Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

2014 East Regional Final notebook

April 2, 2014 Columns No Comments

NEW YORK – The 2014 Final Four is set. One of the last teams to advance was Connecticut, 60-54 winners over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Some notes from what was a classic in every sense:

  • UConn’s victory Sunday sent the Huskies to their fifth Final Four. It will also mark their third Final Four appearance in six years.
  • Dangerous at crunch time: Close games are a way of life as you advance deeper in the tournament. UConn has excelled at the free throw line, making them a tough team to come back on in the final minutes. The Huskies shot a season-best 95.5% (21 of 22) against Michigan State in the regional final. They have also shot over 90% on three occasions during this tournament.
  • As noted last time, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo cited turnovers the difference. The Spartans committed 16 against UConn. Their season high was 17, and the Huskies capitalized by scoring 18 points off those Spartan errors. A game decided indeed.
  • UConn became only the second seven seed to reach the Final Four. The other was Virginia in 1984. The Cavaliers back then were coached by Terry Holland and among the assistants were Jim Larranaga and Seth Greenberg.
  • UConn’s DeAndre Daniels on the feeling of going Final Four: “To get to Texas (site of the Final Four) is special. To win this here at Madison Square Garden is really great… we have pride in our defense, playing it 94 feet. Really look forward to playing Florida in the Final Four.”
  • On the board in the UConn locker room was a very simple reminder: “The team that is toughest will win.” Both teams are known for that toughness and character, but on this day UConn had a little more.
  • Kevin Ollie with another coaching classic observation: “When you play the right way, you play for what is on the front of your jersey not the back.”
  • UConn defense expressed in tempo free showed the Huskies allowing Michigan State just a 90 offensive efficiency. On their end UConn posted a 98.
  • The pace was a more deliberate 61 possessions. Michigan State pushed the ball early and was willing to take an available three in transition. Kevin Ollie’s club did a nice job sticking with their game plan, even when they fell behind by nine early in the second half.
  • Shabazz Napier, the regional MOP, led all with 25 points. The UConn guard was also an efficiency leader with a 26.
  • Gary Harris led Michigan State with 22 points and an 18 efficiency.
  • As noted, Adreian Payne was defended well down low by the Huskies. Payne did score 13 points and register a 15 efficiency. That was largely due to his game-high nine boards. He did get defended and forced into 4 of 14 shooting from the floor.
  • I said it before but is worth repeating: efficiency numbers are a nice point of reference, but do not measure heart and competitive drive, especially in adverse situations.
  • Bench scoring was noticeably low, with Michigan State “enjoying” a 3-2 scoring edge. Both coaches stayed long with starters. The UConn starting five ranged from 27 to 38 minutes of action. Michigan State was close, with their starters logging between 28 and 38 minutes.

Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie addresses the media after his team advanced to the Final Four (Ray Floriani photo)

Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie addresses the media after his team advanced to the Final Four (Ray Floriani photo)

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

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!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

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

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

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.