RTC Region by Region Tidbits: 03.25.10Posted by THager on March 26th, 2010
Each day this week during the regional 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.
- One of Michigan State’s big advantages may be in their bench production, which has been averaging nearly 25 points per game lately and runs 11 players deep.
- According to Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson, the decision to sign the contract extension was a no-brainer. He signed a 10-year deal that will pay well over $400,000 per season.
- The Washington Post notes that one of the major differences in the absence of Kalin Lucas is the contrasting and free flowing style that Korie Lucious plays at. Lucious’ 13-point total in MSU’s game against Maryland was his highest total of the season.
- Everybody knows Ohio State’s Jon Diebler has an incredible range, but not many people know that he used to shoot for dollar bills to hone his skills.
- Michigan State is known for being mentally tough, but Northern Iowa is not used to the national exposure they have received from their trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Although Ali Farokhmanesh has said that the confidence he receives has always been there, he admits that the media exposure has been overwhelming.
West Region (Andrew Murawa)
- The Kansas State/Xavier game is already being called the best of the Tournament so far. Which, given the context, is really saying something. Even though the previous game in Salt Lake City saw one of the remaining favorites to advance to the title game fall, the nightcap definitely stole the headlines.
- With Butler knocking off Syracuse on Thursday night, they are now one game away from playing in the Final Four in their hometown, and regardless of the outcome on Saturday, they’ll be heading back to Indianapolis. The Bulldogs got several huge (and somewhat fortunate) plays by senior Willie Veasley down the stretch.
- For Syracuse, it is a very disappointing end to an otherwise spectacular year and ends the careers of seniors Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku and likely junior Wesley Johnson, although he says that he is leaning towards returning for another season rather than head to the NBA as a likely lottery pick. But CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel called it a fitting end for the Orange’s season after they hid the severity of Onuaku’s injury.
- But, aside from all that, just another boring night in the Tournament.
South Region (Patrick Sellars)
- It’s not breaking news that Scott Drew has done a tremendous job resurrecting the Baylor basketball program, yet everyone seems to want to talk about it whenever the Bears are brought up. Here is a great story about the tragedy at Baylor and how Drew has put his 2010 team in the Sweet 16.
- Nobody would think Omar Samhan is a Momma’s Boy, but the San Francisco Chronicle highlights Samhan’s unique relationship with his mother.
- The New York Times looks at Duke and how they’re feeling the pressure to advance past the Sweet 16.
- We don’t think there has been enough talk about the best on-ball defender in the NCAA tournament, Purdue guard Chris Kramer. Here is an LA Times story highlighting how Kramer has put this Boilermakers team on his back.
- Here’s a bit of insight as to how the other half roots for its teams, as Bloomberg News interviewed well-heeled Cornell fans tonight at the Manhattan Cornell Club. We can’t imagine there’s a Manhattan Kentucky club although we’d guess several local watering holes served as proxies.
- Mike Freeman of CBSSports believes that Kentucky wasn’t even focused for the entire Cornell game yet were still able to win going away.
- Kentucky and West Virginia’s rivalry dates back to the Hatfield & McCoy feuds of the late 1800s, so according to Dan Wetzel, this should make for a fun Saturday night in Syracuse.
- This run by the Mountaineers means more to the actual mountaineers of the state than many of us can possibly imagine. Bob Huggins said that the governor of the state of West Virginia is having the games piped into the coal mines so that workers don’t have to miss their shifts to watch or listen to the WVU game.