In The Paint

SI.com's All-American Hoops Blog

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By Gabby Watson, producer of March to Madness

Paul Kenyon, Providence Journal:  Even though fans are doing it, Rhode Island guard Jimmy Baron refuses to take the bait about a possible at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.  "At large to what? I don't know what you're talking about," Baron responded with a straight face. "I have no idea what that is."

Craig Stouffer, Washington Examiner:  Georgetown is anxious to redeem themselves in the Big East tournament after dropping 9 out of 11 games.  "Is this frustrating? Absolutely," said Hoyas head coach John Thompson III. "But we have a chance to grow. We have a chance to improve, and we get to go to New York and play."

Andrew Struckmeyer, North by Northwestern:  Some would say that only having 10 wins in your conference is not a success.  But not Northwestern, especially when you compare it to last season's 1-17 meltdown.

Jack Ireland, The News Journal:  In another example of the current economic situation, Division II Wilmington University coach Kevin Welch had to quit because he just couldn't work a full time job and coach.  "Economically and time-wise, it was a tough situation for me to handle with a full-time job and being able to spend time with my wife and family," he said.

Frank Burlison, Long Beach Press-Telegram:
  Long Beach State controls their own destiny to get into the NIT or NCAA; as long as they win their final four games.  "Sure, if someone had told me (before the start of the season) that this is where we could be (today), I would have said 'We'll take it,'" LBSU Coach Dan Monson said.

Jennifer Starks, San Jose Mercury News It doesn't matter if Patty Mills comes back or not, the Saint Mary Gaels have got to start winning.  "These are two must-win games," junior guard Wayne Hunter said. "Everybody knows we need these two games. I still think (the NCAA Tournament selection committee) doesn't have faith in us or believe in us."

Dick Heller, Washington Times:  When Maryland coach Gary Williams was asked about the possibility of getting into the NCAA tournament he just shook his head slightly.  "We don't have enough wins yet," the Maryland basketball coach replied. "We need to get a couple more. But the way we're playing, we're good enough [to crash the Big Dance]."


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