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Notes, Quotes From The NCAA Tournament in K.C.
March 21, 2013
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

* The NCAA Tournament at the Sprint Center in Kansas City features radio analysts who can post up anyone. Eric Montross, a 7-footer who started at center for North Carolina’s 1993 national championship team, is the radio analyst for Tar Heels games. Will Perdue, 7-1, played for Vanderbilt and the Chicago Bulls, is here to work as analyst on the Sirius/XM Radio Network. Perdue was at the Sprint Center working for Sirius/XM at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Championship last week.

* Kansas State senior Martavious Irving and LaSalle junior Sam Mills were teammates in the 2007-08 season at Boyd Anderson High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., during the 2007-2008 school year. Mills then transferred to another high school but the two are still close. “I’m with Sam every time we have a break and I go home,” Irving told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “Most of the time I’m working out with Sam, playing with Sam. This past summer break I was at his house with his family.”

* Kansas State junior guard Will Spradling is from nearby Overland Park, Kans., but he won’t have his parents in the stands at the Sprint Center. His parents are with his sister on her senior spring break in Cancun, Mexico.

* Kansas City is famous for its barbecue but there are some folks in town who will be hungry for Philly cheesesteaks. This regional has brought two Philadelphia schools to the Midwest. Villanova is playing North Carolina and LaSalle won a first-round game and will play Kansas State. The two schools are part of the “Big Five” that includes Temple, Penn and St. Joseph’s. “In Philadelphia, we take great pride in Philadelphia basketball,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “We really believe if the Big Five schools are doing well, kids in Philadelphia are going to stay home to play there, games are going to be important and Philadelphia basketball is going to be important.”

* The last time Kansas State played an NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City was 1964 when the Wildcats were in the Final Four and playing at Municipal Auditorium.

* Last year, Western Kentucky lost to eventual national champion Kentucky. This year, the Hilltoppers face top-seeded Kansas, which lost to Kentucky in the national title game. WKU guard T.J. Price says he and his teammates are confident. “(Last year) we came out playing hard, didn't worry about what everybody else was saying,” he said Thursday.  “I feel like we are coming to this game knowing that we can beat Kansas, not just compete with them or be happy to be in the NCAA tournament.  It's different from last year.  We won the play‑in game and happy we made it.  This year we want to (advance) instead of just being glad to be here.”


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