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WVU looking to avoid another first round letdown

WVU junior Guard Jevon Carter gets a shot up during the Mountaineers' practice before their opening NCAA Tournament game. (WCHS/WVAH)

The WVU men’s basketball team made it to Buffalo after a massive snow storm pounded the northeast and now it's getting ready for the squad's first game of the NCAA Tournament against Bucknell.

The Mountaineers Final Four run in 2010 began in Buffalo and that is just where their 2017 tournament will begin, as they try to use the experience they gained from losing to Stephen F. Austin in last year’s opening round to make a run in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

“It’s very motivating. We kind of have a sour taste in our mouth from last year going out in the first round, so we don’t want to feel that this year,” WVU sophomore Esa Ahmad said.

WVU senior guard Tarik Phillip said last year’s season ending loss to Stephen F. Austin has stuck with the Mountaineers all season.

“It’s been on our mind through the whole off season, coming into the season we were thinking about it too. Coach has been bringing up that we let that game slip away from us. We’ve just been preparing a lot better,” Phillip said.

Junior guard Jevon Carter said the team needs to use last year's experience to make a run in this season’s tournament.

“We just don’t want to come in and have another repeat of last year and get another loss. Hopefully we can come in here, win a few games and get far in the tournament,” Carter said.

The fourth-seeded Mountaineers will take on the 13-seed Bucknell Bison 2:45 p.m. Thursday in the KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

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