Big East Blog

Kevin, Matt and Chris head for New York City for the Big East tournament. Keep up with all the action here!

Friday 03/14 6:38 PM

A former Mountaineer teammate of Bob Huggins, Charleston resident Dave Allara, is passing out dozens of gold t-shirts to Mountaineer fans around the arena.

On the front, the shirt reads: "WEST VIRGINIA WE BELIEVE". The back says "HUGGINS FAN CLUB".

Just in case you were wondering...

Friday 03/14 6:17 PM

The Big East announced today that the Empire State Building will be lit in the official colors of the conference in red, blue and white beginning at sundown.

WVU warming up on the floor of the Garden right now. Semifinal Friday at MSG is second to none. The Mountaineers appear to be relaxed at the moment, as well they should.

Our seats on press row have been upgraded, thanks in no small part to the mass exodus of UConn writers following the Huskies' quarterfinal loss to WVU. Look for Richardson's ugly bald head at the bottom of your screen tonight.

One final note. The cheering section for West Virginia is side-by-side with that of Pitt. Could elevate the meaning of Backyard Brawl, no?

Friday 03/14 6:00 PM

Kevin and Chris headed to the NBA store this afternoon, while Matt took in the BBQ at B.B. King's. Reviews? NBA store as expected, with Richardson loving some NBA socks. (?) B.B.'s was decent, but lacked atmosphere at 1:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. The better bet: Dallas' next door, where the prices are more reasonable, the portions solid and the aesthetics equally appealing. Both are adjacent between seventh and eight avenues on 42nd street.

The Mountaineers are readying to take the floor. Will keep an eye on their attitude and approach. The team is well aware it took Georgetown to the wire in the regular season meeting. But that wasn't enough. With a short turnaround and a third game in as many days, the physical and mental drains are mounting.

Friday 03/14 11:00 AM

We've been concentrating on content - hope everyone is enjoying it! Be sure to check out Greg's article on Pro Day as well, for those needing a football fix.

Just watched Joe Alexander's dunk for the 100th time - not tired of it yet. At breakfast, we had to listen to a Georgetown fan expounding on the merit's of Patrick Ewing's dunk, and why it was better than Joe's. We stifled commentary on the 1000 reasons he was wrong.

Looking forward to tonight - the atmosphere in the Garden on semifinal night is incredible. One step away from the championship game, and everyone can taste it. Can't wait.

We're off to the city today -- Chris is bugging us to go to the NBA store, so it sounds like an trip to midtown is in the offing. We'll update again when we get to the Garden. Remember to enjoy the day.

Thursday 03/13 6:00 PM

Wow. Absolutely tremendous win.

More to come later. Be sure to check the article history lists - we are pushing out content as quickly as possible!

Thursday 03/13 2:00 PM

From the "records were made to be broken" department: Georgetown has 17 3's against Villanova and there is still 3:26 to go in the second half. The 17 treys ties a Big East Championship record set by...anyone?

If you said West Virginia, give yourself a pat on the back. The Mountaineers set the mark one year ago in a first-round victory over Providence.

Thursday 03/13 1:15 PM

We're looking around for some FDNY trucks, but none have been found as of yet. Somebody, though, must cool off Georgetown point guard Jonathan Wallace.

At halftime, Wallace shows 19 points on seven-of-eight shooting from the field, making all five of his three-point attempts. The most baffling part of all this? Villanova still hasn't figured out how to find him as many of Wallace's attempts have been wide open.

Mountaineer fans watching the Georgetown game no doubt cracked a smile when Patrick Ewing Jr. was hit with a technical foul, but in Jr.'s defense, it looked to have been a bit of a misunderstanding. After a foul call on Wallace, Ewing picked up the ball and looked to be playfully flinging it towards the basket, attempting a nonchalant over-the-shoulder shot. Official John Cahill saw the tail end of Ewing's toss, and interpreted it as an act of disgust, quickly resulting in the T.

One final note from the first half of GT and Nova. Mascots often get pestered for autographs and pictures, so it should come as no surprise that the Georgetown Hoya was no exception. What was surprising, however, was the fact that the man asking for the pictures looked to be in his mid-50's and was dressed in a business suit. Not only that, but after taking approximately three pictures of and with the Hoya, the man continued to follow the mascot around the Georgetown cheering section.


Thursday 03/13 1:00 PM

One key to beating UConn? Get back on defense. The Huskies' transition game is excellent, and West Virginia can't afford to let them get uncontested shots off the fast break. As a corollary, the Mountaineers have to close out on three-point shots. Getting back on defense doesn't just involve sprinting back to the lane -- WVU must identify and close out on shooters. If UConn gets the open looks that Georgetown did in the first half against Villanova, it will be a long afternoon for West Virginia.

Thursday 03/13 8:00 AM

After a very late arrival back at the hotel (our shuttle driver apparently decided to detour through Philadelphia before picking us up) we're back at it again today.

Had to laugh at both Bob Huggins and Billy Hahn calling out Doug Gottlieb after West Virginia's win over Providence. Gottlieb continues to hand on to the mantra that West Virginia could be left out of the NCAAs. With an RPI in the low 30s, I just don't see it.

The team headed immediately back to its hotel last night, with the mandate of staying in and getting as much rest as possible. Saving legs and every bit of energy is critical, especially for teams advancing to Friday and Saturday night. Huggins and his staff are not as big on film study of opponents as previous WVU staffs were, but the Mountaineers were scheduled to watch some of their previous encounter with Connecticut.

