The Mountaineer State tourism department will like the thread title, anyway. I feel like a little live blogging tonight, with the Pack possibly 40 minutes of basketball away from Manhattan. Conference solidarity leads me to root for the Noles, but Mississippi State is up 13 at the break. Isiah Swann has 19 (yes, really!) and the rest of the team has TEN. I bet Leonard Hamilton is one scowling man right now.
Don’t miss Beowolf’s great Kay Yow thread, and send good vibes to her and the Lady Wolfpack, too. I also have a loved one battling cancer, and I assure you that the last things you want to hear from your oncologist are “Stage 4″ and “spread to the liver.” A big thumbs up to Kay for her incredible courage and perseverance. Right now, Baylor’s up by one.
8:18 Update: I turned on 680 to hear the Corchiani pre-pregame show, and almost had to listen to Neal Boortz! Thank goodness for the long musical intro. It was Huey Lewis, BTW. FSU still getting worked, Thornton with 4 fouls. Bring out the fork, Noles are done.
8:23 Update: Lady Pack tied at the half. What is it with us and f-ing Baylor? We have the worst mojo (relative to caliber of opponent) against them than anyone, I think. Remember that 10-0 (or was it 14-0?) home football loss? Worst game I’ve ever seen. Best relative mojo? Syracuse, of course. Donovan McNabb still has nightmares about Mike O’Cain, I hear.
8:31 Update: Pre-game finally starting. One positive about FSU crapping themselves in Starkville – the possibility of overtime is next to nil, and late-game fouling seems unlikely. Scowling, yes. Fouling, no.
8:37 Update: ESPN tracker just noted that Butch Davis is undergoing chemotherapy for mouth cancer (no evidence of metastasis). Thoughts and prayers to Butch and his family.
8:45 Update: Tony Haynes interviewing Beilein. Awkward! I wonder if he casts a scowl in Lee Fowler’s direction.
8:48 Update: Lady Pack up by nine. It would be sweet for Kay Yow to get to another Final Four, wouldn’t it?
8:56 Update: My first cringe moment re Sid – he used the phrase “3 ball,” which is my least favorite sports-related saying. Still love hearing him speak. How did we ONLY commit 17 turnovers at WVU in December sans Engin? I remember watching us break 30 against a lousy Cincinnati squad that same month.
9:05 Update: Almost forgot my lucky clothes from the ACCT run. I wore them last Friday as well. Lady Pack’s lead down to 4, FSU slaughter mercifully almost over.
9:10 Update: TV coverage starts, 2-0 WV.
9:12 Update: Costner very active early. Not all in a good way.
9:15 Update: Somebody tell the idiot announcer #4′s name is FELLS, not ELLIS. Dipshit. WV’s defense is really good, and Fells (not Ellis) is playing like he’s stoned again. We can’t have that. Horner time? I’m also going to switch TVs.
9:22 Update: Overtime for the ladies, the hillbillies are carving us up with their passing and pass defense. Doesn’t look good early. Not good at all.
9:34 Update: We really look like dogshit tonight. Horner said the “f word” on national TV! In contrast to the Marist game, tonight’s action is very well officiated, with zebras not trying to be the story.
9:43 Update: It’s a good thing BC came to play, or we’d be down 20+. Lady Wolfpack will get ready for UConn next!
9:49 Update: We are playing pretty much as poorly as we possibly can, but are only down 2. Let’s hope we come out strong in the second half. We have a really great opportunity, as we should be down double digits. Big Ben is getting really frustrated, and he needs to get himself centered. They can’t double BC if he plays up to his full potential.
10:11 Update: Pack leads briefly, but our perimeter defense STILL sucks and we give it right back. I’m worried about a big WV run in the next 5 minutes. If we get the game down to the last 5-6 minutes within a bucket, I’ll like our chances much better.
10:19 Update: MUCH better-played game in the second half, by both teams. Fells is awake, which has the potential to really help our cause. We need to get over the hump and build a lead, though. Because you know a hot streak is going to come. We can’t let that be a knockout blow.
10:23 Update: WV was well into that run I was worried about, and BC stopped it (at least temporarily by taking the charge on the break). Let’s hope that becomes the turning point of the game. I’m getting tired of the “everybody sucks but Costner” performance. The other 4 guys on the court really need to step up the effort, or the season will end tonight. When the announcers were having the supid Celsius/Farenheit discussion, was I the only one who wanted to hear it in Kelvin? And remember, there’s no such thing as “degrees” Kelvin, damn it!
10:32 Update: I wish I said this more – 2 great decisions by Grant, leading to 5 quick points. But State STILL can’t get over the hump, giving up an easy, wide-open 3, followed by an offensive rebound, putback, and dumb foul. Game is tied, WV on the line for 1 at the 8 minute timeout.
10:42 Update: With just over 5 minutes left, we got our FIRST TWO possessions WITH the lead. We capitalize and push it out to 4.
10:45 Update: That fucking banked 3. That’s going to be the dagger. Score this possession, or we’re done.
10:47 Update: Damn it all to hell, will SOMEBODY tell me that we will have at least ONE FUCKING perimeter defender next year? PLEASE? We have to stop them next possession and then score, or they will run the damned clock out. Suck it up for Engin, fellas.
11:00 Update: I love Sid, but that was shitty end-game management. With WV just in the single bonus, you have to get a quick 2, then foul and keep the pressure on. If they miss a front-end (as Nichols DID), you get the ball down 1 with the chance to win. Even with a made 3, WV still would have had the last shot for a win. Probably on a banked three. Still, a great season relative to realistic expectations. Thanks for the memories, Engin. Thanks for the hope of things to come, Coach Lowe. Final score: West Virginia 71, NC State 66. Final record: 20-16.