Writer: Stewart Mandel
Game: Duke-West Virginia
Post time: 4:41 p.m., Saturday
As the West Virginia Mountaineers returned to their bench for a timeout with 3:10 remaining, assistant coach Billy Hahn could hardly contain his excitement. He raced around the circle of players huddling around head coach Bob Huggins and, upon reaching reserve forward Cam Throughman, delivered the redshirt freshman a resounding slap on the butt.
Throughman averages just 0.3 points, but his second basket of the game capped a monstrous second-half run that put the Mountaineers -- once down as much as 10 points -- up 62-51 and well on their way to a second-round upset of second-seeded Duke. It was that kind of day for West Virginia: Seemingly everyone on the roster chipped in during the surge, from star Joe Alexander (22 points) right down to Throughman (four).
Though there were three-plus minutes remaining, the celebration was already beginning both on West Virginia's bench and throughout the yellow-clad half of the Verizon Center. They quieted down for a bit, but as the clock wound down on the final seconds of an eventual 73-67 victory, the Mountaineers received a well-deserved standing ovation while the players themselves ran around the floor in jubilation.
Another day -- another tourney upset. And this was only the first game of the day.