Tag Archive: NCAA Tournament



Coach Matt Painter is 137-63 in his 6 seasons at Purdue, which may be over shortly.

****It’s been reported by espn.com that Painter met with Missouri AD Mike Alden and other Missouri officials who flew to Orlando to meet with Painter who is currently on vacation.

Both parties left in different cars according to a source close to the Kansas City Star.  The source also stated, “The ball is in his court, Purdue has come up with more money. They don’t want to lose him”.  Matt Painter will take at least 1 more day to make a decision.

Once again coaching changes and signings are making headlines and their own March Madness.  Something that really hits close to home is Matt Painter and his future with Purdue.  According to stltoday.com Matt Painter has agreed to meet with the Missouri Tigers. Painter has agreed to meet to discuss the seriousness and commitment level of Missouri’s Athletic Department support towards the mens basketball program.

The Tigers are in search of a new coach after Mike Anderson left early last week to take the vacancy at Arkansas.  Missouri offered Anderson a contract extension of 7 years and about $2 million a year.  Currently Painter makes $1.3 million, which makes Missouri appealing or even leverage for Painter to get Purdue to give him more money.

Reported by stltoday.com a decision will be made by Wednesday (March 30, 2011) and apparently it’s better than a 50% chance that Painter will take the offer.  Personally I’m not too concerned with a 50% chance.  Maybe that’s just my youth and inexperience with how contract offers work.

But, according to a close source with Purdue’s Athletic Department, Purdue’s AD Morgan Burke has met with Indiana State’s head coach Greg Lansing.  This news worries me.  This means that the possibility of Matt Painter leaving has increased.  Why else would Purdue start looking for a new coach?

If Matt Painter does leave I say we wait until the NCAA tournament ends.  That way, we could send a very inviting proposal to Shaka Smart, VCU’s head coach who recently beat Purdue by 18 during the first weekend of the tournament.  That would be my pick to take over for Painter.  Just a thought though.  Heck, I would even try and go after Brad Stevens of Butler. Even though he says he will not leave Butler, you have to take a shot. I also wouldn’t mind Steve Lavin at all.  And I have to ask now that I know how to add polls.  Who would you like or think should take over Purdue’s head coaching job if Painter does leave?

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Richmond University and their coach Chris Mooney settled on a contract extension through the 2020-2021 season.  This 10 year extension is the 3rd straight season Mooney has been offered an extension at Richmond.  Sources say Richmond wanted to get a deal done quickly in anticipation of Mooney being given offers from power conference schools.  Richmond had the right to be worried about this.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Chris Mooney's contract extension through the 2020-2021 season is a huge step for Richmond's program

Last year Coach Mooney led the Spiders to a school record 26 win season.  That win total was surpassed by their 29 victories and trip to the Sweet 16 where they were defeated by the Kansas Jayhawks 77-57.  Both Mooney and Richmond are excited about where the program is headed and are happy with the deal that’s been made.

Amidst all the chaos happening during the rest of the tournament coaching changes also are college basketball fans attention grabbers.  Tennessee signed Missouri State’s coach Cuonzo Martin earlier today and now Richmond makes a move to solidify who they believe is the best fit for them for their Men’s College Basketball Head Coaching position.

With the way this past season has played out with Both Butler and VCU as mid-major teams making the Final Four this signing could be a major step for other non-power conferences.  Maybe the little guys won’t be so little in years to come which will be something for College Basketball fans everywhere to look out for!


Cuonzo led Missouri State to a 61-41 record including the regular season Missouri Valley Conference Championship and won MVC Coach of the Year honors

The Tennessee Volunteers announced today that they have hired Missouri State coach Cuonzo Martin.  Tennessee’s Athletic Director stated, “Cuonzo is among the most promising young coaches in the game, and we are excited about the coaching ability, toughness and energy that he brings to our program”.

Martin coached 3 seasons at Missouri State.  His first season he won just 11 games out of 31.  The next season his squad won 24 games and this past season he led Missouri State to 26 wins and the regular season Missouri Valley Conference title.  Cuonzo also coached as an assistant under Gene Keady at his Alma Mater, Purdue University, before coaching at Missouri State. Martin was also the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year this season.

Cuonzo played at Purdue from 1991-1995 where he ranks 4th in 3-pointers made w/ 179

During his career at Purdue Cuonzo was known for his defensive presence and outstanding ability to hit perimeter jump shots.  He left Purdue 4th all time in 3-pointers made with 179.  Cuonzo then continued his career in the NBA and was drafted 57th in the second round where he shot 60% from beyond the arc.

Cuonzo Martin makes the 5th Division I coach to have played or coached under Gene Keady.  The other four coaches are Bruce Weber (Illinois), Steve Lavin (St. John’s), Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt), and Matt Painter (Purdue).

I wish the best of luck to Cuonzo Martin and the Tennessee Volunteers. I see a start to a beautiful relationship.


Ohio State has hands down been the most consistent and dominating team all season.  Only slipping up to two tough Big Ten teams during the regular season.  Both losses were on the road at Wisconsin and at Purdue.  However, when they played these two teams at home both margins of victories were 20+ points.  That’s impressive.

