NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.28.12 EditionPosted by WCarey on March 28th, 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.
- Heading into his second Final Four in four seasons, Kansas head coach Bill Self is the lowest paid of the four coaches who will be in New Orleans this weekend. Of the group, only Self and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino have won titles.
- While Kansas reserve forward Kevin Young’s contributions might not show up in the box score, but Bill Self and Young’s teammates acknowledge the energy Young brings to the court.
- Barry Hinson has served as Kansas’ director of basketball operations for the past four seasons and on Wednesday afternoon, the former Missouri State head coach will be introduced as the new head coach at Southern Illinois.
- The unorthodox triangle and two defense helped lead KU to its second Final Four in four seasons. In basketball, defense can win championships and Bill Self is well aware of this notion.
- When Louisville meets Kentucky on Saturday, it will be on the fourth anniversary of former longtime Kentucky equipment manager Bill Keightley’s death. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino remained friends with Keightley even after he left Kentucky for the NBA, and later, Louisville.
- Louisville center Gorgui Dieng is not your normal basketball player. Just three years ago, Dieng was an unknown, raw prospect playing soccer with his brothers in their hometown of Kebemer, Senegal.
- When Louisville and Kentucky met on New Year’s Eve, Cardinals senior guard Kyle Kuric was held to a season-low four shot attempts and a season-worst two points. This time around, Kuric hopes to be a much greater contributor.
- Louisville freshman forward Chane Behanan is another player who is looking for some redemption against Kentucky. In the season’s first meeting, Behanan played one of his worst games of the season, fouling out in just 15 minutes of action.
- Kentucky freshman point guard Marquis Teague has improved throughout the season. Teague’s improvement has been crucial to leading the Wildcats to their second straight Final Four appearance.
- While Kentucky head coach John Calipari is still chasing down his first title, his mind is focused on winning the championship not for himself, but for his players and the Kentucky faithful.
- Kentucky freshman standout Anthony Davis must not have been very familiar with Kentucky before he enrolled, as the National Player of the Year is quite surprised with the attention he has received from the Kentucky faithful.
- John Calipari expects veterans Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller to seek redemption at this year’s Final Four after being bounced by Connecticut in last season’s national semifinal.
- Ohio State head coach Thad Matta believes sophomore forward Jared Sullinger has been a great representative for the Buckeyes’ program. Matta noted that Sullinger has “put a major stamp on the program.”
- Last season, Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas was so atrocious on the defensive end of the court that Matta could barely put him into the game. This season, the head coach has successfully gotten through to Thomas about the importance of playing defense.
- Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft is getting a well-earned reputation for playing smothering on-ball defense. This reputation is why many are viewing Craft’s matchup with Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor as the key matchup of the national semifinal.
- Another key to Ohio State’s fate Saturday will be the play of senior guard William Buford. Buford has struggled over the past seven games, shooting just 34.7% from the field and contributing three points under his season per-game average.