Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2, 2015 The Morning Dish No Comments

Back on September 30, 2014, no one would have thought it was possible. Well, no one outside of a few people about 25 miles south of Boston.

The New England Patriots had just been thrashed on Monday Night Football, out-classed by Kansas City. The Patriots didn’t even look like a good college football team that night. Every team has off nights, but this didn’t seem like just that. They were 2-2 at the time and nothing leaped out at you as championship-worthy about this team. There was talk about whether the Tom Brady era was over. There were questions of whether or not it was time for them to start getting ready for the next generation of Patriots football.

Super Bowl XLIX champions? Many thought the Patriots would be lucky to be a playoff team at that point.

In the end, it’s as if the Patriots merely needed some people to doubt them. They persevered through a lot, this season and beyond. For years, the questions lingered: could they win another one? Could they break through after losing twice in the big game? Did they peak ten years earlier?

While we cover college basketball, and there is crossover into football, we are kidding ourselves if we’re ignoring the fact that practically everyone – including college basketball junkies – was glued to the TV for the greatest Super Bowl that I can remember watching. I’ve seen all but one since Super Bowl XX (I refused to watch Super Bowl XL out of principle because the one time they held it in Detroit, they didn’t choose Motown acts, or any of the great Detroit artists, for the halftime show, but rather, the Rolling Stones – the Rolling Stones!), and this one tops them all. The momentum swung back and forth, there were stretches where each team had momentum, and the final drive was as dramatic as it gets. You think the Seahawks are destined to get the go-ahead or winning touchdown, especially after the incredible catch by Jermaine Kearse (yet another that went against the Patriots, no less), and then an unknown rookie picks off a pass to clinch the game.

There’s an additional angle in that college basketball, like any sport, is often a story of persevering through adversity. The road to a championship is rarely a perfectly straight path, and that includes college basketball. Last season’s national champion, Connecticut, was a great example. Not only would no one except the most diehard Husky fans have picked them to reach the Final Four, let alone win it all, but they almost bowed out in the second round against Saint Joseph’s. For that matter, the team they beat in the title game, Kentucky, is a team that had people questioning them all year, especially with some of their SEC losses. Few, if any, had them running all the way to the national title game.

Keep this in mind as we follow the remainder of the college basketball season. Plenty of people assume that Kentucky will just cruise to the national title without a loss. The Wildcats might win the title and not lose a game along the way, but it is far from a given as they have had close calls. They will have more. If they don’t win it all, the champion will be one that has had to overcome some adversity. They will have had people questioning whether or not they can win it all.

The Super Bowl took center stage on Sunday. Like any championship, there’s a lesson in this one. Now, college basketball takes center stage, and when April rolls around, we might well have a story not unlike that of the New England Patriots when taking a look at the winner’s circle.


Side Dishes

One team that certainly has people questioning them is Miami, who found a way to lose on Sunday. The Hurricanes led by 11 at the half against Florida State, a team that has had to persevere through quite a bit, but Miami scored just 18 points in the second half and dropped a 55-54 decision to the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

Speaking of Connecticut, they are in some real trouble as far as making the NCAA Tournament is concerned. They are already lacking quality wins, and now they have a bad loss as they dropped a 70-68 decision at Houston, the Cougars’ first win in American Athletic Conference play. Ryan Boatright had 31 points, but he needs help. That wasn’t all in that conference, however, as Cincinnati went to East Carolina and lost 50-46.

Michigan State has also had to overcome adversity, and on Sunday, they turned it on when they had to as they shut out Michigan in overtime for a 76-66 win.

The thriller of the day was in the MAAC, as Quinnipiac went on the road and battled Niagara for quite a while. In fact, it took double overtime for Niagara – a team that has had a rough go, especially in MAAC play – came out on top 105-100.


Tonight’s Menu

Just like Sunday, the slate is limited, but there are some very good games among those on tap. We also must keep an eye on games schedule for parts of New England today and tomorrow, as another snowstorm is hitting much of southern New England.

  • Virginia has another tough game on tap in this stretch, as they head to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina.
  • Iowa State and Kansas played a dandy just a couple of weeks ago in Ames, and now they have round 2 in Lawrence.
  • The SWAC, Southland and MEAC all have a busy slate of games.

A couple of non-conference games are mixed in as Bryant visits Pittsburgh and Hampton travels to Newark to play NJIT.

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 – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we break d own the national semifinals, where one game went back and forth while the other was never really a ballgame thanks to an impressive performance for the ages by the winning team.

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.