Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 28, 2017 Columns No Comments

For the Atlantic 10, Friday night produced the best possible result. No one in the conference office would ever admit it, but the conference isn’t loaded with great NCAA Tournament resumes, and Friday night’s result helps that.

VCU came into the night with the second-best NCAA Tournament resume in the conference, and that remains the case now. But the Rams have a quality win on it that they lacked before the night after they knocked off visiting Dayton 73-68.

VCU won this game a little differently than they have often won in recent years. They won the possession battle, but rather than turnovers, it was by dominating the boards by a 41-24 margin. Justin Tillman led the way with 18 points and nine of those rebounds, going 9-13 from the field to help offset an off night from leading scorer JeQuan Lewis, who was just 2-10 from the field.

Before Friday night, Atlantic 10 teams had a scarcity of top 50 wins, though rankings will continue to fluctuate. The only top 25 win in the entire conference is the gift that keeps on giving, Rhode Island’s win over Cincinnati in Connecticut back in November. The conference has six other top 50 wins, but three are by teams who won’t be sniffing the NCAA Tournament unless they win the conference tournament in Pittsburgh (UMass, Fordham and Duquesne). And realistically, there are three teams with serious hopes of making the NCAA Tournament right now: Dayton, VCU and Rhode Island.

Dayton has the best RPI, though Friday night’s game brings VCU right on their heels. The Flyers have no top 50 wins (URI, who they beat earlier this month, is No. 57), but are 8-1 against the top 100. Wins over Alabama, Rhode Island and Vanderbilt may become even more valuable as the season goes on. They do have a loss at UMass that will hurt a bit.

VCU now has two top 50 wins, but this one will have a little more staying power as the other came against Middle Tennessee. While Middle Tennessee is having another fine season, it’s not a given that the Blue Raiders will remain in the top 50 given the overall weakness of Conference USA, especially at the bottom. They also have to overcome losses to Davidson and Fordham that are outside the top 100. The unfortunate thing is that wins over UNC Asheville and La Salle – both top 100 wins – may not gain much value – and they only have two games left against Dayton and Rhode Island, both on the road. Their win over Princeton, just outside the top 100, may become more valuable as the season goes on.

Then there is Rhode Island, which has that win over Cincinnati but needs more. The Rams scheduled well, and they have had their chances, but are just 2-6 against top 100 teams. Their win over Belmont may remain a top 100 win, and Saint Joseph’s might become more valuable, but that is it. They have no bad losses, though losing at Richmond doesn’t help. The rest of the way, they have two good opportunities, and fortunately both are in South Kingston – Dayton on Feb. 10 and VCU on Feb. 25.

The X-factor in all of this is the lack of quality mid-majors this year, as well as clear mediocrity in a lot of the field. That could help either of these three teams should they continue on their current path.

So while much remains to be determined, Friday night’s outcome was perhaps a best-case scenario for the Atlantic 10. For now, anyway.

 

Side Dishes

With Miami coming to town for a visit on Saturday, North Carolina will once again be without Theo Pinson, who rolled his right ankle in Thursday night’s win over Virginia Tech. Pinson already missed the first 16 games of the season due to a broken fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. It is not yet known if he may miss more games after Saturday.

Conference USA took swift action on the melee between UAB and Louisiana Tech on Thursday night, largely because both teams play on Saturday. The conference suspended Tech guard Jacobi Boykins and UAB guard Hakeem Baxter from their respective teams’ game on Saturday because of their part in the fight, which left Louisiana Tech with just four players for more than six minutes to finish the game because the entire bench was ejected for leaving the bench. UAB had four players ejected for leaving the bench, and both teams had assistant coaches ejected.

Monmouth beat Quinnipiac 95-76 to retain their big lead in the MAAC, while Harvard improved to 3-0 in early Ivy League play with a 77-71 win at Cornell. Valparaiso and Green Bay both won to stay atop the Horizon League, and Weber State is now 7-1 in Big Sky play after beating Idaho State 96-74.

 

Tonight’s Menu

A busy slate features a series of non-conference games with the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

  • The SEC/Big 12 Challenge starts with Texas A&M at West Virginia (noon), then Oklahoma hosts Florida, Texas Tech hosts LSU and Tennessee hosts Kansas State (2 p.m.) A little later, Oklahoma State hosts Arkansas, Georgia hosts Texas and Vanderbilt hosts Iowa State (4 p.m.) then TCU hosts Auburn and Baylor goes to Ole Miss (6 p.m.) The most highly-anticipated game is Kentucky hosting Kansas (6:15 p.m.)
  • ACC play starts with Notre Dame making what has lately been a very challenging trip to Georgia Tech and Syracuse hosting Florida State (noon), with North Carolina visiting Miami (2 p.m.), Wake Forest hosting Duke (3 p.m.)
  • An America East showdown is on tap with Vermont visiting a Stony Brook team it leads by a game in the standings (7 p.m.)
  • In Conference USA, a key matchup is on tap with Old Dominion hosting Louisiana Tech (6 p.m.)
  • First place is on the line in the Mountain West as Nevada heads to New Mexico (4 p.m.)
  • Two key Southern Conference matchups are on tap: Furman’s visit to UNC Greensboro (2 p.m.) and Chattanooga’s trip to East Tennessee State (4 p.m.)
  • A late game of interest is Santa Clara hosting Saint Mary’s (11 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

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.