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Mountaineer Morning Links: NCAA Tournament/Buffalo Game Day (3/20/15) Edition

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Buffalo previews & hoops features galore, football notes, Women win first round of WNIT, baseball heads to Baylor, Big 12 roundup & 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 Bull Falls Brewery's Five Star Ale, in preparation for today's opponent.

What You May Have Missed:

WVU Rolls Past Buffalo in WNIT Opener - WVU Athletics
West Virginia University women’s basketball produced its highest offensive output since December with an 84-61 win over Buffalo in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday

VIDEO INTERVIEWS: WVU Coach Carey and Players React to Win Over - WVillustrated
Watch full postgame video interviews of West Virginia Women's Coach Mike Carey and his players following their 84-61 win over Buffalo in the first round of the WNIT.

Baseball Travels for Big 12 Series at Baylor - WVU Athletics
Friday’s opener will begin at 4:30 p.m., Saturday’s game is set for 4 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will be at 2 p.m. All times are Eastern. Saturday’s game will be televised on FOX College Sports and Sunday’s game will be on FOX Sports Southwest.

West Virginia travels to Waco to take on Baylor - Daily Athenaeum
Heading into this series, Baylor’s offense has been in a major slump, as has the team as a whole. The Bears have lost 12 of their last 13, and haven’t scored more than four runs since the calendar turned to March.

Moisey, Morales Advance at NCAA Championships - WVU Athletics
Zeke Moisey won a 14-6 major while Michael Morales took an 8-4 decision.

Moisey Upsets No. 2 Garrett at NCAA Championships - WVU Athletics
True freshman Zeke Moisey upset returning national finalist and No. 2 seed Nahshon Garrett of Cornell to advance to the 125 pound quarterfinals at the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships

News of Note:

NCAA Tournament Preview - WVU Athletics
West Virginia to battle Buffalo on Friday.

NCAA Tournament Notebook - WVU Athletics
Pre-tournament notes from Columbus.

Curse real for 5 seeds, but history favors WVU - Charleston Daily Mail
"The 12s beat the 5s because the 12s come ready to play," West Virginia sophomore forward Devin Williams said Thursday.

WVU knows Buffalo will try to test the press - Charleston Daily Mail
"We’ve watched film and we found ways we feel we can break it," Bulls guard Shannon Evans said, "and we have really good guards."

Buffalo no stranger to technical fouls - Charleston Daily Mail
Half of them featured at least one technical foul. One came before the game even started. Another came at the end of the game when benches cleared at Robert Morris.

WVU should be very motivated - Charleston Gazette
If the Mountaineers don’t walk onto the court with a chip the size of, well, Buffalo on their shoulders, I’ll be surprised.

Winding road leads Staten home - FOX Sports
Juwan Staten has been a basketball nomad. Friday, he finally plays in the NCAA tournament -- and just over an hour from home.

WVU notebook: Health of trio to play role vs. Buffalo - Charleston Gazette
There have been many story lines leading into today’s Buffalo-WVU NCAA tournament game at the Nationwide Arena.

Buffalo’s Hurley takes long road back to NCAA tournament - Charleston Daily Mail
It took more than a decade for Bobby Hurley to return to basketball, and fewer than two seasons for him to lead the Buffalo men’s basketball program to unprecedented heights.

Buffalo’s Moss provides test for Mountaineers - Charleston Gazette
Justin Moss looks a lot like the mid-major version of Rico Gathers.

WVU vs. Buffalo: Logical storylines for a most illogical tournament - WV MetroNews
After a wacky start to March Madness, read Allan Taylor's preview and prediction as the Mountaineers prepare in Columbus.

No. 5 West Virginia faces No. 12 Buffalo first - Daily Athenaeum
They face what is being hyped as the most likely 5-12 upset in the tournament, as the Bulls have had their fair share of success this season, as well.

WVU to Face Buffalo in NCAA Tournament - WVillustrated
As West Virginia gets ready to take on the Bulls of Buffalo, the 12-five seed upset is looming. The 12th-seeded Bulls are seeking their ninth consecutive victory when they tip off against the No. 5 Mountaineers in the Round of 64 as underdogs.

West Virginia shrugs off the doubters, even the one in the White House - WV MetroNews
From Obama to Bilas, love for the Mountaineers is in short supply.

Politics and NCAA brackets - Exponent Telegram
"All that other stuff, it sounds good and it gives you a column to write, which I know you struggle mightily at times to do. But in terms of winning and losing the game, I don’t think it has much to do with anything."

A Mountaineers' guide to following WVU to Columbus - Beckley Register-Herald
If you’ve spent more than 30 minutes with me, you’re likely to quickly recognize something.

WVU looking forward as tourney begins - Exponent Telegram
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins broke out his rearview mirror story again in his first press conference at this year’s NCAA Tournament

Advantage, Buffalo? - Exponent Telegram
"We feel like we played the best of the best, Kentucky and Wisconsin," Evans said. "So going into this tournament, we know that we can hang with the best."

Mountaineers Embracing Underdog Role in NCAA Opener - WVillustrated
The most popular upset pick of the NCAA Tournament resides with the Buffalo Bulls potentially defeating West Virginia, which has only added fuel to the fire for the Mountaineers.

