Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Morning Dish

March 21, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 21st, 2003

by Jon Gonzalez

If ever there were ever a more undeserving number four seed in the NCAA Tournament, it would have to be the Dayton Flyers.

In Dayton’s 84-71 first-round loss to Tulsa last night, the Flyers never looked comfortable in their half-court offense. Dayton took a bad shot every other possession and shot a barrage of bad three-pointers. Without taking any credit from 13-seed Tulsa, who for its part played good defense, it was Dayton’s dreadful offensive performance that did the Flyers in.

For Tulsa’s part, the Hurricane looked liked it should have been the four seed. Kevin Johnson, Dante Swanson and Jason Parker played out of their minds and basically made everything they shot. But never mind the made shots, it was the execution on the offense end that separated these teams on Thursday night. Tulsa got good shots on almost every possession and made the Flyers look foolish half of the time.

In the other low-seed upset that really wasn’t an upset, Central Michigan opened up a 26-point lead on Creighton and hung on for a 79-73 victory. The Blue Jays came out ice-cold in the beginning of the ballgame and when they finally started to play well, CMU’s lead would prove to be too much.

All in all, in terms of the sheer excitement of Creighton coming back from such a huge deficit, this had to be the game of the day. Watching Creighton pressure CMU into turnovers and hit big shots was a lot of fun. In the end, CMU had just enough composure to withstand Creighton’s furious run. If the Blue Jays had played the way they did in the second half the whole game, the outcome would have been different.

The common thread that CMU/Creighton and Dayton/Tulsa shared was that the games featured four “mid-major teams” (I consider the A-10 a mid-major) with a pretty good disparity in seeding. Creighton and Dayton were rewarded for their big regular seasons. Of course the Atlantic 10 has a higher rating then the MVC, hence the higher seed, so that is why Creighton was a six and Dayton was a four. Also in Creighton’s favor was the fact the media hyped them as the “mid-major” to watch for the entire year. That helped the Jays in terms of rankings and seeding. But look at CMU and Tulsa, they were not that far behind in terms of records and definitely not in conferences in which they play. The MAC and the MVC are on the same level and CMU had just as big a year as Creighton, but the Chips garnered no attention because of the media’s infatuation with teams like Creighton and Butler. As for the WAC, how far it is from the A-10, really? Sure Tulsa lost nine games, but its not as if the Western Athletic Conference is the Patriot League. In defense of Dayton, it was the recipient of the Atlantic 10 perhaps being a tad overrated, that is why its record gave them such a high seed. But as the whole country saw last night, the Golden Hurricane may be one of the best 13 seeds in tourney history and Dayton may be the most undeserving of four seeds.

The point being worked toward here is that conference strength needs to be reevaluated and so does “mid-major” team’s seeding. Of course, the committee cannot be perfect, but when an 11 and a 13 have so much success, something is in order to be tweaked a little bit.

Side Dishes

They’ve Got the Power: The big six conferences (Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-10, Big 12 and Big East) held serve Thursday and posted a 12-1 record. The only blemish on the board was NC State’s loss to Cal. I guess when two power conference schools play each other, one is going to lose.

Whew:A number of high seeds escaped their first round games by the skin of their teeth Thursday. Kansas, Notre Dame, Missouri, Stanford and Marquette all were taken to the final seconds, while Duke and Illinois had a tough time disposing of their opponents.

Kansas was probably having flashbacks of its struggle with Holy Cross last season, but in the end, the result was another close win. With less than 20 seconds remaining, Utah State, down by three, stole the ball and advanced up court. After having a lay-up attempt swatted away, the Aggies had ten seconds to set up a game tying three-pointer. The iron would prove to be unkind as Utah State missed a couple of treys and Kansas hung on to win 64-61.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee gave Notre Dame all the Irish could handle and then some, but could overcome the luck of the Irish in the games final seconds. Dylan Page missed two chip shots in the final minute, including one with two seconds left that gave the Irish a 70-69 win. Page’s shots both looked as if they would go in, but both unluckily, or luckily (depending how you look at it), crept out.

Missouri overcame great individual performances from Southern Illinois’ Kent Williams and Jermaine Dearman, but held on for a 72-71 win. Williams had a chance to win the game for the Salukis, but missed a three-pointer as time expired.

Holy Cross nearly pulled the upset yet again, but for the third straight year, could not hold on. In 2001 it was Kentucky, in 2002 in was Kansas, this season Marquette found out first hand how tough the Crusaders can be. In the end, Holy Cross’ Patrick Whearty’s foul trouble did the Crusaders in. Marquette held off the pesky Crusaders 72-68.

Stanford was also a higher seed that benefited from a lower seed having their star in foul trouble. Down by as much as 19, San Diego stormed back and made a game of its match-up with Stanford. But San Diego big man Jason Keep found himself in foul trouble and was not as effective as he should have been for the Toreros. His foul troubles and absences during key stretches of the game ultimately spelled doom for San Diego as the Toreros fell 77-69.

