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Is West Virginia poised to be the Big 12’s best next season?

The Mountaineers are set up to pick up where they left off this season and, if the cards fall the right way, they may even be the conference favorite.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Gonzaga vs West Virginia Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun Throwdown, your one stop shop for the latest WVU news and information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.

It looks like we’re looking at yet another slow news day, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at the time of the year. If your making the headlines in the off-season it’s rarely for something good, so I’ll take all the slow news days we can get until things start picking up for football season again. In the meantime, we’re going to go with the quick hit format again today, because there’s nothing I care about enough to have any hot takes.

I do, however, want to take a quick second to point out that the West Virginia Rivals message board has somehow been pulled into the political arena. SB Nation’s Jason Kirk threw together a quick recap of what happened. It’s totally bizarre, but hilarious. Much like everything else going on in politics these days.

And now, onto the news...

Quick Hits:
Should West Virginia be Big 12 basketball favorite next year? | Charleston Gazette-Mail
West Virginia is the preseason favorite in the conference next season. Maybe. But understand, it would take some cards to fall the right way to loosen the talons the Jayhawks have wrapped around the league. The Mountaineers ought to again be very good next season — say, preseason top 20 — but this is still Kansas’ league.

Carter's work ethic revealed by mother | The Exponent Telegram
There was a moment, in the midst of West Virginia’s war of attrition with Gonzaga, when the television cameras cut to a woman in the stands among Mountaineer nation, head in her hands, her emotions flowing openly. Her son, Jevon Carter, was almost single-handedly keeping West Virginia in contention in the game

Cooke Bogey-Free in Final Round at Furman | WVU Athletics
Alan Cooke went bogey-free to tie the lowest round on record at West Virginia and lead the men’s golf team in the third and final round of the Furman Intercollegiate at Furman University Golf Club in Greenville, South Carolina, on Sunday.

Mountaineers, Bearcats Tie in Spring Opener | WVU Athletics
The West Virginia University women’s soccer team opened its 2017 spring season with a 1-1 draw against Cincinnati Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

Just because the West Virginia coaching staff is fully focused on spring practice, and the football recruiting evaluation period not opening up for another three weeks, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing going for the Mountaineers. Chris Anderson, from 247Sports, caught up with three four-star prospects that have West Virginia listed in their top schools to see where they’re head is at, and it seems the Mountaineers may be in a good position early on.

So, there’s still a basketball tournament going on, I guess. I hear South Carolina is doing things the Mountaineer way and playing defense and pissing people off, so I guess we should throw our support behind the Gamecocks.

Quick Hits:
South Carolina's defense got it to Final Four and could win the whole thing | SBNation
The Gamecocks are in the Final Four because they’ve got one of the great defenses in the sport.

Oregon is the Final Four surprise we should have seen coming - SBNation
Oregon is one of the last four teams standing in the NCAA tournament. It’s a shock to most people, but maybe it shouldn’t be.

356 days after Kris Jenkins, North Carolina now has its own version of ‘The Shot’ | SBNation
Almost a full year after Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beater, North Carolina found sweet redemption against Kentucky.

College football coaches can be kicked out of games now. Let’s guess who’ll be 1st! | SBNation
Before the 2016 season, the NCAA decreed that any football coach who receives two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls in a single game will be ejected, bringing football more in line with other collegiate sports.

Ex-LSU QB Brandon Harris announces transfer to UNC over Texas and Arizona - SBNation
Last month, LSU quarterback Brandon Harris announced that he would be transferring from the school after three seasons, and that head coach Ed Orgeron had granted him a full release. Harris has now found a landing spot as a graduate transfer.

We’re going with Music Monday for the daily distractions, because there are a couple songs I want to talk about.

First up, Weezer’s new single “Feels Like Summer” is the most un-Weezer Weezer song I’ve heard, if you know what I mean. It’s pure Top-40 and will, without a doubt, be played ad infinitum as we actually get closer to summer. Enjoy the earworm.

Next, I have to ask how pissed off Linkin Park fans are over their new single, “Heavy”. I was a big fan of Linkin Park when their first album came out because I was an angsty teenager that liked having my music scream at me. That phase didn’t last long and I stopped caring for the band sometime around when Mike Shinoda formed Fort Minor. But I heard “Heavy” on the radio on my way to work last night, and I kinda love it. In the same vein as Weezer’s new song, it’s poppy and sounds nothing like anything Linkin Park has ever made before. I’m sure most people hate this, but I don’t care. It’s different, and different is good.

Today’s Miss Throwdown is a relatively unknown model that may be worth keeping an eye on. You may have seen Kayla Fitz on HBO and Showtime boxing, if you watch that kind of thing. If not, well, you’re in for a treat. Follow her on Instagram for more.