NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.04.13 EditionPosted by WCarey on April 4th, 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.
- A report broke Thursday morning that Wolverines guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft when their season comes to an end.
- A great profile by Rod Beard of the Detroit News on the decisive leadership of Trey Burke. Burke’s leadership on and off the court has helped lead Michigan to its first Final Four in 20 years.
- Michigan forward Mitch McGary has lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the season and the now lighter freshman has been a key component of the team that is set to make its first Final Four appearance since 1993.
- On Thursday, Michigan coach John Beilein refused to discuss the report that his guards Burke and Hardaway Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft.
- Michigan freshman reserve point guard Spike Albrecht was headed to Appalachian State before the Wolverines gambled and gave him a late scholarship offer. That gamble has paid off majorly for the Wolverines, as Albrecht has developed into a very capable back-up to star guard Trey Burke.
- Bud Polquin of Syracuse.com writes that it is coach Jim Boeheim‘s fourth Final Four appearance and it is probably not his last.
- A lot has been made about rumors that this could possibly be Jim Boeheim‘s final season at Syracuse, but the veteran coach made known that “he fully intends to coach Syracuse in the ACC.”
- The path Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams has taken in his Orange career to the Final Four is quite similar to the path former Syracuse point guard Lazarus Sims took to the 1996 Final Four.
- Syracuse has decided that its motto for the week is to become legendary.
- It is possible that Syracuse forward C.J. Fair will declare for the NBA Draft following the end of the season, but the junior is just focused on playing in the Final Four right now.
- Louisville’s Final Four appearance is just the latest success in what has been a very successful year for its athletic department. Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com believes the reason for the Cardinals’ success is that their athletic director, Tom Jurich, is the country’s best athletic director.
- A nice profile of Louisville forward Gorgui Dieng from Tommy Tomlinson of SportsOnEarth.com.
- With guard Kevin Ware sidelined, Cardinals coach Rick Pitino issued a challenge to his team: “What I told the players, Tim Henderson will step up but the rest of you guys have to play better. So Wayne Blackshear you’ve got to give us more, Chane Behanan you’ve got to give us more, Stephan Van Treese you’ve got to give us more. Every single guy has to give us more because Tim is not going to be Kevin.”
- When Kevin Ware suffered his gruesome broken leg in Sunday’s victory over Duke, Cardinals swingman Luke Hancock rushed off the bench to be by his side. Hancock’s presence and the prayers he said meant the world to Ware.
- Rick Pitino’s son – and former Louisville assistant – Richard Pitino reached an agreement with Minnesota on Wednesday to become the school’s next head coach. Pitino just finished his first season as coach at Florida International.
- Though he has been a hot name on the coaching carousel for several years, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall is in no hurry to leave town.
- Bleckley County High School in Cochran, Georgia, is the alma mater of Shockers forward Carl Hall and for this week, it is changing its nickname from the Royals to the Shockers to honor its alumnus.
- Shockers players Malcolm Armstead, Tekele Cotton, and Carl Hall all grew up near Atlanta, so the commute to the Final Four will not be too taxing for their families and friends. On the contrary, the families and friends of players such as Ron Baker, Cleanthony Early, and Fred Van Fleet have to get a bit creative when it comes to transportation to Atlanta.
- After Wichita State beat Gonzaga to advance to the West Regional in Los Angeles, Shockers guard Malcolm Armstead already had his sights set on Atlanta and a trip to the Final Four.
- Pizza Hut was founded in Wichita in 1958. If the Shockers win the national title Monday night, the company will dispatch a mobile unit to the campus to feed all students for free one day next week.