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Sean McNeil enters name into NBA Draft

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Syracuse at West Virginia Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.

Football

Brown announces addition of Ciarrocca to WVU football staff

West Virginia head football coach Neal Brown has announced that Kirk Ciarrocca will join the coaching staff as an offensive analyst. Ciarrocca joins the Mountaineers after serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Penn State during the 2020 season. Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Minnesota for three years.

Men’s Basketball

Sean McNeil to test NBA Draft process, Jordan McCabe to transfer

West Virginia junior shooting guard Sean McNeil is entering the NBA Draft process, with the possibility of returning for his senior season. McNeil flourished in his second season at WVU. He started 23 of 29 games, doubling his minutes per game from his sophomore season. McNeil also averaged 12.2 points per game and drained 69 three-pointers. He can go through the entire NBA Draft process of team workouts and interviews, but could still return to Morgantown. Fellow guard Jordan McCabe is set to leave WVU after his junior season. McCabe played in 94 games over the course of three seasons with the Mountaineers. He started 29 of 31 games as a sophomore, but his minutes have decreased in each season. McCabe averaged 10.9 minutes and 2.2 points per game in his junior season.

Mountaineers Fall to Syracuse in NCAA Tourney Round of 32

The three-seed West Virginia men’s basketball team fell in a second round upset to 11-seed Syracuse, 75-72, on Sunday evening. The game could not have started any worse for WVU, as it fell behind by nine less than five minutes into the game. The Orange lead climbed to as high as 14 before the Mountaineers began to cut into the deficit before halftime. WVU shooting guard Sean McNeil put on an amazing performance from behind the arc. McNeil led the Mountaineers with 23 points, with 21 of his points coming off of his seven made three-pointers. Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 14 points for WVU.

Three Guys Before The Game – Hoop Season Review (Episode 280)

On this episode of “Three Guys Before The Game,” the guys try to define the West Virginia men’s basketball season. Like most teams, the Mountaineers experienced highs and lows along the way and created some vivid memories and record setting performances. However, a 2-4 record in the month of March and an early exit from the NCAA Tournament was a disappointing end to a season that many fans thought could be a special one.

Column: Not capitalizing inside left WVU with little chance against Orange

West Virginia struggle mightily inside in its loss to Syracuse on Sunday. WVU forward Derek Culver, a first-team All-Big 12 Conference selection, was a virtual non-factor against Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. Culver finished with just seven points and three rebounds in 21 minutes on the floor. SU shooting guard Buddy Boeheim scored 22 of his game-high 25 points after halftime, including 10 over the final 8:51 after West Virginia had taken its only lead of the game, 53-52.

McCabe, Bridges headline WVU men’s hoops Academic All-Big 12 honorees

Six West Virginia men’s basketball players were honored for their work in the classroom in the Academic All-Big 12 teams. Jalen Bridges and Jordan McCabe led the list as the Mountaineers’ honorees on the first team, which requires a GPA of 3.20 or higher.

Women’s Basketball

Carey following loss: ‘Terrible game on our part, give Georgia Tech all the credit’

In the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the five-seed West Virginia women’s basketball team was eliminated by four-seed Georgia Tech, falling 73-56. The Mountaineers were able to stay in the game up until the late stages of the third quarter, where the team just ran out of gas the rest of the way.

Gondrezick Selected as Region 3 Finalist for WBCA All-America Team

Redshirt senior Kysre Gondrezick of the West Virginia women’s basketball team has been selected as a Region 3 finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I All-America Team. The Mountaineers’ star guard averaged 19.5 points per game this season.

West Virginia falls flat in 73-56 loss to Georgia Tech

West Virginia’s quest for its first Sweet 16 bid under coach Mike Carey will have to wait at least another season. The Mountaineers fell flat in Tuesday’s second-round NCAA Tournament matchup against Georgia Tech, with the Yellow Jackets pulling away for good in the third quarter to win 73-56.

West Virginia loses to Georgia Tech in second round of NCAA Tournament

The West Virginia women’s basketball team fell to Georgia Tech, 73-56, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to end its season on Tuesday night. The Mountaineers only managed three players with double-digit points, as Esmery Martinez had 13, Kari Niblack posted 12, and Kirsten Deans added 11.

Baseball

WVU totals just two hits in loss to Marshall

On Tuesday, West Virginia traveled to Huntington for an in-state matchup with Marshall. WVU allowed 10 hits while only registering two hits, as it dropped the game 7-1. The Mountaineers will start Big 12 play on Friday as they host a three-game series with Kansas, the first game will start Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed on ESPN+.

West Virginia drops final game of Coastal Carolina series, 9-6

On Sunday, the West Virginia baseball team dropped the final game of its series with Coastal Carolina by a score of 9-6. The Mountaineers had an opportunity to tie or win the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, but were unable to capitalize. WVU is now 8-7 this season.

Gymnastics

Field Set for NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships

The 2021 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships regional selections were announced on Monday, and West Virginia will compete in the play-in round of the Morgantown Regional at the WVU Coliseum on April 1st. Joining the Mountaineers are #4 Michigan, #5 California, #12 BYU, #13 UCLA, Penn State, Ohio State, Towson, and Kent State.

WVU gymnastics places fourth at Big 12 Championships

The West Virginia gymnastics team hosted the 2021 Big 12 Gymnastics Championship on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers finished in fourth place. Denver finished in first place, followed by powerhouse Oklahoma in second and Iowa State in third.

Mountaineers remain in the Top 25 on floor

For the ninth consecutive week, the West Virginia gymnastics team ranks inside the top 25 on floor exercise in the Road to Nationals Rankings. The Mountaineers’ floor lineup checks in at #25 this week.

