March 15, 2006
College Coaches Sound Off on Sprint Insider's Bracket
Editor's Note - Sprint will distribute a daily quote sheet from the news desk of the Sprint Tournament Center with host Bonnie Bernstein, beginning with the first round of games in the college basketball tournament on March 16. Attribute quotes to Sprint Tournament Center.
CHICAGO — 03/15/2006
On March 13 in the Sprint Insider's Bracket, Sprint (NYSE: S) asked some of the country's top college basketball coaches to assess the first round matchups for the upcoming college basketball tournament and then assign an "Upset Factor" to one particular game. The "Upset Factor" is on a scale of zero to 10 (zero being very unlikely, ten being very likely) that the lower-seeded team will beat the higher seeded team.
The following quotes were pulled from those interviews; please attribute these quotes to the Sprint Insider's Bracket:
Gonzaga Coach Mark Few about the Minneapolis Region
(3) Florida vs. (14) South Alabama
"The interesting thing with this match up is John Pelphrey, the head coach of South Alabama, was Billy Donovan's top assistant for several years, so he will know exactly what works for Florida, but more importantly, what doesn't work for Florida and try to exploit that."
(4) Boston College vs. (13) Pacific
"Boston College is one of my favorite teams in this entire [Minneapolis] bracket, and I'm glad they're not sitting in our bracket because they are the epitome of toughness - they have the junkyard dog mentality. They get after you on offense, they get after you on defense, they get after you on the glass."
UCLA Coach Ben Howland about the Atlanta Regional
(3) Iowa vs. (14) Northwestern St.
"Northwestern St. is a team I was excited that we did not get in this tournament. They are a 14 seed out of the Southland Conference………This is a very very good team and a team that no one wants to play as a higher seed in this NCAA Tournament. When you look at the upset factor, I'd say it's about a 5."
(4) LSU vs. (13) Iona
"LSU might be the most talented team in this entire field of 65."
Memphis Coach John Calipari about the Washington DC Regional
(1) Connecticut vs. (16) Albany
Referring to Connecticut, Coach Calipari says "Their starting lineup, they may all be in the NBA someday."
(5) Washington vs. (12) Utah State
"The problem that Utah State has, is Washington has Brandon Roy – he's one of the best players in the country, if not THE best player in the country."
(6) Michigan State vs. (11) George Mason
Coach Calipari referring to the "Upset Factor" for George Mason against Michigan State: "On a scale of zero to ten, and I love George Mason, it's going to be a zero, because it's just hard to play a tournament-style team that Michigan State is."
Connecticut Coach Jim Calhoun about the Oakland Regional
(8) Arkansas vs. (9) Bucknell
"As far as Bucknell, they have every single component you can possibly imagine. Experience beating Kansas in the NCAA Tournament last year, 14-0 in the Patriot League this year. This Bucknell team is for real, beat Syracuse at Syracuse. In the upset factor, if Bucknell's a nine (seed) I'm giving it an eight (upset factor).
About the Sprint Insider's Bracket
In the Sprint Insider's Bracket, college basketball's top coaches break down all first-round 32 tournament pairings for one-minute previews of each game. These exclusive vignettes, grouped by region, will help Sprint customers make better-informed tournament bracket predictions. These segments and more are available via Java-capable Sprint wireless phones, accessible by texting the word "HOOPS" to 7777, or by launching the wireless web and accessing "College Hoops" in the Sports category.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.