Category Archives: General

What Is March Madness? A Complete Beginner’s Guide

March Madness is one of the biggest college basketball tournaments of the year. From the second week of March to the first week of April, fans from across the country watch closely to cheer on their favorite teams and see who will win the national championship.

Whether you’re new to college basketball or you just want to know more about what this period entails, the guide below will help you understand what March Madness is, how it works, and what it means for WVU sports.

WVU in March Madness 2017

The Mountaineers are the 4th seed in the West Bracket. Arguably, the easiest bracket of the four, the Mountaineers will have to overcome a possible Sweet 16 match-up against the #1 Seed Gonzaga.

The West bracket is seeded with the following teams

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Arizona
  3. Florida St.
  4. WVU
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Maryland
  7. St. Marys
  8. Northwestern
  9. Vanderbilt
  10. VCU
  11. Xavier
  12. Princeton
  13. Bucknell
  14. FGCU
  15. North Dakota St.
  16. South Dakota St.

Rounds 1 & 2

In the First Round, West Virginia University triumphed over Bucknell University with a final score of 86-80. In the Second Round, the Mountaineers beat the Fighting Irish basketball team from Notre Dame with a score of 83-71.

Sweet 16

In their next game, they face off against the first seed of the West Bracket, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The winner of this match up will head to the Elite 8 to take on either #11 Xavier or #2 Arizona.

WVU has never won March Madness . Could this be the year that we take it all the way?

What Is March Madness?

March Madness is a college basketball tournament run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It consists of 68 Division I men’s basketball teams and 64 women’s basketball teams that are carefully selected to play for the national championship. The teams go head-to-head in a single-elimination tournament (aka a knockout tournament) until one is ultimately declared the victor.

Why Is It Called “March Madness”?

The term “March Madness” is loosely based on the frenzied state fans go into when the games start. It came about in 1982 when a reporter from CBS casually used the saying during a telecast. Needless to say, it stuck, and now the expression March Madness is partly owned by the NCAA. More than anything else, it’s a catchy phrase that’s easy to remember. Plain and simple.

The Selection Process for March Madness

There are nearly 700 Division I teams (men’s and women’s combined), and that number has to be narrowed down to 132 – 68 men’s and 64 women’s. Thirty-two teams for each gender earn their invitations to March Madness by winning conferences. The remaining 36 men’s and 32 women’s teams are chosen by the selection committee.

There are separate selection committees for men’s and women’s basketball. Typically, the men’s basketball selection committee consists of all men and the women’s consists of all women, though there have been some exceptions. Well-known women’s basketball coach Janet Cone is a member of the current men’s committee.

The selection committee meets all year long to discuss the tournament. Then they have a meeting between Thursday and Sunday right before March Madness starts to officially determine which teams will make the cut. The decisions are announced on TV during Selection Sunday.

Several factors go into the selection process, including:

  • Ranking in national polls
  • Rating Percentage Index (RPI – Learn more here)
  • Adjusted RPI (not public information)
  • Wins against ranked opponents
  • Performance during the regular season
  • Conference and road records

Each member of the selection committee submits a list of teams they believe should have a guaranteed spot in March Madness. If eight members recommend the same team, that team is given a spot. The rest go through a heavy debate until the committee comes to a conclusion.

How March Madness Tournaments Are Bracketed – Seeds and Pods

Once the selection committee has chosen the teams to compete, they also have to determine which teams will play against each other. There are four regions the teams can be placed in – Midwest, West, East and South. Teams are “seeded” into one of these regions, and then they are put in groups of seeds called pods. The committee works to create a balance within each region, putting a mixture of weak and strong teams throughout to make sure one region’s teams does not have an unfair advantage over another region.

Not only does the selection committee have to determine seeding, but they also have to decide where each pair of teams is going to play. A team cannot play in its home arena, but high-ranking teams are usually given a site close to home. There are strict rules that govern the seeding process, but it eventually results in a set of brackets that showcase each game, line by line.

