Kyle O'Quinn has long been a known commodity in the afterthought of a conference in which he plays. Now everybody seems to know his name...
Kyle O’Quinn has long been a known commodity in the afterthought of a conference in which he plays.
Now everybody seems to know his name.
The gregarious 6-foot-10, 240-pound center is the face of 15th-seeded Norfolk State, the lovable little engine of a team that shocked second-seeded Missouri on Friday.
The Spartans have captured the imagination of the nation, and everyone wants to know if O’Quinn and Norfolk State (26-9) can do it again against tournament-tested Florida (24-10) on Sunday in Omaha, Neb.
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A No. 15 seed has never made it to the round of 16.
“When you’ve made history and continue to try to make history, it’s kind of hard to refocus,” O’Quinn said Saturday. “We know what’s on the line. We know what we can do. We know the good feeling we had last night. We don’t want it to end.”
The same goes for fellow giant-killer Lehigh, which knocked out second-seeded Duke.
After his team’s monumental upset, Mountain Hawks coach Brett Reed asked his players in the locker room if they were satisfied, and the collective response was no. They believe they can extend their run by beating 10th-seeded Xavier on Sunday in Greensboro, N.C.
“I’m not ready to end my career, and (my teammates) aren’t ready to end what we created,” senior forward Jordan Hamilton said.
• Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton wants everyone to acknowledge these “upset” games for what they are: just good basketball.
He doesn’t buy into the notion that better seeds mean better teams.
“The process we go by evaluating teams and putting them in positions and whether or not they’re 16, three, four, five — I think it’s very difficult to be accurate with that.”
• It’s the simple things that make Darius Johnson-Odom happy.
With Marquette assigned to Louisville for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, the Golden Eagles guard made a beeline for Waffle House on Thursday night.
“I’m from North Carolina. There’s not too many Waffle Houses in Wisconsin. Actually, none at all,” said Johnson-Odom, who grew up in Raleigh, N.C. “I enjoyed that.”