2016 NCAA Tournament Bracket - East Region - Brooklyn, NY
Game Day Vitals
- #3 West Virginia Mountaineers (26-8, Big 12 13-5, NCAA RPI 10) vs. #14 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (27-5, Southland 18-0, NCAA RPI 61)
- Location: Barclays Center (Capacity: 17,732), Brooklyn, NY
- Series Record: First time ever met
- Vegas Lines: (-7.5) for the good guys, O/U: 150.0
- Date: Friday, Mar 18, 2016, 7:10 PM ET
- Television: CBS / NCAA Stream
- Announcing Team: Uncle Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce
- Radio Affiliates
- #14 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (27-5, Southland 18-0, NCAA RPI 61)
Head Coach - Brad Underwood, third year as SFA head coach, 88-13 career (.871)
- Last Result - Win over Texas A&M CC in Southland Championship W 82-60
- Official SFA Lumberjacks athletics website
Since the draw, Huggs has done two pressers and we did an hour long preview to this game. All are below:
Huggs Presser: March 13
Huggs Presser: March 15
Smoking Musket Preview: WVU vs. Stephen F. Austin
It has been a weird week for Mountaineer fans as West Virginia, a 3-seed, has been continuously named as on upset alert against their 14-seed foe, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. These same pundits often go on to say that this team under Bob Huggins could easily make the Final Four. While this does sound like flip-flopping and immediately calls for "you can't have it both ways," I think it is worth noting that..... maybe you can. Maybe there's something to the fact that the Southland Champion, the team who hasn't lost a game this calendar year, the high-intensity, turnover-forcing, efficiency-savvy Stephen F. Austin could be WVU's toughest test until the regional final. Mid-majors that believe they can win can be a huge pain in the ass especially after spending an entire day watching tutorials of how-to and how-not-to knock off a higher seeded big boy.
Bart and I largely went over a lot of this in the video above, so I point you to that for the larger topics. The fact is that Stephen F. Austin is a good-ass team that shouldn't be a 14-seed, but we should still win anyway. West Virginia is a more-seasoned, more-athletic, battle-tested squad that has dominated, both home and away, a number of teams that are bigger and better than the Lumberjacks.
Absolutely anything can happen in March including the Lumberjacks winning tonight. It it not beyond the realm of possibility that the Mountaineers have a terrible night in Brooklyn. West Virginia could shoot terribly, pass horribly, and defend lazily. Devin Williams and Jonathan Holton could have the worst rebounding night of their careers and Jaysean Paige could go ice cold. Daxter, Jevon, and Tarik could lose their heads and make terrible decisions with the ball. Nate could get called for three blocking fouls in the first half and sit for the rest of the game. This all could happen, but it won't.