Here’s today’s installment of “The Breakfast Buffet”, the morning column on everything that’s happened from the day/night before and everything that’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.
Things To Sample
Texas needs to start being talked about as a legitimate national title contender
The narrative all season long in Austin has been whether or not Rodney Terry could eventually become the Longhorns’ permanent head coach. The narrative now needs to shift to the fact that Texas is more than capable of advancing to the Final Four and competing for a national title. The Longhorns won a Big 12 Tournament title for only the second time in program history on Saturday and are set to be at least a two seed in the NCAA Tournament, which will be their highest seed in the event since 2008. That’s all a credit to Terry, who is now 15-6 against Big 12 opponents this season. If he doesn’t land the permanent gig with Texas, he’ll land a power conference job somewhere next season.
Tyler Kolek is primed to be a star in the NCAA Tournament
Prior to the season, I felt that if Kolek — the Big East Player of the Year — played at Villanova instead of Marquette, he’d regularly be compared to guys like Ryan Arcidiacono and Collin Gillespie. Since then, he’s led the Golden Eagles to the Big East regular season title and the Big East Tournament title. In three games this past week at Madison Square Garden, the crafty lefty averaged 18.6 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. The best point guard in the sport, the 6-3 Kolek has the swagger, basketball IQ, and likability to become an absolute star over the next three weeks on college basketball’s biggest stage.
Micah Shrewsberry worked for Matt Painter on two separate occasions in West Lafayette before being hired in 2021 to run his own program in State College. Today, the two will go head-to-head for a Big Ten Tournament title in Chicago (3:30 PM ET, CBS). The task is a tall one — literally — for the Nittany Lions. Penn State lost both regular season meetings to the Boilers and had no answer for Zach Edey in the middle. The 7-4 center is averaging 24 points and 13 rebounds this season in two games against the Nittany Lions.
A high seed is going be staring at Rick Pitino and Iona in the Round of 64
That’s not an advantageous situation. It’s been well documented that Pitino is firmly in line to return to power conference college basketball whenever Iona is done playing, but before then he’s going to try and take the Gaels as far as they can go. Iona won the MAAC Tournament for the second time in three seasons on Saturday night in Atlantic City with a win over Marist. The Gaels are projected to be a 13 or 14 seed, which means they’ll play either a three or four seed in the Round of 64.
A full circle moment for Dusty May and Joe Pasternack
Over 25 years ago, both of these talented coaches were student managers for Bob Knight at Indiana. On Saturday, both clinched automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament as May led Florida Atlantic to the Conference-USA Tournament title while Pasternack did the same thing for UC Santa Barbara in the Big West. Somewhere, “The General” is smiling.
- The Breakfast Buffet: UConn’s dominance, Andre Jackson, Florida Atlantic’s path is similar to Loyola Chicago in 2018
- The Breakfast Buffet: Things come full circle for Gonzaga and UConn, Kansas State, Rodney Terry
- The Breakfast Buffet: Markquis Nowell, UCLA will always be left wondering what could have been, FAU
- The Breakfast Buffet: Rick Barnes’ best chance to return to the Final Four, Adama Sanogo, Gonzaga/UCLA
- The Breakfast Buffet: Tobin Anderson, the Big East’s roster of head coaches is elite, Bobby Hurley