NCAA Tournament Tidbits 03.16.12 EditionPosted by Brian Goodman on March 16th, 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.
- The USF Bulls are still riding high after their win in Dayton over California Wednesday, even after an early-morning flight to Nashville. Tournament experience is not so new to the Temple Owls, who make their fifth consecutive Big Dance appearance.
- USA Today provides a crash course on the Vermont Catamounts as they get ready to battle North Carolina.
- President Obama tabbed N.C. State as a surprise Sweet 16 squad, but head coach Mark Gottfried is doing his best to stay grounded.
- Close rivals Kansas and Missouri are sharing a facility in Omaha, despite residing in different regions on the bracket. There haven’t been any incidents between players, but fans have traded some barbs with both schools only a four-hour drive away.
- Chase Tapley and Xavier Thames will try to stop N.C. State. Tapley is the lone significant holdover from last season’s veteran-laden San Diego State squad, while Thames is in his first season since transferring from Washington State.
- CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander believes Long Beach State‘s early exit at the hands of New Mexico shouldn’t cloud the legacy of the outgoing 49er senior class. Casper Ware, T.J. Robinson, Larry Anderson and Eugene Phelps came to LBSU one season after the 49ers won six games and beat Xavier and Pittsburgh in this season.
- Also in Portland, behind a strong game from Peyton Siva, Louisville handled Davidson and now must prepare for the Lobos. Any chances of a deep run by Louisville hinge on Siva stringing together strong performances instead of his on-again off-again style that’s drawn criticism this season.
- A matchup of contrasting styles pits Florida against Virginia this afternoon. Expect the Gators to push the tempo on both ends with run-outs, quick threes and defensive pressure to try to throw the Cavaliers out of sorts.
- The Missouri Tigers have won over 1,500 games in their history, but none of them have come in the Elite Eight. Mizzou’s quest to end that streak begins today when it takes on Norfolk State.
- They may be seeded three spots better, but Marquette will be in a de facto road environment for Saturday’s tilt with Murray State, as the KFC Yum! Center hosts the third round game 3.5 hours away from the Racers’ campus.
- Kentucky head coach John Calipari would like a resolution about players leaving college early for the NBA.
- Duke has won for 14 of its last 15 opening roads games and looks to continue that streak Friday when the Blue Devils battle Lehigh.
- After years of struggles, Tom Crean is finally winning the Indiana way.
- After suffering through early season struggles, Notre Dame senior forward Scott Martinhas put together quite the turnaround.
- Despite a mostly disappointing regular season, Xavierinsists that it has regained any lost confidence.
- UConn went pretty quietly into the night in its second round loss to Iowa State. Questions emerged regarding whether the loss will be the last game of head coach Jim Calhoun‘s career.
- Despite allowing Wichita State to take the lead in the final minute, Virginia Commonwealthwas able to capture the upset victory Thursday night because head coach Shaka Smart said, “We kept fighting.”
- With his team’s victory over UNLV on Thursday, did Colorado head coach Tad Boyle defend Pac-12 basketball to the nation?
- Here’s a really good piece by Pete Thamel of The New York Times on the rebirth of St. Bonaventure‘s basketball program.
- Florida State is hoping its ACC success will be a factor in making a run deep into the NCAA Tournament.
- He led the Wildcats to victory Thursday, but to beat Syracuse, Kansas State guard Rodney McGruder is going to need help from his supporting cast.
- Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim denies that his team has any academic woes.
- A win over Harvard on Thursday was exactly what Vanderbilt need to get the “monkey” of past NCAA failures off its back.
- Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor provided a solid, all-around performance to lead the Badgers in their throttling of Montana on Thursday.