Articles By David Fox

Path: /college-basketball/amazing-stats-leading-final-four
Body:

The field is set for the 2013 Final Four, and three quarters of it managed to surprise us.

Michigan and Syracuse struggled near the end of the regular season, but the Wolverines’ freshmen and the Orange’s defense carried the way to the national semifinals. And Wichita State couldn’t overtake Missouri Valley champion Creighton during the regular season, but took over its region.

And then there’s Louisville. In a year that seemed to lack a frontrunner for most of the season, the Cardinals captured that role. Louisville won 17 of its last 18 games, culminating Sunday with an 85-63 win over No. 2 seed Duke.

From prohibitive title favorite in Louisville to one of the true surprises in Wichita State, here are the key numbers from the weekend and the four teams left standing in the NCAA Tournament:

18. Combined seed ranking for the Final Four
With No. 1 Louisville, No. 4 Michigan, No. 4 Syracuse and No. 9 Wichita State reaching the Final Four, the combined seeding of 18 is the fifth-highest since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1979. The Final Fours with higher combined seed rankings:
1980 (21): No. 2 Louisville*, No. 5 Iowa, No. 7 Purdue, No. 8 UCLA
2000 (20): No. 1 Michigan State*, No. 5 Florida, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 8 Wisconsin
2006 (20): No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Florida*, No. 4 LSU, No. 11 George Mason
2011 (26): No. 3 Connecticut*, No. 4 Kentucky, No. 8 Butler, No. 11 VCU
*Won national title

21-18. Record in February and March for Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State
How important is it to be the hot hand before the NCAA Tournament? Not very, at least in 2013. Michigan (6-6), Syracuse (8-7) and Wichita State (7-5) went a combined 21-18 in February and March heading into the NCAA Tournament. And what’s more, Michigan and Wichita State both lost to the last-place teams in their respective conferences during that span. In addition, Wichita State and Syracuse lost their final games in January. The outlier here is Louisville, which went 12-1 in February and March, its only loss in five overtimes to Notre Dame. The Cardinals are also the only Final Four team that won either its regular season conference title or conference tournament. The Cardinals shared the Big East regular season title and won the conference tournament as a No. 2 seed.

64-43. Amount Louisville outscored Duke after the Kevin Ware injury
Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury -- which caused the Louisville guard’s bone to pop out of the skin of his right leg -- prompted an emotional reaction from the Cardinals. Guard Russ Smith sobbed, and coach Rick Pitino wiped a tear from his eye. Several players for both teams fell to their knees. Louisville, though, regrouped by outscoring Duke 64-43 after the injury. The Cardinals led 21-20 at the 6:33 mark when the injury occurred.

4. Coaches to lead a team to the Final Four in four different decades
An eventful season for Jim Boeheim included his 900th win and now a Final Four, making him one of four coaches to lead a team to the national semifinals in four decades. He joins Dean Smith of North Carolina, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Rick Pitino of Providence, Kentucky and Louisville in that rare company. Boeheim previously led Syracuse to the Final Four in 1987, 1996 and 2003.

43.3. Points per game by Michigan’s top three freshmen in the tournament
Hard to believe as it is, Michigan advanced to the Final Four without Trey Burke leading the team in scoring in any game in the NCAA Tournament. Of course, Burke’s heroics and his game-tying three pointer against Kansas moved Michigan into the Elite Eight, but the Wolverines wouldn’t have come this far without contributions from their top three freshmen. Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III averaged a combined 43.3 points per game in the NCAA Tournament after combining to average 26 points per game during the regular season. McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds against VCU and then 25 points and 14 rebounds against Kansas. In the Elite Eight against Florida, Nik Stauskas was the beneficiary of the Gators’ attention on Burke. The guard hit all six of his shots from three-point range on the way to 22 points.

Plus-10. Wichita State’s edge in offensive rebounds in the second weekend
Wichita State entered the tournament as one of the best rebounding teams in the country. The Shockers ranked seventh nationally in rebound rate, grabbing 55.6 percent of possible rebounds. The Shockers dominated the glass in wins over La Salle and Ohio State, grabbing 30 offensive rebounds compared to 20 for their opponents.

1. Missouri Valley team to reach the Final Four since 1979
Wichita State not only became the fourth team seeded ninth or lower to reach the Final Four in the 64-team era, the Shockers also ended a long drought of Missouri Valley teams in the Final Four. The Shockers are the first MVC team to reach the Final Four since Larry Bird led Indiana State to the national title game in 1979. The Missouri Valley produced national champions in Cincinnati (1961 and 1962) and Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State (1945 and 1946).

61-to-67. Field goal-to-turnover ratio for Syracuse’s tournament opponents
How tough has it been to score on Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament? Put it this way: Teams were more likely to cough up the ball than score a basket against the Orange during their run to the Final Four. Syracuse’s opponents had 61 field goals and 67 turnovers. Round of 32 foe Cal was the only team to have more field goals (22) than turnovers (17).

40. Years since a final 16 team failed to score 40 points
Marquette’s 39 points against Syracuse in the Elite Eight were the fewest for a team in the regional semifinals or later in 40 years. UCLA defeated San Francisco 54-39 in the regional final in 1973.

3. Consecutive Elite Eight losses for Florida
Florida is the first team to lose in the Elite Eight in three consecutive tournaments, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Before losing to Michigan, the Gators lost to Louisville in 2012 and Butler in 2011. Before 2011, Florida won its first four trips in the regional final in 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2007.

Teaser:
<p> Key numbers for Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse and Wichita State as they head to the Final Four</p>
Post date: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 07:35
Path: /college-basketball/elite-eight-sunday-schedule-times-tv-announcers-and-more
Body:

The second day of the Elite Eight may feel more like a Final Four or national championship weekend.

The South and Midwest regional finals feature four teams that were ranked No. 1 for stretches this season (Louisville, Duke and Michigan) plus a team that spent time ranked No. 2 (Florida).

Duke, Michigan and Louisville were ranked Nos. 1-3 in that order as recently as Jan. 7. Florida, Michigan and Duke were ranked Nos. 2-4 on Feb. 4.

The star power will be in full force, particularly on the bench where Michigan’s John Beilein is the only coach without a national championship.

But only two will stand at the end of the day when two teams will join Syracuse and Ohio State in the Final Four.

Here’s a quick look at Sunday’s games, including times, television networks and broadcast pairings.

SUNDAY ELITE EIGHT VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m. Eastern

No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 3 Florida
Time and TV: 2:20, CBS
Region: South, Arlington, Texas
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
Last Final Four appearances: Michigan (1993), Florida (2007)
From the Sweet 16: Trey Burke scored 23 of Michigan’s 53 points in the second half and overtime against Kansas, but Mitch McGary (19.7 points, 12.3 rebounds in the tourney) continued to be the breakout star of the Wolverines’ tournament run. After a shaky start, Florida ended Florida Gulf Coast’s miracle run through the tournament with a defensive pressure that had 11 steals and contributed to 20 FGCU turnovers.
What to watch: The Gators defeated a No. 14 (Northwestern State), a No. 11 (Minnesota) and a No. 15 (Florida Gulf Coast) on the way to the Elite Eight. The Wolverines defeated a No. 13 (South Dakota State), a No. 5 (VCU) and a No. 1 (Kansas). The Gators’ defense eventually shut down Florida Gulf Coast, but they did so with a lineup favoring Casey Prather and Will Yeguete over leading scorer Erik Murphy. Expect the Gators’ Scottie Wilbekin to draw Burke, but Murphy or Patric Young will be on the spot against McGary and an interior defense that struggled to stop Kansas’ forwards.
Game in a Tweet: On Friday, Trey Burke joined Billy Donovan as one of five players with 20 points and 10 assists in a Sweet 16 game.

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 1 Louisville
Time and TV: 5:05, CBS
Region: Midwest, Indianapolis
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
Last Final Four appearances: Duke (2010), Louisville (2012)
From the Sweet 16: Louisville overcame Oregon’s tenacity and a case of the sniffles running through the Cards' roster to defeat the Ducks. The Cardinals’ defensive pressure and Russ Smith continued to work at a high level. Michigan State kept it close with Duke, but Seth Curry was virtually unstoppable from the perimeter. He went 6 of 9 from three-point range while his teammates were 1 of 9.
What to watch: Curry and Smith are on fire in this tournament. The Duke guard is averaging 24 points and 50 percent shooting in the tournament while his counterpart at Louisville has been even better at 27 points per game and 53.3 percent from the field. They’ll be watched, but one of the most important matchups could be down low between Mason Plumlee and Gorgui Dieng, who has been undervalued as an all-around player.
Game in a Tweet: Pitino and Krzyzewski have coached a combined 2,147 games. Their only meeting was the Laettner shot.

Teaser:
<p> Elite Eight Sunday Schedule: Times, TV, announcers and more</p>
Post date: Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 10:00
Path: /college-basketball/wichita-state-beats-ohio-state-unlikely-run-final-four
Body:

Wichita State will be the party crasher.

The Shockers defeated Ohio State 70-66 to advance to the Final Four and ensure the teams competing for the national title will have an outsider among them yet again.

Syracuse clinched a spot in the Final Four earlier Saturday, and the other two teams will come down to former champions (Duke or Louisville and Florida or Michigan).

But Wichita State, the second-place team in the Missouri Valley this year, joined the ranks of VCU, Butler and George Mason in recent years to upend the college basketball power structure.

At first Saturday, Gregg Marshall’s team looked like it would cruise to a win Saturday. Wichita State led by 20 with 11:01 remaining, but Ohio State clawed its way back to a four-point deficit in the final minutes.

What carried Wichita State all season, though, sealed the Final Four trip. The Shockers were one of the best rebounding teams in the country all year and continued to own the glass during this year’s run.

An offensive rebound ended Ohio State’s surge when Tekele Cotton grabbed a teammate's missed three-pointer, which translated to a basket by Fred VanVleet to open an insurmountable six-point lead with a minute to go.

