This is the time of the year every college basketball coach lives for. Some teams may be underestimated, while others may be overrated.
But the best part about March, is that every team has a chance. A chance at a National Championship.
"You are a part of March Madness," Fairmont State women's head coach Steve McDonald said. "I think that's a really cool thing for our kids, for our school and for our university. It's really exciting that both of our men and women's basketball teams are both a part of the NCAA Tournament."
It's been a busy 48 hours for the Fairmont State basketball department. Lady Falcons Head Coach Steve McDonald makes his fourth trip back to the big dance since 2005. Of course, FSU won the WVIAC Tournament to secure the automatic bid. Fairmont State will now take on the Atlantic Region's top seed, the Gannon Golden Knights.
"We've played in front of that packed house. There will be 75 or 100 people for Fairmont State and then there will be the other 1,500 screaming fans for Gannon. So what we have to do is withstand their runs with controlled emotion," McDonald said.
The FSU men are hard at work at the other end of the Feaster Center. Fairmont State returns to the tournament for the first time since 2010. The Falcons are the four seed and will match up with Livingstone. The interesting scenario here is that Fairmont State could meet top-seeded West Liberty in the second round if they can both win on Saturday.
"I'm sure all the fans and people around the state are talking about that," Falcons men's head coach Jerrod Calhoun said. "But if we can't get there, and I'm sure Coach Crutchfield is saying the same thing to his team, then you're not playing Sunday unless you get through Saturday. If we win on Saturday, then we'll worry about West Liberty after that."
The Glenville State women are back in a familiar position. The Lady Pioneers are in the tournament for the second time since 2007. Glenville was bounced in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament. But Head Coach Bunky Harkleroad says his team has something to prove. The Pioneers are a six seed and will take on third-seeded Shaw University. Shaw won the Division II National Championship last season.
"Shaw is going to be big, long, fast and very athletic," Glenville State women's head coach Bunky Harkleroad said. "There are several Division I transfers on their team. They're just a very talented basketball team. I expect this time to play tough and to play as hard or harder than anybody else in this region does. I just expect us to come back and show what we're capable of and play with a chip on our shoulder and with an edge. We'll see what happens."