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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Friday (3/9/12) 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 James Boag's Premium Lager, in honor of today's Miss Throwdown.

The Mountaineer basketball squad is stuck impatiently waiting for selection Sunday with anxiousness. So far, all of the main bracket projections still have WVU fairly safely "IN" thanks to losses by other bubble teams yesterday. The WVU Rifle team is shooting for another NCAA title this weekend and the best news of all...spring football practice kicks off this Sunday. All of this and more...

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Friday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
WVU head coach Bob Huggins says WVU is in the NCAA Tournament even after Wednesday's loss and WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson says what the team is going to work on a lot when spring practice begins on Sunday.

WVU Assistant Head Coach Steve Dunlap Preparing for New Role - WVillustrated
With the changes to the defensive coaching staff, the former safeties coach is now in charge of special teams.

Revised 2011 Top 25 countdown: No. 3 - Big East Blog - ESPN
Down to the top 3 players in the Big East for 2011. The suspense is killing you! Up today: Tavon Austin, WR/KR, West Virginia

Hungry and Determined - MSNsportsNET.Com
the three-time defending Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) champion Mountaineers prepare to shoot for their 15th title at this weekend’s national championships, held March 9-10, at Ohio State’s Converse Hall and French Field House, in Columbus, Ohio

WVU to move on from second-place finish last year - Daily Athenaeum
Day and night since its heartbreaking three-point 2011 NCAA championship loss to rival Kentucky, the pungent taste has remained.

Baseball: WVU Travels to Nike Tournament - WVillustrated
The WVU baseball team will continue its tournament season this weekend with the Nike Showcase Classic hosted by Oregon State and Oregon from March 9-11.

News of Note:

HERTZEL COLUMN: Rutledge playing better of late for Mountaineers - Times West Virginian
It has not come easily for Dominique Rutledge this year. Or quickly.

Mountaineers sweating out NCAA tourney decision - Charleston Gazette
The numbers and the wisdom of those who seem to generally know best all seem to point toward West Virginia having secured a place in the 68-team NCAA tournament field.

Mountaineers have hope, not much else in waiting for berth - Charleston Daily Mail
"We don't know what's going to happen," WVU forward Deniz Kilicli said. "We're not in a good position now."

West Virginia on the bubble after losing to Connecticut in first game of Big East tournament - Daily Athenaeum
It's the time of year when a lot of college basketball teams start to sweat.

College Basketball Bubble Watch - ESPN
The Mountaineers haven't made this thing easy, have they?

Bracketology - ESPN
Still in at a 10 slot

Lunardi's late-night Bracketology update - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
Not mentioned by name, Lunardi has WVU "in"

Bubble Watch - Andy Glockner -
What an amazing turnaround. A day after seeing their at-large hopes under threat, a ton of other teams lost and now WVU looks comfortably safe.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Is Big 12 expansion on the horizon? - National Football Post
Throughout last offseason and during the 2011 campaign, the national joke regarding expansion in college football centered on the absurdity of the Big Ten having 12 teams and the Big 12 having 10 members.

Weekend Baseball Preview: Sooners At The Nike College Showcase - Crimson And Cream Machine
WVU is in this as well

Video: Texas Tech X factor - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
David Ubben says the biggest X-factor for Texas Tech is how fast its defense picks up a fourth different defense in four years under coordinator Art Kaufman.

Spring superlatives: Baylor - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
In "Spring Superlatives," we'll break down each team's best and worst positions entering the 2012 season. We'll kick it off with Baylor.

What's On Tap:

Selection Sunday and Spring Football Practice kicks off on Sunday, as well

Video of Interest:

The question and answer session from Dana Holgorsen's meeting with the media earlier this week previewing the 2012 Mountaineer spring drills.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is Australian SI Swimsuit model Jessica Gomes. Enjoy the video below and today's gallery (click on the picture).


James Boag's Premium Lager image via