Wichita State will be a fitting addition to the narrative of mid-majors reaching the Final Four. Its roster is littered with success stories: Carl Hall, a force in the paint, has uses medication to cope with a heart condition that has caused him to pass during games in high school and junior college. Small-town guard Ron Baker missed 21 games with a foot injury to become the Shockers’ most well-rounded player. The roster is led by a junior college transfer (Cleanthony Early) and a Division I transfer (Malcolm Armstead from Oregon).

And the Shockers' coach, Gregg Marshall, is a big-time personality who hasn't grabbed a big-time job despite eight NCAA tournament apperances in 15 seasons as a head coach at Winthrop and Wichita State.

Of historical note:
► Wichita State is making its first Final Four since 1965, when the Shockers lost 108-89 to UCLA for John Wooden’s second national title. Wichita State then lost a national third place game 118-82 to a Princeton team led by Bill Bradley.

► Wichita State is the first Missouri Valley team to reach the Final Four since Larry Bird led Indiana State to the 1979 title game against a Magic Johnson-led Michigan State team.

► The Shockers are the fourth team seeded in the bottom half of the bracket (ninth or lower) to reach the Final Four since the field expanded in 1985. Wichita State joins 2011 VCU, 2006 George Mason and 1986 LSU. Besides Wichita State, all three were No. 11 seeds.

► Wichita State and 1986 LSU were the only two teams in that group of four to reach the national semifinals to defeat the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in their region. Wichita State defeated No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Ohio State. LSU in 1986 defeated No. 2 Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16 and No. 1 Kentucky in the Elite Eight.

► Among notable teams to reach the national semifinal as a Missouri Valley team: Oklahoma A&M/Oklahoma State (won titles in 1945-46) Cincinnati (won titles in 1961-62), Louisville and Memphis.

Teaser:
<p> Shockers will disrupt a blue-bood laden national semifinal</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 22:11
Path: /college-basketball/elite-eight-saturday-schedule-times-tv-announcers-and-more
Body:

We’re one step closer to the Final Four, and the final days before the national championship could wind up as unexpected as the entire season.

For the four teams playing for the national semifinals Saturday, defense has led the way. Syracuse shut down Cody Zeller and the Indiana offensive attack, while Miami couldn’t make a shot against Marquette.

Ohio State has won two of its three tournament games on late three-pointers, but the Buckeyes’ defensive effort is led by Aaron Craft. The true surprise here is Wichita State, which has used its interior defense to bring it to the brink of its first Final Four since 1965.

Here’s a quick look at Saturday’s games, including times, television networks and broadcast pairings.

Sweet 16/Elite Eight Previews
Midwest
| South | East | West

Related:
Athlon staff picks the Sweet 16
Re-ranking the Sweet 16 teams

SATURDAY ELITE EIGHT VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m. Eastern

No. 4 Marquette vs. No. 3 Syracuse
Time and TV: 4:30, CBS
Region: East, Washington, D.C.
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
Last Final Four appearances: Marquette (2003), Syracuse (2003, won championship)
From the Sweet 16: Great defensive efforts from both. Syracuse held Indiana’s Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell to a combined 0 for 8 from the floor while blocking 10 IU shots from the field. Against Marquette, Miami struggled to make shots, making 34.9 percent of their attempts from the field.
What to watch: Syracuse took advantage of Indiana’s unfamiliarity with the zone to stifle one of the best offensive attacks in the country. The Orange won’t have the same luxury against a conference foe in Marquette. Vander Blue was a non-factor in the only game these two teams have played this season, but he’s been Marquette’s best player in the tourney so far.
Game in a Tweet: Buzz Williams is 3-3 against Syracuse with all three wins coming in the last four meetings.

No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 2 Ohio State
Time and TV: 7:05, CBS
Region: West, Los Angeles
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller
Last Final Four appearances: Wichita State (1965), Ohio State (2012)
From the Sweet 16: LaQuinton Ross’ game-winning shot deserves most of the attention, but Ohio State showed resilience by battling back from down 11 in the first half and then withstanding a second-half surge led by Mark Lyons. Meanwhile, Wichita State forward Carl Hall made easy work of La Salle’s four-guard lineup by fueling the Shockers’ 14-2 start.
What to watch: Despite the three-point outburst against Gonzaga, Wichita State’s interior is carrying the Shockers through the tournament. The Shockers are shooting 50 percent from two-point range in the Tournament while holding opponents to 39.6 percent shooting inside the arc. One of the top teams in rebound rate, Wichita State is grabbing 53.3 percent of missed shots. Meanwhile, Ohio State is getting more dangerous as the Buckeyes can now depend on Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross to take the final shots in close games.
Game in a Tweet: The Buckeyes seek to become third Big Ten team to reach consecutive Final Fours since '85.

Teaser:
<p> Elite Eight Saturday Schedule: Times, TV, announcers and more</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 10:00
Path: /college-basketball/trey-burke-hits-deep-three-keep-michigan-alive-against-kansas
Body:

Michigan shouldn’t have even been in this position.

The Wolverines were beat -- several times -- against Kansas. But Trey Burke kept Michigan alive.

With a deep three-pointer over the 6-8 Kevin Young, Burke tied a game it hadn’t led since the early minutes against Kansas. A day after LaQuinton Ross hit a game-winning three-pointer for Ohio State, Burke may have upstaged his rival for the shot of the NCAA Tournament.

Kansas had its way with Michigan in the first half, punishing the Wolverines in the paint. Michigan was lucky to be down merely 40-34. Kansas led by as much as 14 with 6:51 to go, but Burke wouldn’t let Michigan go down easily by scoring eight of the Wolverines’ final 10 points in regulation.

Teaser:
<p> Michigan's star point guard ties game with miracle shot to keep UM alive</p>
Post date: Friday, March 29, 2013 - 22:00
Path: /college-basketball/sweet-16-friday-schedule-time-tv-announcers-and-more
Body:

The Sweet 16, as always, finds a way to capture the imagination.

The NCAA Tournament moves into the second weekend with its share of storylines, even if the biggest one from Dunk City seems to overshadow all.

Few people saw Wichita State, the runner up in the Missouri Valley, advancing this far. And even fewer could have tabbed La Salle to go on a run out of the First Four.

Beyond those out-of-nowhere stories, the Sweet 16 will feature games that have the look of Final Four matchups: Indiana-Syracuse, Duke-Michigan State, Ohio State-Arizona.

Here’s a quick look at Friday’s games, including times, television networks and broadcast pairings.

Sweet 16/Elite Eight Previews
Midwest
| South | East | West

Related:
Athlon staff picks the Sweet 16
Re-ranking the Sweet 16 teams

FRIDAY SWEET 16 VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m. Eastern

No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Louisville
Time and TV: 7:15, CBS
Region: Midwest, Indianapolis
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
What to watch: Johnathan Loyd helped neutralize Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart in the round of 64, and then he stepped up for a struggling Dominic Artis in the easy win over Saint Louis. Will the Ducks’ point guards be able to answer the call against Louisville on both ends of the court? That’s going to be tough. The Cards’ press has been effective as it’s been all season, and Russ Smith returned to his early season form in the offensive end. Dana Altman pushed the right buttons at point guard last week, but his backcourt will be put to the test against the Cardinals.
Game in a Tweet: Louisville forces a turnover on 27.4 percent of possessions. Oregon commits one on 21.2 percent.

No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 1 Kansas
Time and TV: 7:37, TBS
Region: South, Arlington, Texas
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
What to watch: What will we see from Ben McLemore? An All-America candidate during the regular season, he’s struggled in the NCAA Tournament -- to a point that Bill Self played him only 24 minutes against North Carolina. McLemore went 2 of 14 from the field last week. Can Kansas advance if he’s not back to form? And for Michigan: How will the guard-oriented Wolverines counter Jeff Withey down low?
Game in a Tweet: Michigan is seeking first Elite Eight since ’94. Kansas has been to eight since then.

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke
Time and TV: 9:45, CBS
Region: Midwest, Indianapolis
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
What to watch: Duke clamped down on Creighton’s Doug McDermott in the round of 32, but the Blue Devils may be guessing as to who will be the offensive focus for Michigan State. Forward Adreian Payne is a matchup problem who can be the best player on the floor, and freshman Gary Harris can get hot from the perimeter. Duke is thankful for Seth Curry being steady all season and for meaningful contributions off the bench, but it’s time for Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly to take charge.
Game in a Tweet: Tom Izzo is 1-7 all-time against Mike Krzyzewski, but the only win was in the 2005 Sweet 16.

No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 3 Florida
Time and TV: 10:07, TBS
Region: South, Arlington, Texas
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
What to watch: Seriously, how many people even heard of Florida Gulf Coast a week ago? Now we know their coach, their nickname, their style of play and their care-free set of overlooked players. This is the best story in the Tournament in quite a while, and now they face the state’s best basketball program. The Gators are one of the best defensive teams in the country (third in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency, fifth in effective field goal percentage and second in fewest points per game). Billy Donovan will be under pressure to close the borders on Dunk City.
Game in a Tweet: FGCU shot 56.9 percent from the field in the second half last week, outscoring opponents 101-82.

Teaser:
<p> A quick look at Friday evening's Sweet 16 games</p>
Post date: Friday, March 29, 2013 - 11:00
Path: /college-basketball/ohio-state-advances-again-late-three-pointer
Body:

Ohio State has another postseason hero.

After Aaron Craft made the game-winning three-pointer to defeat Iowa State in the round of 32, LaQuinton Ross had a monster second half and the game-winning three-pointer to defeat Arizona 73-70 and move onto the Elite Eight.

Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State in scoring as usual, but Ross had 14 points in the final eight minutes, capped by a three-pointer at NBA range with two seconds remaining.

At one point of the season, it would have been tough to imagine anyone but Thomas taking the final shot in a close game, but not in the NCAA Tournament.

Athlon Sports' Braden Gall had a chance to sit down with Ohio State's Sam Thompson following the win:

Teaser:
<p> Ohio State advances again on late three-pointer</p>
Post date: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 22:26
Path: /college-basketball/ncaa-tournament-sweet-16-panel-predictions
Body:

Like everyone's brackets, some of Athlon Sports' NCAA Tournament picks did not fare so well (Thanks, West region).