The March Madness Tournament

Over the course of three weeks, the 68 men’s basketball teams and 64 women’s teams compete in games according to the bracket. In the men’s tournament, there is an “opening round” where four teams compete for a spot in the top 64. After that, there are two straight days of play where 64 teams are narrowed down to 32. The next two days narrow the group to 16, known as the Sweet 16. Those teams are given a four day break until they compete again.

Since this is a single-elimination tournament, the winning team from each game moves forward in the tournament. The losing team goes home. In the second week of March Madness, the Sweet 16 are reduced to the Final Four. Those four teams compete during the last week of the tournament until one becomes the NCAA champion.

WMU Innovations

5 WVU Innovations That Have Changed the World

Some people think of West Virginia University as a “party school,” but that is far from the case. Sure, we like to have fun around here, but we also have a lot of great education going on. What you may not realize is that many world-changing innovations started at WVU. Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic, creative, first-of-their-kind advancements that began at WVU.

1. Expanding Wireless Internet through Vacant TV Channels

Ts

You know those static noise that used to drive you nuts while flipping through TV channels?  The Federal Communications Commission found a way to use those channels to expand the reach of wireless broadband internet. WVU was the first university in the country to utilize this innovation on campus, making internet faster and more accessible to students and faculty members alike. You probably don’t even notice static channels anymore thanks to the menus and guides from most TV providers (if you even use cable at all), but they’re still there and they still boost internet signals across the country.

2. Providing Affordable, Energy Efficient Public Transit

ecofriendly transit

WVU was one of the first universities to provide eco-friendly public transit options for students and residents alike. The Personal Rapid Transit system, PRT, was around long before the “go green” revolution swept the country, and it remains one of the most efficient transportation services for universities in the U.S. Since the program launched in 1975, more than 83 million people have traveled with PRT. All of the vehicles are powered with electric motors to save fuel and lower costs at the same time.

3. Developing Transportable Emissions Testing Labs

CO2

Researchers at WVU invented the first heavy-duty vehicle emissions testing facility that was fully transportable. This work has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of an ongoing study on emissions levels in diesel-engine vehicles. The lead engineer for the research team, Dan Carder, was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2016, and the team continues to work on more ways to improve emissions testing in the United States.

4. Providing Respiratory Treatments for Pediatric Patients

WVU medicine

Photo: WVU Medicine Facebook

The medical center at WVU was the second in the country to use diaphragm pacing for pediatric patients. This process utilizes electric pulses to stimulate the diaphragm and reduce the risk of respiratory failure. It is often used in patients with sleep apnea to help them rest soundly at night and continue breathing as normal. While most diaphragm pacers are used on adults, they can be used on children under specific circumstances – and of course, with the help of a talented medical team like the one we have at WVU.

5. Understanding How the Brain Works

Neuroscience

The chimera state has long perplexed members of the scientific community. Recently, a team of WVU chemists have been able to reproduce this phenomenon in a laboratory, which could be a huge breakthrough in neuroscience. By recreating the chimera state, scientists will be able to analyze it thoroughly within a lab to gain a better understanding of how the brain works and why this event occurs in the first place. WVU created the world’s first institute designed specifically to study human memory, now known as the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute.

Hollywood

Actors You May Not Know Were WVU Alumni

Hollywood is a melting pot of diverse, talented people who find joy in entertaining others. What you may not know is that a number of well-known actors were once students at WVU. In addition to the school’s expansive list of professional athletes, we have an assortment of graduates who made a career in the entertainment industry. Check out these actors you may not know were WVU alumni.

Don Knotts

Don Knotts

Don Knotts is a five-time Emmy winner best known for his roles as Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show and Ralph Furley in Three’s Company. Knotts was born right here in Morgantown, West Virginia, and he graduated from Morgantown High School. He went into the military after graduation, but when he returned, he began attending WVU. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1948 and moved to Hollywood soon after. He did not start his role as Barney Fife until 1960, but his quirky personality and comedic timing made him an unforgettable entertainer.

