NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.05.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on April 5th, 2013

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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

  • 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.

Syracuse

Louisville
  • 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.

Wichita State

  • 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.
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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.04.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on April 4th, 2013

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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

  • A report broke Thursday morning that Wolverines guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft when their season comes to an end.
  • A great profile by Rod Beard of the Detroit News on the decisive leadership of Trey Burke. Burke’s leadership on and off the court has helped lead Michigan to its first Final Four in 20 years.
  • Michigan forward Mitch McGary has lost 20 pounds since the beginning of the season and the now lighter freshman has been a key component of the team that is set to make its first Final Four appearance since 1993.
  • On Thursday, Michigan coach John Beilein refused to discuss the report that his guards Burke and Hardaway Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft.
  • Michigan freshman reserve point guard Spike Albrecht was headed to Appalachian State before the Wolverines gambled and gave him a late scholarship offer. That gamble has paid off majorly for the Wolverines, as Albrecht has developed into a very capable back-up to star guard Trey Burke.

Syracuse

  • Bud Polquin of Syracuse.com writes that it is coach Jim Boeheim‘s fourth Final Four appearance and it is probably not his last.
  • A lot has been made about rumors that this could possibly be Jim Boeheim‘s final season at Syracuse, but the veteran coach made known that “he fully intends to coach Syracuse in the ACC.” 
  • The path Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams has taken in his Orange career to the Final Four is quite similar to the path former Syracuse point guard Lazarus Sims took to the 1996 Final Four.
  • Syracuse has decided that its motto for the week is to become legendary.
  • It is possible that Syracuse forward C.J. Fair will declare for the NBA Draft following the end of the season, but the junior is just focused on playing in the Final Four right now. Read the rest of this entry »
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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.03.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on April 3rd, 2013

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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

  • Michigan freshman forward Mitch McGary, who has exploded onto the scene in the NCAA Tournament, said Tuesday that he will return to the Wolverines for his sophomore season.
  • The Wolverines are basking in their “rock star status” around Ann Arbor as they prepare for this weekend’s Final Four.
  • To replicate the challenges of the length of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, coach John Beilein is having reserve forwards Jon HorfordBlake McLimas, and Jordan Morgan challenge the Wolverines’ jump shooters during practice this week.
  • Very interesting story from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports about how coach John Beilein is a descendant of the soldiers who inspired the film, Saving Private Ryan.
  • During last summer’s workouts, guard Tim Hardaway Jr. scared his teammates with his intensity and his relentlessness helped set the tone for the team’s successful run through the season and into the Final Four.

Syracuse

  • Jim Boeheim is well-known for his no-nonsense approach to coaching and that approach has served him well as he has the Orange back in the Final Four for the first time since 2003.
  • The Orange’s 2-3 zone has successfully stifled its opposition due to the fact that they have a height advantage at every position. Guards Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams are 6’4″ and 6’6″, respectively, and that gives them a height advantage over nearly every backcourt they play.
  • Jim Boeheim famously blew up at ESPN‘s Andy Katz after a loss to UConn in February, but the coach is back on speaking terms with Katz and he even appeared on Katz’s ESPNU show Tuesday.
  • Forward Baye Moussa Keita does not fill up the stat sheet for the Orange on the offensive end of the court, but he has emerged as a key cog in the team’s stingy zone defense.
  • USC made waves when it announced late Monday night that it had hired Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield to fill its coaching vacancy. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was a bit perturbed by the move, saying that his associate head coach Mike Hopkins, who interviewed for the position, was by far the best candidate for the job.
 Louisville
  • Guard Russ Smith is turning in an historic NCAA Tournament. The junior is averaging 26 points per game and is shooting an impressive 54.1% from the field.
  • Injured guard Kevin Ware was released from an Indianapolis hospital Tuesday afternoon. His first stop following his release was to the team’s practice facility to return the Midwest Regional trophy coach Rick Pitino had left with him in his hospital room.
  • The positive attitude that Kevin Ware has shown in the face of his serious injury has earned him worldwide support from a multitude of people.
  • With Ware sidelined, coach Rick Pitino is mulling the possibility of shifting small forwards Wayne Blackshear and Luke Hancock to the backcourt in some defensive situations for Saturday’s game against Wichita State.
  • Louisville mayor Greg Fischer declared Friday as Cardinal Red Day in Louisville to honor the school’s men’s and women’s Final Four teams.