That's not going to stop us from giving it another try. Our editorial staff picked every game in the Sweet 16, hopefully with better luck this time around.

Sweet 16/Elite Eight Previews
Midwest
| South | East | West

Related:
Sweet 16 Thursday Viewers Guide
Re-ranking the Sweet 16 teams

Thursday's games

David Fox Braden Gall Mitch Light Mark Ross
Marquette vs. Miami Miami by 4 Marquette by 2 Miami by 3 Marquette by 3
Arizona vs. Ohio State Ohio State by 6 Ohio State by 7 Ohio State by 4 Ohio State by 5
Syracuse vs. Indiana Indiana by 9 Indiana by 13 Indiana by 4 Indiana by 7
La Salle vs. Wichita State Wichita State by 8 Wichita State by 5 Wichita State by 7 Wichita State by 8
Friday's games        
Oregon vs. Louisville Louisville by 15 Louisville by 14 Louisville by 14 Louisville by 12
Michigan vs. Kansas Michigan by 3 Kansas by 6 Michigan by 7 Michigan by 5
Michigan State vs. Duke Duke by 4 Duke by 4 Michigan State by 2 Michigan State by 3
Florida Gulf Coast vs. Florida Florida by 12 Florida by 17 Florida by 17 Florida by 9

Teaser:
<p> Athlon editors and writers make their picks for the Sweet 16</p>
Post date: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 10:54
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, News
Path: /college-basketball/sweet-16-thursday-schedule-time-tv-announcers-and-more
Body:

The Sweet 16, as always, finds a way to capture the imagination.

The NCAA Tournament moves into the second weekend with its share of storylines, even if the biggest one from Dunk City seems to overshadow all.

Few people saw Wichita State, the runner up in the Missouri Valley, advancing this far. And even fewer could have tabbed La Salle to go on a run out of the First Four.

Beyond those out-of-nowhere stories, the Sweet 16 will feature games that have the look of Final Four matchups: Indiana-Syracuse, Duke-Michigan State, Ohio State-Arizona.

Here’s a quick look at Thursday’s games, including times, television networks and broadcast pairings.

Sweet 16/Elite Eight Previews
Midwest
| South | East | West

Related:
Athlon staff picks the Sweet 16
Re-ranking the Sweet 16 teams

THURSDAY SWEET 16 VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m. Eastern


No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 2 Miami
Time and TV: 7:15, CBS
Region: East, Washington, D.C.
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: Miami’s miracle season was thrown a curve ball when center Reggie Johnson was lost for the weekend following knee surgery. He’s played 20 minutes in a game once since Feb. 27. But at 6-10, 292 pounds, he’s Miami’s biggest big man and another senior. The Canes will have to adjust. This will be against a Marquette team that’s liberal in going to its bench.
Game in a Tweet: How to win close games: Marquette was 20 of 25 from the free throw line in the second half last week.

No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 2 Ohio State
Time and TV: 7:47, TBS
Region: West, Los Angeles
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller
What to watch: Aaron Craft vs. Mark Lyons. Arizona point guard Mark Lyons scored 27 points against Harvard and 23 against Belmont. Can he keep that up against one of the best defenders in the nation in Craft?
Game in a Tweet: Thad Matta faces his former assistant Sean Miller for second time (first was an OT Buckeyes win in 07 Tourney).

No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 1 Indiana
Time and TV: 9:45, CBS
Region: East, Washington, D.C.
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: Temple’s Khalif Wyatt had his way with Indiana, who curiously did not use Victor Oladipo to defend him at times. How will the Hoosiers’ match up with Michael Carter-Williams? Indiana’s ability to play against different styles will be tested: After facing Temple’s grinding game, the Hoosiers face Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense.
Game in a Tweet: Syracuse is looking to reach the Elite Eight for second straight year and second time since 2004 title.

No. 13 La Salle vs. No. 9 Wichita State
Time and TV: 10:17, TBS
Region: West, Los Angeles
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller
What to watch: Florida Gulf Coast has stolen the thunder of these two programs, one of whom will be a game away from the Final Four. La Salle went 2-9 in the Tourney from 1956-2012. The Explorers are 3-0 this year behind a guard-heavy lineup that has shot lights out in all but one half of one game this offseason. And what of the personality of Wichita State, led by talkative head coach Gregg Marshall?
Game in a Tweet: This game will produce the 12th team seeded ninth or lower in the Elite Eight since 1985, possibly first 13th seed or lower (La Salle).

Teaser:
<p> A quick look at Thursday evening's Sweet 16 games</p>
Post date: Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 10:50
All taxonomy terms: USC Trojans, College Basketball
Path: /college-basketball/who-are-possible-coaching-replacements-usc
Body:

The job of finding a new basketball coach at USC just got a little more difficult for athletic director Pat Haden.

The Trojans fired Kevin O’Neill -- hired to shepherd the program after Tim Floyd was fired amid NCAA sanctions -- midseason. Any advantages of getting ahead of the curve may have diminished when USC suddenly became the No. 2 vacant college job in its own city when UCLA fired Ben Howland.

USC is something of a sleeping giant, especially with a new arena and plush facilities. But the Trojans are a football-first program, and after recruiting violations surrounding O.J. Mayo put the program on probation, Haden won’t be able to gamble on a coach with NCAA baggage.

POTENTIAL CANDIDATES AT USC
Gib Arnold, Hawaii
If USC is interested in revisiting the Tim Floyd era, it could take a look at Arnold, an assistant at USC for five seasons. In three seasons at Hawaii -- a struggling basketball program when he arrived -- he went 14-16 in the WAC and 10-8 in his first season in the Big West.

Randy Bennett, Saint Mary’s
Bennett has built the Gaels into a perennial challenger for Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference. But for all he’s accomplished, he’s yet to grab a major conference job. That will be tougher -- especially as far as USC is concerned -- after Saint Mary’s was hit for sanctions for recruiting violations. Bennett was suspended for five games in 2013-14 for failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance after an assistant was found committing major recruiting violations.

Bob Cantu, USC interim coach
Cantu went 7-8 as interim coach, including wins over UCLA and Arizona. The Trojans were 7-10 when Kevin O’Neill was fired.

Mike Hopkins, Syracuse assistant
He’s been an assistant at Syracuse for 18 seasons. And though he’s been acknowledged as a possible successor for Jim Boeheim, Hopkins has been in the mix for other openings and some not as high-profile as USC.

Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
After 15 seasons at Winthrop and Wichita State, maybe it’s surprising Marshall hasn’t moved to one of the major conferences yet. After three consecutive seasons of 27 or more wins, back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances at Wichita State and a Sweet 16 berth, now may be the time to jump.

Marvin Menzies, New Mexico State
Menzies’ name has cropped up for openings before, including Colorado State before last season. A former Rick Pitino assistant at Louisville, Menzies also spent time as an assistant at USC and San Diego State. He’s never won an outright conference title with the Aggies, but reached the NCAA Tournament three times by winning the WAC Tournament.

Josh Pastner, Memphis
He was mentioned as an early candidate, but he signed a long-term deal to stay with the Tigers.

Leon Rice, Boise State
A former Gonzaga assistant under Mark Few, Rice led Boise State to its first at-large NCAA Tournament bid in school history after going 9-7 in a difficult Mountain West. That came a year after the Broncos went 3-11 and tied for last place in their first season in the league.

Shaka Smart, VCU
The 35-year-old will be a hot name in the coaching carousel again after the 2011 Final Four and a seamless transition to the Atlantic 10. All indications are Smart is happy at VCU. After all, he turned down Illinois last season.

Buzz Williams, Marquette
After reaching the Sweet 16 in consecutive seasons, Williams will be a hot commodity in the carousel. The Golden Eagles have been among the best teams in the Big East despite losing Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, and Williams has proven he can unearth talent on the recruiting trail. He turned down opportunities last season to stay with the program that rolled the dice on him five years ago.

Teaser:
<p> The Trojans made a coaching change at midseason. Who could be the next coach at Southern Cal?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 11:00
Path: /college-basketball/tubby-smith-fired-minnesota-who-are-possible-coach-replacements
Body:

Minnesota raised eyebrows with the firing of Tubby Smith on March 25. The question being, why would Minnesota fire a national title coach who had more fortune than most in program history.

The Gophers have a limited track record of basketball success -- or at least success that wasn't followed by NCAA sanctions -- and they fired a coach who won their first Tournament game since 1997. But Smith never had a winning conference record at Minnesota and had a handful of high-profile transfers under his watch (Colton Iverson and Royce White, for starters).

Minnesota demanded more than what Smith delivered. Still, the Gophers remain a lower-tier job in the Big Ten. Minnesota is in need of a facility upgrade and is lacking in recent tradition. The next coach will be expected to deliver under these circumstances.

POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR MINNESOTA
Andy Enfield, Florida Gulf Coast
A jump from the Atlantic Sun to a major conference job would be quite a leap, but Enfield is an unusual circumstance as the first coach to guide a No. 15 seed and an A-Sun team to the Sweet 16. Beyond the NCAA Tournament, Enfield proved himself as a program-builder by finishing second in the conference in the league's second season as a full Division I member. This would be a press conference-winning move, but an interesting risk.

Anthony Grant, Alabama
Minnesota’s athletic director, Norwood Teague, worked with Anthony Grant at VCU, so he’ll be in the rumor mill. Grant made two Tourney appearances at VCU, including a win over Duke in 2007. At Alabama, he’s gone 33-17 in conference in the last three years, but that’s translated to only one NCAA appearance.

Chris Mack, Xavier
The last five Xavier coaches have left for major conference jobs, so that’s reason for speculation around Mack. Xavier missed the Tournament in 2013 but reached the Sweet 16 in 2012. Mack is a Cincinnati native who has watched his predecessors go to Arizona, Ohio State and Wake Forest. He has good reason to be choosy.

Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
After 15 seasons at Winthrop and Wichita State, maybe it’s surprising Marshall hasn’t moved to one of the major conferences yet. After three consecutive seasons of 27 or more wins, back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances at Wichita State and a Sweet 16 berth, now may be the time to jump.

