NCAA Tournament Tidbits 03.18.12 EditionPosted by Brian Goodman on March 18th, 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.
- As if his play wasn’t enough to win fans over, everyone seems to cling to Draymond Green‘s outgoing personality. Green’s leadership has been one of the keys to Michigan State‘s terrific season.
- Saint Louis’ Brian Conklin has learned to keep his confidence up even when he turns the ball over.
- Louisville is riding high, now having won six straight games after a sluggish finish to the regular season.
- As Marquette advances, the Golden Eagles will need more consistent contributions from Junior Cadougan and Todd Mayo.
- All it took from Kyle O’Quinn to embrace basketball was a little motivation from his high school coach before his senior season.
- Kentucky head coach John Calipari has never won a national championship. After the Wildcats thrashed Iowa State 87-71 on Saturday night, speculation continued that this might be the year Calipari earns his first title.
- There are many reasons for Indiana‘s rebirth to relevancy in college basketball. However, there might not be a reason bigger than having the services of freshman forward Cody Zeller.
- With VCU‘s loss to Indiana on Saturday night, the clock has begun to tick on the Shaka Smart watch, as schools such as Illinois will be looking to acquire his services.
- Loaded with talent and potential first round NBA selections, Baylor got a lift from an unlikely source in guard Brady Heslip in the Bears’ 80-63 victory over Colorado on Saturday night. Heslip nailed nine three-pointers en route to finishing with 27 points.
- Xavier forward Andre Walker is expected to play against Lehigh on Sunday. Walker missed the last six minutes of the Musketeers’ victory over Notre Dame on Friday after taking an inadvertent elbow to the face.
- John Henson‘s availability is a game-time decision for North Carolina‘s third round game against Creighton. Henson is still recovering from a sprained left wrist suffered in the ACC Tournament.
- In a matchup of teams that pulled upsets in their first games, Ohio meets South Florida this afternoon. While both teams are light on postseason success, it’s no stranger to the respective coaches.
- Purdue hasn’t had success against high-caliber forwards, so the Boilermakers will have a big obstacle to conquer in Thomas Robinson.
- N.C. State is tasked with standing up to Georgetown‘s meticulous offense. Facing slower styles over the last two seasons, the Wolfpack hasn’t won easily.
- Some notes on Kansas as it gets set to take the court against Purdue. Tyshawn Taylor has been battling dehydration and cramps, but is expected to play tonight.
- Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has won nearly 900 games and a national championship, but it can be argued that the Hall of Fame coach is currently working on his best coaching job yet.
- Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser was battling the flu throughout the day Saturday, but that did not stop him from locking down on Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins. Gasser and company held Jenkins to just 13 points, seven below his average.
- Neither team may not utilize the prettiest style of basketball, but both Cincinnati and Florida State rely on defense to win basketball games. Expect Sunday night’s game between the two teams to be gritty and hard-fought.
- Kansas State senior forward Jamar Samuels was held out of the Wildcats’ second round loss to Syracuse on Saturday due to concerns about his eligibility. After the loss, two sources within Kansas State’s athletic department confirmed Samuels was held out due to an issue stemming from a $200 wire transfer set to the forward by his former AAU coach, Curtis Malone.
- Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft‘s offensive explosion played a key role in the Buckeyes’ victory over Gonzaga on Saturday. Craft scored 17 points and recorded a season-high 10 assists. The sophomore’s first career double-double played a crucial role in allowing the Buckeyes to advance to their third straight Sweet 16.