Observations: North Carolina’s frontline looming for Indiana’s Bryant

Thomas Bryant was the difference in the second half when Indiana beat Kentucky last Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 and the 6-foot-10 freshman will need to again produce at a high level for the Hoosiers against North Carolina.

Fresh off a 19-point, five-rebound performance against the Wildcats, Bryant will have his work cut out for him against the Tar Heels’ interior quartet of Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, and Joel James.

This kid did yeoman’s work against Kentucky, but it’s important to remember that the Wildcats don’t boast the same type of front court prowess they’ve possessed in recent years.

Bryant will have the answer the bell in the paint if Indiana is to have a chance to advance to its first Elite Eight since 2002.

Life has come full circle for Mark Turgeon

This is straight out of a movie.

Maryland is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003 and its opponent is Turgeon’s alma mater: Kansas.

The showdown between the Terps and the Jayhawks will be appointment television for the college basketball junkie, but it’s also probably going to be pure agony for Turgeon.

The 51-year old head coach played for Kansas between 1983-87 and was an assistant from 1987-92.

Turgeon was on the bench when Danny Manning led the Jayhawks to the national title in 1988 and he’ll be on the bench on Thursday when Maryland tries to dethrone the hottest team in college basketball.

Sounds like something that would be written in Hollywood, right?

Wisconsin needs Nigel Hayes back on track offensively

It’s amazing that the Badgers have been able to win two NCAA Tournament games with Hayes playing so poorly on one side of the floor.

The 6-8 forward is a combined 5-of-27 from the field and 0-of-11 from 3-point range in Wisconsin’s two wins over both Pitt and Xavier all while averaging just 9.0 points and 6.5 rebounds during that span.

Greg Gard’s team needs Hayes to regain his vintage form later this week in Philadelphia when the Badgers trade blows with Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.

The versatile junior is 11-2 in NCAA Tournament games during his three years in Madison.

Pitt may have to lower its standards to find a new head coach

Sean Miller sent a strong message on Tuesday when he tweeted that he has no interest in leaving Arizona and returning to his alma mater.

It also signaled that the Panthers’ administration may have to be a little more realistic in their potential targets to replace Jamie Dixon.

Sean Miller said no. Dayton’s Archie Miller will also likely say no, sources told CBS Sports.

Ben Howland?

He’s got a top-five recruiting class at Mississippi State coming in and it’s a lot easier to navigate the SEC than the ACC in a rebuilding situation.

If those three guys are off the board, then where does Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes turn?

This isn’t going to be as easy of a process as some may have thought.

May 25 will be an important day in the college basketball world

That day is the deadline for players to withdraw from the NBA Draft after they went through the combine and workout process without retaining the services of an agent.

The new rules regarding this process are extremely beneficial for the players to see where they stand, but it’s also going to be an absolute nuisance for programs who have guys on the fence.

If you’re a coach who has a player who may or may not return following the combine, you’re going to have your hands tied in recruiting.

Most coaches who know they’re going to lose a player to the draft will recruit to fill a scholarship as soon as they know a kid won’t return to campus.

That’s not the case anymore.

Now coaches are going to have to hold a scholarship available in the event a borderline draft pick decides to return to school if he doesn’t like his expected draft status.

That’s a stressful situation for anyone with a player in that type of predicament.

Thomas Bryant is set to tangle with North Carolina's potent frontcourt. (USATSI)
Thomas Bryant is set to tangle with North Carolina’s potent frontcourt. (USATSI)

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