NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.28.14 EditionPosted by Griffin Wong on March 28th, 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 senior Scottie Wilbekin didn’t have the greatest shooting night, but when it came time to put a lingering UCLA team away, he delivered, like he has time and time again.
- In defeating UCLA, Florida has now reached a nearly unprecedented four straight Elite Eights.
- After last night’s loss to Florida, UCLA point guard Kyle Anderson decided to declare for the NBA Draft.
- Behind a balanced offensive attack with 11 different players scoring, Dayton advanced to its first Elite Eight since 1984 with a win over Stanford.
- Dayton coach Archie Miller and his brother Sean became the first brothers to coach two teams to an Elite Eight in the same season. Archie’s #11 seed Flyers are just one away from what would be an incredible Cinderella Final Four run.
- Stanford had the size, but Dayton’s quickness allowed the Flyers to outrun the Cardinal. The Cardinal’s season ends successfully, though, as it reached its first NCAA Tournament under Johnny Dawkins and its first Sweet Sixteen since 2008.
- San Diego State led for most of the game, but Arizona hung with the Aztecs and took control in the final minutes to reach the Elite Eight.
- Arizona’s Nick Johnson didn’t score until the 2:46 mark of the second half, but that layup sparked the Wildcats’ leading scorer to finish with 15 of the Wildcats’ last 16 points as they held off a tough San Diego State team.
- San Diego State’s season ended in disappointing fashion, but this season marked a sizable development in Aztec basketball. The Aztecs scratched the surface of the national stage, beating Kansas at Phog Allen and reaching #5 in the national rankings on its way to the Sweet Sixteen.
- Baylor made an impressive regular season turnaround and a dominant NCAA Tournament run, but its season ended last night in a “blowout loss” to Wisconsin.
- From start to finish, Wisconsin dominated Baylor in an offensive clinic to reach coach Bo Ryan’s second Elite Eight.
- Wisconsin reached the Elite Eight in impressive fashion last night, and did so in front of some high profile supporters, including Green Bay Packers quarterback and NFL star Aaron Rodgers.
- After so many years of disappointment, Virginia is in position to make a run to its first Final Four since 1984.
- Unheralded coming out of high school, the emergence of freshman point guard London Perrantes is one of the biggest reasons Virginia has had such great success this season.
- Michigan State is hoping that sophomore standout Gary Harris will be better than Virginia’s Joe Harris.
- With injuries to three starters this season, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has had one of his toughest seasons yet. Despite all the trouble, his Spartans still have a great shot at reaching another Final Four.
- Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg and UConn coach Kevin Ollie share friendship and young success in coaching, but there’s more to it. The two run similar offenses that have carried their teams to the Sweet Sixteen.
- The NCAA Tournament is commonly won by teams with outstanding lead guards. Tonight, Iowa State and UConn’s Sweet Sixteen matchup could come down to DeAndre Kane vs. Shabazz Napier.
- Though there were doubts at first, Fred Hoiberg has Iowa State’s basketball program at its historical peak.
- Both dynamic and small in stature, the comparisons between Shabazz Napier and former UConn great Kemba Walker are inevitable. This year’s UConn squad hopes to follow in Walker’s footsteps.
- Some of Kentucky freshman Julius Randle’s greatest lessons in basketball came from his mother. At 6’2”, Randle’s mother, Carolyn Kyles, played college ball. “I would push him around. He’d fall down and hop up all mad. I’d throw hook shots on him, and it would just kill him,” Kyles added.
- Some people don’t like the way Kentucky coach John Calipari takes advantage of one-and-dones, but until there’s a rule change, he’s going to keep winning with them.
- If Louisville wants to get revenge on Kentucky, it needs to keep Julius Randle in check this time around.
- Though they coach on opposite sides of arguably the most intense rivalry in college basketball, Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Kentucky coach John Calipari maintain that they are actually friends, contrary to what many believe. “The stuff about ‘they’re at each other’s throats,’ it’s just not accurate,” Calipari added.
- For Tennessee to win, its going to have to shut down one of coach Cuonzo Martin’s closest family friends. Glenn Robinson III’s father was Martin’s roommate at Purdue, and the two remain buddies.
- With a chance to reach only its second Elite Eight ever, Tennessee will probably have its biggest crowd in history behind it tonight.
- Michigan big man Mitch McGary is making great strides with his back, but he won’t be ready to go tonight. Whether he would play in the Final Four is unknown, and obviously dependent on how the Wolverines perform this weekend.
- Michigan coach John Beilein rarely follows common recruiting practices, as he looks for certain types of recruits who will fit his system. The type of kid Michigan recruits does not rely solely on talent.