NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.17.14 EditionPosted by Griffin Wong on March 17th, 2014
March Madness is finally upon us, and we here at RTC are here to make everything a little bit easier for you. From the First Four until One Shining Moment, we’ll be dropping daily tidbits of knowledge regarding the teams in each region.
- Florida locked up the number one overall seed with a gutsy SEC Tournament victory over Kentucky. One of the reasons the Gators are favored to go all the way is because they know how to win close games, or in other words, simply don’t know how to lose.
- When Colorado lost its star guard, Spencer Dinwiddie, the Buffs rallied around the movie Seabiscuit to turn things around. They still hold the movie’s message with them as they head into the NCAA Tournament.
- Though it’s tempting to look ahead to a potential match-up against Florida, Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon is just trying to focus on Colorado.
- Having now won 28 games in a row, Stephen F. Austin is a trendy pick to be this year’s Cinderella.
- After winning the Pac-12 Tournament, UCLA is coming into the NCAA Tournament very hot.
- Though Ohio State won’t schedule a road game against in-state rival Dayton, Thad Matta is not about to overlook the Flyers.
- According to freshman Tyler Ennis, Syracuse needs to “get everybody confident” if the Orange want to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
- Craig Neal continued New Mexico’s recent domination of the Mountain West Tournament in his first season.
- With his job on the line, Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins finally got over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament.
- In the midst of recent Ohio Valley Conference success in the NCAA Tournament, Eastern Kentucky is looking to score the program’s first ever Tournament victory over Kansas. Though it will be a formidable test, the Colonels are thinking: “why not us?”
- Andrew Wiggins and Kansas think they can do it without freshman center Joel Embiid, but they know that “Jo-Jo” makes them even scarier.
- Sean Miller has returned Arizona basketball to prominence, and despite the adversity the Wildcats faced in the second half of the season, look for them to be contenders in the final weekend.
- Though Oklahoma State may only be a #9 seed, they have the talent to make some noise.
- Gonzaga‘s streak of 16 straight NCAA Tournaments isn’t just impressive for a mid-major, it’s impressive for any program.
- Oklahoma is the fifth team Lon Kruger has taken to the NCAA Tournament. He’s been able to do so, in part, because of his “positive attitude.”
- To North Dakota State, the #12 seed is a sign of respect for the program. Now the Bison look to pull the classic #5/#12 upset.
- With only two Mountain West teams making the field of 68, San Diego State certainly got a better deal than New Mexico did.
- Baylor started slowly in Big 12 play, but it hopes to continue its late-season surge into the NCAA Tournament.
- Though the two teams had separate feelings going into Selection Sunday, in-state rivals Nebraska and Creighton are on a third-round “collision course.”
- BYU was ecstatic to hear its name called on the Selection Show, and thinks it has a chance to notch an opening round victory over Oregon.
- Though the Ducks got blown out in their Pac-12 Tournament loss to UCLA, don’t expect Oregon to succumb to the same fate against BYU.
- Some experts are loving Wisconsin‘s path in the West Region.
- After an ACC regular season and tournament sweep, Virginia finds itself deserving of a #1 seed.
- George Washington experienced a “rewarding feeling” in hearing its name called on Selection Sunday.
- Harvard enters the Tournament as a #12 seed, and the Crimson hope to pull off an upset yet again.
- Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin is making sure the Bearcats are well-prepared and won’t let Harvard sneak up on them.
- Despite landing only a #4 seed, Michigan State is a popular pick to win it all, thanks in part to a dominant performance in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Providence has battled against the odds all season, and after winning the Big East Tournament, they hope to continue their “wild ride” in San Antonio against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
- North Carolina has had some huge wins this season, but Providence’s slow tempo could present issues for the Heels.
- Three years ago, Kemba Walker led UConn to a national championship. If the Huskies look to make a run this year, it will come on the shoulders of a freshman from that 2011 team: Shabazz Napier.
- Though UConn is favored, St. Joseph’s will come in with all the momentum from a run to the A-10 Championship.
- Villanova should have a relatively easy match-up in its first game, but the next game (should they advance) would either present a Big Five game against St. Joe’s, or an old Big East matchup against UConn. Either way, the Wildcats won’t be in for any surprises.
- Despite finishing the regular season undefeated, Wichita State will face a road to the Final Four littered with dangerous teams.
- John Calipari was the only one in Kentucky’s camp who was expecting a #8 seed. Though the ‘Cats feel like they’re underseeded, they still like their chances and are ready, in Calipari’s words, to “go play ball.”
- Though the Wolfpack barely snuck into the First Four, coach Mark Gottfried believes that North Carolina State has earned its berth into the field.
- Of all the unexpected events that occurred on Selection Sunday, none may be bigger than Louisville’s seeding. Despite being in the conversation for a top-seed leading up to the Selection Show, the Cardinals were shockingly given a #4 seed.
- Amid late season struggles, UMass did enough to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1998.
- Iowa narrowly avoided a late-season collapse by sneaking into the First Four, but that was good enough to earn Fran McCaffery a nice raise.
- Although Duke has history on its side, Atlantic Sun champion Mercer believes that the Blue Devils should be on Upset Alert for good reason. The Bears dethroned Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City,” and are an experienced group led by Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Langston Hall.
- Arizona State has had its ups and downs this year, but sophomore superstar Jahii Carson is calling the NCAA Tournament a “new season” for the Sun Devils.
- The Big 12 was a gauntlet for Texas this year. That said, the competition has prepared them for March and the Longhorns are excited for their “clean slate” in the NCAA Tournament.
- Though Michigan missed out on a #1 seed, they’re staying positive with a manageable second round match-up against Wofford. The Wolverines lauded their rival Michigan State for a great performance in the Big Ten championship game, and are, according to sophomore sharp-shooter Nik Stauskas, “just looking forward to watching some film and getting ready for them [NCAA Tournament opponents].”