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TheRoundUp 3/18: So long to the Bucknells, bring on the Bearcats

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UConn cruises past Bucknell -
"They want to throw two, three guys at me," Walker said with a dismissive smile. "Pffft … no problem." ... Walker had a career-high 12 assists as the third-seeded Huskies defeated No. 14 Bucknell 81-52 in their NCAA Tournament opener at the Verizon Center before 17,706. Walker also had a game-high 18 points, but the way he ran the offense, finding ignored teammates for open shot after shot, was what made this a runaway.

Walker takes a pass as UConn blows out Bucknell, 81-52 | Craig Stouffer | College | Washington Examiner
After putting the Huskies on his back and averaging 26 points in five wins over five nights to claim the Big East tournament title, Walker stepped back and played the role of facilitator, racking up a career-high and NCAA tournament-school record 12 assists as No. 3 Connecticut smothered No. 14 Bucknell 81-52 at Verizon Center.

NCAA tournament: Connecticut shows no sign of slowing down in win over Bucknell - The Washington Post
"They didn’t know we have other players [besides Kemba Walker] on the team that actually score," Connecticut center Alex Oriakhi said of Bucknell, alluding to teammates Roscoe Smith and Jeremy Lamb, who combined for 33 points on a steady diet of assists from the star guard. "We made ’em pay. We made ’em pay because they put so much attention on Kemba."

N.C.A.A. Tournament — UConn Cruises to Victory Over Bucknell -
Connecticut did not run on fumes, but it did run all over Bucknell, cruising to an 81-52 victory in a West Region game that was just as dominant as the score indicates.

Rapid Reaction: UConn 81, Bucknell 52 - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
Turning point: More of a matter of time than a turning point but technically this game broke open midway through the first half when Bucknell went seven minutes without a bucket. UConn lead went from 27-20 to 39-20 in that span.

Alex Oriakhi's Mean Streak - UCONN | Men's Basketball
"Well, I was trying to figure out where that mean streak was," Calhoun said, and then he joked, "He's one of the nicest young guys I've ever coached, and I want him to emulate his coach a little more if he could, nasty and all those kind of things."

Balanced Cincinnati Bearcats dominate Missouri Tigers in NCAA tournament - Andy Glockner -
For the season, five Cincinnati players are averaging between eight and 12 points a game. The style may be effective, but as Cronin noted, it doesn't sell. And it bothers him that his players are not receiving the attention that bigger-brand teams in the league often receive. "That stuff matters," Cronin said. "It affects recruiting. That's recruiting, and kids see other teams on TV that [are ranked] and talked about and my team's not. I'm fighting for the program."

Geno Auriemma A Finalist For Coach Of Year -
Auriemma did it with a team that began the year with five freshmen and without point guard Caroline Doty, who injured her left knee for the third time in August and missed the season. On Dec. 21, UConn won its record 89th consecutive game and then added one more at Pacific before Stanford ended the longest winning streak in the history of Division I basketball. And then in January, freshman forward Samarie Walker, who had been one of the team's top players in the first two months, transferred to Kentucky. Still, UConn earned a No. 1 seed for the 14th time and the fifth year in a row. Auriemma, with a career mark of 767-123, has led the Huskies to seven national championships.

Auriemma laments expectations at UConn -
"I think we're even beyond that point now that winning 30 games is not a big deal," Auriemma said. "Going to the Sweet 16 is not a big deal. Going to the Final Four is not a big deal.

President Barack Obama picks Connecticut Huskies to win women's NCAA title - ESPN
The president revealed another edition of "Barack-etology" at the White House, and for the second year in a row predicts UConn -- the defending national champion -- to win it all. From the Elite Eight on, Obama has UConn defeating Duke, rival Tennessee and Baylor for the title. ... Obama recalled a past pick-up game that played out at the White House and included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. "Maya Moore was on the court, and she lit guys up," the president recalled while making his NCAA tournament predictions for ESPN's Doris Burke. "She can hang with the best players in the world and she's a winner."