WVU women’s basketball sure knows how to shock the world

WVU women’s basketball sure knows how to shock the world

By: Ashley Conley

WVU fans have been ecstatic all week after watching their women’s basketball team upset three Big 12 opponents, including the No. 2 team in the nation, to earn the program’s first conference tournament championship since joining the Big 12.

Even the West Virginia State Police got on board.

The Mountaineers weren’t supposed to make it this far. The ladies in gold and blue finished the regular season with a mediocre 20-10 record and started out the tournament in the No. 6 seed. After upsetting the higher-seeded Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns earlier in the week, knocking off the Baylor Bears (who had won the last six Big 12 Tournament titles) didn’t seem so impossible.

An unforeseen defeat of Baylor and a magnificent showing to claim the Big 12 tourney title means the Mountaineers are going dancing (straight to the NCAA Tournament) with an automatic bid. WVU bolted back into the Coaches Poll at No. 22 and was barely left off the list in the latest AP Top 25 after receiving 31 votes.

Amidst cutting down the nets, this team is up to something special. They’ll attempt to shock the world (again) when the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament begins on March 17.

Cover Image: wvusports.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย 

Business will be boomin’ for at least five more years in the Steele City

Business will be boomin’ for at least five more years in the Steele City

By: Ashley Conley

As Antonio Brown always says, “Business is boomin!”

The Steelers signed their star-studded wide receiver to a four-year contract extension on Monday worth $68 million, making him the highest-paid wideout in the NFL.

This past season, Brown led the Pittsburgh receiving corps with 106 catches for nearly 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns.ย After signing the dotted line, No. 84 tweeted about getting a (Super Bowl) ring and being a Steeler for life.

It’s safe to say it put fans over the black and gold moon.

Some of Brown’s professional friends and even some competitors also expressed their congratulations via social media.

The Steelers pretty much hit a home run this week. The six-time Super Bowl-winning franchise officially locked Brown into their offense and slapped a franchise tag on running back Le’Veon Bell. According to Fox Sports, Brown has “a chance to be one of the best NFL receivers of all time”, while Bell has been deemed “the most dominant player in the NFL” by FiveThirtyEight.

Get your Terrible Towels ready because the Steelers will be a force to reckon with for years to come.

Cover Image: steelersgab.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย 

It’s Daytona Day!

It’s Daytona Day!

By: Ashley Conley

NASCAR fans have been waiting months for this day – Daytona Day – for the 59th running of The Great American Race, the Daytona 500.

Here’s everything you need to know before the green flag drops:

Chase Elliott will start from the pole for the second year in-a-row.

This is onlyย Elliott’s second Daytona 500, and he’s earned the pole position both times. His teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will start from second.

Elliott piloted his NAPA Racing Chevy to victory lane in last week’s CanAm Duel number 1. Can he complete the trifecta today?ย Theย No. 24 Hendrick team finished 37th after an early crash in last year’s 500, but Elliott says he’s moreย mentally preparedย to compete for a win this time around.

40 cars are in it to win it.ย 

36 charter teams (a.k.a. the regulars) and four “open” teams (ones that had to qualify or race their way in during the CanAm Duels) are in the starting lineup. You can see the full gridย here.

This will be the first NASCAR race to run under a new three-segment format.

Today’s Daytona 500 will consist of three segments; the first two will be 60 laps each followed by an 80-lap sprint to the finish. 200 laps = 500 miles.

You can learn more about the format changes for this race here.

Actor Owen Wilson is the Grand Marshall.ย 

Owen Wilson, star of Wedding Crashers, Marley & Me and a plethora of other movies including the upcoming Cars sequel, will kick off the race with the traditional “Drivers, start your engines!”

Former football player LaDainian Tomlinson will wave the first green flag.ย 

The San Diego Chargers-great will drop the race’s first green flag.

Jordan Sparks will provide pre-race vocals.ย 

Sparks, a former winner of American Idol, is set to sing the National Anthem.

TV and Radio

Television coverage for the Daytona 500 will begin at 2 p.m. on FOX. Radio coverage will begin at the same time on the MRN (Motor Racing Network).

Tickets

According to NASCAR, stadium tickets for the Daytona 500 officially sold out yesterday!

My Picks!ย 

I became a Chase Elliott fan last year before he ran his first NASCAR Monster Energy race during his rookie season, therefore, I have to go with Team 24! Here’s my projected Top 5:

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kyle Larson

Remember to follow along on social media with the hashtag #Daytona500. Enjoy the race!

Cover Image:ย beyondtheflag.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย 

Baker Mayfield busted after a wild night in . . . Arkansas?

Baker Mayfield busted after a wild night in . . . Arkansas?

By: Ashley Conley

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was arrested for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and fleeing from the police in the wee hours of Saturday morning, according to an Arkansas sheriff’s office.

