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Traveling to Cali


TONY'S TAKE
By for WVUsports.com
November 28, 2009 07:20 PM

Posted by Tony Caridi on Saturday, November 28, 2009
(6:30 pm)

READ WEST VIRGINIA'S GAME NOTES

It’s always nice to be able to hop on an airplane and fly out to California after a West Virginia victory in the Backyard Brawl. I had the pleasure of doing that earlier today.

I got some interesting looks from people as I made my way through the Pittsburgh airport this morning wearing my WVU sweater. The TSA security guard went to bed early last night and was unaware of the score.

He said, “What happened in the game?”

I said, “It was a last second field goal.”

He just snapped his fingers in disgust.

I met a family from Glendale, W.Va., that was on its way to Disney and they were fired up about the game. They spent the morning reading the two Pittsburgh newspapers’ accounts of the game.

There were two phenomenal pictures – one in the Post-Gazette and one in the Tribune-Review of the Tyler Bitancurt game-winning field goal. In the Trib-Review picture it looks like Jonathan Baldwin was very close to blocking the field goal. It was very similar to the Theron Ellis picture against Penn State - just a fantastic picture.

On the flight from Pittsburgh to Denver, I had a nice conversation with a retired attorney from Pittsburgh who is a big Pitt fan. In fact, he represented Pitt before the NCAA when Jackie Sherrill was the head coach. He was able to clear Pitt of all charges, which is proof enough for me that he is a good lawyer.

And then when I arrived in Denver I had an interesting conversation in the men’s room (which is interesting in itself). I met a guy from Mount Morris who is a WVU season ticket holder. He was on his way to Montana to do some snow mobiling and mountain lion hunting. He recently came back from a trip from Africa where he said he absolutely shot everything in sight.

It’s nice to know there are Mountaineer fans everywhere!

***

I just finished my prep work for Portland for Sunday night’s championship game of the 76 Classic. Portland looks to me like a niche team. They go heavy with foreign imports and they play a niche style in which they shoot the 3-ball. They also play extremely hard.

What has happened with them is that in these two victories against UCLA and Minnesota back to back – those were program victories for them. Now they have the opportunity to play the eighth-ranked team in the country Sunday night in West Virginia. They have fallen into a candy store where they could potentially knock off UCLA, Minnesota and West Virginia in a span of four days.

Conversely, West Virginia came out to this tournament - which is considered by some to be the best of the early-season tournaments - and they will come out of this thing not having played a ranked team because of all of the upsets. WVU came into this thing expecting to play Clemson, Minnesota or UCLA. Interesting.

Be sure to turn the volume down on your television set and catch us on the radio Sunday night beginning with The Mountaineers Today at 9:30 p.m.

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