - Post Standard

Redshirting seems to have worked for Rutgers DB Logan Ryan - Star Ledger

Pitt's Graham's 'the star of spring practice' - PPG

Will Vidal Hazelton be the next great University of Cincinnati wide receiver? - Cincinnati Enquirer

What's On Tap:

Friday Shoot Around - MSNsportsNET.Com
Be sure to catch Metro News' special one-hour broadcast of West Virginia's Final Four shoot-around at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., on Friday, April 2, 2010, at 1 p.m. MSN's Tony Caridi, Jay Jacobs and Kyle Wiggs will describe the action and will be joined by special guests throughout the hour-long show. The Final Four shoot around show can be accessed at the following link: mms://

Sweepstakes for 2011 Final Four:

I'm not a shill, but if it's a chance for our people to win or enjoy something...

Mr. Peanut’s Road to the Final Four® Sweepstakes

TWO WAYS TO ENTER: From March 12, 2010 through April 6, 2010

THE STAKES: Trip for four (4) to the 2011 NCAA® Men’s Final Four®

Trip includes coach class air transportation for four (4) from major airport nearest winner’s residence to Houston, TX; 5 days/4 nights hotel accommodations (one room; quad occupancy); four tickets to each of the National Semifinals on April 2, 2011 and four tickets to the National Championship Final on April 4, 2011; rental car for five (5) days (subject to rental car company’s standard restrictions); and $2,000 in spending money.

Video of Interest:

Videos of (Dis)Interest:

Here's a song that, after reading all of the stories about him this week and then hearing this, kind of reminded me of Huggs...kind of. Thanks for drifting back home Huggs. We love ya.

Ring Girls Gallery of the Week:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is definitely a sexy Australian. Here's Lara Bingle.

Barley Island image via