NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.30.13 EditionPosted by WCarey on March 30th, 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 coach Rick Pitino was very complimentary of Cardinals guard Russ Smith after Friday night’s victory over Oregon.
- Louisville starting point guard Peyton Siva was plagued by foul trouble for much of Friday’s victory over Oregon, but it was next man in for the Cardinals, as reserve guard Kevin Ware stepped in and delivered an impressive performance.
- Oregon senior forward E.J. Singler experienced a bittersweet ending to his collegiate career with Friday night’s loss to Louisville.
- Michigan State senior big man Derrick Nix on his collegiate career being over: “For me, I don’t get to fight with the Spartans no more. So it’s pretty messed up.”
- Duke guard Seth Curry‘s spectacular shooting performance and the Blue Devils’ suffocating defense allowed them to get past Michigan State on Friday night to set up a showdown with Louisville in the regional final Sunday.
- After Friday night’s victory over Michigan State, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke highly of his team’s next opponent, Louisville, by saying, “They’ve been playing the best basketball in the country.”
- Wichita State guard Malcolm Armstead transferred from Oregon to join the Shockers without a scholarship and that gamble is paying off as Wichita State preps for a chance to go to the Final Four.
- Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com writes that Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Wichita State should not be viewed as a “David/Goliath” match-up.
- Would Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall be the greatest catch of this year’s coaching carousel?
- Ohio State sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross has matured during his second season in Columbus to become a playmaker for the Buckeyes.
- Ohio State coach Thad Matta was unhappy with the way Buckeyes guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. performed defensively in the team’s Round of 32 victory over Iowa State, but the junior stepped up his play significantly in Thursday’s victory over Arizona.
- Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas has a well-earned reputation as a “bad shot taker and maker” and this moniker has not prevented him from becoming the Buckeyes’ most lethal weapon offensively.
- Kansas senior guard Elijah Johnson had a very forgettable game in the Jayhawks’ heartbreaking meltdown loss to Michigan on Friday night. Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star eloquently examined the tough end to Johnson’s collegiate career.
- Kansas coach Bill Self placed the blame on himself for Friday night’s collapse against Michigan.
- Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com writes that the emergence of Michigan freshman forward Mitch McGary as a legitimate big man means that the Wolverines can win the title.
- Michigan point guard Trey Burke lived up to his reputation as a leading National Player of the Year candidate in Friday’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over Kansas.
- Florida has many players on its roster who can score, but the presence of blue-collar forward Will Yeguete has been a huge factor in the Gators’ postseason success.
- Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com writes that Florida took Florida Gulf Coast seriously and that allowed the Gators to get past the Eagles and into the Elite Eight.
- Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports reported Saturday afternoon that sources say that USC is targeting Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield to fill the Trojans’ head coaching vacancy.
- A fire destroyed the Boston-area family home of Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams last Saturday night, but the dynamic sophomore guard is putting the fire behind him as he prepares for an Elite Eight showdown with Marquette.
- The Big East will be taking its final breath as Syracuse and Marquette will meet Saturday in the Elite Eight with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
- Syracuse fell to Ohio State in last season’s Elite Eight and missed its opportunity to advance to the Final Four. This year’s Orange are looking to make the most of this season’s Elite Eight opportunity with strong hopes of advancing to play in Atlanta next weekend.
- Marquette coach Buzz Williams took an odd path to become the head coach of the Golden Eagles, but that path now has him one game away from a trip to the Final Four.
- Marquette swingman Vander Blue grew up without a male role model in his life, but the talented junior has found that figure in his head coach, Buzz Williams.
- Marquette big men Davante Gardner, Chris Otule, and Jamil Wilson are looking to step up for the Golden Eagles and help breakdown the vaunted 2-3 zone of Syracuse.