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Top-Ranked Topper Fans Ready for Trip to Elite 8, Falk Named Player of the Year

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The leader of the No.1 ranked West Liberty Hilltoppers has been named the National Division 2 Player of the Year.

Previously honored as the West Virginia Conference and Atlantic Region Player of the Year, Falk topped the nationwide balloting to become the WVIAC's first-ever National Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-four senior from Upper Sandusky, Ohio has spent the past four seasons winning basketball games and rewriting the record books on the hilltop campus.  He's averaging 21 points per game as the Toppers get set for the Elite 8 next week in Louisville, Kentucky.




Tuesday was a big night on the hilltop. The West Liberty Men's basketball team beat the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks in the regional finals, and now it's off to the Elite 8.

The energy is through the roof, both on campus and in the town of West Liberty Wednesday. Everyone is ecstatic about the Hilltoppers big win. They say that this will be the year for the Toppers after their third straight regional title.

West Liberty resident and graduate, Craig Conway says Tuesday's standing room only crowd was the largest he's seen.

"That's probably the biggest crowd we've had there," he said. "We've seen some big ones, and everybody is catching hilltopper fever, but that one is definitely at the top of the list."

Students say that campus really comes together to support their team.

"West Liberty has a very community based campus already, and you can just tell its even more community based knowing that we have this big game coming up," Freshman Evan Newman says.

Plans are in the works for this town to head to Louisville. They say they plan on making their presence known.

"Everyone is ramped up for Louisville. People are getting excited about taking trips down, carpooling etc, so you can definitely feel it around campus," says WLU Student Leeanne Yeater.