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.
- Even though his team will be playing close to home this weekend in Lexington, Louisville coach Rick Pitino stressed that there is no homecourt advantage in the NCAA Tournament.
- Colorado State big man Colton Iverson will be a load for Missouri to handle in the post. Iverson enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 14.7 points and 9.8 points per game.
- The stunning upset loss to 15-seed Norfolk State in the last season’s NCAA Tournament is not on the minds of Missouri as it prepares for this season’s event.
- Though he is just a freshman, star Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart provides the Cowboys with much-needed toughness and leadership.
- Michael Berk of KGW NewsChannel 8 in Portland believes Oregon should use the national outrage over its 12-seed to its advantage as it prepares for its Round of 64 match-up with Oklahoma State.
- It seems as if the nation fell in love with Saint Louis during its victorious Atlantic 10 Tournament performance, so now the Billikens are working hard to ignore distractions and remain focused as they get ready for their first game against New Mexico State.
- New Mexico State guard Terrel de Rouen‘s competitiveness and tenacity has allowed him to recover from a torn ACL suffered last season to become a key player for the Aggies in his sophomore season.
- While in preparation for its Round of 64 game against Valparaiso on Monday, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo dismissed assistant coach Dane Fife from the building as Fife’s wife was preparing to give birth to the couple’s second child. Fife’s wife, Blair, gave birth to a daughter Tuesday morning at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.
- The more Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin watches tape of Creighton standout Doug McDermott, the more impressed he is with the All-American junior. Cronin said of McDermott, “He can single-handedly beat you. He can get on a roll and give you 30 or 40 any night.”
- Mindful of last season’s loss to 15-seed Lehigh, Duke understands that it cannot afford to overlook 15-seed Albany in this season’s NCAA Tournament.
- Gonzaga forward Elias Harris has had an outstanding four-year career in Spokane. The senior is hoping that he will finish his Gonzaga career playing in the Final Four.
- The reality at times of Pittsburgh’s past weak performances in the NCAA Tournament often puts coach Jamie Dixon on the defensive. He loathes the suggestion that his teams have underachieved in the Big Dance, “We’ve won a lot of games in the Tournament. Only five teams have been to more Sweet Sixteens than we have. They don’t give you byes into the Sweet Sixteen.”
- Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall had modest goals for this season – to win 20 games and possibly sneak into a postseason tournament. Luckily for Marshall and the Shockers, his team was able to surpass both these goals and earn a bid to the NCAAs.
- Wisconsin guard Ben Brust commented on the high possibility that Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson will talk trash to him and his teammates during Friday’s game by saying, “I don’t even know how to talk trash. I think I’ve learned throughout my years, in one ear and out the other and just let my play do the talking.”
- Kansas State guard Shane Southwell can give the Wildcats a scoring punch from the perimeter, but he has struggled with consistency as of late. The junior guard is looking to find a rhythm to give his team a boost in the NCAA Tournament.
- Guard play is going to be a major factor in Wednesday night’s First Four match-up between La Salle and Boise State.
- There has been some national talk about Arizona potentially being an upset victim in the Round of 64, but the Wildcats are trying to avoid that talk as they gear up to face Belmont on Thursday.
- Harvard freshman guard Siyani Chambers has made an immediate impact for the Crimson. The point guard was named Ivy League Freshman of the Year and was placed on the league’s all-Ivy first team.
- After being considered a bubble team for much of the latter part of the regular season, Iowa State guard Korie Lucious and the rest of the Cyclones are “happy to still be playing this time of year.”
- Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch writes that Ohio State‘s Tournament fate hinges on defensive dedication. The Buckeyes have defensive standouts Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott on their roster, but they are going to need their other players to step up.