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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Monday (3/12/12) 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 Guinness Black Lager, in honor of today's Miss Throwdown.

Well, the Mountaineers got the seed most expected but with a wonderful draw, as far as location is concerned. We have plenty of reactions to their NCAA tournament bid including videos. Over on the football side, spring drills opened up yesterday and we have plenty of practice reports, including Holgorsen's presser. Sorry so brief. Everything and more is after the jump.

NOTE: I will be setting up our annual bracket challenge (on Yahoo! likely, if you want to go ahead and pre-register) and will effort to have the full information up sometime around lunchtime or early this afternoon.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Monday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Mountaineers earn a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few talks about his match up against the Mountaineers and the football team completes its first day of spring practice.

Zublasing wins national title, WVU finishes sixth overall - Daily Athenaeum
A tumultuous weekend at the NCAA Championships ended with the West Virginia rifle team winning its second consecutive individual national title.

1942 WVU national title team 'had the heart' - Charleston Gazette
Upset at Madison Square Garden still one for the books

WVU Women's Soccer Raises Breast Cancer Awareness with Event - WVillustrated
West Virginia's indoor practice facility was turned into a soccer pitch Saturday as the Mountaineers women's team hosted a four-versus-four fundraiser in Morgantown.

Huff to be honored in Farmington - Times West Virginian
NFL legend to get ‘Hometown Hall of Famers’ plaque tonight

News of Note:

Mountaineers to Face Gonzaga - MSNsportsNET.Com
“I don’t know any more than anyone else does but when all those guys (experts) have you a 10, you’re probably a 10,” said Huggins.

Mountaineers Prepare To Dance - BGN
West Virginia University will be making its 24th appearance in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament when it opens play on Thursday against Gonzaga in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Mountaineers hold a 25-24 record all-time in the Big Dance.

NCAA road starts close to home for Mountaineers - PPG
Star-studded cast includes top seed, No. 2 seed, perennial bracket buster and even local favorite Bob Huggins' WVU

Staying close - Times West Virginian
“It’s cool,” senior guard Truck Bryant said. “I’m ready to play. Let’s get going.”

West Virginia has short ride to NCAAs - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"What makes you think I am happy about it?" Huggins said. "You are not going to get the ticket requests that I am going to get."

Mountaineers seeded 10th in East Region - Charleston Gazette
Never have Kevin Jones and West Virginia's basketball team been happier to be going to Pittsburgh.

Gonzaga Players Not Concerned By Long Trip - WVMETRONEWS.COM
West Virginia received a bit of a break on Sunday when the NCAA tournament field was released as the Mountaineers, as the lower No. 10 seed will play seven seed Gonzaga just 75 miles away in Pittsburgh.

Gonzaga gets tough draw vs. West Virginia - Charleston Daily Mail
"That's always hard to swallow. But there's so much criteria that goes into these things ... you start worrying about the 7 and 10 seeds, you'd never get it done," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "But it's tough. That's twice we've been in this situation."

HERTZEL COLUMN: Luck of draw goes WVU’s way - Times West Virginian
But this year the NCAA has totally outdone itself, at least in a geographical sense, in taking West Virginia and sending them off into the lion’s den for its first game of the tournament.

Mountaineers are No. 10 seed in East Region, will face Gonzaga - Charleston Daily Mail
"I knew we were in," said senior Kevin Jones. "It was all about who we'd be playing and where we'd be playing."

WVU gets great draw in tournament - Daily Athenaeum
"That's great for us. I'm sure a lot of our fans will be there," said senior guard Truck Bryant. "It's important to have your fan base there in a situation like this."

Rutledge coming into his own - Charleston Gazette
anyone who has watched West Virginia's basketball team play the last four games knows that Dominique Rutledge has become a cog in the wheel for the Mountaineers.

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU wondering what could have been this season - Times West Virginian
This has not been a season to brag about, even if it did begin in a cloud of uncertainty, an uncertainty, by the way, that hasn’t really been addressed by anyone until now.