Duke and Illinois both had their hands full with their underdog opponents, but in the end, the powers prevailed. Duke’s Dahntay Jones fouled out late in Duke’s contest with Colorado State. His ejection came at a untimely juncture for the Blue Devils as the Rams were in the midst of a run. But J.J. Redick made his free throws and Shelden Williams made a key bucket late as Duke held on 67-57.

Illinois had to work against Western Kentucky, but the Illini freshmen would make sure Illinois came out on the winning end. Dee Brown, Deron Williams and James Augustine combined for 37 points and 16 rebounds as Illinois edged Western Kentucky, 65-60.

Out of Control: With 16 minutes left in the second half, Cincinnati’s Jason Maxiell traveled and all hell broke lose. Bob Huggins and team radio announcer Chuck Machock were ejected for complaining about the call, and Cincy would later be ejected from the NCAA Tournament by Gonzaga. Ronny Turiaf scored 22 points as Gonzaga held of a late Bearcat charge to beat cold-shooting Cincy 74-69.

UConn Saves Fans Bracket Headache: Had BYU beat UConn, many a office pool would have been blown to shreds due to the Cougars and their non-Sunday playing ways. But Connecticut saved the day and defeated BYU 58-53. The game was tight in the first half, but UConn would pull away in the second half and stave off a late Cougar charge. Emeka Okafor scored 20 points for the Huskies, who held BYU star Rafael Araujo to six points.

NC State “Wolfpacks” Another One: If NC State did not have bad luck, they would have no luck at all. The same team that blew a 15 point second-half lead to Duke last Sunday, watched it’s game with Cal slip from its fingers. Playing a little more herky-jerky than usual, State trailed for most of the day against California. But after tying the game with less than two minutes remaining, the Cardiac Pack looked like they would pull one out of the hat. But after a shot clock violation ruined their final shot of the regulation, you knew it was not meant to be. In overtime, the Wolpack completed such guffaws as a spot throw-in travel and a Marcus Melvin missed rebound that turned into one of Cal’s biggest buckets of the game. After State hit a three-pointer to take a lead late in OT, Cal’s Richard Midgley answered by hitting the game-winning tri-fecta.

Still Perfect: A sixteen seed still has not beaten a one seed. Oklahoma and Arizona both clobbered their opponents, SC State and Vermont, respectively, to keep number one’s perfect in the first round.

Wisconsin and Arizona State Win: Weber State would not get a chance to duplicate its upset over UNC in 1999 as the Wildcats lost to the Badgers 81-74. There had been talk all week about how Weber State would upset the Badgers. Wisconsin was not having any of it.

Seven seed Memphis was just beaten by a tougher team Thursday night. Ten seed Arizona State’s Ike Diogu was too much for Memphis, scoring 22 points in the Sun Devil’s 84-71 win. ASU senior Shawn Redhage also had a big game, scoring 18 points. The underrated Redhage could play a key role for ASU if the Sun Devils plan to keep winning.

Tubbs Back in Business: Lamar athletics director Billy Tubbs is returning to the court. The former Oklahoma and TCU coach is returning to the Lamar sidelines, the school where he played and started his coaching career. Tubbs went 75-46 at Lamar from 1976 to 1980.

Today’s Menu

&#8226 The game of the day could be in the South Region where six seed Maryland takes on 11 seed UNC-Wilmington. UNCW is paced by star Brent Blizzard and could surprise. The Seahawks will be without double-digit star Tim Burnette. Burnette was suspended for violating team rules.

&#8226 The Big Apple takes center stage in the day’s first game when Manhattan takes on Syracuse. Manhattan’s Luis Flores is a stud and may prove Manhattan is much better than its seed would indicate.

&#8226 Eleven seed Penn will try to take down six seed Oklahoma State today in the East Region. The Ivy Champs are as underrated as can be and a Quaker will should not be a shock.

&#8226 Number one seeds look to stay perfect as Texas takes on UNC-Ashville and Kentucky plays IUPUI. I would give anything to see IUPUI’s Ron Hunter do another dance of joy. Heck, if IUPUI should provide the greatest upset ever, Hunter would probably do summersaults.

Enjoy the hoops and God Bless America. Later.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, there is one main story to focus on: history being made in Charlotte and its aftermath. But we also talk about tough times for the Pac-12 and a key member school, plus an added challenge ahead at Pittsburgh.

College Basketball Tonight – March 11, 2018

March 12, 2018 by

College Basketball Tonight returns with a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament bracket, and in the second segment Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian joins us.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2018

March 10, 2018 by

As Championship Week nears its climax on the big Saturday, we look at a pair of semifinals and a lot of bubble teams that may be sweating it out on Sunday.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018 by

As Championship Week heats up, we talk about bubble teams who may or may not want to earn their way into the NCAA Tournament, as well as a couple of mid-majors whose conference championship game was played earlier in the week.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with floor issues in the Big East and an important NCAA ruling that was upheld. Then we go on to the Big 12, where Wednesday night had a new twist, as well as the ACC and how it shapes up along with no team going undefeated in conference play this year.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.