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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: The Mountaineers are on the bubble

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

Syracuse v West Virginia Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

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

BUBBLE BOYS

Three straight losses in Big 12 play have pushed the West Virginia men’s basketball team to the bubble in the latest NCAA Tournament projections. The Mountaineers are now 13-5 overall, with a 2-4 record in conference play, but the glass could still be seen as half-full. While the three losses are frustrating, they are not entirely disappointing in the grand scheme of things. All three were losses to top-20 teams, and two of them were tough road games at some of the league’s most hostile venues (where road teams can often find themselves playing 5 v 8, if you know what I mean). That’s no excuse, but it should prevent fans from hitting the “panic” button on this season. WVU also still maintains a dominant 10-1 record at home, and it will be crucial to keep that home-court advantage as conference play continues.

SCHOOL RECORD

The #3 West Virginia rifle team had a historic weekend. The Mountaineers set a new school record in smallbore at 2364. The previous record was 2356. That record-setting score helped WVU get the win over #10 Navy on the road.

The Mountaineers responsible for setting the new smallbore record were senior Verena Zaisberger, junior Akihito Shimizu, sophomores Tal Engler and Molly McGhin, and freshman Natalie Perrin. Zaisberger had the highest smallbore score with 593 and led the team with an aggregate score of 1186.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • The 9-7 West Virginia women’s basketball team hosts TCU tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.
  • The West Virginia gymnastics team continues to rank in the top 25 in the balance beam and floor exercise lineups in the Road to Nationals Rankings.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • The TCU basketball team upset then-#15 Iowa State, 59-44, on Saturday. Junior guard Damion Baugh led the Horned Frogs with 23 points, seven steals, and five assists.
  • Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji and Kansas State guard Nijel Pack shared this week’s Big 12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week award.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • Marquette earned another notable win by upsetting then-#20 Xavier, 75-64. Freshman forward Justin Lewis had a double-double for the Golden Eagles with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The overtime thriller between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills will go down as one of the greatest playoff games in NFL history.

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