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Dance Card: West Virginia, Big XII at-large

Keep climbing.

USA TODAY Sports

Who? The Mountaineers of West Virginia.

What? They're in the mountains. Hence, they are Mountaineers, and they are serious business. And the gun is real. But the beard is optional.

Where? Morgantown, West Virginia, on the Monongahela River.

When? March 24th, in Newark, Delaware.

Why? The strength of schedule buoys them.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? Predicted to finish second in the conference (and the lucky recipients of Baylor's first-place vote), they tied for fifth with Oklahoma State.

RPI: 52

SOS: 19

Record: 17-13 (9-9 Big XII)

Good wins: At Iowa State.

Bad losses: Duquesne.

Who's running this show? Mike Carey, since 2001. I've long suspected that he was Dan Hughes's evil twin, just with a mustache instead of a goatee.

Extra, Extra! West Virginia has kindly put together a compilation of newspapers with direct links to the appropriate section. Well done, Mountaineer Sports Network. Well done.


West Virgnia is not a nice team. They play tough, they play physical, and they're not afraid to get their hands dirty. But they get the job done, and Mike Carey might be one of the most overlooked coaches in the game. Junior guard Cristal Caldwell leads the Mountaineers with 13.2 points per game. Senior forward Ayana Dunning adds 10 points and 6.1 rebounds. If they can get junior guard Taylor Palmer going and she can get to the line, West Virginia can make a lot of teams' lives miserable.