Wednesday, March 24, 2010

News On The Horizon 3/24/2010

Formula For Success: Sweet 16 Edition--Rush The Court

West Region- #1 Syracuse vs. #5 Butler

If Syracuse advances: The Orange dodged this very bullet on Sunday when Rick Jackson picked up his third foul in the middle of the first half, but Syracuse absolutely must keep Jackson on the floor for 32-35 minutes of this game given Arinze Onuaku isn’t ready to play. Not that Butler has an assembly line of bruising big bodies, but Jackson is the one clear matchup advantage for Jim Boeheim and Co. If DaShonte Riley is forced into more crucial minutes and Matt Howard stays on the floor, Butler may be in line to pull off the upset. This could all be rendered moot if Syracuse shoots the lights out again. Their three main guards and swingman Wes Johnson put on an absolute clinic against Gonzaga. Just continue to do what they’ve been doing- score efficiently, knock down perimeter jumpers with Rautins and Johnson and have their two-headed point guard monster control and push at the right times.

If Butler advances: Butler needs Gordon Hayward to hit perimeter jumpers against the 2-3 zone. A 45% long range shooter as a freshman, Hayward has dipped to a woeful 28% this season and is 1-10 in the NCAA Tournament. Hayward and point guard Shelvin Mack opening up the zone by hitting from deep all of a sudden puts Butler in the driver’s seat. It’s been repeated ad nauseam by anyone that’s watched Butler on a regular basis, but they must keep Matt Howard on the floor against Rick Jackson. Howard had more foul difficulties against Murray State, but the play of Mack and Ronald Nored helped send the Bulldogs to Syracuse. Howard is the only legitimate post presence coach Brad Stevens can throw at Syracuse’s big men. Controlling the Orange transition game is also key.

RTC Region by Region Tidbits: 03.23.10--Rush The Court

West Region (Andrew Murawa)

* Here we are, a couple of days away from the start of the Sweet 16 round and Syracuse is a likely favorite to play in the national championship game in two weeks, a lofty set of expectations that were entirely unlikely four and a half months ago when expectations for the Orange were low, and got even lower with an exhibition loss to LeMoyne.
* While Syracuse is led by a Hall-of-Fame head coach, their opponent in the Sweet 16 has a coach that is younger than Jim Boeheim’s coaching career. Butler head coach Brad Stevens is 33; Boeheim is in his 34th year as the Syracuse coach. Nevertheless, Stevens has his Bulldogs a weekend away from potentially playing in the Final Four down the street from the school’s campus.

Sweet 16: Best Frontcourts and Backcourts--Ballin' is a Habit

Coldest: Matt Howard, Willie Veasley, Gordon Hayward, and Avery Jukes - Butler

Butler doesn't have a great front line by any stretch of the imagination. Matt Howard has been a bit of a disappointment this season, struggling to avoid foul trouble all season long. Howard did not play well in either of the first two games, and played just 18 minutes against the smaller Murray State Racers as Butler went small for much of the second half. Gordon Hayward may be the tallest Bulldog on the court, but he is a two-guard at heart. But he has still struggled in the two games, shooting just 6-21 from the field, 1-10 from three, and averaging just 12.5 ppg. Butler is going to need Hayward and Howard to play well if they have a chance against Syracuse.

Butler relies on continuity to make tourney
Ranking and seeding the remaining 16--College Hoops Journal

8) Butler. The story line to follow with this team is that it’s based out of Indianapolis. That just so happens to be where the Final Four is. If Butler manages to beat Syracuse — and it most certainly can — then the little factoid above will really start to spread. Why Butler makes the top half of our list: dynamic play. This team can hit from outside with ridiculous efficiency but also has crafty big men in future pro Gordon Hayward and solid-but-foul-prone Matt Howard. Syracuse’s Onuaku will be needed more against Butler than any other opponent in the field except Kentucky.

Butler's Mack not eye-popping but effective--The Indy Star
No longer underdogs, Butler learns to roll with punches--The NWI Times
NCAA blog 11: No travel problems for Dawgs--Indy Star Butler Insider
Bulldogs Make Fourth NCAA Sweet 16

March ‘09 Edition of the Viking Report--Let's Go Vikes!

Women’s Basketball Season Ends In NCAA First Round
Vikings Win 19 Games For Third Straight Season

Cleveland State’s postseason run came to an end in the opening round of the NCAA Championships when the 15th-seeded Vikings fell at second-seeded Notre Dame, 86-58, on Sunday (March 21). It marked the second time in the last three seasons that CSU was playing in the NCAA tournament after claiming the Horizon League Championship with wins over UIC, Green Bay and Butler.

“I am so proud of my team and everything that we accomplished this season,” head coach Kate Peterson Abiad said. “The team believed in the goals we set and worked hard to accomplish them. We had an outstanding group of four seniors who carried us down the stretch and we will really miss them next year, but they showed that winning is possible at Cleveland State. They will always have a place in this program.”

Senior Kailey Klein closed her brilliant career with 31 points and eight rebounds in Sunday’s loss to the Fighting Irish. She concluded her career with 2,140 points, ranking second all-time in the Horizon League. Klein also ranked first in the CSU record books in free throws made (605), free throws attempted (762) and games started (114), while also ranking third in field goals made (686), field goals attempted (1,591), three-pointers made (163) and eighth in rebounds (733) and assists (311).

Senior Stephaine Crosley had seven points and seven rebounds in her final collegiate contest, while senior Angel Roque dished out a career-best eight assists against Notre Dame.

CSU will return seven letterwinners next season, including junior Shawnita Garland, a two-time second team All-Horizon League selection.

Iowa State escapes Wisc-Green Bay upset bid
UWGB vs. Iowa State - NCAA Tournament (Final)--UWGB Basketball
Fearless Phoenix Falls Five Points Short of Sweet

Women's Basketball Scoreboard -- March 23 (NCAA)--The Horizon League

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