NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.31.11

Posted by Brian Goodman on March 31st, 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.

Butler

Connecticut

  • Much has been made of Kemba Walker‘s spectacular season and Jeremy Lamb‘s breakout in the tournament, but Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Alex Oriakhi share a bond that goes back to before Walker even set foot in campus.
  • Houston has been good to UConn during Jim Calhoun‘s tenure, as the city was home to Jake Voskuhl, Emeka Okafor and Hasheem Thabeet before the three players made their respective trips up to Storrs. The Huskies are looking for Houston to give them another great memory.
  • Youth will dominate Saturday’s semifinal between Connecticut and Kentucky, with a probable six freshmen combined in the two teams’ starting lineups.
  • If UConn is the last team standing in Houston, one question sure to be asked surrounds Jim Calhoun’s future with the university. And if the end of his coaching career is nigh, who might succeed him? Former Husky player and current assistant Kevin Ollie might lead that list.
  • More hardware rolls in for Kemba Walker, who was named the recipient of the Bob Cousy Award as college basketball’s top point guard, beating out Nolan Smith, Norris Cole, Jordan Taylor and Jimmer Fredette.

Kentucky

VCU

  • Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, is encouraging state employees to dress down on Friday – provided their casual clothing displays VCU gear. More than 1,000 Richmond residents gathered to see the Rams off to Houston on Wednesday.
  • On campus, VCU spirit is at fever pitch. The campus bookstore reports over 20,000 t-shirts sold since the Rams sent Kansas packing from San Antonio on Sunday and 2,000 students attended a pep rally before the team departed to the Final Four.
  • Tommy Tonelli, whose high school team faced Joey Rodriguez‘s prior to his arrival in Richmond, states that his scouting report remains the same as it was in 2006: “He controls the game, takes the open shot and gets people the ball when he needs to.” Tonelli has some elite company as a coach who has fallen to the Rams.
  • The Rams are hoping for a chance to practice their new victory dance brought in by freshman Heath Houston. Will Shaka Smart bust a move?
  • No one can blame VCU for getting excited, but Smart’s motivational acumen will be tested as he looks to keep his team focused on the prize.
Brian Goodman (781 Posts)

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


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