David Lighty and Jon Diebler have had the hot shooting hands since the Big Ten tournament.  With Aaron Craft at the point distributing the ball to these two guys and Jared Sullinger Ohio State is a force to be reckoned with.  There’s not much that hasn’t been said about the Buckeyes this year and I have to agree with all that’s been said.  I dogged these guys late in December saying they would fall off once Big Ten play started but they shut me up quickly.  I have nothing but respect for this team.

Sullinger (0) and Buford (44) are the Buckeyes two leading scorers this season

Sullinger is leading the team with 17.2 ppg as a true freshman on the Big Ten regular season Champion team and the Big Ten Conference tournament Championship team.  The kid is a monster.  Just like Kansas he has a great supporting cast in William Buford, second on the team in scoring averaging 14.4 ppg.  I’ve already mentioned the likes of Jon Diebler and the hot hand of David Lighty.  These guys can score and shoot lights out on any given night.  I don’t have the numbers and couldn’t find them but I would guess they have the best shooting percentage of any team remaining during tournament play.

Not only can these guys score but they get after it on the defensive end.  Good old fashioned Big Ten basketball.  You have to love it.  They’re scrappy and in your face.  Their hardwork and focus is a complement to their talent.  I’ve always lived by the saying that, “Hardwork beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.  Well good luck beating talent that does work hard.  Thad Matta has gotten his team to hit on every cylinder so far in this year’s tournament (all year for that matter) and I expect them to continue to do so.  I don’t see Kentucky being able to pull of the upset but they’ll give the bordering Buckeyes a good game.  To be honest I don’t see Marquette or UNC giving Ohio State much of a fight either. Once Ohio State gets by Kentucky it should be an easy Elite 8 game to advance to the Final Four.

Something to keep in mind.  Back in December I heard some “experts” talking about how Sullinger has given his word that he’ll play at least 2 seasons at Ohio State.  If he gets to the title game and even wins a national championship it could be the end of a beautiful relationship between Sullinger and the Buckeyes.  Just something to keep in mind.

To wrap it up I have my Final Four looking like this.  Ohio State meets the Uconn Huskies  in Houston while the Kansas Jayhawks face off with the Butler Bulldogs! There you have it folks.  I hope my picks have peaked your interest and I thank you for reading my posts!

–Ryan K.


Bill Self is 202-43 (.824) as Kansas Head Coach. Self has led the Jayhawks to 7 straight regular season Big 12 Titles

Kansas has been one of my favorite teams since I can remember.  They’ve also been more of a heartache and let down than Purdue in past years.  Losing to Bucknell, Bradley, and even Northern Iowa in recent tournaments.  The always highly seeded and most respected Kansas teams have underachieved.  Not this year folks.

At this point in the tournament you can say that every team deserves to be here. Honestly I don’t think that’s the case this season. If you’re going to tell me that VCU REALLY deserves to be here then we should talk.  VCU got hot the last 5th of the season, Kansas and pretty much every other team played full seasons.  Anyway, I would say Richmond deserves to be where they are.  There first round game was a classic 12 over 5 seed upset, it happens.  Let me get back to my point.  I don’t think Kansas will flop this year like in years past.  Bill Self has stated the importance of those losses early in the tournament and how that’s made them tough.  That’s what helped them come back against Memphis in the ’08 tournament.  This year it’s obvious.  The Southwest Region is now watered down.  The match ups left to get to the Final Four are against Richmond and the winner of the VCU/FSU game (11/10 seeds respectively).  I think Kansas is too overpowering in the paint and has too much perimeter support from their guards.

Markieff and Marcus Morris look to continue dominating the competitions big men

The Morris twins are definitely the best big men duos this year.  The only comparison from years past that I can remember being this dominant is the Lopez twins from Stanford a few years back. This is how dominant the twins are.  They are the top two scorers and rebounders on the Jayhawks squad.  I can’t see Richmond being able to defend down low long enough without getting into foul trouble or just being ripped apart.

Not only are the twins dominant but they have a good supporting cast.  Tyshawn Taylor was a distraction earlier in the year and after serving a suspension has come back hot and contributing and distributing the ball extremely well.  If Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed can continue knocking down perimeter jump shots they’ll be tough to handle.  Let’s not forget Josh Selby either.  The kid is a baller and is a smart basketball player and still has a lot of room to grow.  Elijah Johnson also stepped up and ran the point in Taylor’s absence and played terrifically.  Kansas has the all around squad and the coach to get them to the Final Four.  Along with, what I call, watered down competition the road to the Final Four for the Jayhawks should be a done deal.  But, that’s why they play the games!

I look forward to seeing another great Final Four match up between Kansas and Butler.  Too bad it’s next weekend!


