RTC Final Four Tidbits: 03.29.10Posted by rtmsf on March 30th, 2010
Each day this week during the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament we’re asking some of our top correspondents to put together a collection of notes and interesting tidbits about each team still alive. If you know of something that we should include in tomorrow’s submission, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Big Surprise: Tom Izzo will not be leaving Michigan State for an Oregon team that finished 7-11 in the Pac-10.
- Butler may have the advantage of the home crowd in Indianapolis, but Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens believes that MSU may have a large portion of the crowd pulling for the Spartans as well.
- According to the New York Times, the harder Durrell Summers worked on his defensive game, the easier his offensive production has come by.
- Seth Davis says that toughness, a category that MSU excels in given their rebounding ability, is the most important asset to have on a team at this time of the season.
- Delvon Roe is expected to be in the starting lineup despite a knee injury. According to the team trainer, Roe has an unbelievable pain tolerance.
West Virginia (Ryan Restivo of SienaSaintsBlog)
- West Virginia, the Wall Street Journal noted, overcame a slow start to make the Final Four.
- Are there any stars in this year’s Final Four?
- Bob Huggins is not sure if Truck Bryant will be ready to go on Saturday. “I don’t have any idea,” Huggins said. “We’re not going to go today and we really won’t know until we see what he can do (Tuesday) and Wednesday and how he progresses.” However, Huggins told USA Today that they will explore every opportunity to play Bryant.
- West Virginia’s odds are interesting for this year’s Final Four.
- Mike DeCourcy writes that John Beilein’s holdovers and Huggins’ players combined to take this team to the next level.
Duke (Patrick Sellars)
- The Charlotte Observer argues why Duke will probably be in a few more Final Fours this decade. I agree, I think Duke will probably be ranked preseason #1 in 2010-11 if all the players that are supposed to come back to school actually do so.
- Here is an interesting piece on Duke guard Nolan Smith and his connection to Louisville. It still surprises me that he didn’t go to U of L, but I guess he just didn’t feel he would be able to handle playing in his father’s shadow.
- Duke’s MVP through the first three games of the tournament was probably Kyle Singler, however in the Elite Eight game against Baylor Singler missed every shot. That really speaks to the depth of this Duke team and why they have a great chance at coming home with a national title.
- The article title speaks for itself “Six Reasons Ya Gotta Love These Blue Devils (Even If You Hate Them..)” See if you can find a couple.
Butler (Andrew Murawa)
- Today’s obligatory Butler/”Hoosiers” reference comes courtesy of ESPN’s Page 2. But this one is actually marginally funny. Okay, at least the Bob Huggins as a Norman Dale/Shooter hybrid is funny. How about Gordon Hayward as Jimmy Chitwood? NBCSports’ Mike Miller wonders what the over/under on Hoosiers references is; whatever it is, take the over.
- One question though: do articles that dismiss the comparison still count against the total? And does the fact that this Butler program did not just appear on the scene yesterday and will not be disappearing tomorrow negate the comparison altogether?
- The Butler team is full of great stories, but the rapid rise of 33-year old head coach Brad Stevens to the pinnacle of his profession has to be right up there with the best of them. It’s not enough that he’s gone from pharmaceutical sales rep to Final Four head coach in just ten years, but the New York Times claims he is the “brightest star” in a Final Four with Hall-of-Fame types like Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo and Huggins.
- One angle that is going to be interesting to check out on Saturday is just how many fans the Bulldogs will bring along, and how quickly Duke and West Virginia fans will come down on their side against Michigan State.