NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.14.12 EditionPosted by Brian Goodman on March 14th, 2012
The NCAA Tournament is here and there’s more news, commentary and analysis than any of us can possibly keep up with. To make things a little easier, we’ll bring you a list of daily links gathered about teams in each of the four regions all the way through the Final Four.
- Where does Kentucky head coach John Calipari rank among the top coaches in the country without a title? As he continues to chase his white whale, will this finally be the year?
- Indiana freshman swingman Remy Abell has been a solid contributor to the Hoosiers’ success.
- The status of Duke junior forward Ryan Kelly is still uncertain for the NCAA Tournament. In the classic “Stretch 4″ role, Duke’s tournament fate could rest on Kelly’s availability.
- Notre Dame is a big fan of the Wilson-brand balls that will be used in the NCAA Tournament.
- Despite a successful regular season, UNLV still thinks its success will ultimately be determined by its play in the Big Dance. With Kentucky, Baylor and Duke all residing in the South, the Rebs will have their chance to make a big statement.
- Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall has made a gritty journey to being the head coach of the Shockers. After the firing of Darrin Horn from South Carolina, Marshall’s name was almost immediately mentioned as a successor, but Marshall remains focused on his current team.
- Since Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun has returned from leave, guard Shabazz Napier has really stepped up his game.
- Iowa State‘s risky decision to hire Fred Hoiberg has really paid off for the Cyclones. Many programs tend to shy away from hiring beloved former players out of PR concerns in case things go south, but just one season in, Hoiberg has the full confidence of his administration as well as his fanbase.
- The Creighton Bluejays aren’t bothered by Alabama‘s defensive prowess going into their opening round matchup. Creighton has pulled off wins against athletic teams in Long Beach State, Wichita State and San Diego State, but in an elimination setting, the margin of error becomes thinner.
- Kansas forward Thomas Robinson responded to some early smack talk from Detroit‘s Eli Holman prior to the team’s departure for Omaha. Holman was probably doing his best to keep confidence high, but likely generated some bulletin board material in doing so.
- The gradual recovery of Temple‘s Michael Eric from an early-season injury could make the Owls a threat.
- Ohio head coach John Groce has the Bobcats playing an uptempo style, which could be just the trick to upset Michigan in the opening round. Over the last few days, the Bobcats have become a popular upset pick and Groce comes from the coaching tree of Michigan’s biggest rival, Ohio State.
- The matchup between NC State and San Diego State pits two teams on the rise. In the Friday morning matchup, the Aztecs will try to overwhelm the Wolfpack with quickness, while the strength of Mark Gottfried‘s team is its size.
- By now, the development of Fab Melo‘s recent ineligibility is old news, but how will the Orange respond? Perhaps by taking on the look of high-octane teams like Marquette and Missouri, according to Rob Dauster.
- Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle took home Big Sky Coach Of The Year Honors, but right now, his attention is turned toward stopping Wisconsin.
- Matt Reynolds, UNC Asheville‘s director of basketball operations, got his start as a student manager with Syracuse. The branches of the NCAA coaching fraternity are wide-reaching, but they include support staff as well.
- The transformation of Cincinnati is one of the most compelling stories in Bracketville as tipoff nears. The turning point, according to many, was the embarrassing brawl at the Crosstown Shootout, but how did they get here from there?
- Leonard Hamilton‘s calling card with Florida State is an effective brand of defense. The ‘Noles advanced all the way to the Elite Eight last season without a potent offensive attack and stand a decent chance of returning if they can continue to put a lid on the basket.
- Southern Mississippi‘s leading scorer, Neil Watson, sits down for an interview discussing his team’s upcoming battle with Kansas State.
- Injuries have been an unfortunate staple of the Louisville Cardinals, but with guard Peyton Siva finally healthy, Rick Pitino is confident in his team’s ability to make a deep run.
- After a sputtering start, Memphis is on a roll. Saint Louis head coach Rick Majerus is challenged with formulating a game plan to stop the Tigers. Considering their late-season run, is Memphis underseeded?
- It’s time to lock up the head coaches of the Centennial State’s two NCAA Tournament coaches, including Colorado State‘s coach Tim Miles. This is the first season since 2003 that both Colorado and Colorado State have gone dancing.
- LIU-Brooklyn will play some of its home games in the brand-new Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season. The news could factor heavily in the minds of recruits, who will now have the chance to play in an NBA arena.
- Marquette forward Davante Gardner isn’t recovering very speedily from a knee injury, but his sheer presence is enough to satisfy Buzz Williams in the early going.