NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.23.12 EditionPosted by WCarey on March 23rd, 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.
- Kansas star forward Thomas Robinson’s personal tragedies have been well-documented. The junior, who just turned 21 last week, is the key player for the Jayhawks as they look to move into the Elite Eight.
- Kansas senior guard Tyshawn Taylor has faced a lot of adversity in basketball and in life. The guard from New Jersey has developed into a leader for Bill Self’s squad and he will look to lead the Jayhawks into an Elite Eight on Friday night.
- Going into this season, there were many differing opinions regarding NC State forward CJ Leslie. Leslie has developed into a key player and a team leader for the overachieving Wolfpack that have already pulled two upsets in the NCAA Tournament.
- When NC State athletic director Kay Yow named Mark Gottfried head coach last April, many people were surprised by the decision. As it turns out, Yow had the right idea, as Gottfried has led the Wolfpack through some hard times this season and into the Sweet Sixteen.
- North Carolina star forward Harrison Barnes has a history as a saxophone player. Putting the music aside, the Tar Heels’ leading scorer is a key component to the team moving on in the NCAA Tournament.
- Ohio head coach John Groce has seen his name tied to the openings at Nebraska and Illinois, but the Bobcats’ head coach will not say if he has any interest until his team’s run in the NCAA Tournament has concluded.
- Throughout this season, many wondered if Rick Pitino still had what made him an elite head coach. Pitino put those wonders to rest Thursday night when his Louisville squad dominated #1 seed Michigan State from the opening tip.
- With Louisville’s win over Michigan State on Thursday night, Rick Pitino saw his Sweet Sixteen coaching record move to a perfect 10-0. This statistic is even more impressive due to the fact that his team was the lower seed on four of the 10 occasions.
- While Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo was shocked by how poorly his team performed Thursday night, the veteran head coach noted that he was very proud of what his squad had accomplished all season.
- Michigan State senior forward Draymond Green had a final game that he would probably rather forget. The Big Ten Player of the Year made just five of 16 shots, while turning the ball over six times.
- Rick Pitino was Billy Donovan’s coach when Donovan played at Providence. Pitino once advised Donovan to stick to finance and not go into coaching. On Saturday, Donovan’s Florida Gators will battle Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals for a spot in the Final Four.
- Marquette senior stars Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom both struggled Thursday night shooting just five of 15. The Golden Eagles were led by Crowder and Johnson-Odom all season, so their poor performances leading to a loss was not seen as a surprise.
- Syracuse big man Baye Keita logged 28 minutes in Thursday’s win over Wisconsin. Those 28 minutes were the most the sophomore has played all year. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim acknowledged after the game that he liked the energy Keita provided on the defensive end of the court.
- After struggling mightily over the past six games, Syracuse forward CJ Fair put up 15 huge second half points to lead the Orange past pesky Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin attacked Syracuse’s 2-3 zone with much aggression Thursday night, as the Badgers were good on 14 of 27 three-pointers. However, in the end, missed opportunities led to Wisconsin’s demise.
- Ohio State survived a tough test from Cincinnati to advance to the Elite Eight. The Buckeyes will face a tough challenge from top seeded Syracuse on Saturday evening.
- Heading into an Elite Eight matchup with Syracuse, Ohio State forwards Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas are on the same page. This could spell trouble for the Orange.
- ESPN reported Thursday that Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be entering the NBA Draft. On Thursday evening, the freshman phenom noted that he was puzzled by the report, as he has yet to make any decision.
- Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Indiana head coach Tom Crean consider each other to be great friends. With Kentucky and Indiana’s intense rivalry, such a friendship is an interesting thing to think about.
- While Indiana forward Christian Watford’s three-pointer that beat Kentucky is now a thing of the past, it is still remembered by Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean and the Indiana faithful.
- Xavier freshman Dez Wells suffered a sprained big toe in the Musketeers’ third round win over Lehigh. Head coach Chris Mack declared Wells a game-time decision for Friday’s matchup with Baylor.
- Despite the fact they are both battling cancer, Baylor head coach Scott Drew will have his parents in the stands for the first time this season Friday night. Drew’s father is battling prostate cancer while his mother is battling bladder cancer.