March 27, 2010 |
With his team trailing Northern Iowa at halftime Friday night, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo took a moment in the locker room to critique a couple of players, including Raymar Morgan. When it comes to criticizing Morgan, Izzo usually is second in line. "It's not coaches getting on him," Izzo said. "It's Raymar getting on Raymar." Izzo describes Morgan as a "rock" and says he is indisputably the Spartans' most consistent player. That wasn't always a term that could be applied to Morgan, a 6-foot-8 senior forward.
March 26, 2010 |
Northern Iowa was embraced as the NCAA tournament's Cinderella after knocking out top-ranked Kansas. But it took just one look at Michigan State's bench to see which team was the real underdog. Spartans starting point guard Kalin Lucas wore his warmup clothes and a boot on his foot, using crutches to assist him on and off the court after tearing his Achilles' tendon in a second-round victory against Maryland. Michigan State also played with two banged up starters in Delvon Roe and Chris Allen.
March 25, 2010 |
Midwest Regional Baylor (27-7) vs. St. Mary's (28-5): Center Omar Samhan has dominated in St. Mary's two tournament victories, but he'll be facing a Baylor lineup that can include 7-foot Josh Lomers, 6-10 Ekpe Udoh and 6-10 Anthony Jones. St. Mary's has also received strong guard play from Mickey McConnell and Matt Dellavedova. Baylor's backcourt of Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn is a good one, too, though the Bears have nearly as many turnovers as assists. Duke (31-5)
March 25, 2010 |
Ohio State has the luxury — or the burden — of being the only clear-cut favorite left in the Midwest Regional. The teams seeded No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 are gone. "The team that survives is the team playing the best basketball," Ohio State guard Jon Diebler said. "There were some upsets in our bracket, but that's the tournament for you." The No. 2-seeded Buckeyes (29-7) face No. 6-seeded Tennessee (27-8) on Friday in a regional semifinal. The path was paved for the Buckeyes after top-seeded Kansas' surprising second-round loss to ninth-seeded Northern Iowa.
March 24, 2010
After leading Northern Iowa to the biggest win in school history, Coach Ben Jacobson is sticking with the Panthers. Northern Iowa and Jacobson have agreed to a new 10-year deal that includes a substantial pay raise, Athletic Director Troy Dannen announced Wednesday. The agreement will increase Jacobson's annual salary to $450,000 starting next season, with annual raises of $25,000 throughout the length of a deal that runs through 2020. Jacobson's old contract paid him $289,300 per year and ran through 2016.
March 23, 2010 |
Reporting from Cedar Falls, Iowa At the beginning of the season, as he has done every year at Northern Iowa, Coach Ben Jacobson hands his team a piece of paper and a pen, asks them to list their goals and leaves the room. The list this season's team came up with was lengthy. Jacobson makes a copy for each player who keeps it in his locker. "There's a lot of different things," senior guard Ali Farokhmanesh said. "We don't like to talk about it because it's the teams' goals."