NCAA Notes

Notes and observations from WVU's tournament times in Cleveland.

A number of recongizable faces were in the crowd for WVU's contest. Assistant footbal coach Bill Stewart, former Mountaineers Lester Rowe and Josh Yeager, former Bluejay Kyle Korver, and Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James took in the game. James had at least three bodyguards who shooed away autograph seekers and reporters. Only a Sports Illustrated reporter got an audience with LeBron. James' coach, Paul Silas was also in attendance, but didn't require the entourage that his star player did.

Coach Stewart was his usual boisterous self - leading cheers of "Let's Go Mountaineers" from his spot just behind the WVU bench.

* * *

The officiating in Thursday's first session was, in a word, horrendous. Missed calls, out of position officials and bad judgments dominated the day and evening sessions. There didn't seem to be any particular favoritism, but some of the calls certainly had an effect on both of the evening contests.

* * *

Skip Prosser, head coach of WVU's next opponent, Wake Forest, coached Linsly and Wheeling Central High School in the late 1970s and early 1980s. West Virginia's John Beilein played his college ball at Wheeling Jesuit.

* * *

WVU had the loudest and largest fan base during the first round. An estimated 3,000 gold and blue clad fans made the Wolstein Center the WVU Coliseum West during the Mountaineers' thrilling win. Wisconsin-Milwaukee had the second largest contingent, with Wake Forest a close third. Alabama and Boston College's supporters could have filled an average size phone booth.

* * *

For the first time in his career (at all levels) Patrick Beilein did not attempt a shot from the field. His only scoring chance came when he took a free throw for an injured J.D. Collins, who was poked in the eye and had to leave the game for a few moments.

* * *

If you think CBS dominates television coverage of the game, you ought to see things behind the scenes. The Big Eye network gets full value for the massive money they pay to broadcast the tournament. No live TV broadcasts are allowed inside the event site while games are being played, and still photographers aren't allowed on the court once the game is ended. There's even a separate eating area for CBS staffers.

* * *

Mark Beilein, younger brother of Mountaineer Pat, sported a retro Jerry West WVU jersey for the game.

* * *

At least four misdirected fans wearing Pitt Panther gear were spotted during the day and evening sessions.

* * *

Gale Mazella, Mike Gansey's mother, said the team and basketball traveling party had a great time at her home on Wednesday evening.

"They about ate me out of house and home," Mazella joked, "but I loved it. I'm tired, but I'd do it again in a second. We had a great time. They are a great group of kids."

* * *

WVU's 63 points was its lowest winning point total this season. The Mountaineers were previously 1-10 when scoring fewer than 65 points this season. The only other win below that mark was the 64-60 win over St. John's at the Coliseum on Jan. 8. Conversely, the Mountaineers are 20-0 when hitting 65 points or more.

* * *

Being around B.C. fans all day after knocking them out of the Big East tournament was sweet, to say the least. The few Eagle fans in attendance were nicely subdued around the Mountaineer contingent.

* * *

Although I guess the attention is welcome, I hate seeing local media outlets show up for the NCAA tournament that rarely, if every, put in an appearanes at WVU's games this year. Back of the bus, guys.


BlueGoldNews Top Stories