NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.22.13 EditionPosted by WCarey on March 22nd, 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.
- After easily dispatching North Carolina A&T in its Round of 64 game Thursday evening, Louisville coach Rick Pitino knows that his team must move on quickly to get ready for its Round of 32 matchup with Colorado State on Saturday.
- Prior to Thursday’s win over Missouri, Colorado State had not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1989. The Rams embarrassed the Tigers on the rebounding glass (42-19) and both coach Larry Eustachy and his players used losing experience from last year’s event to help drive them to victory.
- Some harsh words from CBSSports.com’s Gregg Doyel on Missouri‘s lackluster performance in its loss to Colorado State on Thursday, “Missouri doesn’t play defense so much as it plays possum, laying there on the floor until it can get the ball back and go do what it likes to do, which is shoot.”
- Oregon put together an impressive performance in its upset victory over Oklahoma State on Thursday. The Ducks are looking for their strong play to continue when they face fourth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday.
- Oklahoma State freshman standout Marcus Smart struggled a bit in Thursday’s loss to Oregon – shot just 5-of-13 from the field and committed five turnovers – but that did not stop him from making a strong impression on Oregon coach Dana Altman.
- Saint Louis forward Cory Remekun missed a dunk near the end of the first half in Thursday’s victory, but that did not phase the senior as he went on to finish the afternoon with a solid 11 points and six rebounds.
- Michigan State big man Derrick Nix has had his fair share of struggles during his time in East Lansing – academic and obedience issues as a sophomore and an arrest for impaired driving and marijuana possession last spring – but instead of dumping Nix from the program, Tom Izzo gave him a second chance that is now paying off for the Spartans.
- Creighton star junior Doug McDermott has yet to decide if he will return to school next season. It is possible that his decision has been made even more complicated due to the fact that the Blue Jays will begin play in the Big East next season.
- Cincinnati seriously struggled offensively at some points during the regular season. Bearcats leading-scorer Sean Kilpatrick is hoping that a better flow offensively will lead to more open shots and more scoring.
- Duke assistant coach Chris Collins has been mentioned as a top candidate for the vacant head coaching position at Northwestern. On Thursday, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski made very supportive comments in endorsing Collins (and the rest of his staff) for potential openings.
- Gonzaga survived a serious scare from 16-seed Southern on Thursday. After the game, Bulldogs coach Mark Few says the team shouldn’t let the close call affect its play for the remainder of its run in the tournament.
- Southern put forth a spirited effort in its attempt to pull a historic upset over Gonzaga. While the upset bid fell short, it was the relentless defense of the Jaguars that helped give them a chance.
- Sports can certainly be cruel sometimes. This video shows Pittsburgh senior point guard Tray Woodall breaking down following the Panthers’ loss to Wichita State on Thursday. In his last collegiate game, Woodall turned in one of the worst performances of his career – just two points on 1-of-12 shooting.
- Wichita State got past Pittsburgh by playing tenacious defense, but the offensive effort from Shockers forward Cleanthony Early provided the team with the necessary spark on the offensive end of the court.
- Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan got a little testy Thursday when he was asked about the Badgers’ “plodding” or “boring” style of offense.
- Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy is not worried about his team’s preparedness as it makes his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2002.
- When Kansas State watched La Salle top Boise State on Wednesday night, the Wildcats were intrigued with the Explorers’ style of play because it reminded them of themselves.
- Arizona doubters are quick to dismiss the strong bond that exists between Arizona point guard Mark Lyons and Wildcats coach Sean Miller, but it is that bond that has helped both flourish at certain times over the season.
- Former Harvard star guard Jeremy Lin took to Twitter to share his genuine excitement regarding the Crimson’s improbable upset victory over New Mexico on Thursday night.
- Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton is also a member of the Irish baseball team and this has resulted him in having to find a way to balance the two sports in the most effective way as possible.
- Kansas starts four seniors and those four seniors are keeping the top-seeded Jayhawks on task as they enter their Round of 64 game against Western Kentucky.
- Western Kentucky coach Ray Harper‘s credentials were questioned by arena officials in Kansas City on Thursday.
- North Carolina coach Roy Williams is back in Kansas City coaching his Tar Heels – 10 years after he departed Kansas to take over in Chapel Hill.
- Villanova guard Tony Chennault transferred from Wake Forest back home to Philadelphia to help care for his ill mother. While Chennault has not put forth impressive statistics this season, he has been a huge contributor as the first guard off the bench for the Wildcats.
- VCU has been known for its tenacious defense all season and that was definitely on display in the Rams’ 46-point trouncing of Akron on Thursday night.
- Michigan coach John Beilein entered freshman forward Mitch McGary into the Wolverines’ starting lineup Thursday night and the move paid off, as McGary provided the team with a much needed energy boost in the post.
- There is probably not a coach in the NCAA Tournament with a more shaky job status than UCLA’s Ben Howland and that has made him quite the subject of debate – should he stay or should he go?
- Minnesota coach Tubby Smith will be coaching in his 17th NCAA Tournament and his players are leaning on that experience as they are set to begin play Friday.
- Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton has had an up-and-down career in Gainesville and his final NCAA Tournament begins, he is looking to take advantage of his final opportunity to lead the Gators to the Final Four.
- In early January, Georgetown started Big East play at 0-2 and the Hoyas lost forward Greg Whittington to suspension. Since then, the Hoyas were able to right the ship and are now back in a position that is quite familiar to the program.
- Indiana guard Victor Oladipo has some familiarity with James Madison, as he grew up in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which is close to the Dukes’ campus in northern Virginia.
- 30 years ago, NC State shocked the world by winning the NCAA Tournament. As this season’s tournament begins, Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried and his team are daring to dream.
- Temple coach Fran Dunphy has had his fair share of first game struggles as the head coach of the Owls in the NCAA Tournament, but he is looking to put those missteps behind as the Owls are set to take on NC State on Friday.
- In Cal‘s win over UNLV on Thursday, Golden Bears coach Mike Montgomery was able to thrown the Runnin’ Rebels off by employing a zone defense. The Golden Bears normally run man-to-man, but the zone was very effective Thursday.
- Syracuse thoroughly embarrassed Montana, 81-34, on Thursday night. Orange coach Jim Boeheim put it best by saying, “It was just one of those games where they had a game where they couldn’t do anything right an everything fell right for us.”
- Butler coach Brad Stevens has the reputation for remaining calm no matter the circumstance and that held true Thursday when he guided the Bulldogs past a second-half deficit en route to their victory over Bucknell.
- The crazy ending to Marquette‘s win over Davidson on Thursday left the Turner Sports television analysts pretty shocked. Charles Barkley said of the ending, “This game is a perfect example of why I would never coach.”
- Illinois forward Tyler Griffey has been an x-factor for the Illini for most of the season and that will be true again as the Illini are set to take on Colorado in the Round of 64.
- Colorado hopes its length defensively will stymie the three-point shooting of Illinois.
- Miami is a mostly veteran team, but star guard Shane Larkin is just a sophomore. With many key contributors set to exhaust their eligibility following the season, the question emerges of whether Larkin will join the mass exodus.