RTC Region by Region Tidbits: 03.19.10Posted by rtmsf on March 19th, 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 email@example.com.
South Region Notes (Patrick Sellars)
- Everybody expects Baylor to have problems with Old Dominion’s zone in their second round matchup. The zone ODU ran against Notre Dame in their first round game was one of the key reasons the Monarchs came out on top. Here is a great breakdown of tomorrow’s game from the American Chronicle.
- The Boston Herald takes a look at St. Mary’s center Omar Samhan and how much his opponents respect him , despite the trash talking.
- ESPN’s Brian Bennett questions whether this Duke team is different than the recent Blue Devils teams that lost early in the NCAA tournament.
- Mark Turgeon is one of the best up and coming coaches in college basketball, and here is an article recapping his unique coaching style. As a former Oregon assistant there are whisperings over in Eugene about whether they will offer Turgeon the job, and if he would even consider leaving what he has at Texas A&M.
- The New York Times sums up Cal’s first round win over Louisville. It’s pretty amazing that the Pac-10 is 2-0 in the tournament thus far, both wins coming against Big East teams.
Midwest Region Notes (Tom Hager)
- Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl says that Ohio is a lot like his previous team, UW-Milwaukee. In addition to being an extremely confident group, they Bobcats rely heavily on three point shooting.
- President Obama is at the 96.6th percentile of ESPN brackets after the first round. However, he did have Georgetown going to the Elite Eight, so his chances at the grand prize may be less promising.
- For one of the first times all season, Cole Aldrich will be going up against somebody who is actually bigger than him in UNI’s Jordan Eglseder. The Panthers’ big man was arrested earlier in the year on DUI charges, and his numbers have taken a slight dip since his return, but he will play a huge role in any upset bid by Northern Iowa.
- CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel said that this Northern Iowa team is like other memorable cinderellas such as George Mason and Davidson. His reasoning? He has gone on record saying how UNI has no chance of winning,and that is what he said about the Patriots a few years ago.
- Despite playing for two previous teams before the Bobcats, Mike Freeman says that no player typifies Ohio basketball more than Armon Bassett. Bassett was a key catalyst for Ohio’s rout of Georgetown, and he has 148 points in his last five games.
East Region Notes (Ryan Restivo from SienaSaintsBlog)
- Don’t look now but Kentucky coach John Calipari said he is concerned about Wake Forest who outrebounded Texas by 25 in their win Thursday. “They got 20 offensive rebounds against Texas, who prides itself in that toughness and that rebounding,” Calipari told the AP. “I just watched tape and, you know, you get sick to your stomach.” The Demon Deacons have momentum and nothing to lose against the Wildcats, the New Orleans Times-Picayune points out.
- Cornell waited for its moment for two years and finally put on a show over Temple using players that were largely overlooked by major college basketball.
- Wisconsin barely survived its first-round game against Wofford, who caught a tough break to end their first NCAA Tournament appearance.
- Is Washington soft? No way. The Seattle Times said Coach Lorenzo Romar let his players play in the final seconds and won the game his way.
- Darington Hobson hurt his wrist but he still has New Mexico thinking big.
- Missouri shut down Clemson’s Trevor Booker in their win today. CBSSports asks, will Bob Huggins and West Virginia be able to handle the pressure?
West Region Notes – (Andrew Murawa)
- While Murray State and its 31 wins didn’t exactly come out of nowhere to beat Vanderbilt in the first round, they know for sure now that they won’t be catching anyone by surprise, especially their second round opponent, Butler. And even though senior forward Danero Thomas has become an overnight star in the wake of his buzzer-beating game-winner on Thursday, it’s back to business for him and his teammates who still have work to do.
- For its part, Butler will lean heavily on Kentuckian Shelvin Mack to help send the Racers back to Kentucky with just a single NCAA win. The Bulldogs, however, find Murray State to be a very familiar team: a very good college team hidden away in a relatively nondescript Midwest midmajor conference.
- While Jimmer Fredette has more important things on his mind today, BYU fans can look forward to sweating out his NBA draft decision this offseason. While the Cougars have relied heavily on Fredette this season, it may have been his struggle with mononucleosis in January that helped BYU head coach Dave Rose discover what sophomore Michael Loyd, Jr. could do when given the chance
- Kansas State’s focus on Saturday will be to contest every shot Fredette takes and that challenge will primarily fall to Jacob Pullen. Meanwhile, BYU knows that they’ll need to improve their effectiveness on the glass against the Wildcats after getting outrebounded by Florida on Thursday.
- And, once again, Sunday’s game times have been released, with Syracuse and Gonzaga getting the early spotlight at 12:10pm EDT and Xavier/Pitt among a trio of games wrapping up the first weekend of the tournament with an estimated start-time of 4:50pm.