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Mountaineer Morning Links: Sweet Sixteen/Kentucky Game Day (3/26/15) Edition

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Sweet Sixteen previews, features, interviews, photos; mock drafts, WNIT continues tonight, WVU Baseball wins, 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 Rockyard Brewing Company's Wildcat Wheat Ale, in preparation for tonight's opponent.

What You May Have Missed:

Baseball Finishes Texas Swing with Win - WVU Athletics
The WVU baseball team defeated UT Arlington on Wednesday.

Pitching, Efficient Offense Key WVU's 6-4 Win - BGN
Kyle Davis had three hits and scored twice and Shane Ennis and BJ Myers combined to allow just one run over the first six innings as West Virginia beat UT Arlington 6-4 on Wednesday.

WVU and Duquesne Battle Again in WNIT - WVU Athletics
WVU and Duquesne meet for 47th time Thursday

Bria Holmes Tabbed WBCA All-Region - WVU Athletics
West Virginia University junior guard Bria Holmes was named Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Region 5, as announced by the organization on Wednesday

Sweet Sixteen:

GUEST POST: What Kentucky Fans Need to Know about West Virginia - Kentucky Sports Radio
Brandon Priddy writes for The Smoking Musket, West Virginia's SB Nation site, but he's also a huge Kentucky and KSR fan.

Campus Connection: NCAA Notes - WVU Athletics
Basketball news and notes from Cleveland.

Mountaineer Insider Podcast - WVU Athletics
This week's Mountaineer Insider Podcast with @KySportsRadio previewing Thursday night's Midwest Regional semifinal game against top-ranked Kentucky at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

West Virginia player guarantees Kentucky will be '36-1' after Sweet 16 game - SBNation.com
None of Bob Huggins' boys are intimidated.

Miles’ prediction of UK loss shows WVU isn’t afraid - Charleston Daily Mail
"The mentality of this (WVU) team is similar to the mentality of the team in 1992 in that they’re very confident, and they are tough guys that think they have something to prove," Harrison said.

WVU notebook: Miles says Kentucky’s ‘going to be 36-1’ - Charleston Gazette
If there had been a pool prior to West Virginia’s Sweet 16 media session Wednesday on which a Mountaineer would say something to spark even more interest in tonight’s game with top-ranked Kentucky, Daxter Miles would have been the prohibitive favorite.

Miles creates buzz by flipping script, predicts Kentucky ‘gonna be 36-1′ - WV MetroNews
"They should be more intimidated, because they’re the ones who have the high standard, and we’re coming for them," Miles said.

Kentucky confident going up against WVU’s press defense - Charleston Daily Mail
As would be expected before they take the court at Quicken Loans Arena for Thursday’s Sweet Sixteen game, West Virginia and Kentucky first took issue with one another Wednesday over pressure defense.

West Virginia players go with full-court press conference, talk boldly of chances against Kentucky - Sporting News
"Why wouldn’t it?"

WVU’s best hope: Wear down Kentucky to the finish - Charleston Gazette
Is it possible? Can it work against what is universally regarded as the best and deepest team in the game?

West Virginia hopes to top unbeaten Kentucky with conditioning - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"I'm definitely in the best shape of my life," Holton said. "We try to make their bigs make plays. That's our whole routine."

Pressing on: Speeding up ‘Cats is risky, but it’s the only way WVU knows - WV MetroNews
Allan Taylor's preview and prediction for Thursday night's matchup in the Sweet 16.

West Virginia hopes pressing defense can stop Kentucky - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Huggins, who is third all time among active coaches with 765 wins, said there isn’t some deep meaning behind his style for this team; it was simply a matter of survival.

WVU fueled by doubts against undefeated UK - Beckley Register-Herald
ESPN’s ticker Wednesday said Kentucky has a 92 percent chance of downing West Virginia and advancing to the Elite Eight.

WVU seeking another memory for ages - Charleston Gazette
Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. Mash them together and memories, as well as a few ghosts, fly.

The best college basketball game ever played in Cleveland: Wake Forest vs. West Virginia, 2005 - Plain Dealer
For celebrity, marathon suspense, offense and indelible memories, the double-overtinme, high-scoring Round of 32 game at Cleveland State had it all.

UK big men pose big problems for WVU - Charleston Gazette
No team in the United States, not even in the NBA, stands taller than this Kentucky team West Virginia must chop down to advance in the NCAA tournament.

3 Reasons Why Kentucky Won't Win the NCAA Tournament - numberFire
So, why am I going contrarian and saying that Kentucky won't win it all? There are specific reasons based on math and statistics, not emotion why I think Kentucky won't be cutting the nets down.

