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NCAA Bracket 2012: West Virginia To Play Gonzaga In First Game

After landing the No.10 seed in the East Region in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the West Virginia Mountaineers will be playing No. 7-seeded Gonzaga to kick things off in their first game. The Mountaineers were thought to be on the right side of bubble heading into selection Sunday and received an at-large bid from the tournament's selection committee after turning in a 19-13 record during the regular season.

The Mountaineers were once thought to be a lock for the tournament, but a rocky month of February put them on the bubble as March approached. A win at South Florida, a fellow Big East bubble team, in the regular season finale was a huge boost for their resume. They bowed out of the Big East Tournament in the first round but will get a shot to continue their postseason in the big dance against Gonzaga.

Gonzaga has 25-6 record and lost in the finals of the West Coast conference tournament against St. Mary's.

The game will be played at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on March 15. If WVU should win, they would likely have to play No. 2 Ohio State in the second round.

For more on this matchup and the impending March Madness season, check out SB Nation's college basketball hub. Stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for more Mountaineers recaps, previews and news updates. For more news, analysis, and discussion on WVU, check out The Smoking Musket.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.