Mountaineers Going Dancing Again

  • By Katie Kane
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  • March 17, 2014 08:59 PM
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The Mountaineers react with excitement as they find out they will be making their fifth consecutive NCAA appearance with their highest seed in program history. 
Dale Sparks/All-Pro Photography photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – The West Virginia women’s basketball team earned its highest seed in program history as it enters the 2014 NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed, facing 15th-seeded Albany (NY) on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. ET at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.
“Without a doubt, we’re the highest seed we’ve ever been since I’ve been here. But that doesn’t absolutely mean you’re going to win,” coach Mike Carey said. “We’re going to have to go there and play well. I don’t know anything about Albany, but by midnight tonight, I’ll know everything about Albany. We have to worry about Albany, then we’ll worry about the second round if we win the first one.”
The Mountaineers (29-4) are making their 10th overall NCAA appearance in program history. The 2014 tournament is the fifth consecutive appearance for WVU and eighth with coach Carey at the helm.  
“We’re just excited to even have this opportunity again,” senior guard Christal Caldwell said. “We have done well playing on people’s home floor. We will go in there with a lot of confidence and a chip on our shoulder because we want to beat people on their home floor. I think we’re just going to take that with us.
“When you don’t get as much respect as you think you deserve, it makes you play a lot harder. You just want to prove them wrong and show them that we can do more than they think we can. Regardless, I think this team is hungry and we want to do a lot in this tournament.”
WVU is coming off a 74-71 loss in the Big 12 Championship to Baylor, and needs one more win to break the program record for most wins in a season.
“Let’s thank the committee,” Carey said. “For us to get a two seed--that was great. I thought we might be a three seed after losing the Baylor game, but I think the committee saw what we did throughout the course of the year.”
The Great Danes (28-4) defeated Stony Brook, 70-46, for their third consecutive America East title. Albany is making its third appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Sunday’s game is the first meeting between WVU and Albany. The game will air live on ESPN, and will also be available live on ESPN3.   
The winner of Sunday’s West Virginia-Albany matchup will advance to face the winner of the 12:30 p.m. game on Sunday between No. 7-seeded LSU and No. 10-seeded Georgia Tech. The second round will take place on Tuesday, March 25.