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West Virginia Mountaineers
RECORD: 21 - 10 REGION: Mideast  SEED: 11
COACH: Mike Carey CONFERENCE: Big 12
RESULTS | MESSAGE BOARD

Road to the Final Four  ...................................................................................

PREVIOUS GAMES
OPPONENT ROUND RESULT
Ohio State 1st Round L 73 - 67


PLAYER TO WATCH
 
 
Kate Bulger
 
Bulger has 449 points this season to average a team-high 14.5 points per game -- which ranked 11th among Big East players -- for the Mountaineers. She also ranked 13th in field-goal percentage, hitting 40 percent of her attempts from the field. But Bulger's at her best from beyond the arc, where she has nailed 88 3-pointers (2.84 per game) this season. Her 39.8 percent accuracy topped the Big East, barely edging UConn's Diana Taurasi, who has hit 20 fewer treys.

ANALYSIS BY ESPN'S STACEY DALES-SCHUMAN
Stacey Dales-SchumanNow this is a remarkable story. In just three seasons at the helm of the Mountaineers' program, coach Mike Carey has taken a team from a 5-22 record to a current win total that exceeds that of the past two seasons combined! Furthermore, he has done it with just nine able bodies.

Two of the Mountaineers' post players suffered season-ending ACL tears early in the year -- one of those players, 6-foot-5 junior college transfer Yelena Leuchanka, was labeled as the nations No. 1 transfer according to the All-Star Girls Report.

Without much size inside, the Mountaineers have had to rely on team speed and versatility to win basketball games. And junior point guard Yolanda Paige pilots West Virginia. She's a national frontrunner in the assist category, and as she goes, so go the Mountaineers. Though still a junior, Paige is on track to become the all-time assists leader at West Virginia.

The heart of the team belongs to Kate Bulger, who has been a part of the West Virginia program through the good times and the lowest of lows. And as a result, she's extremely tough-minded. She has started every game of her career, which is the best in the Big East and good for fifth nationally. But what Bulger does best on the court is find the bottom of the mesh. Her shot is as pure as honey, and she leads the program with most treys ever by a Mountaineer.

Kate's sister, Meg, is the most versatile player on the roster -- she has literally played all five positions on the floor at some point this season. But hey, that's why she was a Parade All-American -- the second ever to represent West Virginia -- just a year ago in high school. Meg has been the Big East Freshman of the Week on six different occasions this season -- she's pretty good. Obviously success runs in the Bulger family, as their brother, Mark, is a pro bowl quarterback and standout for the NFL's St. Louis Rams.

West Virginia runs a motion offense that compliments the athleticism and speed of the team. Carey loves to push the transition game and implement an aggressive defensive pressure that is advantageous against more sizeable foes. This strategy has proven successful in the 2003-04 campaign against teams such as Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, both huge wins for the program.

West Virginia must continue to push the tempo in order to wear down larger teams in tournament action if they are to achieve success.



LAST 5 GAMES
OPPONENT RESULT
RutgersL, 61-51
@ VillanovaW, 58-47
St. John'sW, 84-59
@ ConnecticutL, 100-72
@ Miami (FL)L, 82-74


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EAST
1 Penn State
2 Connecticut
3 Houston
4 North Carolina
5 Notre Dame
6 Colorado
7 Auburn
8 Virginia Tech
9 Iowa
10 North Carolina State
11 UC Santa Barbara
12 Southwest Missouri State
13 Middle Tennessee
14 UW-Green Bay
15 Penn
16 Hampton
MIDEAST
1 Duke
2 Kansas State
3 Boston College
4 Texas Tech
5 Louisiana Tech
6 Ohio State
7 Minnesota
8 Old Dominion
9 Marquette
10 UCLA
11 West Virginia
12 Montana
13 Maine
14 Eastern Michigan
15 Valparaiso
16 Northwestern State
WEST
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4 LSU
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6 TCU
7 Villanova
8 Michigan State
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10 Mississippi
11 Temple
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13 Austin Peay
14 Liberty
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16 Southern
MIDWEST
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6 Stanford
7 Rutgers
8 George Washington
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10 Chattanooga
11 Missouri
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13 Loyola Marymount
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