WVU Men's Basketball Selection Sunday Interviews - WVillustrated
Hinds, Browne, Truck and KJ

Video: NCAA Tournament Reaction - BGN
Huggs, Truck, KJ, Turk and Miles

Spring Football:

Dana Holgorsen Spring Practice Day 1 News Conference - WVillustrated
Watch WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen speak with the media following day one of spring practice

Football: Coach Holgorsen News Conference - MSNsportsNET.Com
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen addresses the media about day one of spring camp.

Spring Football Underway For WVU - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Article, video and gallery

Mountaineers begin spring practices - Daily Athenaeum
With plenty of new faces both on the field and on the coaching staff, Holgorsen was pleased with the energy he saw from all parties Sunday.

Quick Hits: Mountaineers Hold First Spring Drills - WVillustrated
News and notes from WVU's opening day of practice in preparation for the 2012 football season.

Holgorsen Practice Report - BGN
West Virginia opened up spring practice on Sunday on the nicest day of the year to date. WVU practiced for about two hours in Milan Puskar Stadium as the sun towered over the field and set dark shadows across the field.

WVU Spring Practice: Despite success, Mountaineers have work to do, coach says - PPG
Despite hitting full stride on the national stage and returning almost every player, there is still work to do, Holgorsen said.

Holgorsen hopes to speed up the offense’s pace - Charleston Daily Mail
It began Sunday with the Mountaineers trying to get better not just at what they do, but in doing those things as fast as possible.

WVU eyes more consistency in 2012 - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"If you look at the middle of the season, there were a lot of games we were mediocre on offense," offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said.

WVU, Holgorsen open spring drills - Times West Virginian
“It was a good first day,” Holgorsen admitted after practice. “It was a beautiful day. It was awesome. We didn’t have one day like this last year. There was a big ol’ cloud over our head for a long time. It’s good that it is gone.”

Mountaineers kick off spring drills - Charleston Gazette
"Offensively, we've got nine starters back and it's going to make a whole lot more sense to us offensively now,'' Holgorsen said. "Having that many starters back, it's more about developing some depth and getting the starters a year better.

Creating Turnovers No. 1 Goal - MSNsportsNET.Com
Although the players may line up a little differently this fall, new West Virginia University defensive coordinator Joe DeForest says what they are trying to accomplish is still the same – stop the other team and create turnovers.

No Heisman hype for Smith - Martinsburg Journal
West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen was recently asked whether he thought quarterback Geno Smith had the potential to win the Heisman Trophy.

West Virginia Mountaineers 2012 Spring Preview -

PHOTOS: WVU Football's 1st Spring Practice - WVillustrated

Around the League (and Beyond):

Baylor, Texas quarterback races lead Big 12 spring burning questions - Cory McCartney -
The conference has lost rivalries that spanned generations, but from a pure production perspective, new members TCU and West Virginia may actually be upgrades.

Two Texas Tech football players arrested in credit card abuse case - Dallas Morning News

Sooners Defensive End Geneo Grissom Suffers Broken Foot. Again. - Crimson And Cream Machine

Off-Season Gossipy Things: Injuries, Muschamp Two Years Later - Barking Carnival

Spring superlatives: Iowa State - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
Time to continue our series breaking down each team's best and worst positions entering the 2012 season.

Thoughts on the Big 12 champs' depth chart - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
Oklahoma State kicks off spring practice next week, but the Cowboys released their pre-spring depth chart on Thursday.

Report: Pac-12 University Presidents Unite To Campaign Against BCS - SI Tracking Blog
They want a playoff

What's On Tap:

WVU To Play In Evening Session - WVMETRONEWS.COM
West Virginia vs. Gonzaga – 7:20 p.m.,

Videos of Interest:

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins' remarks following the announcement that his team will face Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

New Mountaineer assistant coach Keith Patterson talks about getting prepared for spring practice beginning on Sunday.

New West Virginia defensive line coach Erik Slaughter talks about the traits he's looking for in his players.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

The Ides of March cometh:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is Irish model Georgia Salpa. Click on her picture for today's gallery.


Guinness Black Lager image via