NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.31.12 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 31st, 2012

Kansas

  • When former Kansas coach Larry Brown watched this year’s Jayhawks practice early in the season, he was not sure if this year’s squad would win 15 games. Considering this notion, Bill Self has really done an exceptional job this season.
  • During his first three seasons at Kansas, Tyshawn Taylor would be hardly allowed to play through his miscues. Now, the senior guard has the freedom and responsibility to correct errors and lead the team on the right path.
  • Even though he only played a limited role last season, many pundits still saw Thomas Robinson as a first round pick. Bill Self believes Robinson made the absolute right choice in coming back to school, as Self said, “Thomas wasn’t prepared to make a living.”
  • Most of the attention usually gets paid to Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson, but it cannot be overlooked that Elijah Johnson has quietly become the Jayhawks’ top weapon in the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky 

  • John Calipari was a pretty big flop when he coached in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets. There will be rumors this offseason about Calipari returning to the NBA to coach the New York Knicks, but the question will emerge if Calipari deserves that opportunity.
  • John Calipari has made several stops in his coaching career, which has exposed him to a lot of different people. All those people do have something in common though and that is Calipari considers them part of his family.
  • Freshman phenom Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has had to deal with a lot in his life for being only 18 years old. The death of the forward’s father and uncle have helped shape who he is as a person and a player.
  • In Kentucky’s storied basketball history, it had never had an AP Player of the Year. This all changed Friday when freshman standout big man Anthony Davis was named AP Player of the Year.

Louisville 

  • Many people within the realm of college basketball believed that the game had finally passed by Rick Pitino. This year’s unexpected run to the Final Four has shown those people that they were dead wrong.
  • Rick Pitino arrived on the national scene in 1987 when he led an underdog Providence squad to the Final Four. 25 years later, he is back with an underdog Louisville squad.
  • Beating Kentucky would be considered a sizable upset for Louisville. For this to happen, the Cardinals are going to need a strong contribution from point guard Peyton Siva.
  • A good reason why Louisville is playing in New Orleans this weekend is because of its strong zone defense that has held opponents to just 38 percent shooting.

Ohio State

  • Ohio State fought through some unexpected midseason struggles, but Thad Matta was able to lead the Buckeyes through the storm and into the Final Four.
  • Jared Sullinger had the chance to leave school after his freshman year and be a high NBA Draft pick. However, Sullinger chose to remain in school and he feels that he definitely made the right decision.
  • Aaron Craft was raised on defense. His upbringing has been quite evident as his smothering defense has turned the sophomore point guard into “the pest of the Final Four”.
  • Ohio State has to be glad that Deshaun Thomas‘ original plan did not work out. The sophomore forward originally planned on being a one-and-done with the Buckeyes. However, Thomas’ freshman season did not go as planned and he returned to school.
WCarey (151 Posts)


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