Wichita State

  • Redshirt freshman guard Ron Baker has taken an improbable journey from a lightly-recruited prospect to a walk-on to a key player in the Shockers’ unexpected run to the Final Four.
  • Coach Gregg Marshall serves as a reminder that coaches can have a “good life” away from the attention that coaching in a high-major conference brings.
  • With the team’s run to the Final Four, the players are becoming much more comfortable with all the media attention that is being levied on the squad.
  • After transferring from Oregon, guard Malcolm Armstead had to pay his own way at Wichita State and he did this by detailing cars for an area car dealership.
  • Gregg Marshall confirmed Wednesday that UCLA had contacted his representative last week, wanting to talk to the coach about the then-vacant coaching job.
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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.02.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on April 2nd, 2013

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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.

Louisville

  • Many people around the country are very surprised that Wichita State has advanced to the Final Four, but Louisville coach Rick Pitino is not one of them. “I picked Wichita State to go to the Final Four,” Pitino said Monday during a conference call.
  • Louisville junior guard Russ Smith was named a third team All-America selection by the Associated Press.
  • When Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered his horrific compound fracture Sunday, one teammate rushed to be by his side as he laid on the court writhing in pain; that teammate was swingman Luke Hancock.
  • With the injury to guard Kevin Ware, Louisville’s backcourt depth took a bit of a hit. Walk-on Tim Henderson will be called upon to play increased minutes in Ware’s absence and Cardinals coach Rick Pitino expects him to step up in his unexpected role.
  • The injury to Ware definitely has caused and will continue to cause some adversity for Louisville, but as Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports explains, this injury is not the worst adversity head coach Rick Pitino has had to handle.

Wichita State

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 04.01.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on April 1st, 2013

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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.

Midwest Region

  • Louisville senior associate athletic director for media relations Kenny Klein tweeted a photo of Cardinals guard Kevin Ware moving around on crutches Monday morning, less than 24 hours after suffering a gruesome broken leg in the first half of Sunday’s victory over Duke.
  • An outstanding column from Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports discussing how the courage and strength shown by Louisville guard Kevin Ware after his horrific leg injury served to inspire the Cardinals to get past Duke and reach the Final Four.
  • Has Louisville forward Gorgui Dieng improved his NBA Draft stock during the team’s NCAA Tournament run?
  • Louisville guard Russ Smith was named Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional. The dynamic junior has dominated the tournament thus far, as he is averaging 26 points per contest.
  • Duke freshman swingman Rasheed Sulaimon was quite emotional after his subpar performance in Sunday’s loss to Louisville and in the process, he left no doubt that he truly cares about success and his teammates.
  • Andrew Jones of FoxSportsCarolinas.com writes that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski got just about everything he could out of this year’s Blue Devils.

West Region

  • Wichita State is confident that it belongs in the Final Four. The ninth-seeded Shockers are in the Final Four for the first time since 1965.
  • Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall reminded his team to “play angry” at halftime of the Shockers’ Elite Eight victory over Ohio State and after notching the Elite Eight victory, they are playing angry into the Final Four.
  • Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall took Sunday to re-charge after Saturday’s thrilling Elite Eight victory over Ohio State, but he is back at work Monday preparing for Saturday’s Final Four match-up with top-seeded Louisville.
  • Here is an interesting story about a man from Long Beach, California, who put a $10 bet on Wichita State to win the national title. The Shockers had 750-1 odds to cut down the nets at the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, so he would win $7,500 off that bet if they do end up winning the title.

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.30.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 30th, 2013

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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.

Midwest Region

West Region

  • Wichita State guard Malcolm Armstead transferred from Oregon to join the Shockers without a scholarship and that gamble is paying off as Wichita State preps for a chance to go to the Final Four.
  • Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com writes that Saturday’s game between Ohio State and Wichita State should not be viewed as a “David/Goliath” match-up.
  • Would Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall be the greatest catch of this year’s coaching carousel?
  • Ohio State sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross has matured during his second season in Columbus to become a playmaker for the Buckeyes.
  • Ohio State coach Thad Matta was unhappy with the way Buckeyes guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. performed defensively in the team’s Round of 32 victory over Iowa State, but the junior stepped up his play significantly in Thursday’s victory over Arizona.
  • Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas has a well-earned reputation as a “bad shot taker and maker” and this moniker has not prevented him from becoming the Buckeyes’ most lethal weapon offensively.

