The West Virginia Mountaineers are preparing to take on top seeded Kentucky in Cleveland as the NCAA tournament is down to the sweet sixteen.
The Mountaineers can feed off the energy of their passionate fans to hopefully upset the Wildcats.
As a transplant to the Mountain State, I’m not a lifelong WVU fan like many in the Ohio Valley so I had some catching up to do when it comes to cheering on the Mountaineers.
It’s not often a team picked by some quote experts to be upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament becomes a team those same experts believe can upset the number one seed in the tournament. That’s the position the WVU Mountaineers are in right now as they head to Cleveland, my hometown.
That mean’s I don’t bleed blue and gold like many in the Mountain State, but I’m starting to learn. I went to Hole N’ Run today in Wheeling so that my exterior could match the passion that was starting to flow through my veins.
“We have a lot of clothing, we have a lot of little just souvenirs, cups and coolies, and ties, and headbands, stuff like that,” Hole N’ Run Sales Clerk Dave Johnson said. “Anything you want West Virginia we probably have. Everything’s been going good, everybody is excited about them playing Kentucky. A lot of clothing sales, sales have been good.”
You can even grab a WVU themed wine holder shaped like a shoe, a grill plate that toasts West Virginia on your hotdog, or even a Mountaineers belt, but time is running out to grab your ‘eers gear before Thursday’s big game which everyone is looking forward to.
“I’m sure they’ll have a hard time with Kentucky,” Johnson said. “Kentucky’s got a lot of bodies to throw at them but I know they’ll play hard and like Huggins said they won’t be scared.”
Speaking of scared, I’ve been looking over the lyrics to John Denver’s Country Roads and my 5 o’clock shadow is even starting to come in but I’m still afraid I’m missing something when it comes to being a Mountaineer.
“Okay well there’s one great way to be a true Mountaineer and that’s to know one of our chants or our cheers that we do at all the games when the Mountaineers are playing,” Scott Nolte said.
Thursday night’s game tips off in Cleveland, Ohio after the Wichita State vs. Notre Dame game wraps up around 9:45 p.m. on WTRF CBS.