NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.23.13 EditionPosted by WCarey on March 23rd, 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.
- Louisville is the overall number one seed and is highly expected to get past Colorado State on Saturday and advance to the Sweet 16, but Cardinals coach Rick Pitino is insisting that the Rams are a real threat.
- Colorado State forward Colton Iverson spent three years as a role player at Minnesota. His transfer to Colorado State for his final year of eligibility has resulted in him becoming a major player for the Rams. His transfer has turned out to be a blessing for himself and Colorado State.
- Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi, a native of Iran, has stepped up as a terrific rebounder for the Ducks. Kazemi is in his first and only season at Oregon after transferring following three years of play at Rice.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes that Saint Louis is receiving a bad break by having to play Oregon in San Jose in the Round of 32. The distance between Oregon and San Jose will make it essentially a home game for the Ducks.
- Memphis coach Josh Pastner was not going to guarantee that his team will beat Michigan State on Saturday, but he was open to guarantee that his senior forward D.J. Stephens would win the NBA Slam Dunk contest.
- Michigan State talented freshman Gary Harris has battled through a variety of injuries during his first season in East Lansing, but Harris has remained determined and is looking to help the Spartans go deep into the tournament.
- Creighton guard Grant Gibbs‘ contributions to the team might not always show up in the box score, but the gritty play of the senior has helped lead the Blue Jays to a Round of 32 appearance.
- Duke center Mason Plumlee is not known for being very vocal on the court, but he became vocal during Friday’s win over Albany because he wanted to make sure his teammates were playing with a sense of urgency.
- Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that even after a narrow victory over Southern, Gonzaga is going to need to redeem itself in its Round of 32 matchup with Wichita State.
- Wichita State believes it has the size and strength to pull the upset of Gonzaga. Not many teams in the country can match Gonzaga in those categories, but the Shockers are one of them.
- Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson has been quite the polarizing player all season and that did not change during the Rebels’ upset victory over Wisconsin on Friday.
- La Salle was able to pull the upset of Kansas State on Friday due to its high energy level and the emergence of forward Jerrell Wright at the free throw line.
- Arizona coach Sean Miller is not overlooking Harvard, as he is wary of the potential pitfalls of the NCAA Tournament.
- Harvard coach Tommy Amaker flamed out at Michigan, but he has been successful at Harvard due to the fact that the Crimson have bought into his system.
- Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg has installed an up-tempo, high-scoring offense in Ames and this has resulted in great success for the Cyclones.
- Ohio State got past Iona with ease Friday, but the Buckeyes will certainly be tested by Iowa State’s up-tempo attack on Sunday.
- Kansas struggled throughout its narrow win over Western Kentucky on Friday and a major reason for those struggles was the Jayhawks’ problems with the Hilltoppers’ ball pressure.
- North Carolina coach Roy Williams earned his 70oth career victory in Friday’s win over Villanova and he earned the victory in the same way that he had earned many of his important career victories.
- Michigan point guard Trey Burke‘s leadership will be important all afternoon as the Wolverines are set to take on the vaunted defensive juggernaut of VCU.
- Michigan coach John Beilein believes one of the reasons why VCU is good for college basketball is because its coach Shaka Smart turned down an offer from Illinois last offseason to remain the coach of the Rams.
- Minnesota coach Tubby Smith entered the NCAA Tournament on the hot seat, but his team’s victory over UCLA on Friday should buy him at least a 48-hour reprieve.
- The major reason why Florida was able to pull away from Northwestern State in its lopsided victory Friday was due to the rebounding prowess of its big men Erik Murphy and Patric Young.
- When the spotlight is bright, it seems like San Diego State swingman Jamaal Franklin shines even brighter. Franklin tallied 21 points and recorded eight rebounds in the Aztecs’ Round of 64 victory over Oklahoma on Friday.
- Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield has lived quite the life and that life got even more interesting with Friday’s upset victory over second-seeded Georgetown.
- Indiana freshman guard Yogi Ferrell put together a very solid performance in Friday’s win over James Madison. It was a very impressive performance, but not one that should have surprised people.
- This NCAA Tournament has been defined by upsets, so it would probably be a good idea for Indiana to be on alert when it faces a tough and capable Temple team on Sunday.
- Cal guard Allen Crabbe‘s scoring prowess will undoubtedly test the Syracuse 2-3 zone when the two teams meet Saturday night.
- When Syracuse battles Cal for a trip to the Sweet 16 on Saturday night, Orange coach Jim Boeheim will be squaring off with Golden Bears coach Mike Montgomery – one of his long-time friends.
- Illinois coach John Groce took Ohio to the Sweet 16 last season where the Bobcats took North Carolina to the brink. In his first tournament game as coach of the Illini, Groce picked up where he left off and led the Illini to a thrilling victory over Colorado.
- Miami is experiencing a dream season and Hurricanes guard Durand Scott is attributing the team’s success to the steady coaching style of Jim Larranaga.
- A great read from CBSSports.com‘s Gregg Doyel on the genius of Butler coach Brad Stevens.
- Marquette lost to Butler on a Rotnei Clarke buzzer-beater at the Maui Invitational in November and the Golden Eagles have not forgotten about that loss as they prepare for Saturday’s rematch.