Steve Prohm, Murray State
The 2011-12 season was a miracle one for Prohm, who won 31 games in his first season as a head coach. After personnel losses, Murray State went 21-10 in 2012-13. The Racers still went 10-6 and won the OVC West in a competitive low-major league. He’s a Southeastern coach, but at 38, he’s at the younger end of the spectrum.

Flip Saunders, former NBA coach
Saunders has been a coach with the Timberwolves, Pistons and Wizards in the NBA. He’s an accomplished alum who’s not coaching now. That makes him an interesting candidate.

Shaka Smart, VCU
A fantasy candidate for Minnesota, for sure. He’s listed only because Minnesota’s athletic director hired Smart at VCU. Smart already turned down a better job in the same conference, and Smart could court dozens of jobs better than Minnesota. That is, assuming he wants to leave VCU in the first place.

Buzz Williams, Marquette
After reaching the Sweet 16 in consecutive seasons, Williams will be a hot commodity in the carousel. The Golden Eagles have been among the best teams in the Big East despite losing Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, and Williams has proven he can unearth talent on the recruiting trail. He turned down opportunities last season to stay with the program that rolled the dice on him five years ago.

Teaser:
<p> Minnesota fired Tubby Smith despite a rare NCAA Tournament win. Who's next?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Pac 12, UCLA Bruins, College Basketball
Path: /college-basketball/ucla-fired-howland-who-are-possible-coaching-replacements
Body:

UCLA is in the market for a new coach after the legendary program fired Ben Howland on March 25.

Finding the right fit won’t be easy, and the job isn’t for the timid.

UCLA fired a coach who went to three consecutive Final Fours from 2006-08 and won the Pac-12 regular season title this season. But the program has fallen from the national elite since ’08. The Bruins missed the NCAA Tournament in two of the last four years and failed to reach the second weekend on each of the last three trips. Player transfers, recruiting classes that didn’t pan out and in-team turmoil all played a role in Howland’s ouster.

Candidates may be lining up for UCLA, but here are a few Athlon Sports think could be a good fit for the Bruins.

POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR UCLA
Tad Boyle, Colorado
Boyle revived Colorado basketball step-by-step from an NIT in 2011, a surprise Pac-12 tournament title in 2012 and a secure NCAA at-large bid in 2013. The three-year run marked the first back-to-back Tourney appearances since 1963 and first time the Buffaloes reached the postseason in three consecutive seasons. That’s despite losing a player like Alec Burks. Boyle can win on the major conference level, but he also laid the groundwork at low-major Northern Colorado.

Mike Brown, former Los Angeles Lakers coach
Brown was fired early in the season with the Lakers and has no college coaching experience. Working in the NBA with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, though, would give him something to sell on the recruiting trail.

Mick Cronin, Cincinnati
Cronin rebuilt the Bearcats after the end of the Bob Huggins era, leading Cincinnati to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. He’s spent his career at Cincinnati, Murray State and Louisville, so he might be an odd fit out of the tri-state area. And if anyone’s looking for an exciting up-tempo brand of basketball, Cronin might not fit the bill.

Billy Donovan, Florida
Florida hung onto its two-time national championship coach despite two Kentucky coaching searches and got Donovan back a week after he took the Orlando Magic job. It might take a special opening to pry Donovan away from Florida. UCLA, perhaps?

Mark Gottfried, NC State
Gottfried can recruit, and he’s a former UCLA assistant. His name is being floated around for the Bruins, but the let down this season at NC State will be tough to sell.

Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State
He’ll get attention in the coaching carousel as long as he’s leading Iowa State to the Tournament. But his nickname isn’t The Mayor for nothing. Iowa State gave Hoiberg his first college coaching job. If the Ames native and Iowa State alum leaves after three years, the Cyclones would be devastated.

Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
After 15 seasons at Winthrop and Wichita State, maybe it’s surprising Marshall hasn’t moved to one of the major conferences yet. After three consecutive seasons of 27 or more wins, back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances at Wichita State and a Sweet 16 berth, now may be the time to jump.

Lorenzo Romar, Washington
His tenure at Washington has been up-and-down, but the Huskies have played in the NCAA Tournament six times in 10 seasons under his watch. He can recruit at a high level, and his teams are usually fast-paced. Of interest to UCLA, he was an assistant on the last Bruins team to win a national title in 1995.

Shaka Smart, VCU
The 35-year-old will be a hot name in the coaching carousel again after the 2011 Final Four and a seamless transition to the Atlantic 10. All indications are Smart is happy at VCU. After all, he turned down Illinois last season.

Brad Stevens, Butler
Stevens is even more entrenched at Butler than Smart at VCU. He’s an Indiana native who has shown little interest in moving to a new job. Also working in Butler’s favor: The job keeps getting better. The former Horizon League power will be in the Big East along with Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Xavier and Creighton in the coming years.

Buzz Williams, Marquette
After reaching the Sweet 16 in three consecutive seasons, Williams will be a hot commodity in the carousel. The Golden Eagles have been among the best teams in the Big East despite losing Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, and Williams has proven he can unearth talent on the recruiting trail. He turned down opportunities last season to stay with the program that rolled the dice on him five years ago.

Jay Wright, Villanova
It may be an odd sight to see Wright leave Villanova, where he’s coached since 2001. But the program has leveled off a bit since reaching the Final Four in 2009. In the last four seasons, Villanova has reached the Tournament three times and failed to reach the Sweet 16 in each trip.

Teaser:
<p> After UCLA fired Ben Howland, which coaches around the country are possible candidates?</p>
Post date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 15:58
Path: /college-basketball/ncaa-tournament-ranking-teams-sweet-16
Body:

The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament has caused us to rethink some things, specifically all those brackets with Gonzaga, New Mexico and Georgetown making deep runs.

We’ve learned a little bit -- we know where Florida Gulf Coast actually is, apart from, you know, the Gulf Coast of Florida. We know La Salle is actually pretty good, despite being one of the last teams in the field.

But some things remain the same in our reassessment of the final 16 teams in the field. Louisville, the No. 1 overall seed to start the Tournament, is looking every bit the favorite as is preseason No. 1 Indiana.

Here’s our reevaluation of the Sweet 16.

SWEET 16 POWER RANKINGS
1. Louisville (Midwest)
Opponent: Oregon
Coach: Rick Pitino (10-0 in the Sweet 16, 6-4 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: The Cardinals’ press has hit its stride, with opponents averaging 21.4 turnovers since the start of the Big East Tournament. If that’s not enough, the Cards’ offense is doing just fine, too. Russ Smith scored 50 combined points in the first weekend while Louisville as a team shot 56.9 percent against North Carolina A&T and Colorado State.
Bad news: Louisville’s regional includes a red-hot Oregon team and either Michigan State or Duke.
Breakout: Montrezl Harris, who was released from his letter of intent at Virginia Tech less than a year ago, has been integral in the postseason. After scoring 20 against Syracuse in the Big East title game, Harris scored 19 points in 36 minutes in the first weekend.

Related: Midwest Region Preview

2. Indiana (East)
Opponent: Syracuse
Coach: Tom Crean (1-1 in the Sweet 16, 1-0 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: Indiana demolished James Madison as it should have. The Hoosiers showed good resilience in a matchup against Temple where the Owls’ tempo forced IU to prove it could win a game without scoring 60 points -- the Hoosiers had been 0-3 when scoring less than 60 this year. Khalif Wyatt scored 31 on Indiana, but the rest of the team scored 21 on 9-of-38 shooting.
Bad news: Jordan Hulls played only 19 minutes against Temple due to a shoulder injury. The Hoosiers don’t have the greatest depth, so this will be worth watching.
Breakout: It was against overmatched James Madison, but freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell’s surprising scoring output (16 points) was good to see for an aspiring national champion.

Related: East Regional Preview

3. Michigan (South)
Opponent: Kansas
Coach: John Beilein (1-1 in the Sweet 16, 0-1 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: The Wolverines, who stumbled late in the season, won their first weekend games by a combined 40 points. Michigan had little trouble with Nate Wolters and even less against VCU’s defense.
Bad news: Trey Burke had seven assists in each game, but he went 2 of 12 from the field against South Dakota State and had seven turnovers against VCU.
Breakout: Freshman Mitch McGary gave Michigan a much-needed physical presence, especially with an upcoming matchup against Jeff Withey. McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds against VCU.

Related: South Region Preview

4. Ohio State (West)
Opponent: Arizona
Coach: Thad Matta (3-2 in the Sweet 16, 2-1 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: The seas parted for the Ohio State to have easiest path to the Final Four, at least as far as the seeds are concerned. Arizona is the top team left in the West, and the Wildcats were shaky for most of the season. After that, it’s either Wichita State or La Salle.
Bad news: There’s no shame in going down to the wire with Iowa State. Aaron Craft missed the front end of two one-and-ones and turned the ball over twice late to put the Cyclones back into the game, but he atoned for it with his game-winning shot.
Breakout: Sam Thompson scored 20 points and 10 rebounds against Iona, but LaQuinton Ross’ 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting against Iowa State may be more encouraging. And Craft’s 18 points was his fourth-highest scoring total of the season.

Related: West Region Preview

5. Michigan State (Midwest)
Opponent: Duke
Coach: Tom Izzo (7-3 in the Sweet 16, 6-1 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: Michigan State cruised past Valparaiso and then made easier work of Memphis. Adreian Payne was at his best against Memphis with 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Michigan State’s passing down low and rebounding stood out against the Tigers.
Bad news: The Spartans’ 17 turnovers against Valpo and 18 against Memphis was alarming for a team with Final Four aspirations.
Breakout: Michigan State gets a two-fer here: Derrick Nix took advantage of a size advantage to score 23 points with 15 rebounds against Valpo, and freshman guard Gary Harris scored a season-high 23 against Memphis.

6. Duke (Midwest)
Opponent: Michigan State
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (12-8 in the Sweet 16, 11-1 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: Doug McDermott scored 21 points against Duke, but it wasn’t easy, especially in the second half. The Creighton star went 4 of 16 from the field.  It was an uneven effort against Creighton offensively, but the Blue Devils had the scoring depth to counter the Bluejays.
Bad news: Ryan Kelly scoring eight points against Albany and then scored one point while fighting through foul trouble against Creighton. It will be tough to get through Michigan State and Louisville/Oregon without Kelly at full speed.
Breakout: Rasheed Suliamon filled the gaps on the scoresheet against Creighton with 21 points, but Tyler Thornton was nearly as important with eight points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench Sunday.

