Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 12, 2014

December 11, 2014 The Morning Dish No Comments

“Anybody can beat anybody” is a cliché. It’s also being proven on a regular basis early in this college basketball season.

The upsets keep coming this year, and if there’s one thing we’re learning early this college basketball season, it is that you cannot take anyone lightly. That seems to go especially for NCAA Division I newcomers and transitional members.

We have already seen a number of stunning results this year, and another dropped in our laps last night as Incarnate Word won at Nebraska, 74-73. Incarnate Word is not a Catholic prep school; it is a fast-growing university in San Antonio, Texas, that is coached by a longtime veteran of the profession (Ken Burmeister) and is in the second year of a transition to Division I. The future Southland Conference member Cardinals went 9-5 in SLC play last year in their first year of reclassification, and this year already had knocked off Princeton before this shocker over the Cornhuskers (which, unfortunately, was not televised nationally on the Big 10 Network).

UIW (that’s what the uniforms say) is not the first reclassifying school to pull an upset this year, as Nebraska-Omaha won at Marquette in November. Relative D-I newcomer NJIT pulled this year’s biggest upset on Saturday when it won at Michigan, while recent additions USC Upstate and North Florida won at Georgia Tech and Purdue, respectively, on Saturday. Put simply: there are over 350 member schools in Division I, and all of them are dangerous at any given time.

One of the stories of last year’s NCAA Tournament was the rise of the so-called “low majors,” with teams like Harvard, North Dakota State and Stephen F. Austin all winning games in the round of 64. It has continued this year.

Once again, we’re seeing why there is little factual backing for the heavily crafted image procured by TV and media that there are only five good conferences and everyone else is six levels below them. Division I is Division I. Of course there are a couple traditional powerhouse programs above everyone, while others have more money than others because of their alumni bases and (more likely now) TV contracts. Which allows them to purchase more home games out of conference, which results in better non-conference records, which results in more NCAA Tournament bids, lather, rinse and repeat. But every school at this level has fulfilled (or is in the process of fulfilling) the requirements to be a Division I program. Teams have to be on their game every game, or they can lose.

Oh, and lest one think these upsets are limited to just Division I newbies: NCAA Division II SE Oklahoma State defeated Tulsa on Wednesday, 69-66. The Savage Storm, as they are known, are just 5-6 this year, but built a 19-point lead in the second half and then held on to defeat a team that qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament last year.

Side Dishes: Wednesday night’s action

  • Kansas pulled out a 75-70 win over Georgetown in a fascinating matchup and a terrific back-and-forth game. Brannen Green scored 19 and was 5-for-5 from three-point land for the Jayhawks, who made 10 of 17 three-point tries. Joshua Smith was a load and a half inside for the Hoyas with 20 points. KU led much of the way, but Georgetown kept clawing back in time and again. This is an excellent true road win for the Jayhawks in a hostile environment.
  • Kentucky fiddled around with an outmanned opponent again, trailing at halftime before defeating Columbia 56-46. Of course all the talk will be about the Wildcats after this one, but would like to note a very game effort by the Lions, who lost star forward Alex Rosenberg to injury before the season.
  • Rivalry games: Utah won at BYU 65-61, Providence got back on track by topping Rhode Island 68-60 and Colorado State won at Colorado 62-60. Big road wins for the Utes and Rams, respectively. Utah going into Provo and slowing down the Cougars is impressive, while CSU is now 9-0 and has really helped itself with a lot of solid if not spectacular wins out of conference.
  • Maryland was very impressive in disposing of North Carolina Central 67-56 in a game not as close as the final score.
  • In its first game in the rankings in nearly five years, Northern Iowa jumped on Denver early, leading by 22 in the first half of an eventual 65-55 win. The Panthers are now 9-0. Last time that happened was 1963-64, when Stormin’ Norm Stewart was the coach.
  • California outslugged Wyoming 45-42 in an ugly one (though hardly surprising with the nature of both teams). Tyrone Wallace again was the difference-17 points for the Golden Bears.
  • UCLA struggled way more than expected and very nearly became another upset victim before finally putting away UC Riverside 77-66. The Highlanders led by eight at halftime and still trailed by just two late.
  • San Diego State nipped Long Beach State, 60-59, as a 70-foot heave by LBSU’s Travis Hammonds went off the front rim at the buzzer. The Aztecs found their misplaced offense just in time, rallying from an eight-point deficit late.
  • Gonzaga was challenged in the second half by Washington State but still cruised 81-66. The lawfirm of (Przemek) Karnowski, (Kyle) Wiltjer and (Byron) Wesley combined for 63 points, making it palatable that Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell combined for two points total.
  • SE Missouri State defeated Southern Illinois 55-54 on a basket at the buzzer by Jarekious Bradley.
  • Finally, Davidson moved to 7-1, winning at Montana 110-99 in the night’s most entertaining game offensively. Five players scored at least 20 in this one, including three with 28 or more, led by the Grizzlies’ Martin Breunig with 30. Montana’s Jordan Gregory scored 29, while Davidson’s Jack Gibbs scored 28, including finishing 12-for-12 from the foul line, and as a team the Wildcats shot 34 of 36 from the stripe. The two teams combined to shoot 57.4% from the field, 21 of 45 (46.7%) on three-pointers, and 56 of 63 (88.9%) on free throws.

Today’s Menu   A light schedule.

DePaul at George Washington  Actually a worthy game on any night, for the Blue Demons are a surprising 6-1.
Eastern Washington at San Francisco  The Eagles continue to roll since that win at Indiana, but USF is a solid team and will be at home at Memorial Gym.
San Diego at UC Santa Barbara 
Johnny Dee and Alan Williams means star power for both sides in this one.
Elon at Missouri  Might like the Phoenix’s chances in this one if they weren’t going on two weeks now since their last game against a Division I team.
Wright State at Belmont  Second game of a home-and-home between these two. The Raiders won the first 73-70 in both teams’ season opener.

Have a super Thursday.

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

College Basketball Tonight – March 26, 2017

March 27, 2017 by

In the latest edition of College Basketball Tonight, we break down the regional finals as the Final Four is all set. A pair of special guests join us to help break the games down.

College Basketball Tonight – March 19, 2017

March 20, 2017 by

The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is in the books, and after two rounds that could not be more different. Ted Sarandis leads the way as we break down the first two rounds, as well as coaching news that emerged over the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 18, 2017

March 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look back on the first round games in the NCAA Tournament, starting with a couple of terrific performances on Friday night.

College Basketball Tonight – March 12, 2017

March 13, 2017 by

We bring you College Basketball Tonight, a comprehensive look at the 2017 NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran broadcaster Ted Sarandis. The NCAA Tournament field is set, and we break down each region as well as some big picture subjects.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2017, Part 2

March 10, 2017 by

In Part 2 of our podcast, we talk about the ACC Tournament and others that have found new homes in light of comments made by a prominent coach that got quite a reaction, then we talk about the NCAA Tournament bubble as that subject begins to dominate conversation for a couple of more days.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.