WVU to face Bucknell in NCAA tourney

By John Conley - [email protected]

West Virginia will take on Bucknell this Thursday in the NCAA tournament.

The Mountaineers, 26-8, received a 4 seed in the west regional and will face the No. 13 Bison at Buffalo at 2:45 p.m.

The winner will face No. 5 Notre Dame or No. 12 Princeton on Saturday.

WVU finished as runner-up in the Big 12 tournament, losing to Iowa St. 80-74, in the championship game last Saturday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

The Cyclones (23-10), whom West Virginia had beaten twice in the regular season, led 35-29 at halftime and maintained control in the second half.

WVU never got closer than five, 65-60, after the break.

Iowa St. outrebounded the Mountaineersd and shot 54 percent from the floor.

West Virginia shot 52 percent from the floor but was just 8-17 at the line and wasn’t able to force turnovers.

Monte Morris led Iowa St. with 17 points and Deonte Burton scored 16.

Jevon Carter paced WVU with 18. Esa Ahmad, Elijah Macon and Daxter Miles, Jr., each had 10.

In the semifinals, the Mountaineers trailed almost all the way before nipping Kansas State, 51-50.

WVU shot just 27 percent overall—and an abysmal 15 percent in the first half—but managed to rally late.

Threes by Carter and Tarik Phillips allowed West Virginia to tie it at 50-50.

Ahmad made a foul shot with 19 seconds to play to break the tie.

The Wildcats were missed on their chance to win at the end.

Kansas St. led by as much as 12 in the second half.

West Virginia took 14 more shots than the Wildcats and had 11 more offensive rebounds.

Ahmad tallied 15 and Phillip had 13 for the Mountaineers.

Wesley Uwundu scored 13 for Kansas St. (20-13).

In the tournament quartefinals last Thursday, WVU beat Texas, 63-53.

It was the Mountaineers third win over the Longhorns.

Big 12 regular season champions Kansas lost to TCU in the quarterfinals.

Earlier last week, the WVU women beat No. 2 Baylor, 77-66, to capture the Big 12 tournament championship.

The Mountaineers entered the tourney as an NCAA bubble team and needing at least one win to improve their chances.

Sophomore Tynice Martin carried WVU with dominant performances in the three games. She had 32 points in the championship contest.

West Virginia hammered No. 19 (and No. 3 seed) Oklahoma, 82-58, in the quarterfinals.

They followed that with a win over second seed and No. 12 Texas, 62-59. Texas had dominated both regular season meetings.

WVU led Baylor by as much as 21 before the Bears rallied in the fourth quarter.

Baylor trimmed the lead to six, but the Mountaineers finished the game off at the foul line.

WVU is 23-10 on the season.

John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.

By John Conley

[email protected]

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