RTC Final Four Tidbits: 03.28.10Posted by THager on March 28th, 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.
Michigan State (Tom Hager)
- Michigan State’s victory on Sunday is not without controversy. Tennessee’s J.P. Prince, who committed the crucial foul with less than two seconds left, went over to the scorer’s table after the game and said that he did not believe there was a foul.
- Although this is Tom Izzo’s sixth trip to the Final Four in twelve years, he makes sure not to take it for granted. According to Izzo, reaching the Final Four is the greatest aspect of coaching because of the work involved in getting there.
- The trip to the semifinals is even more impressive considering former MSU star Magic Johnson did not even believe that this was a Final Four team a month ago.
- Perhaps the reason for Izzo’s success is his perfectionist attitude. During one point in the game on Sunday, Draymond Green asked if he could make a mistake, and Izzo told him not at this crucial time of year.
- Kalin Lucas is still the hero for Michigan State, as fans chanted his name and players carried him up to the rim to cut the nets.
Duke (Patrick Sellars)
- The Washington Post looks at the brotherhood of the Duke Blue Devils in this article. Coach K has a team back in the Final Four for the first time since 2004.
- Was Scott Drew’s coaching inexperience exposed in the Elite Eight matchup Sunday? Here is a look at how Drew may have cost Baylor the game and a shot at the Final Four.
- Everyone is happy in Durham. Jon Scheyer said “It’s a dream come true. To get that win, we had to work our butts off for it, and it felt great.”
- There was a lot of emotion in the Baylor locker room after their loss on Sunday. It was a sad end to a dream season. “You don’t want it to end,” a teary-eyed Tweety Carter said, “and you want to do whatever it takes to make it go on.”
West Virginia (Ryan Restivo of SienaSaintsBlog)
- West Virginia, the New York Times notes, is an example of tournament-tested experience over raw talent.
- Darryl Bryant hopes to play and according to various sources was cleared to play.“I might play the next game,” Bryant said, according to ESPN.com. “A shoe is being made to take all the pressure off the area. I probably will be able to play in the next game.”
- The Mountaineers might be favorites this weekend. That is something, according to Pete Thamel, they are comfortable with while they proved the nation wrong with their win Saturday.
- West Virginia’s athletic site has a story that describes the Mountaineers as focused and ready to bring a national championship to Morgantown.
- West Virginia will feature another zone look that Duke will have to prepare for.
Butler (Andrew Murawa)
- After four rounds of a tournament chock full of upsets and potential Cinderellas, it is Butler that remains the underdog in the Final Four, despite having now won 24 straight games and getting to play within shouting distance of their campus.
- While the “Hoosiers” underdog story gets mentioned in at least every second article about Butler, BiaH assures us that their Final Four run is not a fluke.
- Much like his team is less known than the rest of the teams in the Final Four, baby-faced head coach Brad Stevens isn’t as well known as guys like Izzo or Krzyzewski or Huggins, but there is no doubting what he has done with this Bulldog team.
- Butler generally isn’t known as a factory for professional basketball players, but sophomore forward Gordon Hayward has caught many a NBA scout’s eye, and he’ll have to weigh his options in the offseason.
- And finally for tonight, while Matt Howard’s play and ability to stay out of foul trouble will continue to be an important factor in Butler’s chances to advance, it’s a little thing on his upper lip that may be getting him the most press.