West Virginia Universitys intramural mens basketball team will be one of eight squads from across the country competing in the national finals April 25-28 in Orlando.

The team, which calls itself the Wildcats, earned an invitation to the national tournament after finishing second in a regional competition in March at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said team captain and guard Jacob Barkley.

There are four regional competitions across the country, and the top two squads from each region move on to the national finals. The region in which WVU competes extends along the East Coast from Delaware to Georgia and as far west as Michigan. The other team competing in the nationals from this region is Shaw University from Raleigh, N.C., which defeated WVU in the regional finals.

Barkley, a biology student from Thornton, said he and his teammates are thrilled to have made the finals.

“Just the simple fact that were representing West Virginia, WVU and Morgantown is a great honor,”he said.”Weve put together a great group of guys who are smart and play well together.”

Other team members are guard T.R. Stutler, a biology student from Clarksburg; guard Ryan Rowland, a physical education student from Fairmont; guard-forward Travis Goldsmith, an engineering student from Ripley; forward-center Jason Shields, a business student from Clay Battelle; forward-center Bruce Dunlop, an engineering student from Union; forward Jeremy Nestor, a pharmacy student from Philippi; and forward Lamar Calhoun, a business student from Pittsburgh.

The team is trying to raise money for its trip to the competition, Barkley said.

Campus Conceptswhich sponsors the tournamentprovides lodging, two meal vouchers and $1,000 for each team, he said. The team would like to raise enough money to purchase round-trip airplane tickets because the tourney is the week before”dead week”at WVU when students study for final exams.

Anyone interested in helping the team with its expenses can call Barkley at 304-598-0322.