NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.21.14 EditionPosted by Griffin Wong on March 21st, 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.
- Due to success on the hardwood and struggles on the gridiron, Florida is becoming more and more of a basketball school. The Gators advanced to the third round yesterday with a win over Albany.
- Colorado could have used their leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie yesterday, as the Buffs were run out of the gym by Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh forward Talib Zanna dominated yesterday en route to a 77-48 rout of Colorado.
- It looks like Dayton now “owns Ohio college basketball” after a nail-biting win over its in-state rival Ohio State.
- Syracuse guard Trevor Cooney was able to find his stroke as the Orange rolled into the third round.
- VCU begins tournament play against Stephen F. Austin today. However, no matter how the Rams do, they’ll always have to live up to 2011 Final Four team.
- UCLA big men David and Travis Wear resemble a former UCLA forward who had great success in the NCAA Tournament: Ryan Hollins.
- Tulsa was only 4-9 going into January, but the Golden Hurricane battled back and now looks to pull off an upset over UCLA.
- New Mexico will have a chance for redemption after last year’s loss to Harvard, and don’t think the Lobos have forgotten about it.
- Without Joel Embiid, Kansas is coming into the tournament with an underdog mentality.
- Throughout the season, Arizona’s star guard Nick Johnson has brought the team together both on and off the court.
- Oregon took out BYU yesterday thanks in part to a “breakthrough game” from reserve guard Elgin Cook.
- BYU went down to Oregon, but the Cougars aren’t using Kyle Collinsworth’s injury as an excuse.
- American hung with Wisconsin for a while, but the Badgers came to their senses and eventually won by 40.
- Though Marcus Smart has a clear size advantage, Gonzaga point guard David Stockton plans to use his brains and instincts to win the match-up.
- Part of the reason Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart came back to Stillwater was to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Now that he’s here, it’s his responsibility to lead the Cowboys into battle.
- Baylor credits senior Cory Jefferson and Genesis 41 (yes, the Bible verse) for getting their season on the right track. Today, we’ll see if it all paid off.
- Nebraska star Terran Petteway didn’t even watch the NCAA Tournament last year. Today, all his hard work during the offseason will be put to the test.
- North Dakota State pulled off the upset over Oklahoma, and the Bison are happy to be here. However, they’re not happy to be here because they feel fortunate, but rather because they know they belong.
- Despite letting a seven point lead slip away in the final minute, San Diego State bounced back and held off New Mexico State in overtime.
- Virginia hasn’t been this good since Ralph Sampson was in a Cavaliers uniform. However, the only similarity between this team and 80’s UVA teams is the 1-seed.
- According to Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin, Harvard’s victory over the Bearcats yesterday was “anything but an upset.”
- Michigan State senior Adreian Payne went for a career high 41 as the Spartans cruised over Delaware.
- UConn’s “redemption tour” began yesterday with a huge overtime victory against St. Joseph’s.
- Villanova started slow, but UW-Milwaukee proved to be no problem for the Wildcats behind Darrun Hilliard’s 16 points.
- Memphis has a good, experienced group of guards, but can George Washington’s 1-3-1 be effective today?
- Josh Pastner has been successful as a young coach at Memphis, but he’s yet to reach a Sweet Sixteen. Pastner and the Tigers’ quest begins tomorrow.
- According to coach Roy Williams, North Carolina is “in full stride” going into their second round match-up against Providence.
- Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg is flourishing at his alma mater, but does he have an NBA job in his future?
- Providence has solid basketball tradition, but to the Friars, North Carolina is “royalty.”
- Wichita State hasn’t lost a game all season, but the Shockers are simply focused on taking down Cal Poly.
- Kentucky and Kansas State both have something to prove today, but for different reasons. Kentucky wants to justify its preseason #1 ranking, while Kansas State just wants to get some respect.
- NC State had last night’s game against Saint Louis in hand, but choked with a “historically awful free-throw shooting performance.” The Pack made a measly 9 out of 21 free throws in the last eight minutes of regulation.
- Louisville survived Manhattan’s serious upset bid last night. The Jaspers led late in the game, but two dagger threes from senior Luke Hancock put the game out of reach.
- Despite needing overtime to advance from the First Four, Tennessee is too excited to be worried about fatigue in their second round matchup.
- Wofford isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, but Michigan proved that they can play defense yesterday, holding the Terriers to just 40 points.
- UMass hasn’t had great success against Tennessee recently, but the Minutemen are looking to change that today.
- Duke is supremely talented, but the Blue Devils are oddly inexperienced.
- Duke freshman Jabari Parker is a severe match-up problem, but Mercer is going to mix it up on defense in hopes to keep him out of rhythm.
- Arizona State made a furious comeback effort, but Texas sophomore Cameron Ridley put in a layup as time expired to send the Longhorns into the third round.