Each day this week during the regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament we’re asking some of our top correspondents to put together a collection of notes and interesting tidbits about each region. If you know of something that we should include in tomorrow’s submission, hit us up at email@example.com.
- One of Michigan State’s big advantages may be in their bench production, which has been averaging nearly 25 points per game lately and runs 11 players deep.
- According to Northern Iowa head coach Ben Jacobson, the decision to sign the contract extension was a no-brainer. He signed a 10-year deal that will pay well over $400,000 per season.
- The Washington Post notes that one of the major differences in the absence of Kalin Lucas is the contrasting and free flowing style that Korie Lucious plays at. Lucious’ 13-point total in MSU’s game against Maryland was his highest total of the season.
- Everybody knows Ohio State’s Jon Diebler has an incredible range, but not many people know that he used to shoot for dollar bills to hone his skills.
- Michigan State is known for being mentally tough, but Northern Iowa is not used to the national exposure they have received from their trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Although Ali Farokhmanesh has said that the confidence he receives has always been there, he admits that the media exposure has been overwhelming.
West Region (Andrew Murawa)
- The Kansas State/Xavier game is already being called the best of the Tournament so far. Which, given the context, is really saying something. Even though the previous game in Salt Lake City saw one of the remaining favorites to advance to the title game fall, the nightcap definitely stole the headlines.
- With Butler knocking off Syracuse on Thursday night, they are now one game away from playing in the Final Four in their hometown, and regardless of the outcome on Saturday, they’ll be heading back to Indianapolis. The Bulldogs got several huge (and somewhat fortunate) plays by senior Willie Veasley down the stretch.
- For Syracuse, it is a very disappointing end to an otherwise spectacular year and ends the careers of seniors Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku and likely junior Wesley Johnson, although he says that he is leaning towards returning for another season rather than head to the NBA as a likely lottery pick. But CBS Sports’ Gregg Doyel called it a fitting end for the Orange’s season after they hid the severity of Onuaku’s injury.
- But, aside from all that, just another boring night in the Tournament.