7. Florida (South)
Opponent: Florida Gulf Coast
Coach: Billy Donovan (5-1 in the Sweet 16, 3-2 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: The Gators defeated their first weekend opponents by a a combined 46 points, but the first was a No. 14 seed and the second was a No. 11 who fired its coach the next day. Worth noting, the last team Tubby Smith defeated was UCLA, which also fired its coach. Why is Florida this low? The Gators beat up on lesser teams all season. The first weekend was not totally unexpected.
Bad news: Florida let Minnesota chip away at a 21-point lead in the second half, which is a concerned for a team that failed to win close games all season.
Breakout: Mike Rosario has been frustrating to watch at times, but he carried Florida against Minnesota with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 6-of-9 from three-point range.

8. Oregon (Midwest)
Opponent: Louisville
Coach: Dana Altman (first Sweet 16)
Good news: Oregon defeated Oklahoma State and Saint Louis with all-around efforts in both games. The Ducks crushed both opponents on the boards, thanks to the play of Arsalan Kazemi while holding the Cowboys and Billikens to a combined 8 of 38 three-point shooting.
Bad news: Oregon didn’t have the resume of a No. 12 seed, but it didn’t have the resume of the top three teams in its region (Louisville, Duke and Michigan State), either. Will the Ducks fall to earth?
Breakout: Damyean Dotson was one of the top freshmen in the Pac-12, but he’s been at his best in the postseason. He went scoreless in a loss at Utah on March 9, but since then he’s averaging 16.8 points per game since then. He scored 17 against Oklahoma State and 23 against Saint Louis.

9. Miami (East)
Opponent: Marquette
Coach: Jim Larranaga (1-0 in the Sweet 16, 1-0 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: Between Larranaga’s dancing and Julian Gamble’s photobombing, Miami seems to be enjoying itself in the Tournament. The Hurricanes defeated Pacific 78-49 and survived Illinois 63-59 in the round of 32. Shane Larkin played the role of star as usual.
Bad news: Illinois kept itself in the game with 15 offensive rebounds against the Canes.
Breakout: Rion Brown has been able to offer a spark off the bench all season, adding his third 20-point game of the season with 21 against the Illini.

10. Syracuse (East)
Opponent: Indiana
Coach: Jim Boeheim (5-11 in the Sweet 16, 3-2 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: Syracuse trounced Montana for the biggest victory for a team seeded third or lower in the NCAA Tournament (47 points). In the second game, Syracuse held Cal’s best players, Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs, to a combined 13 points.
Bad news: The second game was a little more spotty. Syracuse struggled to put away Cal despite the struggles of Crabbe and Cobbs. The Orange went 26 of 41 from the free throw line and went for 12 minutes without a field goal at one point.
Breakout: Baye Moussa Keita flourished in his matchup the the Cal frontcourt, scoring 11 points with seven rebounds. Most of Keita’s work came at the free throw line where the big man went 7 of 10.

11. Kansas (South)
Opponent: Michigan
Coach: Bill Self (7-2 in the Sweet 16, 2-5 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: Kansas responded to its close call with 16th-seeded Western Kentucky to defeat North Carolina 70-58 in a game that was not in question by halftime. Jeff Withey has led the way with a combined 33 points, 22 rebounds and give blocks.
Bad news: Ben McLemore was 0 for 9 against North Carolina and spent most of the second half on the bench. He’s 0 for 8 from three-point range in two Tournament games. The Jayhawks finished the weekend with five total three-pointers.
Breakout: Travis Releford filled the gaps left by McLemore, scoring 22 points against North Carolina with eight rebounds.

12. Arizona (West)
Opponent: Ohio State
Coach: Sean Miller (2-1 in the Sweet 16, 0-2 in the Elite Eight)
Good news: A popular upset pick in the round of 64, Arizona cruised past 11th-seeded Belmont and 14th-seeded Harvard.
Bad news: Do we know a whole lot about Arizona? The Wildcats were rarely challenged over the weekend, which can be a good thing. Arizona will be put to the test against Ohio State.
Breakout: A major question entering the postseason was the play of Mark Lyons. He’s playing like the seasoned Tournament veteran he is with 27 points against Harvard and 23 against Belmont

13. Marquette (East)
Opponent: Miami
Coach: Buzz Williams (0-2 in the Sweet 16)
Good news: Vander Blue is emerging as one of the stars of this Tournament. He delivered the game-winner against Davidson and then scored 29 against Butler.
Bad news: Is Marquette living on borrowed time? The Golden Eagles defeated Davidson on a Wildcats meltdown, and Butler had its chances to beat Marquette thanks to a late turnover. Marquette has 14 assists to 24 turnovers in the Tourney so far.
Breakout: Arizona State transfer Trent Lockett had his best game since February with 13 points against Butler. He contributed 36 and 38 minutes off the bench in the first weekend.

14. Wichita State (West)
Opponent: La Salle
Coach: Gregg Marshall (first Sweet 16)
Good news: Talk about resilience. Wichita State trailed 49-41 and had two key players in foul trouble in the second half against Gonzaga, but came back to win 76-70. The reason was hot three-point shooting, but also defense in the first two games of the Tournament. Wichita State held Gonzaga and Pittsburgh to a combined 40 of 113 (35.4 percent) from the field and 9 of 49 from three-point range (18.4 percent).
Bad news: Wichita State had to play well to win, for sure, but how much did Gonzaga cough up an upset? The Shockers trailed by eight with less than 12 minutes to go. Wichita State’s 14 of 28 three-point shooting against Gonzaga was out of character (but, then again, so was the 2-of-20 performance against Pitt).
Breakout: Ron Baker, a redshirt freshman who missed a big chunk of the regular season with a foot injury, played 33 minutes and surprised Gonzaga with four three-pointers and 16 total points.

15. La Salle (West)
Opponent: Wichita State
Coach: John Giannini (first Sweet 16)
Good news: Ramon Galloway is one of the stars of the Tournament, scoring 24 points on Ole Miss, 19 on Kansas State and 21 on Boise State.
Bad news: La Salle played one bad half of basketball in three games, shooting 3 of 18 in the second half against Kansas State. Otherwise, La Salle shot 56.3 percent from the field.
Breakout: Known for its guard play, La Salle got a major lift from a forward. Jerrell Wright was one of the key players of the upset of Kansas State with 21 points and eight rebounds. He was extremely efficient, making all six shots from the field and 9 of 10 free throws.

16. Florida Gulf Coast (South)
Opponent: Florida
Coach: Andy Enfield (first Sweet 16 appearance)
Good news: Florida Gulf Coast. In the Sweet 16. Everything about this story is good news. This is no fluke, either. FGCU led by as much as 19 against Georgetown in the second half and went on a 17-0 run against San Diego State late in the second half to seal the win.
Bad news: The secret’s out. We don’t know how Florida Gulf Coast is going to react if a good defensive team like Florida limits the alley oop/dunk game.
Breakout: The whole team is a breakout, but let’s highlight Florida Gulf Coast’s defense: The Eagles forced 14 Georgetown turnovers and 17 San Diego State turnovers, both above those team’s season averages.

Teaser:
<p> Louisville is looking every bit the part of a title contender, other top teams not so much</p>
Post date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 10:00
Path: /college-basketball/amazing-stats-first-weekend-ncaa-tournament
Body:

After 52 NCAA Tournament games since Tuesday, the field is down to 16. And what a wild week it was.

When the next weekend starts, the players from Gonzaga -- and New Mexico and Georgetown and VCU and more -- will want what Florida Gulf Coast has.

The Sweet 16 will start with a bizarre field -- Sure, Michigan State-Duke, Indiana-Syracuse, Kansas-Michigan and Arizona-Ohio State are typical matchups. But who would have tabbed Wichita State-La Salle as a game for a trip to the Elite Eight. And never mind Florida-Florida Gulf Coast as a game for a regional final and a contest for the top team in the Sunshine State.

Here’s a look at the key numbers from the first week of Tournament games and a look at the Sweet 16.

4. Big Ten teams in the Sweet 16
The perception of the Big Ten being the top conference carried over into the postseason where four Big Ten teams (Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State) advanced to the second weekend, more than any other conference. Only one of the league’s seven bids to the Tournament lost in its first game (Wisconsin). On the negative side, the SEC still has bragging rights over the Big Ten as two SEC teams were responsible for knocking out Big Ten teams with Florida defeating Minnesota and Ole Miss defeating the Badgers.

Here’s the final conference tally for the multi-bid conferences:

Conference Record Sweet 16 teams
ACC 5-2 Duke, Miami
Atlantic 10 7-4 La Salle
Big 12 3-4 Kansas
Big East 6-5 Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse
Big Ten 10-3 Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Missouri Valley 2-2 Wichita State
Mountain West 2-5 None
Pac-12 5-3 Arizona, Oregon
SEC 3-2 Florida
Sun Belt 0-2 None
West Coast 1-2 None

And just for fun, here are the records for notable leagues' eventual lineups:

Conference Record Sweet 16 teams
ACC 9-4 Duke, Louisville, Miami, Syracuse
Atlantic 10 5-2 La Salle
Big East/Conference TBA 2-3 None
Big East/Catholic 7 4-3 Marquette

10. Dunks for Florida Gulf Coast on the way to the Sweet 16
Florida Gulf Coast is more than just the best Cinderella story in the Tournament. The Eagles are one of the most fun teams to watch. In becoming the first No. 15 seed to win two in a row to reach the Sweet 16, Florida Gulf Coast introduced the country to its exciting brand of play. The up-tempo game relying on lobs and an alley oops produced 10 total dunks -- five against Georgetown and five more against San Diego State. That’s only part of the story: Each game featured five FGCU players scoring in double figures. And in the win over San Diego State, point guard Brett Comer had an amazing 14 assists to three turnovers.