Cheryl Hines

© David_Shankbone

Cheryl Hines is a two-time Emmy nominee best known for her work as “Cheryl” on the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. She has also been in movies like RV with Robin Williams and The Grand, which puts a comedic twist on the World Series of Poker. Ironically, Hines is an avid poker player who has won over $50,000 in tournaments and table play. She attended WVU before heading to Hollywood, but she did not graduate from here. Instead she earned her degree at the University of Central Florida.

Billy Mays

Billy Mays

Some people know Billy Mays from the Discovery Channel show PitchMen, but most know him for his work advertising As Seen on TV products. He was the face of several products that became popular in the early 2000’s, including OxiClean, Kaboom, and the Awesome Auger. During his two years here at WVU, he was a walk-on linebacker for the Mountaineer football team. Unfortunately, the salesman with the brilliant beard passed away in 2009 after an incident related to his heart disease.

Chris Sarandon

Chris Sarandon

You may not know Chris Sarandon’s face, but chances are you’ve heard his voice. He provides the ominous-yet-upbeat vocals for Jack Skellington in the Disney and Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, along with the reprisal of the character in the video game Kingdom Hearts. He also played the role of Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride, and he has been in many Broadway productions. He was born in Beckley, West Virginia, and he graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s degree in performing arts. He went on to earn his master’s in theater from The Catholic University of America, where he met his wife – the ever-famous Susan Sarandon. The couple split in 1979, but Susan continues to act using Chris’s last name.

Conchata Ferrell

Conchata Ferrell

“Hey Berta, want to see my armpit hair?” “Only if you wanna see mine…” Conchata Ferrell is mostly known for playing the sassy housekeeper Berta in CBS’s Two and a Half Men. She has been nominated for two primetime Emmy Awards for that role, in addition to the nomination she received for playing Susan Bloom on L.A. Law. She played some minor supporting roles in Edward Scissorhands, Erin Brockovich, Mr. Deeds, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, along with many other films and television shows. She was born in Charleston, WV and she attended West Virginia University, but she officially earned her social studies education degree from Marshall University.

Mountaineer football game

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Host A Mountaineer Game Night!

Thinking about spending the weekend watching the game with your family and friends and supporting your home team? The best part of hosting a game night is that it’s as easy as watching it! A lot of the routine you go through when watching a game can easily be applied with a few additions to ensure a pleasant and fun night with your family and friends.

Invites

If you’re inviting your family or friends over, remember to send out an invite of the time they should arrive because we all have that friend who’s either too early to an event or always “fashionably-late”. Timing is very important especially when you have to set-up to make sure your guests arrive to a comfortable setting. While you’re setting up, don’t forget to throw on some West Virginia logo attire to be fully immersed in supporting the team!

Facebook is a great tool for letting your friends know about your event, simply create an events page and invite away!

Set-up

It’s okay if you don’t have throw pillows to add onto your sofa or couch, just make sure you have enough space around the TV for everyone to gather around for the main event. Depending on the comfort of your guests, feel free to throw a few pillows on the ground for them to sprawl out on. Keep in mind that your guests will be snacking and drinking during the game, so gather around as many coffee tables, end tables, or anything where your guests can set their plates and drinks. Better yet, remember to fill your bowls with game snacks and place them near the game watching area to encourage your guests to fill their stomachs while cheering on the team. If you have some West Viriginia logo decorations, this is the best time to take them out and show off some team spirit! If you’re feeling creative and want to decorate the house in football theme, take a look at this Super Bowl party décor for inspiration.

Food & Drinks

Food and drinks is easily the most important part of hosting game night. Once you figure out how many people you’ll be having, then you can appropriately decide the snacks and drinks to provide. Beer is always a good choice with a football game, but feel free to switch it up to anything from wine to cocktails depending on your guests’ preferences. Encourage your guests to bring their own drinks as well!

You can’t watch a game empty handed, so remember to stock up on finger foods ranging from chips to pretzels to vegetable dips as the healthier alternative. Go easy on trying to show off your culinary skills for a game night and stick with things that are easy to eat with your hands, making it easier to root for your team when they score.

