That first-rounder will be the West Virginia swan song for UPJ (14-2), which heads to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference with Seton Hill next year. An 86-76 win over the Mountain Cats helped give Concord (16-10) home-court advantage.
Seton Hill (15-11) hosts West Virginia Wesleyan (12-14) in a 7-vs.-10 matchup, No. 6 Shepherd (15-11) hosts No. 11 Glenville State (12-15), No. 2 Fairmont State (19-7) hosts No. 15 Ohio Valley (3-25), No. 4 Wheeling Jesuit (17-9) hosts No. 13 Davis & Elkins (8-18) and No. 14 Bluefield State (4-22) travels to No. 3 Alderson-Broaddus (18-8).
The latter game pits two teams on the outside of the WVC teams breaking away to form the Mountain East Conference with two Ohio schools and one from western Virginia. Other teams in the same boat are Davis & Elkins and Ohio Valley.
Tonight's winners join West Liberty in the quarterfinals Thursday at the Civic Center. The Hilltoppers are top-ranked in the Division II Atlantic Region and appear to be a good bet to host that eight-team gathering. A-B and Wheeling Jesuit are ranked seventh and 10th, respectively, and have work to do.
But as Poore pointed out, every team has the right to win its way to the tournament championship and automatic bid, and that process begins tonight.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@ wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.