first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Team: CaliforniaNickname: Golden BearsRecord: 20-11 (12-6)Conference: Pac-12Player to watch: Allen CrabbeSynopsis: The Golden Bears finished fourth in the Pac-12 this season with a 12-6 record in conference play. They came on strong toward the end of the year, winning seven of their final nine games, including upsets on the road at Arizona and Oregon. The Golden Bears fell to Utah in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.Allen Crabbe, a 6-foot-6 junior guard, is far and away the team’s best player. He averaged 18.7 points and six rebounds per game this season, while chipping in with more than one steal per game, as well. He topped 20 points 15 times this season.Justin Cobbs, another junior guard, was the only other player that averaged double figures this season. He scored 15.5 points per game while chipping in 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.What Boeheim said: “You look at the bracket and California is right there (near San Jose) and UNLV is close by, so it’s a tremendous challenge for us. We’re looking forward to the challenge.” Syracuse earned the No. 4 seed in the East Region for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Orange, fresh off of a run to the Big East championship game in New York City, will fly west to San Jose, Calif., and take on Montana, the No. 13 seed.From there, should SU advance out of the first round, the Orange will play the winner of No. 12-seed California and No. 5-seed UNLV.Two wins in San Jose would guarantee a trip back east to Washington, D.C., for the Sweet 16.So what’s Montana all about? Who should you watch for in California? Did you know there was a college in Las Vegas? Here’s a small breakdown of each of the teams involved that will get you ready for the upcoming tournament:Team: MontanaAdvertisementThis is placeholder textNickname: GrizzliesRecord: 25-6 (19-1)Conference: Big SkyPlayer to watch: Kareem JamarSynopsis: The Grizzlies won the Big Sky regular season and tournament title this season, dropping only one conference game all year. A trio of double-digit scorers, all of whom are 6 feet, 7 inches or shorter, leads Montana. Mathias Ward, the team’s leading scorer, averaged 14.8 points per game, but he’s out for the remainder of the season following foot surgery. Kareem Jamar, a 6-foot-5 swingman, is its most productive player. Jamar averaged 14.5 points and 6 rebounds per game this season.Montana enters the NCAA Tournament riding a six-game winning streak. The matchup with Syracuse will be the Grizzlies’ first against a ranked team this season. They lost to Colorado State, South Dakota State and Davidson, all teams in this year’s tournament field.What Jim Boeheim said: “We know that Montana is a very good team. We’re in the process of finding out some more about them. We’ll see tapes on them certainly by tomorrow. But they’ve challenged themselves. They played a good schedule. They’re a good basketball team.” Related Stories Syracuse draws No. 4 seed facing No. 13-seed Montana in East regioncenter_img Published on March 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm Team: UNLVNickname: Runnin’ RebelsRecord: 25-9 (10-6)Conference: Mountain WestPlayer to watch: Anthony BennettSynopsis: The Runnin’ Rebels began their season on a tear, winning 11 of 12 games to begin the year. One of those wins was a victory over California, the team it will play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.After a brief stretch of so-so play in the middle of the Mountain West schedule, UNLV finished strong by winning eight of its last 11 games. The Rebels notched victories over New Mexico, San Diego State, Colorado State (twice) and Boise State during that stretch, all of which made the NCAA Tournament.Anthony Bennett, a projected lottery pick, is the best player for the Rebels this season. Though just a freshman, Bennett earned all-Mountain West, first team honors after a season in which he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.In addition to Bennett, the Rebels have three other double-digit scorers.What Boeheim said: “If you can survive a game, you’re going to play a team with a home-court advantage for sure. Whether it’s Cal or UNLV, they’ll have a lot of people there. That’s part of the NCAA Tournament. That’s what happens. We’ve done that many times, and you just have to be prepared for that.—Compiled by Michael Cohen, staff writer, [email protected] Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *