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.
- Michigan point guard Trey Burke‘s postseason award tour continued Friday when he was named as the winner of the Wooden Award.
- Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. writes on his shoes before every game to honor friends and family who have passed away.
- Michigan sharpshooter Nik Stauskas entered Sunday’s Elite Eight game against Florida in a tough shooting slump – he was just 2-of-16 from deep in his last four games – but the freshman found his stroke in the team’s victory over the Gators, finishing 6-of-6 from deep. With Stauskas in a groove from the three-point line, Michigan’s offense has yet another dimension entering Saturday’s game against Syracuse.
- Throughout his 35-year coaching career, Michigan coach John Beilein has been quite meticulous in his game preparation and that has not changed this season, as the veteran coach is still a stickler for all the details.
- Michigan senior captain Josh Bartelstein has not made much of an impact for the Wolverines on the court, but his leadership off the court has been quite significant for the youthful squad.
- After 37 years on the job as the head coach at his alma mater, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has learned not to take himself all that seriously.
- Mike Waters of Syracuse.com gives a thorough breakdown of the backcourt match-up between Michigan’s Trey Burke and Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams.
- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has shelved the team’s man-to-man defense ever since the Orange lost an exhibition game to Le Moyne in November 2009.
- Chris Carlson of Syracuse.com gives a look at the Syracuse 2-3 zone and offers reasons why the Orange’s opponents have not been able to solve it.
- This story belongs in the bizarre category: Former, disgraced Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine is in Atlanta for this weekend’s Final Four. When reached by telephone, Fine said, “I came into town to enjoy some basketball games.”
- Louisville coach Rick Pitino is expected to be selected for enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The official announcement will come Monday at 11 A.M.
- Is there a bit of the Big East in the way Wichita State plays defense? Louisville coach Rick Pitino thinks so. He described the Shockers defense, as “Marquette on steroids.”
- Louisville sophomore forward Wayne Blackshear was named the recipient of the Elite 89 Award for the 2013 Final Four. The Elite 89 Award is presented to the player with the highest-cumulative grade point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.
- Former Louisville assistant coach Ralph Willard will be collecting a dinner from Cardinals coach Rick Pitino in the future, as Pitino once wagered a meal with Willard that dynamic guard Russ Smith will never be a prime time player for Louisville.
- Louisville swingman Luke Hancock transferred to the program from George Mason after Jim Larranaga was hired by Miami in 2011. Hancock’s college career was almost entirely different, as Larranaga almost passed on offering a scholarship to him.
- In the current culture of conference realignment in collegiate athletics, Wichita State has remained the rock of the Missouri Valley Conference.
- Before arriving in Wichita, Shockers coach Gregg Marshall had a very successful tenure as the head coach at Winthrop. Marshall’s success at Winthrop led to him getting the Wichita State job and the rest has been history.
- Rob Dauster of NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk writes that Wichita State will benefit from the absence of Louisville guard Kevin Ware. With Ware sidelined, Louisville will have to turn to seldom-used walk-on Tim Henderson to play a much bigger role in Saturday’s game.
- Wichita State forward Carl Hall has overcome a heart problem, known as neurocardiogenic syncope, to become a standout on the Shockers’ run to the Final Four.
- Wichita State guard Ron Baker is from the small town of Scott City, Kansas. While Baker is still a small-town kid, his impact on the Shockers during their tournament run has been quite large.