NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.27.12 EditionPosted by WCarey on March 27th, 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.
- Is calling the 2011-12 Jayhawks overachievers minimizing the season these guys had? Kansas has potential NBA talent at four of its five starting positions. It also has a four-year starting point guard (Tyshawn Taylor) and a Wooden Award finalist (Thomas Robinson).
- Kansas senior point guard Taylor and junior forward Robinson have gotten most of the credit all season for the success of the Jayhawks. However, some of the role players, such as junior guard Elijah Johnson and junior center Jeff Withey, are currently making impressive contributions too.
- Taylor has had a very polarizing career in a Kansas uniform. While he still catches some criticism, the senior point guard has cemented his Jayhawk legacy by helping to lead his team to the Final Four. Josh Selby who?
- By now, most are familiar with the story of Robinson’s personal tragedies. Mike Miller of NBC Sports believes that if the casual fan needs a rooting interest this weekend, they should try T-Rob and the Jayhawks.
- Kentucky, Kansas, and Ohio State will all go to New Orleans with lineups containing All-Americans and future NBA players, but this is not the case for Louisville.
- Rick Pitino’s team battled injuries throughout most of the regular season, but when the Cardinals finally got healthy for postseason play, they have yet to lose a game.
- Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was very complimentary of Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Monday. Pitino said the freshman standout is one of his “favorite players to watch because he plays so hard.”
- By winning two games in New Orleans, Rick Pitino can join former Arizona head coach Lute Olson as the only coaches to ever win a national title as a four-seed. Interestingly enough, Olson won his title against Pitino in 1997 when Pitino coached his last game as the head coach at Kentucky.
- Finally arriving to the Final Four as the favorite, Kentucky head coach John Calipari is facing the ultimate test of fulfilling expectations and winning a title for the Wildcats.
- We said yesterday that there are many people who are not fans of John Calipari. Count Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press as another member of the anti-Calipari camp. Drew thinks that rooting for Calipari to finally win a national championship is like cheering for the head of the IRS to get a tax refund.
- Scott Reid of the Orange County Register and Scott Mansch of the Great Falls Tribune in Montana both failed to put Kentucky standout Anthony Davis on their first team All-America ballots. Considering the strong play of Davis all season long, the omissions are quite confusing.
- Blogs and social media posts mocking Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for his speech impediment represents the sports world at its worst.
- Jared Sullinger did not play when Ohio State lost to Kansas on December 10, so Saturday’s rematch will provide the sophomore standout with a chance to finally prove himself against Kansas’ own stud forward, Thomas Robinson.
- Even with Jared Sullinger, William Buford, and Aaron Craft returning in key roles for the Buckeyes this season, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was not sure that his squad was a slam dunk to become an elite team.
- Ohio State lost three times in five games in late February and it once looked like this Final Four run was never going to happen. Thad Matta and his staff deserve a good deal of credit for leading the Buckeyes out of their slump.
- Ohio State guard William Buford has tweaked his role for the Buckeyes in the NCAA Tournament, finding that the “less is more” philosophy can lead to success.