WVU’s Herculean mission - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
About three weeks before Selection Sunday, WVU head basketball coach Bob Huggins received a call from John Calipari, head coach at Kentucky.

WVU, Kentucky set for Sweet 16 showdown - Exponent Telegram
Gary Browne feels the finality of it all now.

Kentucky ready for ‘Press Virginia’ - Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Nothing has rattled Kentucky to this point. Unbeaten and unblemished, the Wildcats have handled every challenge this season.

WVU-UK: Recipe for an upset - Beckley Register-Herald
For the past three days, I’ve been fielding complaints from West Virginia University basketball fans, who simply can’t believe that nobody seems to be giving the Mountaineers a chance.

Everhart’s scouting gives WVU players realistic look at Kentucky’s limitations - WV MetroNews
"Fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of spots this year where they haven’t (executed), and when some people have done things to give them some problems," Everhart said Wednesday.

WVU big man Williams juices up game with fruits, vegetables - Charleston Daily Mail
"I’ve been juicing," Williams said. "I’ve been juicing for about a month, and it’s been working out for me."

Kentucky Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers: The "Juicing" of Willie Cauley-Stein - A Sea Of Blue
You don't tug on Superman's cape ...

Kentucky players respond to West Virginia trash talk - EerSports
"Good things have not happened when they've tried to do that, but honestly we're not worried about any of that."

West Virginia Mountaineers feeling confident going into NCAA tournament game against Kentucky Wildcats - ESPN
The 36-0 Kentucky Wildcats may be the best college basketball team in the country -- and just four games away from a historic 40-0 finish -- but No. 5-seeded Sweet 16 opponent West Virginia has them beat in at least one category.

W.Va. natives provide scouting report on No. 1 Kentucky - Charleston Daily Mail
A pair of West Virginia natives, Rob Fulford and Noah Cottrill, have more in common than their time together at Mountain State Academy.

2015 NCAA tournament Sweet 16 power rankings - SI.com
14 West Virginia Midwest No. 5  vs. No. 1 Kentucky

10 bold predictions for the Sweet 16: Utah upsets Duke - ESPN
Kentucky beats West Virginia by 15

Caridi says WVU ready to line up and take its best shot - WV MetroNews
Kentucky has dispatched of all 36 opponents thus far.

Gold & Blue Now: Wednesday, March 25 - WV MetroNews
Bob Huggins and Matt Jones give the keys for both WVU and Kentucky, as the teams prepare for their Sweet 16 matchup from Cleveland.

Gold & Blue Now: Thursday, March 26 - WV MetroNews
Brad and Garrett give their final thoughts on the Sweet 16 game against Kentucky.

Big Game Breakdown: Kentucky vs. West Virginia - ESPN Video - ESPN
Kentucky goes for 37-0 in the Sweet 16, but West Virginia will dial up the pressure defense to try to halt the pursuit of perfection. Seth Greenberg goes to the game film to preview the game.

Watch: West Virginia vs. Kentucky Preview - Scout (autoplay)
Scout's Evan Daniels looks at the Sweet 16 game between the Mountaineers and the Wildcats.

Huggins, players break down UK matchup - BGN
West Virginia will have its hands full when it takes on No. 1 Kentucky Thursday night.

BGN Video: WVU Guards - BGN
West Virginia's guards put up a lot of shots in Wednesday's shootaround at Quicken Loans arena. The pace was a quick as any in recent memory, and afterward the guards discussed that and other topics leading into Thursday's game against Kentucky.

VIDEO: Sweet Sixteen Practice Interviews - EerSports
Miles, Coach Martin and Holton

WVSports.com TV: Basketball Interviews - WVSports.com
Miles, Macon, Carter & Paige

WATCH: Bob Huggins, Mountaineers Meet the Media at Sweet Sixteen - WVillustrated
Take a look at the full press conferences from Wednesday afternoon as West Virginia previewed tomorrow's regional semifinal action against undefeated Kentucky.

WVU 'soaking up the moment' at Sweet 16 - BGN
All year long, this West Virginia team has never been one that has lacked confidence.

Seeking out the real Huggie Bear - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
How it is with Huggins depends on who you are in his world.

Morgantown police brace for ramifications of WVU upset - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Student turnout isn't expected to be as large Thursday because WVU is on spring recess this week.

West Virginia vs. Kentucky, similarities remain five years later - WVUPros
West Virginia will face No. 1 seed, undefeated Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. The last time Mountaineers faced the Wildcats was in the 2010 Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Heart scare, Calipari’s friendship dominate Huggins’ news conference - WV MetroNews
Hear the complete 15-minute news conference from Quicken Loans Arena on the eve of West Virginia meeting Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

Huggins, Calipari go way back - Exponent Telegram
They go back forever, at least in basketball terms. Maybe not as far back as the two-handed set shot, but not all that much after it, these two men on a mission tonight.

