Clearly it did not take Bruce Weber long to land back on his feet and hit the ground running.
There are 32 games on Thursday and Friday, one of the most exciting 48-hour segments on the sports calendar.
We won’t be able to get individual previews up for every game, but we’ll cherry pick some of the more compelling matchups during the tournament’s “second” round.
In this post, we preview the East Region’s 8-9 matchup in which the expressive Frank Martin and his Kansas State Wildcats go up against the underwhelming Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Now that I’ve profiled all 68 teams in the field and previewed each region, it’s time to go game-by-game and look at the matchups. I will also reveal my picks to win each game before posting my full predictions later this week.
Here’s a look at the first round matchups in the East region.
When Kansas State dispatched of Utah State last night, it set up a very intriguing Round of 32 matchup between the 5th seeded Wildcats and the 4th seed in the Southeast Region, the Wisconsin Badgers. The matchup is intriguing for a number of reasons, with one of the primary reasons being the two men patrolling the sidelines for each squad.
Bo Ryan (real name William Francis Ryan) and Frank Martin are both very, very good basketball coaches. They are not on the elite level of a Mike Krzyzewski or a Tom Izzo, but they are on that next level of coaches whose teams are virtual locks for 20 wins and an NCAA Tournament. What separates Martin and Ryan though, and makes them among the most entertaining coaches to watch, is their ridiculously expressive faces – especially when the expression is one of anger.
Earlier this morning I caught up with Martin and Ryan to discuss their impending matchup tomorrow. Despite their reputations, I did not expect things to so quickly devolve. I chronicled the interaction below in today’s photo story.
My good friends, you know me. I wear my emotions and my allegiances unabashedly on my sleeve.
If you follow MSF or if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I live and die (figuratively speaking…for the most part) by the success and failure of my Indiana Hoosiers. I grew up in an around Assembly Hall, I went to IU, I spoke passionately on the steps of the Hall to thousands of my peers the day Coach Knight got fired, and I will have cream and crimson running through my veins until the day I die.
So forgive me if I do not find it all that enjoyable to watch the Xavier Musketeers enjoy an NCAA Tournament run (next stop: Thursday night against Kansas State) while my Hoosiers wallow in the depths of 16 wins over two seasons.
Xavier’s backcourt of Terrell Holloway and Jordan Crawford, you might remember, should be showcasing their hardwood talents in Bloomington, not Cincinnati. At least, that was the plan under the Lying Snake Who Shall Not Be Named.
Then there were phone calls…and then there were rumors of marijuana use among many players…and then were F’s (and lots of them)…and then there were defections…and then there were releases granted from Letters of Intent…and then there was…
Oh to hell with it. F— you K.S. Yes, it’s two years later and I’m still bitter. F— you.
Let’s get on with the damn preview of two Sweet 16 teams not named Indiana.