Jeff Eisenberg

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of the Dagger. Prior to joining Yahoo! Sports in Feb. 2010, Eisenberg worked for 4 1/2 years at The Press-Enterprise covering everything from UCLA basketball, to USC football, to the Los Angeles Lakers. If he's not watching basketball, you'll usually find Eisenberg enjoying the California sunshine, sampling craft brews or cooking on the grill.

  • Advice from dad helped spark Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison's huge postseason

    ARLINGTON, Texas. — The frustration of not meeting sky-high expectations was beginning to wear on Aaron Harrison about a month ago when the Kentucky guard's dad visited him and his twin brother in Lexington.

    The advice Aaron Harrison Sr. had for Aaron was hardly revolutionary but it was exactly what the talented shooting guard needed to hear at the time. The elder Harrison told both his sons to relax, have fun, ignore outside criticism and not worry so much about their draft stock because the family is financially secure enough that the twins don't need to turn pro before they're ready.

    "It was huge for me," Aaron Harrison said. "He just took a lot of pressure off us and told us just to go back to playing basketball the way we'd been playing our whole lives. He really just gave me a lot of confidence back."

    It's probably too simplistic to credit the visit from his father as the sole reason for Aaron's late-season surge, but it's also probably not a coincidence both his efficiency and

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  • How a Wisconsin player managed to snap selfies with all four Final Four coaches

    Wisconsin forward Zach Bohannon snapped selfies with the four Final Four coaches (@ZBohannon)

    ARLINGTON, Texas. — Forty minutes into the Wisconsin basketball team's mandatory one-hour appearance at a Final Four fan fest on Thursday afternoon, senior forward Zach Bohannon shared a crazy idea with video coordinator A.J. Van Handel.

    "All four of the head coaches are here," Bohannon told Van Handel. "That would be awesome to get a selfie with each one of them." 

    Responded Van Handel, "There's your challenge. I dare you to get all four."

    Bohannon couldn't back down from a dare — especially one that was his idea in the first place — so he summoned his courage and tried to figure out how to make it happen.

    He started by approaching Kevin Ollie because the UConn coach was the closest to him. When Ollie kindly agreed to a photo, that gave Bohannon the confidence to pursue the other coaches.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari agreed, though he was puzzled at being approached by a member of the team the Wildcats will face on Saturday. Florida coach Billy Donovan also smiled for a photo after

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  • UConn's Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright show 'loyalty' is more than a passing motto

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Staggered by the departure of legendary coach Jim Calhoun and the revelation that academic woes would prevent his team from being eligible for the 2013 postseason, UConn guard Ryan Boatright wrestled with a tough decision two years ago.

    He could turn pro and gamble his solid freshman season caught the attention of NBA scouts. He could transfer to another school without such an uncertain future. Or he could stick it out at UConn and hope that interim coach Kevin Ollie could stabilize the program in time to make an NCAA tournament push once the postseason ban was lifted.

    "I was never going to leave to transfer. I was going to leave to try to turn pro," Boatright said. "But I'm built on loyalty. My mom really emphasized loyalty with me. That's why I stamped it on my chest. I was committed to the program and the university. I didn't want to abandon the people I'd committed to when times got hard."

    That Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Deandre Daniels and a handful of other

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  • Final Four preview: Three keys to Saturday's national semifinals

    On Saturday, a week of buildup will finally give way to Final Four day at last. Here's one last look at some of the keys to Saturday's two national semifinals:

    No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Kentucky (8:45 p.m. EST, TBS)

    How the Badgers got here: Won the West Regional by defeating No. 15 American, No. 7 Oregon, No. 6 Baylor, No. 1 Arizona

    How the Wildcats got here: Won the Midwest Regional by defeating No. 9 Kansas State, No. 1 Wichita State, No. 4 Louisville, No. 2 Michigan

    Did you know? Kentucky is trying to become the second No. 8 seed to win a national championship. Of the five No. 8 seeds to reach the Final Four before Kentucky, 1985 Villanova was the only one to win the title.

    Three keys to the game:

    1. Will Kentucky's torrid outside shooting continue? The biggest reason Kentucky has redeemed itself after a disappointing regular season isn't its dominant offensive rebounding, its increased confidence or the self-described "tweak" John Calipari made before the postseason. It's that

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  • Tyler Summitt hired to be new Louisiana Tech women's basketball coach at age 23

    Chrisstasia Walker, a 5-foot-8 junior guard on Louisiana Tech's women's basketball game, was born Oct. 9, 1991.

    Her new head coach is less than 13 months older than she is.

    Pat Summitt, left, embraces Tyler, during the unveiling of a statue in her honor on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, (AP)Louisiana Tech announced Tuesday it has hired 23-year-old Tyler Summitt to revitalize a once-dominant women's basketball program that went to 13 Final Fours prior to 1999 but endured its first-ever losing seasons the past two years. Summitt, the son of legendary former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, graduated from college in 2012 and has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Marquette. 

    Neither Summitt nor Louisiana Tech officials will speak until a Wednesday afternoon press conference, but it's easy to see athletic director Tommy McClelland's vision. 

