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The Shotgun/Throwdown: NCAA Tournament (3/15/12) 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 Bulldog Bitter Ale, in preparation for tonight's opponent.

Today Madness reigns supreme. Today and tomorrow are two of the best days of the entire year on the sports calendar. Down to the wire games, buzzer beaters and unthinkable upsets are all on tap. Today's edition here we have many previews of the WVU matchup with Gonzaga, which many are predicting to be "physical." There are also some features on both coaches and the youth of both teams. We have a couple of football notes too, but today, it's mostly about the Dance.

Reminder: Get your brackets filled out and join our group by noon today!!!

Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Thursday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Mountaineers prepare to take on a very talented Gonzaga team and freshman quarterback Ford Childress says he's adjusting well to the college game.

College Football Bowls -
Pre-season bowl prediction that is of interest

WVU Spring Football Practice - Inter-Mountain
Ford Childress impressing coaches

68 reasons why college football is better than college basketball - Sporting News

K-State's Martin Reflects on Close Relationship with Huggins - WVillustrated
With his former head coach in the same sub-regional city, Frank Martin speaks about the special bond the two have shared over the years.

News of Note:

NCAA Tournament Preview - MSNsportsNET.Com
Limiting Kevin Jones’ touches is one of Gonzaga’s primary objectives when the Bulldogs face West Virginia in an NCAA tournament second round game Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

Mountaineers a slight favorite over Gonzaga - Register-Herald
West Virginia, seeded 10th, is a slim, one-point favorite against seventh-seeded Gonzaga in the first round of the men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.

10 seed West Virginia (19-13) will make its 25th appearance in the NCAA tournament on Thursday night against seven seed Gonzaga (25-6) from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

No. 10 seed West Virginia starts NCAA tournament against No. 7 Gonzaga - Daily Athenaeum
The West Virginia men’s basketball team has lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament just twice since the 1991-92 season.

Watch Gonzaga's News Conference From the Consol Energy Center in - WVillustrated
Take a look at the Gonzaga Bulldogs' Press Conference prior to their game, tomorrow , against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Gonzaga enduring growing pains, too - Charleston Daily Mail
Gonzaga Coach Mark Few knows that feeling of dealing with youth, too.

Freshmen Guards Making Impact For Gonzaga - WVillustrated
College basketball fans are very familiar with the name ‘Gonzaga' when March Madness rolls around every year. Sunday evening marked the 14th straight season the Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament,

Gonzaga's Mark Few Looks At WVU - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Heading into Thursday’s NCAA tournament game between West Virginia and Gonzaga, it’s easy to see the amount of respect Bulldogs head coach Mark Few has for Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins.

Zags Prepare For Physical Battle - BGN
Gonzaga plans to try to match West Virginia’s physical style, as Bulldogs center Robert Sacre reiterated his comments from Selection Sunday night, when he said he was "salivating" at the matchup with the Mountaineers.

Tourney tussle - Times West Virginian
Zags know what they’ll be facing in physical WVU

Gettin' physical - Charleston Gazette
Mountaineers, Gonzaga ready for rough battle

Gonzaga Ready For WVU Crowd - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
"I feel if you're at Gonzaga, you come into this tournament you're guaranteed to have a backyard team," Sacre said. "You always have to go somewhere else, in someone else's backyard, no matter if you're the higher seed."

Mountaineers must have a strong finish - Charleston Daily Mail
For anyone who has been watching for its 74-year history, the NCAA Tournament has been mostly about who finishes best.

Time for Jones to be a little selfish - Charleston Gazette
It's just not his fault, which Huggins alluded to when asked after that UConn loss and referred to a bunch of freshmen teammates who "don't know what the hell they're doing.''

Mountaineer mentor - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
West Virginia senior Kevin Jones addressed his young teammates during Wednesday's practice at Palumbo Center because he knew what awaited them down the street.

Jones, Bryant highest-scoring classmate duo at WVU - Charleston Daily Mail
Their combined 3,390 points are the most by a pair of seniors in the same exiting class.

All Business - BGN
If No. 7 seed Gonzaga is looking forward to a chance to play a physical game against a Big East opponent, tenth-seeded West Virginia is approaching Thursday’s NCAA tournament Round of 64 contest as just another day at the office.

Blog: Men's Basketball 03/14/12 - MSNsportsNET.Com
Some news and notes from today's happenings at Consol Energy Center:

Thursday and Friday games: What to watch - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
WVU/Gonzaga and KJ's matchup with Harris are on the list

Huggins' heart gives fiery WVU coach a second chance - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mr. Huggins was riding high. He never could have imagined that the events of the next day would have the power to change his life forever.

Huggins works his magic again - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
It has just been that kind of up-and-down season for the old gold and blue and, perhaps, one of Huggins' best coaching performances.

Zags coach praises Huggs, just not on Facebook - Charleston Gazette
Hickman's Notebook

Video: Basketball Interviews 3/14 - BGN
Turk, KJ, Truck, Brown, Brown and Miles

WVU NCAA Tournament Interviews - WVillustrated
Miles, Rutledge, Forsythe, Turk, KJ, Browne, Truck, Brown and Noreen

East Region: Good times – but also bad dreams -
A look at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for all 16 teams playing in the NCAA tournament's East Region.

Musings of a Mountain Man - WVillustrated
John Woolard discuss the Mountaineers' upcoming appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and much more...

Photo Gallery: NCAA Tournament - WVMETRONEWS.COM

Sights and Sounds: WVU Practice Session - WVillustrated
Check out clips from WVU's open practice Wednesday prior to taking on Gonzaga at the Consol Energy Center.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's new contract includes front-loaded first year -

Probe of bar in Tech case closes - Red Raiders

TCU's Gary Patterson fighting perception as Big 12 era begins -

Texas struggling to find its new kicker - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

Spring superlatives: Kansas - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

New Baylor stadium? Say 'Thanks, RG3' - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

The Toolbox: Adjusted Turnover Margin - Football Study Hall

What's On Tap:

March Madness

(10) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (7) Gonzaga Bulldogs - Preview - ESPN
7:20 pm EDT tonight from the CONSOL on TNT

Videos of Interest:

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins' Wednesday afternoon press conference at Consol Energy Center.

Behind the scenes with the Mountaineers at the 2012 NCAA tournament. Presented by Northeast Natural Energy.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Tonight, the wait ends:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is an American model best known for her work in the SI Swimsuit Edition. Here's today's gallery (click on the picture) and the video of Alyssa Miller.


Bulldog Bitter Ale image via