As we wait (not so patiently) for Friday, bits and pieces of news float out of campus to keep us entertained as we fill out our brackets.
First, seldom used Wannah Bail is out for the first weekend after having surgery (h/t to Bruinette88) to remove torn cartilage in his knee. This won't be a huge problem for us unless the refs are worse than SPTRs and everyone is in foul trouble. His return for the rest of the tournament is questionable, which won't be a problem if we flame out in the Steve-16.
Speaking of flaming out early in tournaments, the OC Register put up a piece discussing UCLA's early exit from the tournament last year and also Alford's fantastic record in the tournament.
Alford, meanwhile, has yet to advance any of his teams past the Sweet 16, and only once has he reached that plateau as a coach, with Southwest Missouri State in 1999. Plenty of his teams since then have had the look of a March contender but, for one reason or another, underperformed in the postseason.
UCLA looks good going into the tournament, and this team has fantastic talent. Let's see if the Bruins can meet expectations or if the coach with the horrible tournament record will hold them back. Kartje threw in this nugget at the end:
But for a team that hasn’t won more than four games in a row since December and a coach that hasn’t won two consecutive NCAA Tournament games since 1999, momentum can indeed be a fickle thing.
There's a first time for everything. This would be the right time of year to go on that win streak.
However, CBS Sports ranked Alford as the #5 coach in the tournament this year - solely based on his playing career. #1? Tulsa coach Danny Manning. (Johnny Dawkins is #2. Stanford, keep Dawkins forever.) Bruins should root on #68 Marvin Menzies, New Mexico State Coach, as he is a Bruin - even if he never played college or even high school basketball. He earned a degree in Econ at UCLA.
Kyle Anderson made a name for himself over the weekend at the Pac-12 tournament, and caught the eyes of the national media who had dismissed him for so long, not believing in a 6'9" point guard. Grantland featured Anderson on their site yesterday, finally highlighting what we've had a chance to enjoy this season.
So Why Should You Know Him? Look. We have plenty of freak athletes. They are everywhere. Everyone can jump, everyone’s quick, everyone’s fast. It’s a lot more shocking to watch someone who does none of those things but dominates games anyway. This is why Anderson’s more fun to watch than anyone in college.
Kyle practically has his own commercial halfway started. "They said I was too slow..." Hopefully Kyle has a great tournament. And if the other team focuses on Kyle, then hopefully the Jordan Adams show will take over.