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.28.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 28th, 2013

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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.
Midwest Region
  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino received a little scouting help at practice Wednesday. Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford stopped by the Cardinals’ practice to give some advice to his former coach. Ford’s Cowboys lost to Oregon, Louisville’s Sweet Sixteen opponent, in the Round of 64.
  • The game of basketball has unquestionably evolved and changed over the course of Louisville coach Rick Pitino‘s career, but one thing has remained constant for the veteran coach, and that is his great appreciation for defensive deflections.
  • Oregon shot just 31.9% on three-pointers during the regular season, but the Ducks have really turned it on in the postseason, shooting 47.4% from three-point range in five tournament games this month.
  • Louisville is well known for its intense defensive pressure and that has caused Oregon to expend a great deal of time and energy to prepare for that pressure.
  • Legendary Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote is planning on attending the Final Four if Michigan State is able to advance to Atlanta.
  • After watching forward Branden Dawson‘s passion pick up in last week’s wins over Valparaiso and Memphis, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo identifies the sophomore as the key player in Friday night’s game against Duke.
  • Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and center Mason Plumlee were highly complimentary of Blue Devils’ freshman swingman Rasheed Sulaimon for his performance in Sunday’s victory over Creighton.
  • Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com reported Wednesday morning that Duke associate head coach Chris Collins has verbally agreed to become the next head coach at Northwestern. While Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski remarked Wednesday that it was not yet a done deal, he did acknowledge that Northwestern would be getting a “great coach” in Collins.

West Region

  • ESPN analyst Jay Bilas thinks highly of Wichita State and its Sweet Sixteen berth, saying, “Wichita State is not a Cinderella team. You can’t label a team that is consistently excellent like that.”
  • Wichita State forward Carl Hall arrived to the program as a slightly out-of-shape junior college transfer before the 2011-12 season and that is among the reasons why the hard-nosed rebounder is never satisfied.
  • La Salle coach John Giannini sees as many similarities as differences between the Explorers’ current run with the run he had to a national title as the coach of Division III Rowan University in 1996.
  • After originally being listed as doubtful, La Salle sophomore center Steve Zack has been cleared to play Thursday against Wichita State. The Explorers’ big man has not played since March 2 due to a foot injury.
  • Arizona senior forward Solomon Hill donned a gold practice jersey to a press conference at the Staples Center on Wednesday. He wore the gold jersey because it symbolized that he was the Wildcat who performed best in practice this week. Hill is going to need to bring the same effort into Thursday’s game with Ohio State as he faces a tough match-up against standout Buckeyes forward Deshaun Thomas.
  • Arizona freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski has matured a lot over the course of his first season and his ability to hit his stride at the right time has been crucial for the Wildcats.
  • Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas‘ ability to score around the basket and step out to hit a long-range jumper makes him a unique player. The match-up issues he presents are certainly going to challenge Arizona on Thursday.
  • Ohio State sophomore LaQuinton Rosslate-season emergence might be a key factor for the Buckeyes in Thursday’s game with Arizona.

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.27.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 27th, 2013

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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.

South Region

  • Kansas standout freshman Ben McLemore only went a combined 2-of-14 in the Jayhawks’ wins over Western Kentucky and North Carolina, but Kansas coach Bill Self is not worried about his guard’s scoring slump entering Friday’s game against Michigan.
  • Upon arriving in Lawrence, Kansas senior center Jeff Withey promised Jayhawks coach Bill Self that he would not be a failure. It seems like Withey has done a very good job of fulfilling that promise.
  • Michigan could potentially face of mass exodus of its star underclassmen to the NBA Draft this June, but Wolverines coach John Beilein believes that having players viewed as pro prospects is “a good problem to have.”
  • Michigan freshman forward Mitch McGary believes that the Wolverines have found their swagger in the NCAA Tournament and that has resulted in the team just wanting it more.
  • Florida coach Billy Donovan is not viewing Florida Gulf Coast as a Cinderella as the Gators prepare for Friday’s match-up with the Eagles. Donovan said the only thing that has been surprising to him is that “they are a 15-seed.”
  • Florida is going to have many things going for it in Friday’s game against Florida Gulf Coast; however, one of those things will probably not be the crowd, as the third-seeded Gators will likely be seen as the villains against the 15th-seeded Eagles.
  • Florida Gulf Coast seniors Sherwood Brown and Eddie Murray have a combined nine years in the program and both players have been instrumental in helping the school and team grow.
  • Florida Gulf Coast point guard Brett Comer was always in the background in high school as he was a teammate of New Orleans Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers, but with the Eagles’ improbable run to the Sweet Sixteen, Comer is finally having his turn in the spotlight.

