After landing the No. 7 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will be playing 10th-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers to kick things off in the first round on Thursday. Though once thought to be a lock for the tournament early in the season, a poor month of February put West Virginia on the bubble as March approached. However, they finished the year 19-13 before losing in the second round of the Big East Conference Tournament to UConn on Wednesday, 71-67. The Mountaineers finished 9-9 in the tough Big East, finishing 18th in strength of schedule in the nation, according to CBS's RPI ratings. Overall, the Mountaineers finished 56th in RPI, with their most impressive wins this season include Kansas State, Georgetown and Cincinnati. Gonzaga finished 23rd in RPI.
West Virginia's two main stars are 6'8" senior forward Kevin Jones who averaged 20.2 ppg this year and 6'2" senior guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant, who scored 17.2 points per game. The winner of that 7-10 matchup between West Virginia and Gonzaga will face the winner of 2 seed Ohio State and 15 seed Loyola Maryland.
For more on Gonzaga, visit The Slipper Still Fits.
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