CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When the seedings for the Class A state tournament were released last week and revealed yet another Charleston Catholic versus Buffalo game, many thought it was the Bison who would yelp.
After all, Buffalo has lost its last 32 meetings with the Irish, including three already this season.
Well, Catholic can't be all that enamored with the matchup, either, having beaten a good team thrice this season and looking for a fourth conquest.
But both teams have been taking the high road since the announcement came that No. 3 seed Catholic (22-3) and No. 6 Buffalo (21-4) will open the 100th state tournament at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals at the Civic Center.
"From our perspective,'' said Irish coach Bill McClanahan, "and I would suspect Buffalo is the same way, we're happy to be there. It's not a given that you get to the state tournament. You have to earn your way there. To get there, you have to be one of the last eight teams playing. It's an accomplishment and an honor.
"Being there is a fantastic thing. Who you play? Well, you've got seven choices and you end up with one of them. The voting and the ranking we do the last few years is as good and fair a system and way to do it, from my perspective. How it works out is how it works out.''
Like Buffalo coach Chuck Elkins indicated last week, McClanahan said Catholic's past successes against the Bison - which include no losses since a sectional game on March 5, 1997 - mean nothing this week. It's a clean slate.
"As far as being our fourth time against Buffalo [this season],'' McClanahan said, "we're preparing like it's the first time.
"Our mindset has to be that it's the state tournament - a different court and different officials - and we have to treat it like it's a different team. It's the fourth time, but it's the first time.''