Wednesday, February 10, 2016

More Features

Forde: Worth the weight
After numerous near-misses, can Roy Williams finally shed his big-game demons?

Katz: Status check
Illinois already is one of college basketball's most successful programs. A title will make it one of the elite.

Katz: Senior moments
Despite struggling in the semifinal loss, Michigan State's seniors can go home proud.

Katz: Behind the coaches
Each of the Final Four coaches has accomplished plenty without considering this year's title.

Vitale: Illini, Tar Heels earn shot at title
After Final Four wins by Illinois and North Carolina, get ready for a classic national championship game.

Forde: The pup
A lifetime of chasing a passion is culminating in St. Louis for Final Four newbie Bruce Weber.

Gottlieb: Missing the point
These weren't supposed to be the PG matchups, but they aren't the mismatches they seem on paper.

Vitale: Diaper dandies in Final Four
Freshmen have been vital in the Final Four before, and I expect diaper dandies to have an impact in St. Louis.

Katz: Bird's eye view
Steve Alford has a unique perspective on the Final Four – he's played all of them.

Katz: Big deals
What's most notable about Tar Heels-Spartans? Both teams actually have a post player.

Forde: Final Forde Minutes
After the elitest of Elite Eights, how can the Final Four actually live up to the hype?

Vitale: Carolina tradition looms large
In Roy Williams' second season at the helm, North Carolina's storied ship is back on course.

Vitale: NBA trend makes guards vital
Many big men are jumping from high school to the NBA today, so guards are more important at tourney time.

Forde: A burden lifted
The postgame celebration spoke volumes about how hard the last few years have been for Carolina.

Katz: Weekend for the ages
An amazing Elite Eight topped off a riveting first two weekends. Can we trump it in St. Louis?

Katz: Cardinals light defensive fire
With West Virginia torching the nets, Rick Pitino and Louisville made a critical move to rally back: they abandoned their vaunted zone.

Forde: Night and Day
If contrasting styles make for compelling games, Carolina-Wisconsin should be a thriller.

Wojciechowski: Digging deep
After a comeback for the ages, a postgame T-shirt said it all. Illinois just had "the will to win."

Vitale: UNC a sum of its parts
Roy Williams' quest for his first title continues, thanks to a talented group of Tar Heels who put the team first.

Vitale: Izzo in fourth Final Four
Tom Izzo is in his fourth Final Four with Michigan State in his eighth NCAA trip. Welcome back, Tom!

Vitale: Bravo to Louisville and WVU
Give credit to both Louisville and West Virginia for an exquisite regional-final game that sent the Cards to the Final Four.

Vitale: Foye leads PTPers
Despite losing, Randy Foye was among Friday's top performers.

Katz: Climbing the mountain
The Mountaineers are undoubtedly taking the loss against Louisville hard. But they'll emerge as one of the favorites in the Big East next season.

Fraschilla: MSU-Kentucky breakdownInsider
Michigan State-Kentucky could very well be decided by the point guards.

Vitale: Williams leads PTPers
Deron Williams edges out some tough competition to lead Thursday's top performers.

Shelman: Salim's dreams
Thursday's game-winner meant little to Salim Stoudamire. The Final Four's the real goal.

Vitale: Pitino on verge of history
Rick Pitino has moved one step closer to an NCAA first – bringing his third different program to the Final Four.

Vitale: Sweet 16 previews
Let's break down all the Sweet 16 matchups – get ready for excitement galore, baby!

Katz: Louisville in a zone
Adding the 2-3 zone to his team's repertoire wasn't in Rick Pitino's plans. Now, it's a defensive staple.

Lunardi: Sweet thoughtsInsider
From double trouble to No. 1 seeds, our Bracketologist breaks down the Sweet 16.

Katz: Knight shift
Bob Knight didn't have a star to rely on, so instead he changed his own approach.

Katz: Fatal flaws
If any of the non-1s want to advance to St. Louis, they'll need to overcome these flaws.

Vitale: Parity party in tourney
With more prep stars going to the NBA (instead of big-name colleges), mid-majors have a greater chance at tourney upsets.

Wojnarowski: Anything but a beeline
Perhaps more than any other coach left, John Beilein has earned his way to the Sweet 16.

Katz: No quit pro quo
Mike Gansey never quit against Wake Forest. You'd never know he was one of the Bonnies who did.

Forde: Bad seed
Louisville's response to an apparent seeding snub? A 22-point rout of last year's finalists.

Forde: Not-so-sweet scenarios
You can bet those with NCAA interest are not rooting for these things to happen.

Forde: Fresh faces
The title hopes of Kentucky very well could rest on freshmen Rajon Rondo and Randolph Morris.

