NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.03.11Posted by Brian Goodman on April 3rd, 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.
- Thousands of fans packed Hinkle Fieldhouse to see Butler upend VCU. It’s a feat for the ages – not even the Indiana Hoosiers in Bob Knight’s prime made it to consecutive Final Fours, and there’s plenty of reasons to get pumped.
- After a monumental season, Rams coach Shaka Smart may be a target at NC State. I’m not convinced Smart’s a sure thing at a power conference due to his limited (albeit accomplished) resume. Will the Wolfpack’s administration roll the dice and bring Shaka to Raleigh?
- Ronald Nored didn’t crack the scoring column, but he deviously motivated sharpshooting Shelvin Mack into a 24-point night at Reliant Stadium. We’ll see if Nored gets crafty again Monday night.
- Brad Stevens believes that the mind and motor of big man Matt Howard are just different. He has to mean different in a good way considering the success Howard has had during his time in a Bulldog uniform.
- An interesting breakdown on why Butler may defeat UConn for the national title. Nobody should be looking past the Bulldogs anymore, and after consecutive trips to the championship game, they’re no sleeper.
- Zach Hahn‘s unlikely drive to the hoop during the second half of Butler’s win over VCU brought both the crowd and his teammates to their feet. Hahn’s shooting prowess was also on display in the semifinal victory.
- Kemba Walker finally admitted what most onlookers believed: he’s getting tired. While his supporting cast has stepped up, he’ll need to reach back for just a little more on Monday.
- Elite company awaits Jim Calhoun if the Huskies beat Butler. With one more win, Calhoun would become just the fifth coach in NCAA Tournament history to win three titles. The others are John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Adolph Rupp.
- Shabazz Napier cooly made the decisive free throws to put Connecticut up four with two seconds to go. As a freshman at the Final Four, it takes a lot of guts to succeed in a pressure situation like that.
- UConn’s freshmen starred alongside Kemba Walker, but senior big man Charles Okwandu has fought perhaps harder than anyone in the Huskies locker room for his spot on the team.
- The news of Nate Miles‘ willingness to speak with the NCAA about his recruitment comes at an inconvenient time for UConn, and at least one columnist believes the gesture is reprehensible and that any new information revealed will be tough to vet.