NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.21.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 21st, 2013


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.

Midwest Region

West Region

  • Gonzaga has not made it to an Elite Eight since 1999, but the Bulldogs have not suffered shocking first-round upsets like other high-profile programs. Does this mean Gonzaga’s label as an underachiever in the NCAA Tournament is unfair?
  • Wichita State forward Carl Hall has a well-known reputation of being the Shocker with the dreadlocks. Well, that reputation is no longer factual as Hall cut his hair Monday for the first time in five years.
  • Wisconsin forward Ryan Evans has been a lot more comfortable at the foul line ever since he adopted the jump-shooting technique. This change has allowed Evans to have more confidence at the line, which has resulted in more willingness to get to the rim and draw fouls.
  • Ole Miss has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2002, but the Rebels are not entering this season’s event with concerns about their lack of experience.
  • Kansas State was struggling to adjust to the new offense of first-year coach Bruce Weber in the early season, but the Wildcats have since become very well accustomed to the system and their offense has thrived.
  • Arizona guard Jordin Mayes had struggled with confidence issues with his shot for must much of his junior season, but he has broken out of his slump in March and looks primed to make an impact for the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Belmont guard Ian Clark led the nation this season with a 46.3 percent mark from deep and this has definitely caught the attention of Arizona, the Bruins’ Round of 64 opponent.
  • New Mexico coach Steve Alford agreed to a new 10-year deal Wednesday that will keep the coach in charge of the Lobos basketball team through the 2022-23 season.
  • Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has had his fair share of struggles in the NCAA Tournament. For this season’s event, he is aiming to maintain the attitude of keeping his team loose in hopes that it will allow the Irish to put the past missteps behind them.
  • Is this season Ohio State coach Thad Matta‘s best coaching job in Columbus? Consider this: Matta took a team with no big man presence and no defined second scoring option, and took it to a Big Ten Tournament title.

South Region

East Region

  • Indiana coach Tom Crean was reluctant to talk about his team’s deficiencies as it prepares to begin play in the NCAA Tournament. He decided instead to just state: “We just need to get better.
  • In a team full of much more recognized players, North Carolina State power forward Richard Howell has stepped up as a force for the Wolfpack.
  • Most national pundits have a very talented North Carolina State team topping Temple in Friday’s matchup between the two squads, but this perception is not stopping the Owls from preparing for a victory
  • UNLV freshman standout Anthony Bennett is uncertain about his future as the NCAA Tournament is set to begin. The talented forward would undoubtedly be a high lottery pick if he decides to enter this year’s NBA Draft.
  • Cal coach Mike Montgomery anticipated big things from freshman Tyrone Wallace, but he did not expect the talented guard to play such a crucial role for the Golden Bears during his first season in Berkeley.
  • Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has ties to Montana, the team’s Round of 64 opponent, as his eldest daughter received her master’s degree from the University of Montana and still resides in Missoula.
  • Butler has made an improbable rise from the Horizon League to the Big East in just two years and David Woods of the Indianapolis Star writes that this leap should help to ensure that coach Brad Stevens stays on as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
  • Marquette coach Buzz Williams has earned quite the reputation for his “gift of gab” during his tenure as the head coach of the Golden Eagles and this gift was never more evident than when he took the podium Wednesday to discuss his team’s Thursday match-up with Davidson.
  • Illinois senior guard Brandon Paul has had an up-and-down career, but the talented scorer has a shot at finishing strong as the NCAA Tournament is set to begin.
  • Miami coach Jim Larranaga unexpectedly took George Mason to the Final Four in 2006 and now, he is looking to recreate some similar magic in his second season as the leader of the Hurricanes.
WCarey (279 Posts)

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