The Herald-Leader has some solid quotes from yesterday's presser in Chip Cosby's "Pitino says he can 'smell' Final Four" story.
"The first two games, there is pressure," Pitino said. "You have four games to play before you get to the Final Four. Now, you're a weekend away from the Final Four. You can touch it. You can smell it."
"He's been in this position so much that nothing's new to him," senior guard Andre McGee said. "Times have changed, and decades have passed, but he's still running the same plays and playing the same style of ball. We trust in him that, at the end of the game, what he tells us is going to work."
"When you went in the locker room, you didn't see a lot of celebration," Pitino said. "That didn't mean they weren't happy. It was just that, mentally, they were beat and needed a day off. You had to fight your brains out mentally, playing in this conference, doing what we accomplished. Let's get home and have a day off."
"You'd think you're watching us, the way they play," Pitino said. "They press the same way. They play zone with a half-court trap the way we run it. They cause turnovers and try and create havoc the way we do. It's kind of eerie watching how similar they are."
The C-J has the full video of the press conference somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. Feel free to look around.
Eight wins and zero losses? Wow, that's good. That's really good. That's like 95% or something good.
Crawford dives even further into Pitino's third round dominance:
His teams have won in this round by an average of 21 points. Compare that with his second-round games in those same seasons, against presumably weaker teams, where his average victory margin was 16.4 points -- including an overtime with Austin Peay in 1987, an eight-point shootout over Iowa State in 1992 and a six-point win over Iowa on the way to the title game in 1997.
More than that, his teams usually have jumped to big leads from the opening tip in this round. In 1993 his Wildcats grabbed a 20-4 lead on Wake Forest. They led No. 10-ranked Utah by 22 at halftime in 1996.
We should probably hold onto this guy.
There are around seven thousand stories about how Arizona is an unlikely Cinderella floating around right now. This is one of them.
The Sporting News offers three reasons why both Louisville and Arizona will be victorious on Friday night. Here are two of them:
2. Press for success. The beauty of the Louisville fullcourt press is the Cardinals don't rely on it to generate offense. In a championship setting, expecting opponents to be unskilled or prone to panic is betting against the odds. Teams are here because they're good. Pitino's press is not meant to destabilize opponents but to exhaust them. It'll lead to turnovers and baskets occasionally, but the main purpose is to wear down opponents so the Cards can rule the second half. Against Arizona's three-man gang, that should work well.
1. Talent. Hard as it may be to believe, Arizona will take the floor with three players -- center Jordan Hill, forward Chase Budinger and point guard Nic Wise -- whose ability matches or exceeds the Cardinals' three best. If this were the Gus Macker tournament, Arizona might be the higher seed. The trick for the Wildcats is maximizing the impact of these three players and limiting whoever joins them on the court in having to make crucial decisions.
North Carolina remains Vegas' favorite to capture the national title, currently sitting pretty with sparking odds of 2-1. U of L is the second choice at 7-2, down from 9-2 before the tournament began.
Terrence Williams and Chase Budinger are two of the NBA prospects who stand to benefit the most from their teams continuing to advance in the NCAA Tournament.
2. Terrence Williams, SG, Louisville.
Projected pick range: 18-28
Williams is a senior with a reputation among scouts as more of an athlete than a basketball player, but the deeper he carries his team into the tournament, the more personnel-types will become interested in his athleticism. His 24-point, 15-rebound performance against Siena was one of the best of any player in the tournament, and he's shot 7-for-13 on 3s.
Shooting guard? I'm guessing that's their prediction on his position at the next level.
I meant to post this after the Morehead game. It's the amazing Obamicon that GatorCard created.
The Chicago Tribune likes every Big East team outside of Syracuse to advance to the Elite Eight.
CardsFan922 linked a great story on Peyton Siva in the FanShots section.
And finally, with the next tip still more than 48 hours away, you really can't watch enough highlight videos.