4. Coaches making their first appearance in the Sweet 16
The Sweet 16 has some of the usual suspects -- Duke, Florida, Kansas, Michigan State and Syracuse -- plus rebuilt national powers Arizona and Indiana. But a key storyline are the Sweet 16 first-timers from a coaching standpoint. Along with the fast rise by Florida Gulf Coast’s Andy Enfield, there’s Oregon’s Dana Altman, who is making his first Sweet 16 appearance in his 24-year career. La Salle’s John Giannini, meanwhile, is one-for-one in reaching the regional semifinal in his first NCAA appearance. That said, Giannini had to wait 16 seasons for his first Tournament. Wichita State's Gregg Marshall is also making his first Sweet 16 apperance after eight trips to the Tourney with Winthrop and the Shockers.

21.4. Turnovers per game for Louisville opponents in the postseason
Louisville already had one of Rick Pitino’s better defensive teams, but the Cardinals’ press has turned it up a notch in the postseason. North Carolina A&T had 27 turnovers against the Cards, and Colorado State added 20 in the round of 32. Louisville’s opponents in the Big East and NCAA Tournaments are averaging 21.4 turnovers per game, compared to 18.5 turnovers during the regular season. And if that’s not enough, suddenly Russ Smith and Peyton Siva have returned to their early season form on the offensive end. Louisville is shooting 56.9 percent in the Tournament.

3. Combined margin of victory for Marquette on the way to the Sweet 16.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams doesn’t want to be Mr. Tactician, but he may be Mr. Drama. Marquette is the only Sweet 16 team whose first weekend games both came down to the final shot, with Vander Blue’s layup sealing a 59-58 win over Davidson and Andrew Smith’s missed three-pointer for Butler ending a 74-72 Marquette win. This is nothing new. The last eight games for the Golden Eagles have been decided by eight points or less. Marquette has gone 6-2 in those games.

58. Fewest points in a win for Indiana this season
The Hoosiers spent most of the season leading the nation in offensive efficiency, but they found a good time to prove they can grind out a lower scoring game. After failing to score 60 points in two losses to Wisconsin and another to Ohio State, Indiana won a game when it failed to hit the 60-point mark with a 58-52 win over Temple in the round of 32.

4. Consecutive Sweet 16s for Ohio State
The Buckeyes have the longest streak of reaching the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament by reaching the Sweet 16 in four consecutive years. This trip was dicey, though, as Ohio State coughed up a 13-point lead late in the round of 32 against Iowa State. A fortunate charge call on the Cyclones’ Will Clyburn and Aaron Craft’s three-point shot with less than a second left gave Ohio State a 78-75 win. Elsewhere, Florida, Kansas and Marquette all have Sweet 16 streaks of three consecutive seasons.

0. Times before 2013 Michigan and Michigan State appeared in the same Sweet 16
Hard to believe as it may be, Michigan and Michigan State have never appeared in the Sweet 16 in the same season. The Wolverines are making their first Sweet 16 since 1994 for their 13th trip in school history to the regional semifinals. Michigan State is in its 17th regional semifinal.

1. Point for Duke’s Ryan Kelly against Creighton
Ryan Kelly made a case for being Duke’s most indispensable player over the last two seasons, but Duke didn’t him to be on his game to advance to the Sweet 16. The forward struggled against Creighton, going 0 for 5 from the field for one point on a free throw. It’s been an about-face for Kelly, who shocked Miami for 36 points on March 3 and followed that with 18 against Virginia Tech. Kelly has been in single-figures in four games since then with exactly eight against North Carolina, Maryland and Albany.

24. Three-pointers against Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament
No. 16 seed Southern hinted that Gonzaga may be vulnerable from the three-point line, by shooting 10 of 23 from three (compared to 8 of 23 from inside the arc). Wichita State fully exploited the weakness by hitting 14 of 28 in the 76-70 upset of the top-seeded Bulldogs. A key question for Gonzaga’s Tournament let down: Where did this three-point vulnerability come from? The Zags gave up 6.3 threes per game entering the Tournament.

0-3. Roy Williams’ record against Kansas
The North Carolina coach is winless in three tries against his old school with each matchup coming in the NCAA Tournament. Sunday’s 70-58 loss was the first when Williams’ North Carolina was the lowest seeded team (the Tar Heels were a No. 8 seed, Kansas was a No. 1). In 2012, North Carolina was a No. 1 when it lost 80-67 to No. 2 Kansas in the Elite Eight. In 2008, both were No. 1 seeds when the Tar Heels lost 84-66 in the Final Four.

45. Rebounds for Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi in the last three games
Oregon was under-seeded as a No. 12, but few could have predicted the Ducks to roll over Oklahoma State and Saint Louis. A major reason for the Ducks’ success has been the defensive presence of forward Arsalan Kazemi. The 6-foot-7 Iranian has 45 rebounds in his last three games, going back to the Pac-12 title game against UCLA (12). Kazemi had 16 boards against Oklahoma State and 17 against Saint Louis. Keep in mind: Kazemi played the last three seasons at Rice before transferring to Oregon.

71. Combined scoring margin in VCU’s Tournament games
It’s hard to imagine a more shocking turnaround for many Tournament teams, as VCU’s two games were decided by a combined 71 points. VCU overwhelmed a shorthanded Akron team 88-42 and then lost 78-53 to Michigan.

3. NCAA Tournament wins for La Salle, more than the last 58 years combined
A history refresher on La Salle: The Explorers won the 1954 NCAA title and played for another in 1955 with Hall of Fame center Tom Gola. Before that, La Salle won the NIT in 1952 when the NIT was on par with the NCAAs. Since then, La Salle fell into the obscurity, going 2-9 in the NCAA Tournament before defeating Boise State in the First Four on Wednesday, Kansas State in the round of 64 and Ole Miss in the round of 32 to reach the regional semifinal.

5. Career losses to a double-digit seed for John Thompson III at Georgetown
John Thompson III put himself in exclusive company with Bob Knight and Jim Boeheim, but not for the kind of distinction Thompson would like to hold. With a loss to No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast, Thompson tied Knight and Boeheim with his fifth loss to a team seeded five spots lower in the NCAA Tournament, according to Patrick Stevens at D1scource.com. The difference, of course, is that Thompson has coached in nine Tournaments (seven at Georgetown, two at Princeton) while Knight coached in 28 Tourneys and Boeheim is at 30 and counting. Since the 2007 Final Four, Georgetown has been eliminated by No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast, No. 11 NC State in 2012, No. 11 VCU in 2011, No. 14 Ohio in 2010, and No. 10 Davidson in 2008. Is that a reflection on Thompson or bad luck? To sum up: That's a loss to Stephen Curry, a Final Four-bound VCU and a Florida Gulf Coast team that turned around to upset San Diego State.

6. NCAA Tournament appearances for Belmont’s Rick Byrd without a win, nearing a record
Belmont has reached the NCAA Tournament is six of the last eight seasons, a notable accomplishment for a program that elevated leagues this season from the Atlantic Sun to the Ohio Valley and was in the NAIA as recently as 1996. But Byrd is 0-6 in the NCAA Tournament, tying DePaul’s Oliver Purnell for the second-most appearances without a win, notes CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. North Carolina A&T’s Don Corbett and Louisiana-Monroe’s Mike Vining hold the record of most appearances without a Tournament win at 0-7 each.
 

Teaser:
<p> Amazing Stats from the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament</p>
Post date: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 07:00
All taxonomy terms: 2013 March Madness, College Basketball
Path: /college-basketball/florida-gulf-coast-will-bring-dunk-city-sweet-16
Body:

The athletic director is a little annoyed CBS’s score graphic lists his school as “Florida G.C.” One scoreboard mistakenly listed the team as “Florida Golf Coast.” The New York Times issued a correction for a piece that called the school “Gulf Coast College.” San Diego State coach Steve Fisher accidentally called his opponent "Florida State" -- in a postgame press conference. And that doesn’t account for dozens of hastily typed acronyms.

Now every college basketball fan knows Florida Gulf Coast. Or better yet, Dunk City.

Florida Gulf Coast, a school that admitted its first student in 1997 and gained Division I status less than two years ago, is headed to the Sweet 16 after defeating Georgetown and San Diego State.

With the turnover among top teams this season, the question for most of the season was “Is this the year a No. 16 team will finally beat a No. 1?” That answer is no. Instead, this is the first season a No. 15 seed would win two in a row to reach the Sweet 16.

Now, the best story in the 2013 NCAA Tournament will face its in-state two-time national champion, Florida, for a chance at the Elite Eight.

It’s not so much that FGCU made this look easy -- the Eagles led Georgetown by 19 at one point Friday and then went on a 17-0 run against San Diego State on Sunday -- the Eagles made it look fun.

Here are the highlights from Dunk City:

 

 

 

Teaser:
<p> Florida Gulf Coast will bring Dunk City to the Sweet 16</p>
Post date: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 21:36
Path: /college-basketball/oladipo-leads-indianas-late-charge-beat-temple-ncaa-tournament
Body:

The Big Ten has four teams in the Sweet 16 (so far), but Dayton has made two of the league’s best sweat.

A couple hours after Ohio State’s Aaron Craft hit his game-winning three-pointer against Iowa State, Indiana got its own three-point dagger from Victor Oladipo in a 58-52 win to advance the Hoosiers to their second consecutive regional semifinal.

If Indiana continues to advance, Hoosiers fans will have good reason to remember this game:

♦ Indiana scored the final 10 points of the game and held Temple scoreless starting with a Christian Watford block of Anthony Lee. After the block, Temple miss four consecutive three-pointers; the final three didn’t even hit the rim.

♦ Oladipo spent most of the second half guarding Temple’s Khalif Wyatt with mixed results as Wyatt scored 31 points. Oladipo, however, drew a foul on Wyatt to send Indiana’s guard to free throw line late. Oladipo made one of his two shots for a 53-52 lead.

♦ Indiana, one of the nation’s best offensive teams all season, won its first game in which it failed to score 60 points, a gritty effort for a team that lost to Wisconsin twice and Ohio State while scoring in the 50s.

