Radford coach Brad Greenberg has watched his brother’s Virginia Tech teams lose close games to North Carolina the past two years that ultimately might have cost the Hokies an NCAA tournament bid.
Now it’s his turn to take on the Tar Heels in March. And yes, he has talked with younger brother Seth about today’s first-round matchup. "Nothing that we didn’t know already and nothing that you guys don’t know already,” Brad Greenberg said, when asked what advice he was given. "It wasn’t like I needed him to tell me they’re pretty good.” The Tar Heels beat the Hokies in the ACC tournament last week, the second straight year the teams met in the conference tournament. Brad Greenberg remembered the first meeting well — it ended with Tyler Hansbrough hitting a shot with less than a second left for the win. By coincidence, Greenberg happened to be back at the Tar Heels’ Smith Center that day for the prep basketball state championships. He remembered watching the game over the shoulder of a security worker on a handheld television, then being asked why he wasn’t celebrating the win. "I went, ‘Dang,’ ” Brad Greenberg said. "‘That’s my brother they just beat.’ ”
BIG SHOTLSU advanced to the Final Four in its last NCAA tournament appearance because the Tigers were led by a senior guard who thrived on knocking down big shots. In Marcus Thornton, they hope they’ve found the next Darrel Mitchell. "When he got here, I said, ‘He’s a 6-foot-4 Darrel Mitchell,’ ” Tigers guard Garrett Temple said. "Darrel used to hit that big shot. Hopefully, we won’t have to make a big shot, but if we do, I have confidence that if he’s shooting it, it will go in.” Three years ago, Mitchell kept alive the Tigers’ run by hitting a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of a second-round win over Texas A&M. "It’s hard to replace a Darrel Mitchell. He was a great leader, great point guard. … But Marcus is in a category of his own,” teammate Tasmin Mitchell said. "He’s one of the greatest scorers I’ve ever seen. He’s always up for the big shot.”
Brotherly loveMark Turgeon is thrilled Texas A&M is playing in Philadelphia, where he spent a year as an assistant with the 76ers on Larry Brown’s staff a decade ago. "I’m really excited about being back, being in this building,” the Aggies’ coach said. "My wife wanted to divorce me when we left, because we left Philadelphia for Jacksonville, Alabama. She thought I was crazy.” Turgeon played point guard for four seasons under Brown at Kansas in the 1980s and became an assistant coach at the school after graduating. He later served as an assistant at Oregon before joining Brown in Philadelphia in 1997 for his first job in the NBA. Turgeon didn’t even finish out the season with the dismal 76ers.