Wrestling

Cardinale places seventh in NCAA Wrestling Championship

In his first appearance at the NCAA Championships, West Virginia junior wrestler Killian Cardinale earned a seventh-place finish and All-American honors. After transferring to WVU from Old Dominion and having a slow start this season, Cardinale has become the Mountaineers’ top wrestler.

Cardinale Named WVU Student-Athlete of the Week

Following a seventh-place finish in the 125-pound division of the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, West Virginia redshirt junior Killian Cardinale has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.

West Virginia Athletics

Five Mountaineers set to compete at 2021 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships

Five members of the West Virginia men’s swimming and diving team are set to compete at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships this week. Senior David Dixon, redshirt juniors Jacob Cardinal Tremblay and Jake Lowe, junior PJ Lenz, and sophomore Owen Johns qualified to represent the Mountaineers at this year’s national meet. Dixon earned a spot at the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season.

WVU men’s soccer comes away with win at SIU Edwardsville

The West Virginia men’s soccer team took on SIU Edwardsville on Sunday and came away with a 2-0 victory. This is WVU’s third win of the season and snaps a two-game losing streak. Mountaineer head coach Dan Stratford looked at his defense, and the clean sheet today, as the difference in this match compared to the last two.

WVU track and field completes home opener

The West Virginia track and field team opened the 2021 outdoor regular season by earning two wins at the Stan Romanoski Open, at the Track and Field Complex at Mylan Park, on Saturday. WVU competed in seven events at its first home meet this season and earned two first-place finishes.

West Virginia tennis loses fourth straight match

The West Virginia tennis team lost its fourth-straight match on Sunday, losing to #30 Texas Tech, 7-0. The Mountaineers will return to play against Kansas at home on March 26th.

Around the Big 12

No. 1 seed Baylor beats Wisconsin 76-63 to reach Sweet 16

Junior guard Davion Mitchell scored 16 points and spearheaded a dominant defensive first half, helping top-seeded Baylor avoid an NCAA Tournament upset, with a 76-63 win over Wisconsin on Sunday. Fellow junior guard Matthew Mayer came off the bench to score 17 points for the Bears.

Mobley Bros. lead No. 6 seed USC to 85-51 rout of Kansas

USC’s Isaiah Mobley scored 17 points, while his All-American little brother Evan added 10 points and 13 rebounds, and sixth-seeded Trojans rolled to an 85-51 victory over three-seed Kansas on Monday night, which more than doubled the worst margin of defeat for the Jayhawks in 49 trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Oregon State bounces Oklahoma State, Cunningham from NCAAs

Senior guard Ethan Thompson scored 26 points to help 12-seed Oregon State defeat four-seed Oklahoma State in an 80-70 second round upset. Freshman guard Cade Cunningham led the Cowboys with 24 points and five steals.

Smith, Arkansas hold off Texas Tech 68-66 in NCAA 2nd round

Justin Smith had 20 points and played a key role in a final-play defensive stop, helping Arkansas beat Texas Tech 68-66 on Sunday in the NCAA Tournament, securing the program’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in a quarter-century.

Oklahoma can’t hang with Timme, Gonzaga; top seed advances

Gonzaga’s Drew Timme scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and the top-seeded Bulldogs beat eight-seed Oklahoma 87-71 on Monday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Around the NCAA

Sweet 16 bound: No. 15 seed Oral Roberts stuns Florida 81-78

Junior forward Kevin Obanor scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebound to help 15-seed Oral Roberts upset seven-seed Florida on Sunday. Sophomore guard Max Abmas added 26 points and dished seven assists to help the Golden Eagles reach the Sweet 16. ORU is only the second 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16.

Loyola Chicago upsets top-seeded Illinois in NCAA tournament after Sister Jean’s pregame prayer

Following an inspirational prayer from 101-year-old superfan Sister Jean, Loyola Chicago earned a spot in the Sweet 16 with a 71-58 win over Illinois on Sunday, the first one-seed bounced from this year’s NCAA tournament. Center Cameron Krutwig delivered a 19-point, 12-rebound performance for the Ramblers.

Not rusty: Oregon soars past Iowa 95-80 into Sweet 16

Senior guard Chris Duarte scored 23 points and Oregon showed no signs of rust after a long layoff, beating two-seed Iowa 95-80 on Monday to reach the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the past five NCAA Tournaments.

Zegarowski, Creighton beat Ohio 72-58 to reach NCAA Sweet 16

Creighton standout Marcus Zegarowski scored 20 points to help the Bluejays beat Ohio 72-58 on Monday, securing the program’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in 47 years.

Villanova hits 15 3s to knock off upstart North Texas 84-61

Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 18 points, Jermaine Samuels Jr. had 15, and the Wildcats knocked down 15 three-pointers, emphatically ending the 13th-seeded North Texas’ bid for a second NCAA Tournament upset with an 84-61 win on Sunday night.

Get all the dirt: Dirt racing terminology, FAQ for Bristol Dirt Race

This coming weekend, NASCAR will embark on its first dirt race in decades, as Bristol Motor Speedway has hauled in 23,000 cubic yards of dirt to turn its cement oval into a temporary dirt track.

NFL free agency 2021 winners and losers: Best and worst signings, value deals, gut reactions and more

Numerous NFL playmakers and impact talents have agreed to terms for 2021 and beyond. Which contracts stand out so far, and what have we learned from a week of players headed to new teams?

2021 NBA trade deadline: Latest buzz, news and reports

The 2021 NBA trade deadline is today, and teams will have to decide whether they are looking to add players for a playoff push or trade away players for future draft picks.

Los Angeles Lakers star and former LA Clippers exec Elgin Baylor dies at 86

Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor, who followed his illustrious playing career with a decades-long tenure as Los Angeles Clippers general manager, has died of natural causes at the age of 86 on Monday. Baylor was an 11-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA selection during his 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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