By Gabby Watson, producer of March To Madness
T.J. Simers, Los Angeles Times: Ben Howland answers one columnist's tough questions about actually winning a title this year, then manages to quiet him with one tricky tactic: a sandwich.
Terry Bannon, Chicago Tribune: The fast-rising Illini have found their glue guy in Chester Frazier, a senior point guard who has garnered appreciation – and cookies – from his teammates.
Dave Hickman, Charleston Gazette: West Virginia may not have the talent of other teams in the Big East, but with some ingenuity and a lot of hard work they may have a shot at being one of the top teams in the country. "I told this bunch the very first day: We can win. We're going to win," WVU coach Bob Huggins said. "But we can't not do things right. And when we haven't done things right, it's gotten us."
Jon Johnson, Dothan Eagle: Jim Farmer, longtime friend and supporter of now former Alabama coach Mark Gottfried after finding out he was fired tipped his hat towards Crimson Tide assistant Philip Pearson being the next coach. "I'm a good friend with Philip and I think he's a great coach," Farmer said. "I don't know if Alabama will consider him or not, but I would like to see that."
Will Hanlon, Flyer News: The Dayton Flyers chalk up their win against St. Bonaventure to the throwback jerseys they were wearing. "We have to wear these jerseys with pride," Chris Wright said. "[Coach Brian Gregory] told us before that when we step on the floor if we weren't wearing these jerseys with pride then there's going to be problems."
Jeff Rice, Centre Daily Times: There is some real excitement about Penn State this season, but coach Ed DeChellis is cautioning that they need to win some away games first. "We know that we've won some games, but we haven't done anything yet, really," DeChellis said Monday. "Our goal is to get to the NCAA tournament, and we've got a heck of an end of January and early February coming up here."
Michael DiRocco, St. Augustine Record: Florida forward Dan Werner said he has been playing with a fractured middle finger ever since the win against to Ole Miss. This might be contributing to the erratic play of the Gators and has him concerned that they may be repeating the history of last year. "I'm kind of scared we're kind of following the same road," Werner said. "You don't want that to happen."