East Region

  • Indiana has always been seen as a mecca of basketball and that is not any different this year, as the state is buzzing as its Hoosiers look to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Indiana was ranked number one entering the season and had a plethora of expectations entering the postseason, thus the question emerges: Can the Hoosiers’ season be viewed as a success without a Final Four appearance?
  • Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is a master of the art of focus, as he has led the Orange to its fourth Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last five seasons amid a number of controversy and negative headlines surrounding the program.
  • The play of Syracuse guards Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams will be critical to the Orange’s success in Thursday’s matchup against Indiana.
  • Mike Woods of the Appleton Post-Crecsent believes Marquette has surpassed Wisconsin as the state of Wisconsin’s top collegiate basketball program.
  • Marquette junior swingman Vander Blue has played with a great deal of intensity during his third season in Milwaukee and this fire has fueled the Golden Eagles’ run all season.
  • Miami will be without reserve big man Reggie Johnson for Thursday’s game against Marquette. According to two sources, Johnson suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s win over Illinois and underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday.
  • Jim Larranaga left the Washington area when he departed George Mason for Miami. Now, the veteran coach must take his Hurricanes back to familiar D.C. territory for Thursday’s game against Marquette, as the Hurricanes continue their journey to a potential Final Four berth.

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.26.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 26th, 2013

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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.
Midwest Region

West Region

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.23.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 23rd, 2013

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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.

 Midwest Region
  • Louisville is the overall number one seed and is highly expected to get past Colorado State on Saturday and advance to the Sweet 16, but Cardinals coach Rick Pitino is insisting that the Rams are a real threat.
  • Colorado State forward Colton Iverson spent three years as a role player at Minnesota. His transfer to Colorado State for his final year of eligibility has resulted in him becoming a major player for the Rams. His transfer has turned out to be a blessing for himself and Colorado State.
  • Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi, a native of Iran, has stepped up as a terrific rebounder for the Ducks. Kazemi is in his first and only season at Oregon after transferring following three years of play at Rice.
  • Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes that Saint Louis is receiving a bad break by having to play Oregon in San Jose in the Round of 32. The distance between Oregon and San Jose will make it essentially a home game for the Ducks.
  • Memphis coach Josh Pastner was not going to guarantee that his team will beat Michigan State on Saturday, but he was open to guarantee that his senior forward D.J. Stephens would win the NBA Slam Dunk contest.
  • Michigan State talented freshman Gary Harris has battled through a variety of injuries during his first season in East Lansing, but Harris has remained determined and is looking to help the Spartans go deep into the tournament.
  • Creighton guard Grant Gibbs‘ contributions to the team might not always show up in the box score, but the gritty play of the senior has helped lead the Blue Jays to a Round of 32 appearance.
  • Duke center Mason Plumlee is not known for being very vocal on the court, but he became vocal during Friday’s win over Albany because he wanted to make sure his teammates were playing with a sense of urgency.

West Region

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.22.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 22nd, 2013

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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.

Midwest Region

  • After easily dispatching North Carolina A&T in its Round of 64 game Thursday evening, Louisville coach Rick Pitino knows that his team must move on quickly to get ready for its Round of 32 matchup with Colorado State on Saturday.
  • Prior to Thursday’s win over Missouri, Colorado State had not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1989. The Rams embarrassed the Tigers on the rebounding glass (42-19) and both coach Larry Eustachy and his players used losing experience from last year’s event to help drive them to victory.
  • Some harsh words from CBSSports.com’s Gregg Doyel on Missouri‘s lackluster performance in its loss to Colorado State on Thursday, “Missouri doesn’t play defense so much as it plays possum, laying there on the floor until it can get the ball back and go do what it likes to do, which is shoot.”
  • Oregon put together an impressive performance in its upset victory over Oklahoma State on Thursday. The Ducks are looking for their strong play to continue when they face fourth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday.
  • Oklahoma State freshman standout Marcus Smart struggled a bit in Thursday’s loss to Oregon – shot just 5-of-13 from the field and committed five turnovers – but that did not stop him from making a strong impression on Oregon coach Dana Altman.
  • Saint Louis forward Cory Remekun missed a dunk near the end of the first half in Thursday’s victory, but that did not phase the senior as he went on to finish the afternoon with a solid 11 points and six rebounds.
  • Michigan State big man Derrick Nix has had his fair share of struggles during his time in East Lansing – academic and obedience issues as a sophomore and an arrest for impaired driving and marijuana possession last spring – but instead of dumping Nix from the program, Tom Izzo gave him a second chance that is now paying off for the Spartans.
  • Creighton star junior Doug McDermott has yet to decide if he will return to school next season. It is possible that his decision has been made even more complicated due to the fact that the Blue Jays will begin play in the Big East next season.
  • Cincinnati seriously struggled offensively at some points during the regular season. Bearcats leading-scorer Sean Kilpatrick is hoping that a better flow offensively will lead to more open shots and more scoring.
  • Duke assistant coach Chris Collins has been mentioned as a top candidate for the vacant head coaching position at Northwestern. On Thursday, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski made very supportive comments in endorsing Collins (and the rest of his staff) for potential openings.

