NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.14.11Posted by Brian Goodman on March 14th, 2011
Throughout the NCAA Tournament, we’ll be providing you with all the chatter from around the webosphere relating to what’s going on with the teams still playing. We hope to have these up each morning starting Tuesday, March 15, but don’t kill us if it sometimes slips to the early afternoon.
- Xavier head coach Chris Mack believes the Musketeers have a tough game on Friday against Marquette.
- Despite the late-season collapse, Villanova head coach Jay Wright was not worried about his Wildcats grabbing an NCAA bid.
- The inclusion of UAB in the field of 68 was harshly criticized on ESPN.
- George Mason‘s at-large bid illuminates their growth as a program since its Cinderella run in 2006.
- As SEC tournament champions, John Calipari believes a #4 seed is too low for his Kentucky Wildcats.
- A good breakdown of why it matters that the Georgia Bulldogs made the NCAA Tournament.
- Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar lifted the suspension of senior guard Venoy Overton for the NCAA Tournament.
- Old Dominion head coach Blaine Taylor is being mentioned in connection with the Utah opening.
- Butler may not possess the same versatility it had a year ago.
- Kansas State head coach Frank Martin feels the Big 12 was short-changed.
- Despite their season-long struggles, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo believes the Spartans are primed for a deep tournament run.
- UCLA is dancing again after a one-year absence.
- Old friends Steve Lavin and Mark Few will meet in the the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Boston University head coach Patrick Chambers faced his team’s opening round opponent, Kansas, as a Villanova assistant in 2008. He’s eager to meet the Jayhawks again.
- Illinois has to play with emotion in order to make a run, according to Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Georgetown may be underseeded, now that guard Chris Wright will be back. Florida State‘s Chris Singleton is another recently healed player in the Southwest region.
- JaJuan Johnson of Purdue is a USBWA First Team All-American.
- An intra-state battle between Kenneth Faried‘s Morehead State steam and Louisville is one highlight of the Southwest bracket.
- Major props are in order for Saint Peter‘s coach John Dunne, who turned the Peacocks from a group that lost 18 games in a row just three seasons ago into an NCAA Tournament team by taking the MEAC tourney crown.
- #15-seed Northern Colorado is in the tournament for the first time in its fifth season as a full-fledged D-I school.
- Memphis coach Josh Pastner, a former assistant and one-time walk on at Arizona, will meet his old team in the first round.
- The 8-9 matchup between Michigan and Tennessee pits two teams who seem to have alternated extended periods of success. From 1985-1996, Michigan went to three Final Fours, winning the national championship in 1989, but this is just their second tournament berth since 1998. In the same stretch, Tennessee only cracked the field once, but has made eight tournament appearances since 1998.
- All week, Connecticut is going to face questions about fatigue from its grueling Big East Tournament run. They draw Bucknell, a team that knows a little bit about upending historical powerhouses in the dance.
- Behind hot-shooting point guard Talor Battle, ten-seed Penn State squeezed into the Tournament for the first time in ten years.
- The Missouri Tigers must keep rampant rumors regarding head coach Mike Anderson‘s future with the team in the periphery. Anderson is widely speculated to be the lead candidate to replace John Pelphrey at Arkansas.
- Six-seed Cincinnati is in the tournament for the first time under the leadership of Mick Cronin, but he’s hardly taking the “happy-to-be-here” approach.
- The matchup between Oakland‘s Keith Benson and Tristan Thompson of Texas should be a fierce battle in the 13-4 pairing.