    McClelland has reason to be comfortable with young people in positions of authority since McNeese State made him the youngest Division I athletic director at age 26 in March 2008. Furthermore, Summitt's last name shines a spotlight on

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  • Kentucky's road to the Final Four may have been the most challenging one ever

    Not long after learning his team would be the No. 8 seed in a region hailed as the NCAA tournament's strongest, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart struggled to hide his disappointment. 

    "I do believe that we’ve got a very difficult path and obviously some really difficult games ahead of us," he told reporters on Selection Sunday. "If we find our way through it will have been well-earned.”

    To say Kentucky's subsequent Final Four run has been well-earned is an understatement of massive proportions. A case can be made the freshman-laden Wildcats have endured the most difficult path to the Final Four of any team in NCAA tournament history. 

    In becoming only the sixth No. 8 seed ever to reach a Final Four, Kentucky ousted college basketball's first unbeaten regular season team in a decade, the defending national champions and the first-place team from this year's strongest league. Top-seeded Wichita State, fourth-seeded Louisville and second-seeded Michigan also were each among the

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  • Marquette follows familiar strategy, gambles on Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski

    The previous two times Marquette hired a basketball coach, it gambled on longtime assistants with little to no experience as a head coach. 

    The Golden Eagles are hoping to have success with the same strategy a third time.

    Fifteen years after plucking Tom Crean from Tom Izzo's staff at Michigan State and seven years after hiring Buzz Williams after one year into his first head coaching job at New Orleans, Marquette is reportedly taking a chance on longtime Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski. The former Duke point guard has been on Mike Krzyzewski's staff since the 1999-2000 season and was recently promoted to top assistant after Chris Collins left for Northwestern last spring.

    Expectations will be high for Wojciechowski because of the resources Marquette devotes to basketball and the success the school enjoyed under Crean and Williams. The Golden Eagles made a Final Four with Crean in 2003 and reached the NCAA tournament five times in six seasons under Williams, reaching the Sweet 16 or

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  • Mike Montgomery's legacy is changing the perception of Stanford basketball

    The most important recruit Mike Montgomery ever landed chose to play for him without knowing much at all about either him or his program.

    Brevin Knight, the point guard who catapulted Stanford to national prominence in the mid-1990s, committed to the Cardinal solely because of the school's academic reputation. That was enough to outweigh the fact Stanford didn't reach the postseason from 1942-1989, hadn't yet won an NCAA tournament game under Montgomery and was coming off a 23-loss season the previous year.

    "I had no knowledge of Stanford basketball or Coach Montgomery," said Knight, a native of East Orange, N.J. "I knew that I would have an opportunity to get the best education in the world and go on to get a great job. And it would all be paid for by the school."

    Montgomery's greatest accomplishment in his 36 years as a head coach was gradually building Stanford into a program as celebrated for basketball as academics. Stanford battled Arizona for the title of the West Coast's best

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  • Andrew Wiggins turns pro after a season that should be viewed as a success

    Not long after arriving in Lawrence last summer, Andrew Wiggins explained to reporters what he wanted to accomplish at Kansas before turning pro. 

    "Hopefully win a national championship," Wiggins said. "That’s my main goal.”

    That goal is now certain to go unfulfilled since Wiggins confirmed at a press conference on Monday he will enter this June's NBA draft, but Kansas' round of 32 NCAA tournament flameout against Stanford doesn't make the freshman's time in Lawrence a bust. Not only did Wiggins deliver one of the better freshman seasons in the storied history of Kansas basketball, he and Joel Embiid also thrived enough under coach Bill Self to help the Jayhawks land future elite recruits.

    Wiggins earned second-team All-American honors and averaged a team-high 17.1 points per game this season, more than any other major-conference freshman in the nation except Duke's Jabari Parker and Fordham's Jon Severe. The 6-foot-8 small forward also showcased elite athleticism, from his ability to

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  • Getting to know the 2014 Final Four: Wisconsin

    Bo Ryan and Frank Kaminsky

    This week, The Dagger takes a deeper look at each of the four schools participating in the 2014 Final Four. We start with the West Regional champion, Wisconsin.

    Location: Madison, Wisc.
    Enrollment: 29,504
    Mascot: Badgers
    Must Follow on Twitter: Frank Kaminsky (@FSKPart3)
    Find them here: Official team site or Twitter
    How they got to Arlington: d. No. 15 American, d. No. 7 Oregon, d. No. 6 Baylor, d. No. 1 Arizona.
    Greatest basketball moment: Fueled by Dick Bennett's smothering man-to-man defense, Wisconsin became one of only six No. 8 seeds ever to reach the Final Four in 2000, The Badgers ousted Fresno State, top-seeded Arizona, LSU and Purdue along the way before falling to eventual champ Michigan State in the national semifinals.
    Reason to root for them: Every year since 1976, Bo Ryan's birthday gift to his father was bringing him to the Final Four. Butch Ryan died in August at age 89, eight months too soon to have a chance to see Bo finally on the sidelines at a Final Four for the first

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