♦ Jordan Hulls fought through a shoulder injury, and even if he wasn’t terribly effective (five points in 19 minutes), Indiana was much better with him on the court.

Ending the season in the Sweet 16 (against Syracuse) won't be enough for this Indiana team, but the Hoosiers have made a notable return to the postseason spotlight by reaching the regional semifinal in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1993-94 under Bob Knight.

Teaser:
<p> Oladipo leads Indiana's late charge to beat Temple in NCAA Tournament</p>
Post date: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 17:52
Path: /college-basketball/aaron-craft-ohio-state-breaks-iowa-states-heart-buzzer-beater
Body:

When Ohio State’s Sweet 16 bid came down to the last shot, there was seemingly no way Aaron Craft wouldn’t be the one take it.

Craft gave the 2013 NCAA Tournament its first game-winning three-pointer in the final second when the Buckeyes point guard hung onto the ball for the final shot with less than a second remaining to defeat Iowa State 78-75.

Craft’s composed three-pointer atoned for his shaky play down the stretch which turned a 13-point Ohio State in the final 6:07 into a nailbiter. One of the most sound players in the country, Craft had a meltdown in the final minutes missing a layup, turning the ball over twice and missing the front end of two one-and-ones.

Yet Craft gave Ohio State a go-ahead score on a three-point play, tied the game at 75 on a free throw and then passed on getting the ball to Ohio State’s best offensive player, Desahaun Thomas, to take the game-winner himself.

Meanwhile, the close calls continued for Iowa State.

On Feb. 25, the Cyclones lost 108-96 in overtime to Kansas thanks in part to questionable calls at the end of regulation.

Against Ohio State, officials called a charge on Will Clyburn, negating a layup that would have given Iowa State a three-point lead with 1:41 left. Replays indicated Craft’s feet were not on the ground when Clyburn drove to the basket for a layup, meaning the offensive player could not be called for a charge.

 

Teaser:
<p> Aaron Craft, Ohio State breaks Iowa State's heart with buzzer-beater</p>
Post date: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 15:15
Path: /college-basketball/2013-ncaa-tournament-march-madness-schedule-sunday
Body:

The NCAA Tournament has moved into the weekend where tickets to the Sweet 16 will be punched. Now that we’re into the Sunday's slate of games, hopefully you don't have to sneak away from work to catch the action.

Here’s everything you need to know for Sunday’s  games, including the TV schedule, the network, announcers, predictions and bits of knowledge for all eight games to finish off the weekend.

From Friday and Saturday's action:
D.J. Stephens' block of the tournament

Florida Gulf Coast upsets Georgetown

Henderson carries Ole Miss

La Salle sets up unlikely matchup

SUNDAY NCAA TOURNAMENT VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m., Eastern

No. 10 Iowa State vs. No. 2 Ohio State
Time and TV: 12:15, CBS
Site and region: Dayton, Ohio, West
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
What to watch: Both teams feature matchup problems. Deshaun Thomas for Ohio State and Georges Niang for Iowa State are 6-foot-7 forwards who can stretch the floor with their ability to shoot from the perimeter. Niang scored 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting against Notre Dame. Thomas scored 24 points against Iona, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc.
Game in a Tweet: Ohio State has the longest active streak of reaching the Sweet 16 (three in a row).
Prediction: Ohio State

No. 9 Temple vs. No. 1 Indiana
Time and TV: 2:45, CBS
Site and region: Dayton, Ohio, West
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
What to watch: Khalif Wyatt, one of the most underrated players in this field, gave us a great round of 64 storyline. With his thumb on his non-shooting hand wrapped up after a painful injury, Wyatt scored 31 points with five assists and three steals -- while reaching the free-throw 10 times for the sixth consecutive game.
Game in a Tweet: Yogi Ferrell led Indiana in scoring for the first time this season with 16 against James Madison.
Prediction: Indiana

No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 1 Kansas
Time and TV: 5:15, CBS
Site and region: Kansas City, South
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
What to watch: Sloppy Kansas needed a standout game from Jeff Withey to overcome 17 turnovers, 0 of 6 three-point shooting to defeat No. 16 seed Western Kentucky.
Game in a Tweet: Roy Williams is 0-2 against his old team with both losses in the NCAA Tournament.
Prediction: Kansas

No. 11 Minnesota vs. No. 3 Florida
Time and TV: 6:10, TNT
Site and region: Austin, Texas, South
Announcers: Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
What to watch: Andre Hollins is coming alive in the postseason again for Minnesota. He had 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists against UCLA. Is he ready for a matchup against Florida’s defensive stopper Scottie Wilbekin?
Game in a Tweet: Tubby Smith is 14-10 against Billy Donovan but has lost his last seven in the matchup.
Prediction: Florida

No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 7 San Diego State
Time and TV:
7:10, TBS
Site and region: Philadelphia, South
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller
What to watch: San Diego State is the last hope for the Mountain West in the Sweet 16 with Colorado State, New Mexico and Boise State all losing this season. The Mountain West has four Sweet 16 teams in conference history (San Diego State in 2012, BYU in 2011, UNLV in 2007 and Utah in 2005).
Game in a Tweet: No. 15 seeds have lost by 1, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 34 in the second round.
Prediction: San Diego State

No. 13 La Salle vs. No. 12 Ole Miss
Time and TV: 7:40, truTV
Site and region: Kansas City, West
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
What to watch: Who’s hot and who’s cold: La Salle was 18 of 31 from the field in the first half against Kansas State and 3 of 18 in the second. Marshall Henderson started 1 of 13 against Wisconsin, finished 5 of 8.
Game in a Tweet: Ole Miss seeking second regional semifinal in history, La Salle seeking first since 1955.
Prediction: La Salle

No. 7 Illinois vs. No. 2 Miami
Time and TV: 8:40, TNT
Site and region: Austin, Texas, East
Announcers: Tim Brando, Mike Gminski
What to watch: Illinois will ride the Brandon Paul roller coaster to the end. The guard went 3 of 12 from the floor against Colorado but sealed game with a three-pointer and near-perfect free throw shooting late.
Game in a Tweet: Miami sophomore Shane Larkin matched Pacific as a team in assists (nine) Friday.
Prediction: Miami

No. 7 Creighton vs. No. 2 Duke
Time and TV: 9:40, TBS
Site and region: Philadelphia, Midwest
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore and Reggie Miller
What to watch: Seth Curry is averaging 20.3 points in four postseason game (ACC and NCAA tournaments). Creighton has trouble guarding just about everyone, how will Bluejays handle Duke’s guard?
Game in a Tweet: Your Player of the Year frontrunners from December (Doug McDermott, Mason Plumlee) meet in March.
Prediction: Duke

Teaser:
<p> 2013 NCAA Tournament: March Madness Schedule for Sunday</p>
Post date: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 09:00
Path: /college-basketball/wichita-state-upsets-gonzaga-first-no-1-upset-ncaa-tournament
Body:

Wichita State finally has its moment in the spotlight, and it might last a little longer.

The Shockers became the first team to dispatch a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament by defeating Mark Few's Gonzaga 76-70 in a game when Wichita rarely trailed.

As the top teams in the West region crumble, No. 8 Wichita State is suddenly the highest seeded team in its regional semifinal, with No. 12 Ole Miss and No. 13 La Salle facing off Sunday. One of those three teams will go to the Elite Eight.

For several years, Wichita State and its coach, Gregg Marshall, have been waiting for a postseason breakout. The Shockers advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006 -- its only Tourney appearance between 1988 and 2012 -- but lost to a Final Four-bound George Mason team. Meanwhile, the sixth-year coach Marshall will head to his first Sweet 16 in his career after going 1-8 in the Tournament at Wichita State and Winthrop.

On Saturday, Gonzaga showed its close call with 16th-seeded Southern in the round of 64 was not a fluke. Against Gonzaga, Wichita State launched 14 of 26 three-point attempts, including five field goals beyond the arc in the final 6:06.

The Bulldogs, though, continue to have trouble advancing in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags are four years removed from their last Sweet 16 and haven’t reached an Elite Eight since 1999 under Dan Monson.

Teaser:
<p> Wichita State upsets Gonzaga for first No. 1 upset in NCAA Tournament</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 23:42
Path: /college-basketball/marquette-butler-wraps-best-game-2013-ncaa-tournament-so-far
Body:

Only Marquette could win a game this dramatic in this Tournament. Only Butler could make the final five seconds this heart-pounding.

Two days after Marquette’s Vander Blue ended a two-Tournament drought of game-winning and game-tying shots in the final 10 seconds with his layup against Davidson, Marquette again had a flair for the dramatic in a 74-72 win in the round of 32.

Butler and Marquette played the game of the Tournament so far, a game that was separated by four points or fewer for most of the second half. Butler, who used a steal of an inbounds play to beat Gonzaga earlier this season, had a chance to win despite trailing by four in the final four seconds thanks to another fortunate inbounds play that bounced of the hands of a Marquette player. The turnover set up an ill-fated Andrew Smith three-point attempt to seal Marquette's win.

The two teams traded scores for most of the day, but Marquette sealed the win for a remarkable run in Milwaukee. The only Big East team to reach the NCAA Tournament every year since expanded now has three consecutive Sweet 16s.

And Vander Blue, with 29 points against Butler and 16 against Davidson, may be the MVP of the opening weekend.

Teaser:
<p> Marquette-Butler wraps up best game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament so far</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 23:08
Path: /college-basketball/ram-kid-lost-tooth-distract-saturdays-lopsided-ncaa-tournament-games
Body:

A slow afternoon of NCAA Tournament games means we’re watching the sideshow.

Colorado State’s unofficial mascot won’t be making an appearance in the Sweet 16, as his Rams lost 82-56 to Louisville.

But, hey, what’s a mid-major without a great story to accompany it?

Justin Stank, 16, has been wearing Colorado State mascot gear since he was six months, the latest editions have been stitched together by his mother, writes the New York Times.

While he yawned during a late-night Colorado State rout of Missouri on Thursday, the lopsided loss to Louisville brought out the worst in the Rams’ superfan.



