RTC Final Four Tidbits: 04.01.10

Posted by THager on April 2nd, 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 rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Michigan State (Tom Hager)

  • ESPN’s Jemele Hill has never been one to shy away from controversy, but she caused quite a stir when she said that head coach Tom Izzo was the best coach in the history of the state.
  • According to guard Korie Lucious, although the Spartans are anticipating a hostile environment, they are used to big crowds cheering against them.
  • Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News says that MSU’s experience is what will set them apart, and that the only players who treat the Final Four like an ordinary game have never played at that level before.
  • USA Today points out that Michigan State’s win margin of 13 total points in their first four games is the lowest total since the field expanded to 64 teams.
  • If the Spartans win on Saturday, East Lansing police can expect some rioting, even before the national championship game.

Butler (Andrew Murawa)

  • In the basketball-mad state of Indiana, Butler has now vaulted Indiana University and other stalwarts to the head of the class, if only temporarily.
  • The Bulldog roster features 10 players from the state of Indiana, including such key contributors as Gordon Hayward, Matt Howard, Zach Hahn and Andrew Smith.
  • But while the Bulldogs may be riding high, they aren’t so famous that head coach Brad Stevens doesn’t get mistaken as a player on the team by a Lucas Oil Field security guard.
  • While, thankfully, the Butler/”Hoosiers” comparison has tired out some, it is pretty cool to note that Bobby Plump, the Milan High star upon whom the Jimmy Chitwood character in the movie was based, actually went on to star at Butler.
  • Speaking of the movies, Butler junior forward Howard has earned a reputation as quite the actor when trying to draw a charge.


  • Thirty years ago, Nolan Smith’s now-deceased father, Derek, helped Louisville win a national championship in downtown Indy; his son honors his dad’s memory and hopes to replicate the achievement this weekend.
  • Duke’s senior class, particularly Jon Scheyer, have come a long way since three years ago when VCU’s Eric Maynor sent them packing in the first round in Buffalo.
  • The Huffington Post discusses how the Duke players learn how to deal with being a target of derision and hatred throughout their careers in Durham.
  • Ben Cohen at Deadspin argues that Duke really isn’t all that unlikeable this year, and we should all give them a chance.  What say you, readers?

West Virginia

  • It’s looking less and less likely that Truck Bryant is going to be able to play this weekend vs. Duke.  He’s still yet to practice and Coach Bob Huggins said on Thursday that it’s highly unlikely we’ll see him on the floor this weekend.
  • Apparently 53% of West Virginians want to see Huggins wearing his trademark black track suit on the sidelines on Saturday.  The scientific validity of this poll is probably in question.
  • “Do What We Do” is the WVU team motto this year, and the coach had navy blue shirts made up with that written on it.
  • The Logo Jerry West talked to Dan Patrick today about how the 1959 national title game (which WVU lost to California) still haunts him to this day.
THager (49 Posts)

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