Take a look at some of these football inspired snacks from savory to sweet that are easy to make and will definitely amaze your guests.

Games

The best part about hosting a game night is that you and your family and friends can make your own games to go along with watching it! Hype up the mood by guessing the score, add in a drinking element to the game, and raise the stakes by coming up with a prize for the winner! Football bingo is always a crowd pleaser and you can download an already made grid here or make your own. Check out this list for more games you could play even during commercial break!

The fun is infinite and you can go wild with the cheering at your own comfort.

Send off

When the game is over, some guests may end up staying longer than expected. Don’t be afraid to let them know when the night is over and you’re ready to retire to bed. If you’re happy with hosting game night again, let them know, decide if you want to start rotating hosts for each game and plan ahead!

Of course, we can’t forget that the most important part of hosting game night is to have fun! Let us know in the comments below if you’ve hosted a game night and what your suggestions are, we’d love to hear your stories on how you rooted for our West Virginia team!

best mountaineer tailgate

The Winner of the “Best Mountaineer Tailgate” Photo Contest Is: Susan Evick!

Congratulations Susan Evick! Like true Mountaineer fans, Susan and her tailgate party didn’t let a little bit of rain ruin their fun! They took their party inside of a local car wash and continued showing their Mountaineer pride before the West Virginia football game. Congratulations again on your big win and from all of us at Mountaineer World, we hope you enjoy your prize!

Our Runner-Up!

mountaineer footballWe had so many wonderful entries that we had to share more of them with you! Our runner-up entry was submitted by Missy Moles. Missy’s tailgate party photo was submitted after the Family Day game when the Mountaineers beat Liberty 41 – 17 in the second game of the season. We love seeing a big family all wearing their “Family Strong” t-shirts. We are all part of the West Virginia family!

Some of our favorites

Thank you everyone for sharing your best Mountaineer memories with all of us at Mountaineer World. We love seeing how much West Virginia loves WVU football!

Tailgate Contest third placeChristy B.

tailgate contest entry

Amanda Nutter

tailgate contest entry 2

Kristi Knight

Remember to stop into Mountaineer World for all of your Mountaineer game-day gear, West Virginia tailgating supplies, and more WVU merchandise!

The Winner of the “Show Your Mountaineer Pride” Facebook Contest Is…

show your mountaineer prideLet’s make some Loud Noises for the winner of the “Show Your Mountaineer Pride” Facebook photo contest – Doug Johnson!

With an astonishing 293 votes, the Johnson family swept the competition with their picture from this year’s Football spring training session at Greenbriar. Johnson describes his two-year old son as a Mountaineer fan in the making because he, “sees the flying WV [logo] and says ‘football.’ [He also] sings ‘Country Roads’ and refers to it as ‘Home.’” Mountaineer World hopes that the tradition of Mountaineer Pride continues to pass on through the Johnson family and is happy to award them with a Mountaineer Glassware set! We will be in contact with you shortly to award you your prize.

We had a great time seeing everyone’s entry in the “Show Your Mountaineer Pride” Facebook photo contest. Here are some of our favorites!mountaineer world mountaineer pride

West Virginia Mountaineer PrideDogs Love Mountaineers mountaineer pride - mountaineer world

Don’t forget to stop into Mountaineer World or shop online today for all of your West Virginia Mountaineer gear!

Mountaineer World presents: “Show Your Mountaineer Pride” Facebook Photo Contest!

Hey Mountaineer Nation! Mountaineer World is giving away a FREE glassware set, and entering to win is SO easy. Enter into the “Show Your Mountaineer Pride” photo contest today and you have a chance to win!

Simply fill out the form, upload a picture of you showing your Mountaineer Pride, explain to us in the description why YOU are the biggest Mountaineer fan, and share the contest with your friends! The person with the most votes by June 8th will win a FREE Mountaineer glassware set!

Must be 21 or older to enter.