My Sweet 16 analysis has basically turned into my Final Four predictions.  You may have guessed it from the title but, I think Uconn is going to make the Final Four from the West Region.  And here’s why:

Uconn is coach by Jim Calhoun.  You cannot argue that Calhoun isn’t a great coach. He’s been in the tournament multiple times and has won a national championship.  The point is Calhoun knows how to coach in big games and in close games.  Plus it always helps to have one of the Player of the Year nominees on your squad.

Kemba is in contention for the Naismith Award (Player of the Year). His moves will be needed to lead the Huskies to a hopeful Final Four run.

I’ve said it all year that I like Kemba Walker.  Personally I can’t think of another player that I’ve ever seen.  He’s the all around player that can take over games and put the team on his back.  Kemba is 1st on his team in points (23.5) and assists (4.3) per game and second in rebounds per game (5.3).  To me that’s amazing.  It’s really good for a guard to be in the top 2 for points and assists but when you’re guard can also get up there in rebounds too your ball club will be given an advantage.  Walker has that uncanny ability to find the ball.  I remember watching the Pittsburgh vs. Uconn game on the Dec. 27th 2010 and even though Uconn lost I knew Uconn was going to be a Final Four team.  I just remember Kemba Walker making plays that no other player was making at the time (Jared Sullinger was making post player plays like none other, can’t compare the two).  Personally, I think Kemba is damn near impossible to stop and nobody can stop him besides himself at the college level.

Not only have the Huskies been through the brutal Big East schedule this season but they managed to win the Big East Tournament.  All 9 of Uconn’s losses came during Big East play (regular season obviously).  The Huskies are currently on a 7 game winning streak including 4 wins against teams ranked in the top 25! If that’s not being hot at the right time I’m not really sure what is.

I can’t forget to mention the fact that I don’t think San Diego State is very good.  Giving them a 2 seed was very very generous by the Selection Committee and they had a close game from a Temple Owls team I hadn’t heard too much about. I know it’s March and should expect close games but I thought they played sloppy against Temple.  I’m still not convinced SDSU is an Elite 8 or Final Four team.  I like Uconn in this match up, I think the Huskies will win big!


In this post I’m going to talk about some of the reasons why I like Butler to advance not only to the Elite 8 but to the Final Four.

I’m not sure if a team can be considered the Cinderella team two years in a row but I like Butler this year as the “Underdog” once again.  This season (including the NCAA tournament games) Butler is only 3-3 against teams that made it into the tournament.  Their losses were against Louisville (Nov. 16th 2010), Duke (Dec. 4th 2010), and Xavier (Dec. 9th 2010) and their wins against Florida State (Dec. 23rd 2010), Old Dominion (March 17th 2011), and Pittsburgh (March 19th 2011).  Some would say this is a weak resume against teams in the tournament, only two of those teams are left in the tournament not including Butler.  I would have to agree with this claim, that’s not very impressive.  However, the Bulldogs are tough and know how to win tough close games.

“This team is tough because Matt Howard is tough” -Butler Guard Ronald Nored (article from espn.com, Matt Howard leads Butler to Sweet 16) link to article:  http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/tournament/2011/columns/story?columnist=oneil_dana&id=6246779

Howard's workhorse mentality and leadership gives Butler the boost they need to win games

I like Butler making its second trip to the Final Four in two years because of the fact they have Matt Howard.  Howard isn’t the most versatile or flashy player in the game but he gets it done with hard work and hustle.  His energy and work ethic motivates his teammates to work hard and to get better.  They respond to his on and off court leadership. He also leads the team in points per game (16.7) and rebounds per game (7.8).  Howard’s hustle is also second to none.  He has one speed, GO (To quote the great Charlie Sheen) and he doesn’t stop til the game is over. You have to admire that from an athlete that is so gifted.  His hustle and toughness though have gotten him to trouble at times.  Last season he was known to get into foul trouble, this year he’s done better and seems to be playing under more control, which is good news for Bulldogs fans.

I also like Butler’s coach Brad Stevens.  Even though he’s a young coach he knows the game exceptionally well and relates to his players on a very personal level.  You can tell his players respect him and want to play for him.  He brings a sense of family to the program which has not only brought him closer to his players but the whole team and faculty closer together.  Another good thing about Stevens’ youth is that he brings a certain energy to the game that most coaches can only attempt to bring.  I also like his composure. His calm and collected attitude mixed with his passion and energy vibes perfectly with his team.

Shelvin Mack needs to continue his hot shooting to help Butler reach the Elite 8

Shelvin Mack, absolutely lit up the the first round.  In order for Butler to be successful the Bulldogs need more big games out of Mack.  Which I think he’ll have.  He was a part of the amazing run Butler had last year and knows what is needed of him to make the same type of run.  I’m not saying he needs to put up another 30 points but he needs to hit big 3’s with the shot clock winding down or hit open looks (I guess you could say that about any shooter).

I like this team a lot. I think their unselfishness on the offensive end will help them get good looks against the Badgers defense.  The Badgers will put up a great fight but Butler wins in a close game.  I also like Butler in the Elite 8, whether they play BYU or Florida. I like the way they match up against both teams and believe they’ll be successful and will see themselves in Houston!