Unlike many WVU fans, I was pleased to see Marshall beat Wichita State in the NCAA tournament to advance to the Round of 32 and a chance to face the Mountaineers. This wasn’t because I thought WVU would beat Marshall–which I did think, and they did do; rather, I was pleased because they are also a West Virginia team.
I’m a West Virginian, and I live in a world where the state is greatly maligned–not always undeservedly, I’ll admit–all too often. I applaud anything that places the state in a more positive light than it usually receives. Every Marshall victory on a national stage and every WVU victory on a national stage does that. Kudos to both teams and their coaches, staffs, families, and fans. Thanks.
Yes, I was rooting for the Mountaineers, but that was in part because I felt they had the best chance to win deeper into the tournament, and yes I think they can beat Nova on Friday. Friends who have watched a game between the two teams live with me can tell you that I can’t keep from rooting for both teams.
I was telling Steve, my brother, the day before the game that it was a cool prospect for us, because, no matter how the game turned out, we’d be rooting for a state school in the Sweet 16. We’ve both been fans of West Virginia basketball for a long time, and that was the first time we’d been able to say that. So, we had that going for us, which was nice…we just didn’t have the pitchforks.
And, yes, the Mountaineers won, but, for me, our state was the big winner.