CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Every year in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the meeting between the No. 5 and No. 12 seed is the one most primed for upsets.
Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the No. 12 seed has won its first-round game 35 times.
While football is a much different sport, the 12-5 mystery holds its place in the Mountain State postseason, making tonight's matchup between No. 12 South Charleston (7-3) and No. 5 Wheeling Park (9-1) at Wheeling Island Stadium so intriguing.
Fourteen times since the postseason was expanded to 16 teams beginning in 1991, a No. 5 seed in the first round, but just three times in Class AAA. One of those occurred to Wheeling Park, which dropped a 32-28 decision to No. 12 Princeton in 2000.
"South Charleston isn't your normal first round match-up," Wheeling Park Coach Chris Daugherty said. "It won't be an easy task for sure. They have a very talented team and it's going to be a tough game for us."
Despite that fact, the Patriots are happy to be playing on their home field after going on the road the past two seasons in the first round of the playoffs when they fell to Spring Valley and Cabell Midland.
"It is nice to be at home," Daugherty said. "I would much rather be in our shoes, sleeping in our own bed, being in our hometown the day of the game, and in our stadium.
"Finally, someone else gets a dose of that after we have been on the road the past two years. We are definitely eager to get a win and move on but there are 15 other teams looking to do the same thing."
Even though SC is the lower seed, the Black Eagles have played right with the best teams in the state with their three losses coming to teams ranked in the upper portion of the playoffs.
South Charleston lost late leads in the fourth quarter to No. 1 Huntington 21-17 and No. 3 Capital 34-31, and were defeated in the opening week of the season to No. 8 George Washington 34-27.
While encouraged with the close encounters, Coach Donnie Mays knows the postseason is about winning and not keeping games close.