NCAA men's basketball tournament: Tourney, from A-Z: Good week for Jesuits

2013-03-20T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:32:52Z NCAA men's basketball tournament: Tourney, from A-Z: Good week for JesuitsPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Meet our 2013 NCAA Transitive Tournament No. 1 seed: 3-27 Binghamton.

We do this every year, but the Bearcats might be our best champ using the "team-who-beats-a-team-who-beats-a-team" logic.

Binghamton, which lost 23 of its last 24 games, defeated St. Peter's College this year. St. Peter's topped the Siena Saints, who beat Marist in January.

Marist topped Columbia in November, the same month the Ivy League Lions beat Villanova. And Villanova upset Louisville, the NCAA tournament's future No. 1 seed, in January.

While your scoop your jaw off the floor, here's a look at the Big Dance, in convenient A-to-Z format:

A: Arrest! This might be a record - a few hours after James Madison earned its first NCAA tournament bid in 19 years, its leading scorer was arrested. Rayshawn Goins, who averages 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, was charged with obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct stemming from an incident at a party the night before. He was suspended for the first half of today's First Four game against LIU Brooklyn.

B: Big Five. Three of Philadelphia's "Big Five" schools made the Big Dance: Villanova, LaSalle and Temple.

C: Coach of the Year. Saint Louis coach Jim Crews should be the choice. He inherited the Billikens from coach Rick Majerus, and counseled his players after Majerus' death Dec. 1. He then led the team to a 27-6 record and an Atlantic 10 conference championship.

D: Demons. The tournament features both the Northwestern State Demons and Davidson forward De'Mon Brooks.

E: Eagles. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles of Fort Myers are this year's only first-time participant in the NCAA tournament. They won the Atlantic Sun tourney, earning the league's automatic bid.

F: Felines. Cats are the most popular nickname among tournament teams. There are four Wildcats (Arizona, Kansas State, Davidson and Villanova), three Tigers (Missouri, Memphis and Pacific), the Pitt Panthers, the Southern Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bearcats.

G: Gaels. There are two Gaels in the tournament: Iona and St. Mary's. Both are named after those of Irish ancestry. There's a link: Iona is named after the Congregation of Christian Brothers, known as the Irish Christian Brothers. St. Mary's is named after a separate order, known simply as the Christian Brothers.

H: Henderson, Marshall. Meet the tournament's most controversial player: Ole Miss star Marshall Henderson, who's as good as he is brash. When the Rebels defeated Florida in the SEC tournament title game Sunday, he did the school's "Gator Chomp" to taunt fans.

I: Intelligence. The graduation rate of NCAA tournament teams increased this year over last, from 67 percent to 70 percent, according to Richard Lapchick at Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. Six teams scored below the NCAA's 930 line, which could lead to future penalties: Southern, James Madison, Saint Louis, New Mexico State, Oregon and Oklahoma State.

J: Jesuits! It's been a great week for Jesuits. Society of Jesus schools are ranked high in the tournament - No. 1 seed Gonzaga, No., 2 Georgetown, No. 3 Marquette and No. 4 Saint Louis - and the religious order just landed its first pope, Francis.

K: Ken Pomeroy's odds. The stat guru behind KenPom.com makes Florida and Louisville the co-favorites, giving the Gators and Cardinals a 1-in-5 chance of winning the title. Indiana is third at 1-in-6, with Gonzaga fourth at 1-in-13. Pomeroy gave the Arizona Wildcats a 1-in-225 shot of winning the title, allowing them a 62.8 percent chance of winning Thursday and a 33.4 percent chance of winning two games. That's based on his log5 formula and each team's Pythagorean rating.

L: Lone Star shame. For the first time since 1977, no team from the state of Texas made the NCAA tournament.

M: MoMo Jones. The former Arizona guard finished third in the nation with 23 points per game, and has now reached the NCAA tournament for the second time in as many years at Iona.

N: Nate Silver, the pollster who correctly called Obama over Romney in the presidential election, has got Louisville with the best chance to win at 22.7 percent. Who's going to argue with that guy?

O: Offense wins championships. Maybe analyst and former UCLA great Bill Walton is right. The top six teams in points per game made the tournament, led by Northwestern State and its 81-point average. Only two of the top six defensive teams made the Big Dance. Northwestern State could be the most fun team in the country; per Pomeroy, the Devils play the fastest tempo in America.

P: Popular. Facebook listed the top five NCAA tournament teams based on mentions Sunday. According to Yahoo Sports, Duke won No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Florida, Miami and Louisville.

Q: Question: Which of the 68 schools has the coolest single alum? According to an SI.com story this week, it's Missouri's Brad Pitt, who, like your humble author, attended the School of Journalism at Mizzou.

R: Roy! North Carolina coach Roy Williams could face his former employer, Kansas, this weekend in Kansas City. Williams has already played KU twice since leaving the Jayhawks in 2003, and lost both times.

S: State nicknames. Five tournament teams share their nicknames with their official state nickname: the Indiana Hoosiers, the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Wisconsin Badgers.

T: Thrower. Davidson's Nik Cochran has missed only seven of his 119 free-throw attempts this season. His 94.1 percentage is the 11th-best in the nation dating to 1998.

U: The U. Miami might be the surprise of the season, and the Hurricanes are led by steady point guard Shane Larkin, whose father, Barry, is a baseball Hall of Famer who played shortstop for the Reds.

V: Roman numeral V. Oklahoma's Lon Kruger is leading his fifth different program to the NCAA tournament, an NCAA record. Kruger coached Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV to the Big Dance. This year's berth snapped a tie with seven other coaches, who had led four teams apiece to the NCAA tournament.

W: What a name. Jordair Jett, the Saint Louis guard who averages 9.3 points, has the best name in the tournament.

X: X-factor. Looking for an upset in one of the sport's most unpredictable years? Not so fast. In the last 24 tournaments, only one team seeded below No. 3 has won the national title - No. 4 seed Arizona in 1997.

Y: Yogi Ferrell of Indiana could face fellow guard Bubu Palo of Iowa State, but it wouldn't be until the title game. Bring your pic-a-nic baskets.

Z: Zips! Akron made the tournament for the second time in three years, led by star forward Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest Sports Video

More videos

Wildcats Show: ASU penalties in the Pac-12

Star sports reporter Jon Gold talks with editor Ryan Finley about why ASU has the lowest number of penaltie…


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...