NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.16.2011

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 16th, 2011

Throughout the NCAA Tournament, we’ll be providing you with the daily chatter from around the webosphere relating to what’s going on with the teams still playing.

West

  • Word came last night that Kyrie Irving will be available for Duke, but how big a difference can he make for a team already at a one-seed?
  • According to a study conducted by BracketScience.com, Michigan head coach John Beilein is the second-best coach at outperforming his seed.
  • Missouri is ninth in the nation in scoring, but it’s mostly due to Mike Anderson‘s uptempo style rather than smooth shooting.
  • A survivor mentality is crucial for Memphis, who fell under the radar during a roller coaster season.
  • Bucknell senior GW Boon, a Kansas fan when the Bison shocked the Jayhawks in 2005, changed allegiances when the coaching staff came knocking shortly after.
  • It’s taken a few years, but Mick Cronin finally has Cincinnati on the upswing.

Southwest

  • An apt nickname for the UNLV-Illinois matchup game might be “The Lon Kruger Bowl.”
  • Old Dominion is one of this season’s Cinderella candidates, behind big man Frank Hassell.
  • A veteran lineup is expected to get plenty of mileage for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
  • It’s already been an up-and-down week for Purdue, and they haven’t even played a tournament game yet. After JaJuan Johnson was named an All-American, Kelsey Barlow was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
  • Off the court, Utah State is one of just seven schools in the NCAA Tournament with perfect graduation rates.
  • Richmond coach Chris Mooney has been poring over Vanderbilt film and has a good idea of what the Commodores will try to do Thursday.

Southeast

  • UNC-Asheville opened the NCAA Tournament with an overtime win over Arkansas-Little Rock. The Bulldogs now have a matchup with Pittsburgh.
  • Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo expects a huge breakout performance from Durrell Summers.
  • Florida is looking to maintain staying power at the forefront of college basketball.
  • The remarkable success of St. John’s can be attributed to head coach Steve Lavin and his tremendous staff.
  • Kansas State star guard Jacob Pullen is hoping to star again on the tournament stage.

East

  • They say defense wins championships, so Ohio State head coach Thad Matta is stressing defense leading up to the tournament. Luckily for him, the Buckeyes possess defensive stalwart David Lighty.
  • In an era where coaches have been known for going fancy, give credit to West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins for sticking to his signature look.
  • Xavier head coach Chris Mack produced a couple tweets that were highly critical of analyst Kenny Smith, one of a handful of personalities making the move from NBA commentary to breaking down the NCAA’s.
  • Syracuse used great interior defense to recover from a midseason swoon.
  • Georgia head coach Mark Fox believes that if his team can get over the awe of playing in the NCAA Tournament, it should be a tough out.
Brian Goodman (742 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.


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