Katz: Sweet stories
Yeah, it's Bruce Pearl's Sweet 16 show. But there's some other stuff happening, too.

Katz: Turning points
Each of the Sweet 16 teams had a pivotal moment this season that propelled it to this point.

Vitale: All-Into-the-Sweet-16 Team
Andrew Bogut, Bruce Pearl and Marvin Williams are just three guys who deserve Sweet 16 kudos.

Katz: Leader of the pack
Julius Hodge didn't get the pub this season, but he's still really, really good.

Vitale: Sendek gets it done
While Herb Sendek gets undeserved criticism, NC State's win over UConn shows just how good a coach he is.

Katz: Flavor of the night
How do you top having an ice cream named after you? Beat Syracuse to extend your career.

Vitale: McFarlin, Fraser lead PTPers
Jason Fraser and Ivan McFarlin lead Sunday's top NCAA tourney performers.

Vitale: Knight back in Sweet 16
Texas Tech coach Bob Knight is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since '94 (when he led Indiana).

Vitale: Pac-10 flavor for PTPers
Pac-10 gunslingers Nate Robinson and Salim Stoudamire lead Saturday's top performers.

All-Access: Dogged determination
Since the Huskies got a No. 1 seed, ESPN has been with them any time they're doing something and we have cameras in hand.

Vitale: Sweet emotion for Vermont
How shocked can people be with Vermont's upset of Syracuse when you consider its close loss at Kansas in November?

Vitale: Mopa Njila leads PTPers
Vermont's Germain Mopa Njila leads my PTPers from Day 2 of the Big Dance.

Forde: The rivalry that isn't
Kentucky and Cincinnati haven't played each other in basketball for 15 years, but The Rivalry That Isn't doesn't need actual games to keep it alive.

Vitale: Morrison, Ross lead PTPers
Gonzaga's Adam Morrison and Texas Tech's Ronald Ross lead my PTPers from Day 1 of the Big Dance.

Vitale: Wisconsin-Milwaukee upsets 'Bama
No. 12-seed Wisconsin-Milwaukee upset No. 5-seed Alabama behind the strong play of Joah Tucker and Ed McCants.

Vitale: Illinois eyes ride to Final Four
Don't say the Illini had a disappointing season if they get upset in the tourney. Are you kidding?

Lunardi: How it will go downInsider
Three weeks, 63 games. Here's how it will play out, with Carolina taking the crown. experts: Final Four picks
Our experts select their first-round upsets, Final Fours and national champs.

Katz: Pick 'em
Looking for a better bracket method than toughest mascot? We have some advice.

Caple: Fountain of youth
It's Day 1 of Jim Caple's March Madness tour and he already feels 20 years younger. Good, he's going to need that.

Vitale: Pitino, Cards on a mission
Louisville had a final ranking of No. 4 ... and got a No. 4 seed. Yes, Rick Pitino is on a mission.

Rovell: Hedging the bet
Rick Neuheisel's recent $4.5 million payday aside, the issue of betting in NCAA Tournament pools is anything but settled.

Keown: When I'm 64
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when you've read Tim Keown's 64 March Madness observations.

Vitale: Surprises, snubs launch tourney
The brackets have been unveiled, and I identify my snubs, surprises, sleepers, Final Four picks and more.

Vitale: Travis Ford faces alma mater UK
Eastern Kentucky coach Travis Ford faces his alma mater, Kentucky, in the first round (plus more tidbits).

Vitale: Special Dance stories galore
Great Dance stories abound, such as Niagara delivering a Dance bid to the coach's cancer-stricken mom.

Katz: Wake will win
Chris Paul's suspension and a seeding slight will propel Wake Forest to the national title.

Wake won't win
Illinois and UNC are too obvious. Here are five other teams that could prove Andy Katz wrong. Expert bracket quick takes
ESPN college basketball analysts give their takes on potential first-round nailbiters and upsets.

Bayless: No more madness
With the one-and-done format and a bevy of undeserving teams, Skip Bayless isn't quite ready for the tournament.

NCAA Tourney snubs
Which teams have the biggest beef about being left out of the NCAA Tournament?

Previous NCAA national champions
Every national champion from Oregon in 1939 through UConn in 2004.

Forde Minutes: Big Dance edition
Forde Minutes: Big Dance edition

Vitale: Committee concerns
As the tourney selection committee mulls at-large bids, I've identified five areas of concern – from the new RPI to the pod system.

Vitale: VBDI's 65-team field
The Vitale Bald Dome Index (VBDI) has looked ahead to Selection Sunday, and here is my 65-team NCAA Tournament field.

Newseum: Today's Front Pages
See how newspapers from around the nation covered the tourney on their front pages.



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