Whyย was Mayfield, a Texas native and redshirt junior at the University of Oklahoma, partying it up in Arkansas? No one’s quite sure, but the Internet had plenty of jokes to crack once the news of his arrest broke.

According to the official police report, the officer that arrested Mayfield chased him down and tackled him to the ground. As you can guess, the jokes just keep on rolling.

Mayfield, who led the Sooners to a Big 12 conference championship and a Sugar Bowl victory last season, is (or was) a favorite to win the next Heisman Trophy. Did his drunken night out in Arkansas ruin that and his future NFL Draft stock?

Cover Image: Rainer Hosch/espn.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย 

Jameis Winston never fails to disappoint

Jameis Winston never fails to disappoint

By: Ashley Conley

Jameis Winston is in the news for something bad, again.

Winston was invited to a Florida elementary school on Wednesday to “deliver a message of inspiration and self-confidence”, according to a tweet sent out by theย Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that’s not entirelyย how things went down.

“All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston said in his speech. “But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to. Now a lot of boys aren’t supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I’m saying? One day y’all are going to have a very deep voice like this (in deep voice). One day, you’ll have a very, very deep voice.

“But the ladies, they’re supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men (are) supposed to be strong. I want y’all to tell me what the third rule of life is: I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!”

WHAT!?!?!?

This famous football player just told girls that “they’re supposed to be silent” after instructingย them to remain seated while the boys in the room stood and received a speech about how they’re supposed to be the “strong” ones? To say I’m disgruntled by Winston’s dialogue would be an understatement. Even if his intentions were good, an athlete who has the potential to be a role model should think about what he’sย going to say before it leaves his mouth in an elementary school full of young, learning children.

Winston apologized for his comments, citing that he used “a poor word choice that may have overshadowed” what was meant to be a positive message.
Winston made headlines for multiple behavioral/moral issues throughout his collegiate football career. In 2012, the then-Florida State recruit was accused of rape. The lawsuit was eventually settled and Winston faced no charges. Then, in 2014, Winston was caught on video stealing crab legs from a Publix grocery store. He was issued a civil citation. Later that same year, the Heisman Trophy winner stood on top of a table at FSU and yelled a sexual obscenity. He received a one-game suspension as punishment.

Hopefully, Winston’s “poor word choice”ย isn’t a step back in the wrong direction.

Cover Image: nypost.com
Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย 
There’s nothing like a good buzzer beater!

There’s nothing like a good buzzer beater!

By: Ashley Conley

There’s nothing more exciting in college basketball than a good buzzer beater, especially when an unranked team defeats a top-10 opponent in front of their home crowd.

Syracuse got the job done against the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils last night at the Carrier Dome. John Gillon, a transfer from Colorado State, banked in a three to seal the deal just as the buzzer sounded in front of more than 30,000 Orange fans.

The last-second shot initiated a massive court storm, was instantly the talk of every commentator on ESPN and quickly became a top trend on Twitter.

By adding this marquee win to their resume, the Syracuse Orange (17-12) will likely cap off a roller coaster season with a NCAA Tournament bid.

Cover Image: Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย 

The NBA trade deadline has fans/players on the edge of their seat

The NBA trade deadline has fans/players on the edge of their seat

By: Ashley Conley

It’s that time of year again; The NBA trade deadline (Feb. 23 at 3 p.m.) is rapidly approaching and fans/players are experiencing all sorts of emotions.

Confused

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas tweeted a single emoji and Boston fans have no clue what it means. Could he be on his way out of Beantown, or was he just causing a ruckus?

A day later, Pistons center Andre Drummond tweeted the same single emoji as Isaiah Thomas, stirring things up even more. Is a major Boston-Detroit trade in the works?

Disappointed

Following the All-Star game on Sunday, the Sacramento Kings traded away DeMarcus Cousins. While some fans were pleased with the trade thanks to Cousins’ recent behavioral issues, others were upset about what the team got in return.

The Kings sent Cousins and forward Omri Casppi to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and one future first-round and second-round draft pick. Cousins, a three-time NBA All-Star, averages more than 27 PPG and 10 RPG (a double-double). Was this a good trade? You do the math.

Hopeful

Some fans are just hoping and praying for their team to acquire an elite player prior to the trade deadline without having to give away the face of the franchise. For Celtics fans, Carmelo Anthony (a nine-time All-Star), is on their radar.

The Celtics even followed Anthony on Instagram, adding fuel to the fire.

Lakers fans are also quite hopeful of acquiring some additional talent in Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler or Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George. However, fans don’t even know how to feelย after rumors swirled that young guns Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell, among others, could beย on the way out in exchange.

Entertained

The week leading up to the trade deadline (and especially the last day) is quite possibly the most exciting part of the NBA season, minus the Finals. Some fans live for this drama, others can’t stand the unknown, but most fans can certainly agree that it’s entertaining.

Sit down and buckle up, because it’s Trade Deadline Eve and it’s about to get crazy!

Cover Image: thebiglead.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.ย