NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.21.15 Edition

Posted by Walker Carey on March 21st, 2015


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.

Midwest Region

Goodness Gracious. (USA Today Images)

Goodness Gracious. (USA Today Images)

  • Kentucky expected more out of itself in Thursday night’s win over Hampton. It is possible that the Wildcats need the edge back from last year when they advanced to the national title game as a #8 seed?
  • Cincinnati interim coach Larry Davis traces his roots back to Kentucky.
  • After earning a thrilling victory over Buffalo on Friday afternoon, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins acknowledged in his postgame remarks that he does not understand ESPN analyst Jay Bilas’ Young Jeezy-inspired Twitter schtick.
  • Maryland walk-on defensive specialist Varun Ram saved the day for the Terrapins on Friday when he locked down on Valparaiso guard Keith Carter and produced a turnover as the buzzer sounded to ensure  a 65-62 Maryland win.
  • Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew will always have his March Madness memories from his miracle run as a player in 1998, but he was unable to produce new memories as a coach in Friday’s narrow loss to Maryland.
  • Butler coach Chris Holtmann acknowledged Friday that junior forward Roosevelt Jones will play Saturday night against Notre Dame after suffering a knee injury in Thursday’s win over Texas.
  • Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is expecting senior captain Pat Connaughton to have a big game Saturday night when the Irish take on Butler.
  • Indiana showed that it has talent on the perimeter in Friday’s close loss to Wichita State, thus it seems like the next move for the Hoosiers is to find a big man capable of leading the team to greater heights.
  • With Friday’s victory over Indiana, Wichita State earned its shot to play Kansas – a shot the program has been craving for years.
  • Kansas forward Perry Ellis said his previously injured knee “felt great out there” in Friday’s sizable victory over New Mexico State.

West Region

East Region

  • Villanova has not advanced past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in the last five years. That is a trend Wildcats senior Darrun Hilliard and his teammates are looking to end Saturday against NC State.
  • NC State will be the underdog Saturday when it faces top-seed Villanova, but the Wolfpack frontcourt could be a concern for the Wildcats.
  • Prior to Northern Iowa‘s victory over Wyoming on Friday, the Panthers were given a pregame pep talk from Super Bowl winning quarterback and Northern Iowa alumnus Kurt Warner.
  • Wyoming‘s loss to Northern Iowa on Friday was disappointing, but what the Cowboys accomplished this season needs to be remembered and celebrated.
  • Louisville freshman guard Quentin Snider rose to the occasion for the Cardinals in their 57-55 victory over UC-Irvine on Friday.
  • After wins over Boise State and Providence this week, Dayton is once again rolling in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Providence coach Ed Cooley was assessed a very bizarre technical foul in Friday night’s loss to Dayton.
  • Forced into duty due to foul trouble, Michigan State reserves Marvin Clark Jr. and Colby Wollenman provided a spark for the Spartans in Friday’s win over Georgia.
  • Georgia coach Mark Fox has raised the floor of the program, and after Friday’s loss to Michigan State, it is time for him to raise the program’s ceiling.
  • Virginia was able to hold off upset-minded Belmont in a game where Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said his team “had enough grit” to earn the win.

South Region

  • Duke has long had a reputation of being an unlikeable team, but can this season’s group change that perception?
  • San Diego State has a much-deserved reputation as a defensive minded team, but it was its hot shooting Friday that led the Aztecs past St. John’s.
  • St. John’s coach Steve Lavin hinted after Friday’s loss to San Diego State that suspended big man Chris Obekpa may not return to the Red Storm program.
  • Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak has a fascination with the number seven, and that fascination led him to have a good feeling when the penultimate media timeout against Stephen F. Austin on Thursday came at the 7:07 mark.
  • Georgetown junior big man Bradley Hayes saw his patience pay off on the big stage when he turned in a productive performance in his team’s win over Eastern Washington on Thursday night.
  • For UCLA point guard Bryce Alford, his toughest position is not being the Bruins’ floor leader, but it is being the coach’s son.
  • Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde found it strange when UAB coach Jerod Haase received a vote for the Henry Iba Award, but after Thursday’s upset win over Iowa State, he enlisted the help of the voter to make further sense of it.
  • Iowa dominated Davidson on Friday night. It was definitely a good move for the Hawkeyes to bring their best at the right time.
  • Gonzaga received a bit of a fight from North Dakota State on Friday night, but the Bulldogs are moving on, and that is all that matters in the postseason.
  • North Dakota State reserve forward Dexter Werner put up a career-best performance against Gonzaga that helped the Bison stay in the game until the waning minutes.
WCarey (318 Posts)

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