Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016 The Morning Dish No Comments

Sometimes, an unexpected team catches fire during the NCAA Tournament and makes an unlikely run. We’re not talking about a team that’s normally outside the limelight like a mid-major conference champion; rather, a team that barely made it and had a rather undistinguished season. And sometimes, that run includes an unexpected win along the way, including the fashion in which it happens.

Sometimes, there’s simply no explaining easily something that happens in sports. Syracuse reaching the Final Four this season, which they did after a 68-62 win over Virginia on Sunday, fits that description.

At the risk of giving an undeserved slight to North Carolina, 88-74 winners over a Notre Dame team that also made an unexpected run this far, there’s only one game and team to focus on from Sunday’s games. North Carolina looked destined to break away from the Fighting Irish, but Notre Dame regained the lead before running out of gas as the Tar Heels then regained the lead and pulled away, getting several key offensive rebounds in the final minutes to help seal the win.

Ted Sarandis and I talked more about North Carolina’s win, as well as Saturday’s games, on our late-night podcast. Make sure you also check out our new poll on a Final Four-related matter.

But from here, it’s about Syracuse.

In November, this would not have surprised many, as the Orange ran out to a 6-0 start that included winning the Battle 4 Atlantis over Texas A&M. They didn’t exactly strike anyone as one of the elite teams in the country, but they looked pretty good and had a nice start on their resume. By January, it would have been a mild surprise, and come the ACC Tournament, many weren’t so sure the Orange deserved to even be in the NCAA Tournament. A loss to Pittsburgh in their first game there had most believing Syracuse was headed to the NIT, so when they showed up on Selection Sunday in the field, there were plenty who were shocked.

When mid-majors have reached the Final Four in the last decade, it has been different than this. George Mason, VCU, Butler and Wichita State all made their runs after they had great regular seasons with a lot of winning. This Syracuse team, on the other hand, had won games, but had lost 13 times – a high number for an at-large team – and had a four-game losing streak and ended the regular season losing five out of six. There was nothing that made you believe they had a run like this in them.

That’s why, as Ted noted in our podcast, this arguably goes down as Jim Boeheim’s finest hour from a purely coaching standpoint. He got this team, a flawed team without a point guard (Kaleb Joseph showed some promise as a freshman, but has played double-digit minutes just four times all season and has played a grand total of a minute since mid-January) and with lots of offensive challenges to make a run to the Final Four.

But more than that, he got this team to press, something he is not a fan of, to come from behind against a Virginia team that seemingly had their number. Tony Bennett had never lost to Syracuse while in Charlottesville, though Syracuse made a late run during their only meeting during the regular season that the Cavaliers had to hold off. This time, Malachi Richardson (21 of his 23 points in the second half) and company were not going to be denied.

The numbers don’t tell the story; Syracuse won despite shooting below 37 percent from the field, including 33.3 percent from deep, and allowing Virginia to shoot 41.5 percent and 38.1 percent in the same categories. The Orange had a slim 36-34 rebounding edge and five fewer turnovers, and that might be the one stat that comes close to leaping out at you.

Simply put, Syracuse in the Final Four is inexplicable. Then again, so much of this season has seemed that way, so it’s only fitting.

 

Side Dishes

Coaching news formed most of the news outside of game action, and it starts with one move that will keep the carousel moving as Kevin Stallings is leaving Vanderbilt to become the head coach at Pittsburgh. One of the highest character men in coaching, Stallings spent the past 17 years at Vanderbilt and seemed like the perfect fit in a tough job, but reports have indicated his job security was in question so it may have just been time for a change of scenery.

Staying in the ACC, Charlotte head coach Mark Price issued a statement saying that he is not interested in the opening at his alma mater, Georgia Tech. Price just finished his first season at Charlotte, where the 49ers went 14-19 overall and 9-9 in Conference USA. Besides that, Price’s son Hudson becomes eligible in 2016-17 after transferring to Charlotte from TCU, and will have two seasons of eligibility left.

Western Kentucky has their new head coach, Texas A&M assistant coach Rick Stansbury. The 56-year-old coach was the head coach at Mississippi State from 1998 to 2012, reaching the NCAA Tournament six times. He has been a key presence on Billy Kennedy’s staff at Texas A&M.

The latest development of them all is the news that UNLV will hire Chris Beard away from UALR. Beard just finished his first, and only, season at UALR, but it was a big one as they went 30-5 and won the Sun Belt, then beat Purdue in the NCAA Tournament. UNLV fired Dave Rice in January and finished the season with Todd Simon as the interim head coach. You can keep track of all the coaching changes right here.

In the CIT semifinals, Columbia got 29 points and six assists from Maodo Lo to knock off NJIT 80-65, and UC Irvine broke away from Coastal Carolina in the second half for a 66-47 win to reach the championship.

 

Tonight’s Menu

  • The CBI championship begins with game one of their best of three series as Nevada visits Morehead State.
  • The inaugural Vegas 16, which features just eight teams, tips off today with four quarterfinal games: Old Dominion vs. Tennessee Tech (3 p.m. Eastern), Northern Illinois vs. UC Santa Barbara (5:30 p.m.), Towson vs. Oakland (9 p.m.) and East Tennessee State vs. Louisiana Tech (11:30 p.m.)

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


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 – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

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.