WVU players closer than ever this season - BGN
There were a number of ways that West Virginia has improved this season.

WVU's Long Has #9 Ranking - BGN
While West Virginia's basketball team is ranked around #20 by most major polls heading into the NCAA tournament against Buffalo, reserve guard James Long holds a much higher rating from at least one online outlet.

WVU Players Mix Fun, Preparation - BGN
The NCAA tournament is, as freshman Daxter Miles said, a business trip. But at the same time, it's also a reward for a successful season that should be enjoyed.

Buffalo confident heading into NCAA tourney - BGN
Buffalo head coach Bobby Hurley has had his fair share of experience in the NCAA tournament, dating back to his time as a player at Duke where he won two national championships and went to another Final Four.

Huggins, Hurley dominate hype for Mountaineers-Buffalo matchup - Bluefield Daily Telegraph
West Virginia’s Bob Huggins is back home in Ohio. Buffalo’s Bobby Hurley is back in the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament.

Fiery Bobby Hurley trying to ‘pull back’ on sideline antics - WV MetroNews
Buffalo's second-year coach builds a winner and joins the cadre of coaches mentioned for bigger jobs.

WATCH: WVU's Huggins, Staten and Browne Speak from Columbus - WVillustrated
Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins took to the podium Thursday to talk about his own team and what WVU faces with Buffalo on Friday.

VIDEO: Player Interviews From Columbus - EerSports
D. Williams, Paige, Holton & Staten

Gold & Blue Now: Thursday, March 19 - WV MetroNews
Devin Williams and Juwan Staten prepare for Buffalo and both are looking forward to playing close to home in the NCAA’s.

WATCH: Buffalo Coach Hurley and Select Bulls Meet the Media - WVillustrated
Hurley, along with Bulls players Shannon Evans and Xavier Ford, shared their thoughts on the Mountaineers and the challenges they will face in the match-up on Friday afternoon.

PHOTO GALLERY: WVU and Buffalo Prep for NCAA Tournament - WVillustrated
Check out images from Thursday's shoot around and press conferences as both West Virginia and Buffalo put in work before the Friday match-up inside Nationwide Arena.

WATCH: Sights and Sounds from NCAA Practice in Columbus - WVillustrated
Exclusive video from both Buffalo's and West Virginia's practice on Thursday afternoon from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Photo Gallery: WVU NCAA Prep - BGN
West Virginia held its final practice session for its NCAA Tournament opener on Thursday, and BlueGoldNews.com was there to bring you looks from Columbus.

NCAA Tournament Practice photos - WVSports.com

Football

Potential 2015 Big 12 Cinderellas - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
West Virginia

West Virginia reshapes coaching staff during spring practices - Daily Athenaeum
In the world of college football, coaching staff changes are inevitable.

Recruiting:

Esa Ahmad in pictures: Action, feature photos of Shaker Heights senior forward - Cleveland.com
Esa Ahmad found a way to follow up a stellar junior season with an even better effort as a Shaker Heights senior.

Pro News:

Pat White retires from the Edmonton Eskimos after one season - WVUPros
White only played in the CFL in 2014, and he didn’t play much thanks to Edmonton having numerous quarterbacks ahead of him

Jets GM: Geno Smith, Matt Simms to get QB snaps while Ryan Fitzpatrick rehabs - FOX Sports
The New York Jets' quarterback competition might not heat up until the summer.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Upset: Georgia State Beats Baylor 57-56 - Our Daily Bears

A Season That Wasn't, And A Season That Will Be - Wide Right & Natty Lite

Bill Self's biggest challenge? Keeping the Kansas Jayhawks' heads -- and confidence -- afloat - FOX Sports

On the spot: Kansas State RB Charles Jones - ESPN

Ryan Spangler's grit, hustle rub opposing fans the wrong way - Oklahoman (autoplay)

Oklahoma State vs. Albany: Inside the matchups - Oklahoman

NCAA Tournament: Texas' Disappointing Season Ends With Loss To Butler - Burnt Orange Nation

Five biggest issues facing TCU football this spring - Dallas Morning News

Absurdly Early 2015/16 Texas Tech and Big 12 Basketball Preview - Viva The Matadors

What's On Tap:

(12) Buffalo Bulls vs. (5) West Virginia Mountaineers - Preview - ESPN
2:10 pm today from Nationwide Arena in Columbus on TNT

(15) New Mexico St Aggies vs. (2) Kansas Jayhawks - Preview - ESPN
12:15 pm today from CenturyLink Center in Omaha on CBS

(9) Oklahoma St Cowboys vs. (8) Oregon Ducks - Preview - ESPN
6:50 pm today from CenturyLink Center in Omaha on TBS

(14) Albany Great Danes vs. (3) Oklahoma Sooners - Preview - ESPN
7:27 pm today from Nationwide Arena in Columbus on truTV

2015 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament First & Second Round Schedule, Times, TV & Announcer Coverage - The Smoking Musket
Here is the full slate of games, TV coverage and which announcers will be calling each game.

Videos of Interest:

Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs set the scene from Columbus ahead of tomorrow's NCAA Tournament game against Buffalo.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a lovely Austrian model. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Nadine Leopold.