Photo from Card Chronicle

But what more could he say of Colorado State’s performance -- or rather Louisville’s domination. The Cardinals’ press continued to dismantled opponents as it has since the Big East Tournament. Colorado State shot better than 50 percent for most of the game (and finished shooting 46.3 percent) yet lost by 26. The culprit was 19 turnovers.

That’s not a fluke: Louisville’s last five opponents -- since the start of the Big East Tournament -- have averaged 21.4 turnovers.

Harvard has little reason to smile
Maybe that’s a good thing? At least for guard Siyani Chambers. The freshman took an elbow to the face and chipped a tooth. The best part? Chambers’ teammates picked up the pieces of tooth on the court.

Speaking of bruised egos, Harvard fell behind 17-2 to Arizona.


Photo from The Big Lead

Related: D.J. Stephens' monster block

Elsewhere in a game already decided...
Michigan State pulled away easily from Memphis in a 70-48 win, but try telling Derrick Nix and Keith Appling.

Even with Michigan State leading comfortably, Nix and Appling -- high school teammates at Detroit Pershing -- got into a bit of a disagreement during a timeout.



And back to basketball
Michigan answered any skepticism about their Final Four credentials with a dismantling of VCU. Where Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. picked up the scoring slack from Trey Burke in the round of 64 against South Dakota State, Mitch McGary did the same in the 78-53 win over the Rams. McGary scored 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting while adding 14 rebounds.

And how’s this for an encouraging sign? Michigan is in the Sweet 16 without Trey Burke playing at his best. Burke was 2 of 12 from the field in the round of 64 and turned the ball over seven times in the win over VCU.

Teaser:
<p> Ram Kid, a lost tooth distract from Saturday's lopsided NCAA Tournament games</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 20:22
Path: /college-basketball/memphis-dj-stephens-enters-name-block-tournament-contention
Body:

Memphis' 6-foot-5 guard D.J. Stephens continued to audition for the NCAA Tournament highlight reel with this athletic block of Michigan State's Adreian Payne in the first half.

Stephens' four blocks in the first half, including on back-to-back Michigan State possessions, helped Memphis crawl back from a 13-point deficit to a three-point Michigan State lead at halftime.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner gets plenty of credit for recruiting McDonald's All-Americans, but Stephens was a true find. Pastner admits he lucked into landing a "no-star" recruit, who now may be his most valuable player.

And in another lucky break, viewers got Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery on the call for Memphis in the Tournament.

Teaser:
<p> Memphis' D.J. Stephens enters name in Block of the Tournament contention</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 15:56
Path: /college-basketball/2013-ncaa-tournament-march-madness-schedule-saturday
Body:

The NCAA Tournament has moved into the weekend where tickets to the Sweet 16 will be punched. Now that we’re into the Saturday slate of games, hopefully you don't have to sneak away from work to catch the action.

Here’s everything you need to know for Saturday’s slate of games, including the TV schedule, the network, announcers, predictions and bits of knowledge for all eight games to start the weekend.

From Friday's action:
Florida Gulf Coast upsets Georgetown

Henderson carries Ole Miss

La Salle sets up unlikely matchup

SATURDAY NCAA TOURNAMENT VIEWERS GUIDE
All times p.m., Eastern

No. 5 VCU vs. No. 4 Michigan
Time and TV: 12:15, CBS
Site and region: Auburn Hills, Mich., South
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: Every other No. 4 seed will catch a No. 12 in the round of 32, but Michigan catches a VCU team that defeated undermanned Akron 88-42. The Rams’ 46-point win was the biggest margin of victory for a team seeded third or lower until Syracuse defeated Montana by 47.
Game in a Tweet: VCU’s winning number for forcing turnovers is 15, a mark Michigan hit once this season.
Prediction: VCU

No. 6 Memphis vs. No. 3 Michigan State
Time and TV: 2:45, CBS
Site and region: Auburn Hills, Mich., Midwest
Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
What to watch: Josh Pastner finally picked up his first NCAA Tournament win as Memphis’ coach. His prize? Michigan State, which suddenly has another big force in Derrick Nix (23 points, 15 rebounds in the round of 64 against Valparaiso).
Game in a Tweet: Tom Izzo is 10-2 in the round of 32.
Prediction: Michigan State

No. 8 Colorado State vs. No. 1 Louisville
Time and TV: 5:15, CBS
Site and region: Lexington, Ky., Midwest
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel
What to watch: Colorado State’s Dorian Green, limited with an ankle sprain late in the season, scored 26 points against Missouri. Now, he’ll face the Louisville press that had 20 steals against North Carolina A&T.
Game in a Tweet: Colorado State has five all-time Tourney wins, or one fewer than Louisville had last year.
Prediction: Louisville

No. 14 Harvard vs. No. 6 Arizona
Time and TV: 6:10, TNT
Site and region: Salt Lake City, West
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb
What to watch: Mark Lyons, a question mark entering the Tournament, scored 23 points in his round of 64 matchup against Belmont.
Game in a Tweet: Who says Harvard is a year away? Can Crimson match Cornell’s 2010 Sweet 16 from the Ivy?
Prediction: Arizona

No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 4 Saint Louis
Time and TV: 7:10, TBS
Site and region: San Jose, Midwest
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner
What to watch: Saint Louis’ Dwayne Evans will face off against defensive whiz Arsalan Kazemi (29 rebounds the last two games).
Game in a Tweet: The two teams trailed for a combined 2:13 in their wins Thursday.
Prediction: Saint Louis

No. 6 Butler vs. No. 3 Marquette
Time and TV: 7:45, CBS
Site and region: Lexington, Ky., East
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel
What to watch: Who gets hot from long range first? Butler started 0 of 13 from three-point range against Bucknell, Marquette started 1 of 12 from three against Davidson.
Game in a Tweet: Marquette is seeking to be one of five teams with a chance to play in the last three Sweet 16s.
Prediction: Butler

No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
Time and TV: 8:40, TNT
Site and region: Salt Lake City, West
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb
What to watch: Where did Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early come from? He scored 21 points against Pitt after scoring a total of 15 in the Missouri Valley Tournament. The same could be said of Malcolm Armstead who scored 50 combined in the MVC final and against Pitt.
Game in a Tweet: Of the 11 No. 1s with a single-digit scare vs. No. 16, only two lost their next game.
Prediction: Gonzaga

No. 12 Cal vs. No. 4 Syracuse
Time and TV: 9:40, TBS
Site and region: San Jose, East
Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner
What to watch: Cal switched from a primarily man-to-man defense to a full-time zone to defeat UNLV. For its efforts, Cal draws Syracuse’s steadfast zone defense.
Game in a Tweet: Syracuse had 21 assists on 27 field goals in the Montana rout.
Prediction: Syracuse

Teaser:
<p> 2013 NCAA Tournament: March Madness Schedule for Saturday</p>
Post date: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: 2013 March Madness, College Basketball
Path: /college-basketball/florida-gulf-coast-knocks-georgetown-biggest-upset-2013-tournament
Body:

Andy Enfield has already been living a Cinderella existence. For starters, he convinced a supermodel to go to a St. John's NIT game for a first date. Then he married said supermodel.

For at least a day or so, the former Amanda Marcum will be the second-most famous name in her marriage. Enfield turned Florida Gulf Coast into the story of the NCAA Tournament so far as the 15th-seeded Eagles upset Big East champion Georgetown 78-68.

There are Cinderella stories, and there’s Florida Gulf Coast. For starters:

♦ Florida Gulf Coast didn’t have its first student until 1997.
♦ When it’s campus opened in Fort Myers, the student body got up close and personal with wildlife: “There were a couple dorm rooms and that was it. You’d see wild animals — wild boar, bobcats, alligators — crossing the road. It was unbelievable," FGCU senior Eddie Murray told the Newark Star-Ledger.
♦ FGCU wasn’t even eligible for the NCAA Tournament until two seasons ago.

From an upset perspective, the wins for No. 15 seeds are starting to pile up.

After No. 2 seeds went undefeated in the first round from 2003-11, two lost in the round of 64 last season (Duke to Lehigh and Missouri to Norfolk State). Now, three No. 2 seeds have lost in two seasons.

Or in other words, three of the seven No. 15 wins in the first round have come in the last two tournaments.

As Florida Gulf Coast cheers, Georgetown looks for answers. The Big East regular season champion Hoyas have exited the Tournament in the first weekend in each of their last five trips to the Tournament since reaching the Final Four in 2007.

The teams that upset Georgetown: No. 10 seed Davidson in 2008, No. 14 Ohio in 2010, No. 11 VCU in 2011, No. 11 NC State in 2012 and now No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast.

This latest Georgetown loss wasn’t even close at times. The Hoyas missed 10 consecutive shots at one point in the second half and trailed by as much as 19 in the second. Only a late burst powered by Markel Starks’ free throws and back-to-back threes made it close late.

Teaser:
<p> Florida Gulf Coast knocks off Georgetown for biggest upset of 2013</p>
Post date: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 22:10
Path: /college-basketball/ole-miss-la-salle-sets-2013s-most-unlikely-ncaa-tournament-pairing
Body:

The Sweet 16 will feature either Ole Miss or La Salle.

Let that sink in a bit. Ole Miss and La Salle have been also-rans in their leagues for roughly a decade, and now one of them will reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Just to be clear, the fact that Ole Miss is a No. 12 seed and La Salle is a No. 13 is probably the least strange part about this round of 32 matchup:

♦ Neither program made the NCAA Tournament from 2002 to this season. La Salle hadn’t been to the Tournament since 1992 and had won only one Tournament game since 1955.

♦ Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson made one field goal in the first half, and the Rebels still defeated Wisconsin. La Salle hit only three field goals in the second half against Kansas State and still won.

♦ Both coaches entered the season under some pressure to reach the NCAA Tournament. The pressure was more on Ole Miss’ Andy Kennedy, who had the Rebels in the NIT in five of the previous six seasons. La Salle’s John Giannini had not won 20 games in a season at La Salle through his first seven seasons before winning 21 last season.

And both have an affinity for the Landshark gesture (gif from The Big Lead):

 

Teaser:
<p> Ole Miss-La Salle sets up 2013's most unlikely NCAA Tournament pairing</p>
Post date: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 18:18

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