Thu, 04/07/2011 - 07:26 — Raphielle Johnson
Next up is the Southeast region, which contributed to the craziness of the NCAA Tournament beginning with Butler knocking off top-seed Pittsburgh in the third round. The question now is what's next for the entire region beginning with the Panthers, who welcome a solid recruiting class while also waiting to see what Ashton Gibbs' decision in regards to staying in the NBA Draft will be.
Wed, 04/06/2011 - 18:06 — Raphielle Johnson
With the NCAA Tournament now over and many resting up for a couple days before hitting the spring recruiting circuit (the Nike EYBL Boo Williams Invitational is this weekend), why not take a look at all 68 teams in this year's field and their early prospects for next season? With the NBA Draft deadline (May 8th) still a month away, here's a look at each of the teams in the East Region and what they'll likely have in 2011-12.
(1) Ohio State: lost in Sweet 16 to Kentucky
Sun, 04/03/2011 - 06:06 — Raphielle Johnson
On March 19th two teams advanced out of the Washington, D.C. subregional, making their way to the Sweet 16. And on Monday night those two teams, Butler and Connecticut, will play for the national title.
In the first game of the night in Houston, Butler was able to withstand an early barrage of VCU three pointers to take a six-point lead into the intermission. After an even start the Bulldogs allowed themselves to be drawn into the Rams' hectic style of play, breaking the pressure for three pointers instead of attacking the rim.
Sat, 04/02/2011 - 07:43 — Raphielle Johnson
(4) Kentucky vs. (3) Connecticut 8:49 PM (CBS)
How they got here
Kentucky (East Region champions)
W 59-57 over (13) Princeton
W 71-63 over (5) West Virginia
W 62-60 over (1) Ohio State
W 76-69 over (2) North Carolina
Connecticut (West Region champions)
W 81-52 over (14) Bucknell
W 69-58 over (6) Cincinnati
W 74-67 over (2) San Diego State
W 65-63 over (5) Arizona
Mon, 03/28/2011 - 07:47 — Raphielle Johnson
The opinion that this season provided the NCAA Tournament with the weakest bubble in history did not stop many pundits from bad-mouthing the VCU Rams. Instead of worrying about what the experts thought of their inclusion Shaka Smart's team moved forward, taking care of USC, Georgetown, Purdue and Florida State to get to Sunday's Southwest Region final. Top-seed Kansas awaited VCU and the Jayhawks got off to a quick start, scoring the first six points of the game.
Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:36 — Raphielle Johnson
Two tickets to next weekend's Final Four were punched on Saturday, with both games living up to the thrilling form of Thursday night's contests. In the Southeast final Butler made a bit of history, becoming the first team to make consecutive trips to the Final Four when being seeded three or lower with a 74-71 overtime win over Florida. Shelvin Mack scored a game-high 27 points, Matt Howard added 14 and freshman Khyle Marshall scored 10 off the bench. Also, Butler's three-point defense was a factor in the win as they limited the Gators to 3-for-14 on the afternoon.
Sat, 03/26/2011 - 15:04 — Raphielle Johnson
The first two tickets to the Final Four will be punched on Saturday, and one can make a good argument that three of the four teams slated to play were not supposed to have reached this point. But what's expected beforehand means nothing when compared to actual achievement, which is why Butler, Arizona and Connecticut all find themselves 40 minutes away from a trip to Houston. Two of the best players in the nation will be on display in the West final in Arizona's Derrick Williams and Connecticut's Kemba Walker.
Sat, 03/26/2011 - 09:22 — Raphielle Johnson
Countless times over the past few weeks Kentucky head coach John Calipari has noted that his upperclassmen deserve some of the credit for the Wildcats' improved play as many rush to credit the highly-touted freshman class. Friday night was just the latest example of what the veterans mean to the team but when the game is on the line the basketball will end up in the hands of a freshman. Just as he did in the second round against Princeton Brandon Knight struggled offensively, shooting 2-for-9 over the first 39 minutes of the game.
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 22:32 — Raphielle Johnson
The East Regional tips off tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. and while three of the top four seeds have done as expected in reaching this point, there is a surprise as well. Marquette, who looked like a mediocre basketball team in their regular season finale against Seton Hall in this same arena, has knocked off Xavier and Syracuse to reach this point. North Carolina and Kentucky had turning points as well, with the Tar Heels improving once Kendall Marshall took over at the point and the Wildcat veterans stepping up late in the season has helped them.
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:34 — Raphielle Johnson
Of the four games played on Thursday night the matchup between West top-seed Duke and five-seed Arizona was the game people thought could provide a double-digit margin. The defending national champions were a solid favorite going in and they played as such in the first half, taking a 44-38 lead into the locker room thanks to a 16-6 edge in points in the paint and 12-5 in points off turnovers. Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving scored 14 points apiece to lead the Blue Devils, who were far more balanced than an Arizona team that featured a lot of Derrick Williams and little of much else.