March Madness visits Austin this year, and staff writer Kevin Lyttle offers a weekly package of information on men’s basketball teams and players you might see here.
Format: Eight teams will be assigned to Austin for second- and third-round NCAA tournament games. There will be four games March 22 and two games March 24.
Tickets: $180-$225 for an all-sessions ticket. Check ncaa.com or call (866) 208-0048. There are three sessions, each consisting of a doubleheader.
Update: The best available seats entering the weekend were in sections 85-89 and 67-70, rows 14 or 15. Those are in the upper mezzanine, behind the baskets.
While the brand of ball is no longer known as “Hoya Paranoia,” No. 7 Georgetown is rapidly rising the charts. And versatile sophomore forward Otto Porter (16.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) has entered the top 10 of NBA mock drafts. “Otto Porter is every day. He’s steady,” coach John Thompson III said. The Hoyas are one of just four schools to crack the top 10 in each of the past seven seasons.
SAINTS MARCHING IN
No. 18 Saint Louis has knocked off 10 in a row, is 4-1 vs. the Top 25 and has made a full recovery from a slow start after legendary coach Rick Majerus died in December. Interim coach Jim Crew (376-353) is a 25-year veteran pulled out of semi-retirement. The Billikens have eight juniors or seniors, topped by forward Dwayne Evans, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding.
SMALL BALL WINS
North Carolina, which started horribly this year (even getting blown out by Texas), has won four in a row and locked up its ninth straight 20-win season, thanks to a new four-guard lineup. The Tar Heels sacrificed rebounding for speed and athleticism.
Louisiana Tech (25-3, 15-0 WAC) is ranked for the first time since 1984-85, when Karl Malone delivered the mail. The Bulldogs, fifth in the nation in turnover margin, have won 17 in a row by applying intense, wire-to-wire, full-court pressure. Their last NCAA trip was 1991.
DID YOU KNOW?
North Carolina is 56-0 at home against Clemson.
4 Lonely number of teams averaging 80 or more points: Northwestern State 83.7; Indiana 82.2; Iona 80.9; Iowa State 80.1.
How teams that lost 3 times while No. 1 have fared:
Duke 2001-02 Sweet 16
Arizona 2002-03 Elite 8
Duke 2005-06 Sweet 16
Kansas 2009-10 Rnd of 32
Indiana 2012-13 ???
March 12-17: Big 12, major conference tournaments
March 17: Selection Sunday
March 19-20: First Four games, Dayton, Ohio
March 21-24: NCAA second-and third-round games at eight sites, including Austin
March 28-31: Sweet 16 (four sites include Arlington)
April 6, 8: Final Four, Atlanta