Huggins, Calipari Meet Again in Sweet 16 - WVillustrated
West Virginia will attempt to hand No. 1 Kentucky its first loss of the season in Thursday night's Sweet 16 showdown from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Calipari credits Huggins’ adaptability, Mountaineers with ‘creating havoc’ - WV MetroNews
Hear what Kentucky's coach had to say on the eve of the Sweet 16 game against West Virginia.

Calipari: Clarksburg one of my favorite places - Exponent Telegram
“Oliverio's,” Calipari said. “They've got the peppers.”

WATCH: Kentucky's Coach Calipari and Players Sweet Sixteen Press - WVillustrated
Watch Kentucky Men's Basketball Head Coach Calipari and players talk about preparing to play the Mountaineers in the Sweet Sixteen.

Robic has history with Huggins - EerSports
Huggins was his first head coach at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio in 1982.

WVU breaks practice with halfcourt heaves - WVU Sports with Mike Casazza
Chase Connor, for the win!

WATCH: Sights and Sounds from WVU's Sweet 16 Practice - WVillustrated
Sights and sounds from the WVU men's basketball team's open practice on Wednesday afternoon from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Photo Gallery: Sweet 16 Practice - BGN
West Virginia got up some shots and tried to get familiar with the Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday as it prepared for its Sweet 16 game with Kentucky.

WVU Sweet Sixteen Practice Photo Gallery - EerSports
Photos from West Virginia's open practice in Cleveland leading up to the Sweet Sixteen matchup with Kentucky.

PHOTOS: WVU Practices for Kentucky Showdown in Cleveland - WVillustrated
The Mountaineers took the court Wednesday to put up some jump shots and throw down some slam dunks with Thursday's Sweet Sixteen showdown looming.

Photo Gallery: Sweet Sixteen Practice photos - WVSports.com

March Madness: Ranking the Mascots in the Sweet 16 - SI.com
5 :: Mountaineer - West Virginia

Top Ten Sports Upsets of All Time - WVUPros.com
If somehow WVU can do what many analysts are saying is impossible, and beat Kentucky Thursday night, it would go down as one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history.

Football:

2015 NFL mock draft: Kevin White to New York Jets at No. 6 - SBNation.com
Regardless of who is playing quarterback for the Jets, they're going to need more targets - and Kevin White is arguably the best receiver available this year.

Kevin White Mock Draft Updates: Post Free Agency Rush - EerSports
EerSports takes a look at the latest draft projections for West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White now that most big-time NFL free agents have signed with their respective teams.

Big 12's top pass defense belongs to K-State - ESPN
9. West Virginia 8.21

Recruiting:

Help is literally and physically around the corner - WVU Sports with Mike Casazza
The Mountaineers know, though, that the best player in the state that’s treated WVU the best of late is on the way.

Pro News:

Where are they now Wednesday: A look back to the 2010 Mountaineers who beat Kentucky in the Elite Eight - WVUPros
This week WVUPros on the Hardwood Report will feature a very special Where Are They Now Wednesday edition, looking back a the 2010 WVU team that defeated Kentucky in the Elite Eight.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Meet LaQuan McGowan, Baylor's 400-pound tight end - ESPN

Iowa State to Open 2015-16 vs. Colorado - Wide Right & Natty Lite

KU spring practice opens Beaty era - Lawrence Journal World

Bruce Weber and Marcus Foster: Dysfunction on Both Sides - Bring On The Cats

Sooners Road To The Final Four After Opening Weekend - Crimson And Cream Machine

OSU to Play CMU on Thursday Kickoff - Cowboys Ride For Free

Barking Carnival's Spring Practice Preview - Barking Carnival

TCU Football Announces Home-and-Home with Colorado, Stanford - Frogs O' War

Texas Tech Returns A Lot Of Starters Next Season - Viva The Matadors

What's On Tap:

Mountaineer Meet and Greet in Cleveland - WVU Athletics
6 p.m. at Zocalo (2071 E. 4th St., Cleveland, OH). The social, which is free and open to the public, will feature food and beverage specials from the Zocalo menu and great Mountaineer camaraderie. Zocalo is less than five minutes by foot from the Quicken Loans Arena.

(5) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (1) Kentucky Wildcats - Preview - ESPN
Approximately 9:45 pm tonight from the Land of Cleve on CBS. Cats are giving 13.5.

Video of Interest:

Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs review today's activities in Cleveland

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a gorgeous Ukrainian who attended WVU. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Iryna Karabinovych (no video, sorry).