RTC Region by Region Tidbits: 03.20.10Posted by rtmsf on March 21st, 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.
West Region Notes (Andrew Murawa)
- The West Region is the only region in the tournament without a double-digit seed still alive, but that doesn’t mean it is without some dreamers, as the recent blueprint for the mid-major Cinderella, Gonzaga, takes on Syracuse tomorrow. And Mark Few knows that his Zags won’t be intimidated by the importance of this game. But in order for them to get the job done, they’ll need to figure out the Orange zone.
- For their part, Syracuse will again be without senior center Arinze Onuaku and head coach Jim Boeheim isn’t particularly pleased about having to play the early game today after having played late on Friday night.
- With rumors swirling about Few possibly leaving Gonzaga for the Oregon opening, will he run for the potentially greener grass, or take his cue from Jim Boeheim, who has spent his entire career building one program?
- In the Milwaukee pod, Xavier takes on Pitt in what should be a heavyweight fight between two east coast grinders. These two teams met last year in the Regional Semifinal round, but a lot has changed in both programs since then. For Xavier, there is a new coach and a new star player, while Pitt is missing most of its leading men from last year, but has had a new batch, including sophomore guard Ashton Gibbs, step up.
- Speaking of Xavier’s new head coach, there was this little exchange between Xavier coach Chris Mack and Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Jim Souhan before the Xavier/Minnesota first round game. So, make that Xavier 2, Minnesota 0.
Midwest Region Notes (Tom Hager)
- In a Washington Post poll of nearly 500 people, 66% of voters believe that Saturday’s Northern Iowa vs. Kansas game was a bigger upset than George Mason vs. Connecticut in 2006.
- UNI’s Adam Koch might have had the quote of the night with his reaction to what Pat Forde called one of the ultimate no-no-YES shots in tournament history: “”Honestly? It was ‘Oh God,’ ” Koch admitted. “I wasn’t sure. But if anybody’s going to shoot it, Ali’s going to do it. And Ali’s probably going to make it.”
- Maryland’s Landon Milbourne said that he expects the Terps to play a different style against Michigan State. In addition to pushing the tempo, Maryland may also look to apply full court pressure.
- Michigan State is anything but healthy going into tomorrow’s game. Not only are Kalin Lucas and Chris Allen suffering from foot injuries, but Delvon Roe is still suffering from pain in his knee.
- According to Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises, Georgia Tech is much more talented than your average 10 seed or 12-loss team, led by potential first round pick Derrick Favors.