West Region

  • Gonzaga survived a serious scare from 16-seed Southern on Thursday. After the game, Bulldogs coach Mark Few says the team shouldn’t let the close call affect its play for the remainder of its run in the tournament.
  • Southern put forth a spirited effort in its attempt to pull a historic upset over Gonzaga. While the upset bid fell short, it was the relentless defense of the Jaguars that helped give them a chance.
  • Sports can certainly be cruel sometimes. This video shows Pittsburgh senior point guard Tray Woodall breaking down following the Panthers’ loss to Wichita State on Thursday. In his last collegiate game, Woodall turned in one of the worst performances of his career – just two points on 1-of-12 shooting.
  • Wichita State got past Pittsburgh by playing tenacious defense, but the offensive effort from Shockers forward Cleanthony Early provided the team with the necessary spark on the offensive end of the court.
  • Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan got a little testy Thursday when he was asked about the Badgers’ “plodding” or “boring” style of offense.
  • Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy is not worried about his team’s preparedness as it makes his first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2002.
  • When Kansas State watched La Salle top Boise State on Wednesday night, the Wildcats were intrigued with the Explorers’ style of play because it reminded them of themselves.
  • Arizona doubters are quick to dismiss the strong bond that exists between Arizona point guard Mark Lyons and Wildcats coach Sean Miller, but it is that bond that has helped both flourish at certain times over the season.
  • Former Harvard star guard Jeremy Lin took to Twitter to share his genuine excitement regarding the Crimson’s improbable upset victory over New Mexico on Thursday night.
  • Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton is also a member of the Irish baseball team and this has resulted him in having to find a way to balance the two sports in the most effective way as possible.

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NCAA Tournament Tidbits: 03.21.13 Edition

Posted by WCarey on March 21st, 2013

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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.

Midwest Region

West Region

  • Gonzaga has not made it to an Elite Eight since 1999, but the Bulldogs have not suffered shocking first-round upsets like other high-profile programs. Does this mean Gonzaga’s label as an underachiever in the NCAA Tournament is unfair?
  • Wichita State forward Carl Hall has a well-known reputation of being the Shocker with the dreadlocks. Well, that reputation is no longer factual as Hall cut his hair Monday for the first time in five years.
  • Wisconsin forward Ryan Evans has been a lot more comfortable at the foul line ever since he adopted the jump-shooting technique. This change has allowed Evans to have more confidence at the line, which has resulted in more willingness to get to the rim and draw fouls.
  • Ole Miss has not appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2002, but the Rebels are not entering this season’s event with concerns about their lack of experience.
  • Kansas State was struggling to adjust to the new offense of first-year coach Bruce Weber in the early season, but the Wildcats have since become very well accustomed to the system and their offense has thrived.
  • Arizona guard Jordin Mayes had struggled with confidence issues with his shot for must much of his junior season, but he has broken out of his slump in March and looks primed to make an impact for the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Belmont guard Ian Clark led the nation this season with a 46.3 percent mark from deep and this has definitely caught the attention of Arizona, the Bruins’ Round of 64 opponent.
  • New Mexico coach Steve Alford agreed to a new 10-year deal Wednesday that will keep the coach in charge of the Lobos basketball team through the 2022-23 season.
  • Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has had his fair share of struggles in the NCAA Tournament. For this season’s event, he is aiming to maintain the attitude of keeping his team loose in hopes that it will allow the Irish to put the past missteps behind them.
  • Is this season Ohio State coach Thad Matta‘s best coaching job in Columbus? Consider this: Matta took a team with no big man presence and no defined second scoring option, and took it to a Big Ten Tournament title.

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