RTC Region by Region Tidbits: 03.17.10Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2010
Each day this week during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament we’re asking some of our top correspondents to put together a collection of notes and interesting tidbits about each region. If you know of something that we should include in tomorrow’s submission, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Region Notes (Ryan Restivo of SienaSaintsBlog)
- President Barack Obama picked Kentucky to lose in his bracket’s final game but Coach John Calipari is worried about just getting momentum. “Land the plane. Survive and advance,” Calipari told Chris Low of ESPN. “That’s all we’re thinking about. We’re not worried about the score and who scores and what. Just land the plane and move on.” To that end, East Tennessee State lost by ten to Pitt last year as a #16 seed in the first round. Can they be the first to pull off the historic upset?
- Perhaps both Texas and Wake Forest should just throw out their recent struggles.
- Temple is only favored by 4 points over Cornell. Meanwhile Lafayette head coach Fran O’Hanlon has worked with both coaches and is rooting for both.
- Would professors at Wofford dare to not pick the Terriers over Wisconsin in their office pool? And apparently message boards hounded Badger junior Tim Jarmusz earlier this season as he moved from starting forward to coming off the bench.
- Washington’s Isaiah Thomas has a broken bone in his shooting hand, which is why he wears a glove.
- Last year Marquette’s players shaved their heads in solidarity, but this time they got a different haircut.
- New Mexico’s Darington Hobson is predicting a run to the regional finals. Meanwhile the New York Times has a great profile on Montana’s Anthony Johnson.
- Is this Mike Anderson’s best coaching job at Missouri?
- West Virginia is looking to beat Morgan State after losing to Dayton as a #6 seed last year.
West Region Notes (Andrew Murawa)
- With senior center Arinze Onuaku likely out for the entire weekend for Syracuse, coach Jim Boeheim will come up with some more creative lineups this weekend, with little-used freshman center DaShonte Riley potentially getting some important minutes.
- Oakland coach Greg Kampe thinks his best chance to give Pitt a run in their opening round game is to play their normal tempo instead of trying to slow things down and limit possessions.
- BYU is used to playing in the NCAA Tournament, having been there three years in a row, but they haven’t quite yet got the winning thing down. They haven’t won a tournament game in 17 years, but coach Dave Rose thinks their first-round opponent looks a bit like a team they’ve already seen a couple times this year. Florida’s main focus defensively against BYU will be attempting to contain junior guard Jimmer Fredette, a task which will fall most often to freshman guard Kenny Boynton.
- Murray State guard and second leading scorer B.J. Jenkins cut his finger while cutting down the nets at the OVC tournament a week and a half ago. The cut was bad enough to require staples, but those have been removed and he’ll be ready to go against Vanderbilt on Thursday. While Murray State was bigger and more athletic on most nights than their conference opponents, stepping up to face an SEC program presents a much different opponent, one that will easily have the size advantage in their matchup.
- Similarly, while Gonzaga is no stranger to high-level college basketball, it has spent the better part of the last couple of months as the biggest, strongest and most athletic team in the building. That will not be the case when they face Florida State on Friday.
- And then there is Butler, a team riding a 20-game winning streak but another team that will be significantly undersized, matching their interior player 6-foot-8 junior Matt Howard against a UTEP front line that will throw 6-11 Arnett Moultrie and 6-9 Derrick Caracter at him, just for starters.
- And while this whole NCAA Tournament thing is new for most of the UTEP team, Caracter has an Elite Eight appearance under his belt, although this time around, he’s hoping to have much bigger positive influence for his team.
Midwest Region Notes (Tom Hager)
- According to Northern Iowa’s Adam Koch, the mindset of the team is different this year. They are no longer happy with just appearing in the Tournament. However, UNLV coach Lon Kruger is 5-0 in his last five first round games, going back to his days at Illinois.
- Kelly Beacon touched on the possibility of UNI coach Ben Jacobsen receiving job offers from major schools. One of the main candidates? In-state foe Iowa.
- Just like Georgia Tech did before their ACC Tournament run, the Yellow Jackets are once banning all cell phone use.
- Both CBS and ESPN have created brackets based on millions of predictions by fans. Worth noting is the lack of upsets in any region, as the #8 UNLV vs. #9 UNI game was the only lower seeded team to advance in ESPN’s bracket. The two most contested games are both in the Midwest, as just 51.2% of fans picked UNI, while in the Oklahoma State vs. Georgia Tech game, 51% of fans went with the Cowboys.
- Wired.com conducted a breakdown of the most overrated and underrated teams by comparing what fans are predicting against what the numbers of Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin are saying. There are no overrated teams in the Midwest, and San Diego State was the only team in the region to qualify in the underrated category.
- The Providence Journal took a look at Georgetown analyzing its strengths and weaknesses, saying that Greg Monroe is the most complete big man in the country, but does not get enough touches per game.
South Region Notes – PENDING