By The Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — No. 4 seed West Virginia (26-8) vs. No. 13 seed Bucknell (26-8)
First round, West region; Buffalo, New York; 2:45 p.m. EDT.
BOTTOM LINE: The Mountaineers have stumbled down the stretch, going 11-6 after opening 15-2, and are seeking to avoid repeating a first-round upset last year. That’s when third-seeded West Virginia lost to Stephen F. Austin. The Mountaineers have won all eight meetings against Bucknell, though the teams haven’t met since 1977.
PRESS AND SCORE: Though Bobby Huggins-coached teams are known for playing a smothering press defense, these Mountaineers can also score. West Virginia leads the nation in forcing 20.4 turnovers and 10.4 steals a game, and is 21st in scoring by averaging 82 points.
KEEPING IT CLOSE: Three of the Bison’s six losses have been decided by 3 points or less. They’ve also won twice when trailing by double digits.
DID YOU KNOW: It’s a Bucknell homecoming in Buffalo. Top-seeded Villanova is coached by Jay Wright, who played for the Bison in the 1980s. Notre Dame assistant coach Ryan Ayers spent the previous two seasons as a Bucknell assistant. And Mount St. Mary’s coach Jamion Christian was Bucknell’s manager of basketball operations.