NCAA Tournament Tidbits 03.21.12 EditionPosted by Brian Goodman on March 21st, 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.
- Marquette’s offseason conditioning regimen tends to resemble football practices, with sleds, rope climbs and even some boxing. The result is a team of physical yet fast players like Junior Cadougan and Todd Mayo.
- Freshman Florida guard Bradley Beal has come through in a huge way for the Gators in the postseason, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and free throws in his last five games. Fair or not, “The Real Deal” may still have doubters after the Gators beat down 15-seed Norfolk State in the round of 32.
- Kyle Kuric and Russ Smith had to swallow some pride to go off scholarship this season so that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino could haul in a touted recruiting class. The situation hasn’t fazed the Cardinal captains, though.
- The Sweet Sixteen is old hat for Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. With a 7-2 record in the round, the bright lights don’t seem to bother him.
- Spartan forward Draymond Green continues to reel in the individual honors, the latest being an NABC First Team All-America selection. As Green goes, so do the Spartans, so there’s no questioning his value.
- Indiana beat Kentucky on December 10, but Wildcats head coach John Calipari is adamant about that revenge is not a motive for his team entering Friday’s rematch with the Hoosiers.
- A pretty solid look from the fan’s perspective regarding the Kentucky/Indiana matchup this Friday night. Considering how the first meeting went, the rematch could be the highlight of the weekend.
- The USBWA named Kentucky freshman big man Anthony Davis its player of the year Tuesday. With the honor, Davis will be rewarded with the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
- A blogger believes that Baylor forward Perry Jones III has no business entering the NBA Draft and his lack of a strong performance in the NCAA Tournament should be a key factor in his decision.
- Xavier freshman forward Dez Wells has a sprained toe and will not practice this week. Still, Musketeer head coach Chris Mack says the freshman will be ready to play Friday versus Baylor.
- Kansas forward Thomas Robinson’s struggles against Purdue can’t be replicated this weekend if the Jayhawks are to move on. It’s a testament to Robinson’s ability that he was still able to compile a double-double despite a horrendous first half, but that’s not exactly a sustainable model for team success.
- One of the biggest factors behind NC State‘s Sweet Sixteen run is the maturation of sophomore forward C.J. Leslie from raw athlete to developing talent. Leslie is averaging nearly a double-double over his last 10 games.
- Despite a depleted guard corps, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams is adamant that his team will be ready to play against Ohio on Friday without Kendall Marshall. The point guard hasn’t officially been ruled out and his wrist injury isn’t on his dominant left hand, but the phrase “break glass in case of emergency” comes to mind.
- While one could easily make the argument that Ohio has nothing to lose as a Cinderella team, the Bobcats are willing to take on all comers. Can John Groce’s troops take down another power in North Carolina after upsetting the Hoyas in 2010?
- No one knew what to expect when NC State hired head coach Mark Gottfried, but everyone from administrators to coaches to fans are taking a shining to him now that he has the Wolfpack in the Sweet Sixteen.
- Syracuse may not have the services of talented big man Fab Melo, but Wisconsin is still wary of the talented Orange squad. The Badgers do not necessarily see the Orange as vulnerable even without Melo.
- Syracuse freshman point guard Michael Carter-Williams has had a difficult and humbling freshman campaign. The point guard is sometimes a key member of the Orange’s rotation and other times, his role is reduced to a spectator.
- Even though Wisconsin has punched a ticket to its second consecutive Sweet Sixteen, the veteran Badgers squad is still not satisfied. Senior guard Jordan Taylor noted that the Badgers take the “never satisfied” approach.
- Cincinnati senior forward Yancy Gates has had a career of ups and very well-documented downs. Yet, the senior has remained resilient and is now part of the first Bearcats team to play in a Sweet Sixteen since 2001.
- Many coaches across the country are recipients of incentives for their team’s successes. No coach this year has reaped the benefits of these incentives more than Ohio State head coach Thad Matta.