Friday, March 6, 2009

Show Me My Opponent - West Virginia Mountaineers

NAME: West Virginia University
LOCATION: Morgantown, West Virginia
MASCOT: Mountaineers

DATE: Saturday, March 7
TIME: 9:00 p.m. EST
SITE: WVU Coliseum (14,000); Morgantown, West Virginia
TELEVISION: ESPN; Dan Shulman play-by-play, Dick Vitale commentary, Erin Andrews, sideline reporter (and if you're reading this, I love you)
RADIO: WHAS 840 AM; Paul Rogers play-by-play, Bob Valvano, commentary

OFFICIALS: Bob Donato, Ray Perone, Tim Higgins

SERIES HISTORY: Louisville leads 6-2 (3-1 at home, 1-1 in Morgantown, 2-0 neutral)
LAST MEETING: Louisville 69, WVU 63 (January 31, 2009 at Freedom Hall)

HEAD COACH: Bob Huggins (2nd year, 47-19, 637-230 overall)
ASSISTANTS: Larry Harrison, Billy Hahn, Erik Martin

OVERALL RECORD: 21-9, 10-7
NATIONAL RANKING: N/A (but in the “others receiving votes” category in both polls)
RPI: 22
SOS: 22

CARDINAL CONNECTION: Head Coach Bobby Huggins and the Cards go way back. You’ll recall he ran the show up in Cincy before getting canned there for his alcoholic tendencies. You probably won’t recall, due to selective memory, that he, Kenyon Martin, and his Bearcats beat the Cards for about eight years in a row.


Jerry West
Joe Alexander (Milwaukee Bucks)
Georgann Wells (first woman to ever register a dunk during a basketball game)
Kevin Pittsnogle
OTHER: Chris Henry, Adam “Pac Man” Jones, Mike Vanderjact, Nesha Sanghavi (currently enrolled, and, well, damn)

F 1 Da’Sean BUTLER 6-7 225 Jr. 17.4 6.0
F 3 Devin EBANKS 6-9 205 Fr. 9.6 7.3
F 35 Wellington SMITH 6-7 230 Jr. 5.6 3.9
G 22 Alex RUOFF 6-6 220 Sr. 16.3 3.6.
G 25 Darryl BRYANT 6-2 200 Fr. 9.6 1.9

BENCH: Kevin Jones (6.5 ppg); Joe Mazzulla (5.6 ppg)

The ‘Eers come in winners of five of their last six. Pick your sport – Morgantown is a tough, tough place to play. While WVU has locked up an NCAA Tourney berth, they’ll be playing to better their seed in both the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. College Game Day will be in town. People in Morgantown are mean. We’ll be in for a fight.

Back in January we held WVU to 36% shooting in a six point win, but it shouldn’t have been so close. The Cards were up 20 at half. Jerry Smith led the way with 20 points. (Or a “dub,” as the kids like to call it.)

Keeping Da’Sean Butler in check will be key if the Cards want to get the sweep against this bitter rival. He got us for 23 last outing. At 6-6 and with a jump shot, Alex Ruoff presents a potential match-up problem for our smaller guards. I expect to see a lot of 2-3 zone Saturday night. But, then again, what do I know?

This game scares me. The hype, the venue, the coach – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. But, once again, we got ‘em on depth and athleticism, so I’m taking the Cards, 71-61.

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