Notable sightings yesterday included former NFL receiver Cris Carter, braodcaster Don Criqui, and New York Times writer George Vescey, who is an icon in the industry.

Wednesday 03/12 5:30 PM

Be sure to check out our coverage all night long - we'll have more photos, interviews, stories and more.

On the quote sheet of post game interviews passed out by the Big East, Joe Alexander was identified as Darris Nichols.

Wednesday 03/12 1:51 PM

Villanova started one of nine from three-point range, then hit 10 of its next 11 in a romp over Syracuse. Keller remarked at the ease of viewing it from a pure sportswriting perspective, as opposed to actively rooting for a team. "Yeah, if (Syracuse) were us, we'd be throwing things and complaining throughout," Kinder said. "They are throwing everything in."

Wednesday 03/12 12:54 PM

Halftime of the opening game and Syracuse leads Villanova by a point. A late-arriving crowd at MSG is more Orange than blue and white, but momentum is firmly in Nova's corner at the break thanks to a buzzer-beating three by Dwayne Anderson.

Cuse needs this game to get in, and Nova needs a win to keep its NCAA hopes (currently in the slim to none category) alive.

The Mountaineers are in the building, and a small sprinking of gold can be seen throughout the seats of MSG.

Good news for West Virginia concerning game one: notorious official Curtis Shaw is calling the Cuse game, meaning he can't call game No. 2 between WVU and Providence. Shaw, you might recall, put on quite the performance in the Capital Classic, turning the annual tilt between Mountain State schools into a foul shooting contest on his way to being named Player of the Game, becoming the first non-player to ever earn that prestigious honor.

Random sighting of the day so far: a lone South Florida fan decked out in Bulls gear. It looks like someone got just a liiiiiittle bit too pumped up at the Stan Heath hiring.

Back with more between games.

Wednesday 03/12 10:30 AM

After a shuttle, monorail and train ride, we have arrived at the Garden. It's always interesting to see national names here. Have already spotted Bill Raftery and Don Criqui.

West Virginia, being the higher seed, will be wearing light uniforms and at the bench on the left as you watch on TV or listen on the radio.

Wednesday 03/12 6:45 AM

Despite digs in a nice hotel, none of us are able to sleep. Excitement? Heavy pizza? Whatever, we all tossed and turned throughout the night. Which give rise to a thought. What if the players go through the same thing?

We don't think about that much, but the team had the Big East Awards ceremony last night, then had a scheduled walk-through before hitting the sheets. I wonder how they slept? That could certainly affect performances. Of course, it could hold true for all the teams.

We'll be off to the Garden soon, just like thousands of other commuters heading into the City via train. Talk to you there.

Tuesday 03/11 6:00 PM

Throughout the drive north, much of our curiosity has centered around the seemingly endless construction on I-78 in Pennsylvania. Recent trips by BGN folks to football games at Rutgers and basketball games at the Legends Classic have been subject to plenty of construction on the roads of Pennsylvania.

The good news on this day is that the construction in PA is nowhere to be found. The bad news, at least for the Pennsylvania taxpayers who footed the bill for the "improvements", is that the government looks to have gotten away with highway robbery...literally! Liken it to driving through a bed of rocks, only with lines on the rocks that somewhat resemble a road. Whiplash, scattered items throughout the travel vessel, and all out chaos are just a few examples of how bad the road was.

Luckily for us, nothing flew off or out of the car. The same cannot be said for those who have come before us as the side of the highway is a hodgepodge of broken car parts and trash.

Anyone ever heard of Adopt a Highway? They should try it out. It looks despicable, and we venture to guess that all the used parts could come together for, at the very least, a 1987 Chevette.

More from the crew tomorrow as an early morning wakeup to catch the train across the river to Penn Station makes for a day full of hoops at the World's Most Famous Arena.

Tuesday 03/11 3:00 PM

The crew is inside the aforementioned Vibe rolling through Maryland at a, shall we say, healthy speed while occupying the left lane when out of nowhere comes a car charging hard in the rear view mirror as we make our way down a hill on I-68. Due to some...electronic assistance? we know that the vehicle cannot be a police officer. As it gets closer, we notice a funky shape to the vehicle.

Batmobile? Not quite. Rather, we find, it's a hearse chasing us down the hill. Upon making our way up another hill, the hearse slows down considerably, only to pick up speed once again as we make our way down the hill's backside. The pattern certainly begs the question of just how big the load was inside the hearse? It was flying solo, with no other cars around, but was noticeably having trouble getting up the hill. Certainly something to ponder.

Tuesday 03/11 1:30 PM

While picking up Matt at his Morgantown estate, Kevin is treated to a fight between Mo and Clemson, the Keller cats. Clemson executes a four paw takedown on Mo, grabbing her out of the windowsill and taking her to the floor. Much hissing ensues -- kind of like Rich Rodriguez. Although Kevin would have loved to watch more, it's time to pick up Chris and head for the city.

Tuesday 03/11 1:00 PM

Kevin gasses up the official vehicle of -- a Pontiac Vibe. Don't laugh - it's reliable, and pretty good on gas. At the station, another Vibe owner tries to engage Kevin in conversation concerning how hard the car is on tires. Kevin, who treats casual conversation the way Wellington Smith treats opposing shots at the rim, doesn't know what to say. He escapes by rushing into the store to buy a snack.

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