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Mountaineer Morning Links: Baylor Pre-Game (2/27/15) Edition

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Hoops features & previews, football notes, baseball travels to Myrtle Beach, rifle will shoot for NCAAs again, Big 12 roundup & weekend viewing guide, plus more.

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Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Adirondack Brewery's Bear Naked Ale, in preparation for tomorrow's opponent.

What You May Have Missed:

Nicholas Wince's Big Day at WVU - WVU Athletics
The most common misconception about Make-A-Wish is that the organization only provides wishes for dying children. To the contrary, Make-A-Wish fulfills wishes for children living with life-threatening medical conditions as well.

No. 1 Rifle Qualifies for NCAA Championships - WVU Athletics
The WVU rifle team qualified for the 2015 NCAA Championships.

Rifle Looks for Sixth Straight GARC Title - WVU Athletics
The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University Rifle Team looks to extend its win streak to six at the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships. The tournament will be held February 27-March 1, at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center, in Oxford, Mississippi.

VIDEO: WVU rifle looks to defend crown - BGN
After winning back-to-back national titles and three of the last six, the No. 1 West Virginia rifle team heads into this year's NCAA championships with plenty of confidence that it can win another title.

West Virginia takes on No. 24 Texas Longhorns on Senior Day Sunday afternoon - Daily Athenaeum
The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will celebrate Senior Day when it takes on the No. 24 Texas Longhorns Sunday afternoon.

Women's Basketball Playbook: Bria Holmes - WVU Athletics
This week's Women's Basketball Playbook features junior guard Bria Holmes.

Fields Named Academic All-America Second Team - WVU Athletics
“I am extremely proud of Averee,” said coach Mike Carey. “She has worked hard in the classroom and on the court. To be recognized as an Academic All-American is a tremendous honor for Averee and West Virginia University.”

Baseball Travels to Myrtle Beach - WVU Athletics
The baseball team travels to Myrtle Beach for the Chanticleer Classic.

WVU travels to South Carolina for Chanticleer Classic - Daily Athenaeum
The Mountaineers will play Kent State in Conway today at noon for the first game of their doubleheader, then follow with a game against Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m. They will resume play Saturday at 3 p.m., when they take on Ball State in Myrtle Beach and will conclude with a game against Illinois at 1:30 p.m.

#Top10Thursday: Scariest Mascots - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
5. The Mountaineer (West Virginia)

News of Note:

Patient Holton develops for the No. 20 Mountaineers - Charleston Daily Mail
"I think we probably expected more than what we should have expected from Jonathan Holton," Huggins said.

Big 12 race, bizarre WVU stats, MIT - Charleston Gazette
Ye olde notebook

Matchup in Waco might decide Big 12’s coach of year - WV MetroNews
West Virginia's Bob Huggins and Baylor's Scott Drew have guided their teams to surprising seasons.

Holton can take WVU over the top - Exponent Telegram
For much of this season, Holton has been an enigma, a player with great ability who often fails to play up to that ability, often because of fouling too often but just as often from trying to do things he can’t do.

Mountaineers had right mix for Texas' zone - Exponent Telegram
“We had 11 assists on 14 baskets in the first half,” Huggins said. “That’s pretty good. That tells me we passed the ball. We didn’t settle. We had patience.”

WVU Men’s Basketball Zoning in on 2-3 Zone Defense - WVillustrated
After failing miserably against zone-defensive teams such as Texas and Baylor, the Mountaineers are demonstrating that there's no defense that will delay their run to the top of the Big 12 Conference.

No. 20 West Virginia sets out for revenge on the road against No. 19 Baylor Bears Saturday evening - Daily Athenaeum
In their first meeting this year, the Bears came to Morgantown and had their way with the Mountaineers. Forward Rico Gathers played like a man possessed, pouring in 17 points and collecting 17 rebounds in Baylor’s 87-69 rout.

WVU Surging in Experts' Brackets - EerSports
West Virginia has won three straight games, all of which were against NCAA Tournament teams - or at least ones on the bubble - and the Mountaineers' recent success has shown in experts' brackets.

College basketball power rankings: Grading the eight best teams' defenses - SI.com
18. West Virginia

Football

Football Season Ticket Renewals Now Available - WVU Athletics
WVU football season ticket holders can now renew their 2015 season tickets online at WVUGAME.com.

Kevin White was the best receiver at the NFL Combine, and the latest mock drafts reflect that - WVUPros
After displaying elite athleticism to go along with his polished on-field drills, Kevin White proved that he should be the first receiver taken in the draft.

It Is What It Is " Could any of combine 3-cone stars be draft fit with Patriots? - WEEI 93.7FM
3. West Virginia WR Mario Alford 6.64

Ranking the Big 12 Football Rosters for 2015 | AthlonSports.com
7 West Virginia

Recruiting:

Bob Huggins watches top 50 prospect - EerSports
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins watched 2016 top 50 wing Maverick Rowan according to recruiting analyst Evan Daniels.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Ineligible Baylor RB admits disregarding compliance - FOX Sports

With so much at stake, Cyclones shoot an airball - Des Moines Register (autoplay)

Reviewing Kansas' Odds of an 11th straight title - Rock Chalk Talk

Upset only makes you wonder even more about Wildcats - Topeka Capital Journal

Blogging The Bracket | Where Are The Sooners Projected To Go Dancing? - Crimson And Cream Machine

Cowboys Look to Snap Losing Streak In Lubbock - Cowboys Ride For Free

ESPN names Texas the top college football job - Burnt Orange Nation

Surging TCU men subdue Texas Tech, think postseason - Star Telegram

Texas Tech spring questions: How does the Gibbs staff fit together? - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

What's On Tap:

(19) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (20) Baylor Bears - ESPN
4 pm Saturday from the Anchorman Center on ESPNU/3

TCU Horned Frogs vs. (16) Oklahoma Sooners - Preview - February 28, 2015 - ESPN
2 pm Saturday from the Noble Center on ESPNU/3

Oklahoma St Cowboys vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders - ESPN
4 pm Saturday from the Shopping Cart on ESPNNews/3

(12) Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas St Wildcats - ESPN
4 pm Saturday from the Octagon on ESPN2/3

Texas Longhorns vs. (8) Kansas Jayhawks - ESPN
5 pm Saturday from the Phog on ESPN/ESPN3

Texas Longhorns vs. West Virginia Mountaineers - ESPN
NCAA Women's Basketball, 1 pm Sunday from the Lyons Den on ESPN2/3

Video of Interest:

Meet Nicholas Wince. Thanks to Make-A-Wish, he was able to spend a day as a member of the WVU men's basketball team. Watch as he lives a dream come true!

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a former British tabloid girl. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Gemma Atkinson.