Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

Once upon a time, Virginia Tech had a certain place in college basketball. They were the team that was always right there on the bubble and never quite seemed to have enough on their resume to get over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament. You could count on them being right there every year as if it had joined death and taxes among life’s certainties.

When Seth Allen put up a short left-handed shot that dropped with 3.1 seconds left in double overtime on Sunday night, he just might have put the Hokies into the NCAA Tournament.

There may not be a coach or program more readily identified with the NCAA Tournament bubble than Seth Greenberg at Virginia Tech. In his nine years at the school, about the only thing more constant than the Hokies being on the bubble was the team being injury-riddled. In 2006-07, his third season at the school, they reached the NCAA Tournament and got to the second round. For the next four years, the Hokies were a close call, reaching the NIT each time, before the injuries were truly out of hand in 2011-12 and they went 16-17. Whether or not any of those teams truly deserved to be in the NCAA Tournament is another conversation for another time, but it underscores what the program went through.

And that is before we even get to the shooting on the campus in 2007, which rocked the entire campus community and, indeed, anyone with a pulse. It led to wonderful showings of support like Penn State having their students decked out in maroon and burnt orange, Virginia Tech’s colors, at their spring football game just days later.

James Johnson followed Greenberg in a difficult situation, as Greenberg’s firing was a surprise and also did not appear to be very well-handled. Now Buzz Williams is leading the program, and he has them on the verge of the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies have wins over Duke and now arch-rival Virginia, along with good-not-great wins over fellow bubble teams Michigan, Syracuse and Georgia Tech, and their worst losses are to Texas A&M (neutral) and at NC State.

It’s been easy to lose sight of how good Virginia has been. With a win, the Cavaliers would have tied North Carolina for the lead in the ACC, even though Virginia has basically not been talked about at all, even in the context of the ACC. So much talk has been about Duke’s adversity, Florida State’s emergence and the many bubble teams that could get the ACC’s NCAA Tournament team count as high as 11, and all the while a good, steady team like Virginia that hasn’t had a lot of big news barely registers.

Sunday night’s win in a big rivalry game could be the biggest for the program in a long time. The bubble this year will be as big as it has been in a long time, and already there were factors in the Hokies’ favor – down years in conferences like the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West, as well as a dearth of mid-major candidates chief among them. They have the resume wins now that may well put them over the top no matter what. Their place in college basketball this season looks like it will be the NCAA Tournament.

 

Side Dishes

Another team that looks to be on their way to the NCAA Tournament at last, though in a markedly different story, is Northwestern, and the Wildcats scored their latest win that should put them into lock status, or very close to it. Their first win over a top 10 team since 2012 came in the form of a 66-59 win at Wisconsin on Sunday, with Bryant McIntosh the catalyst once again as he had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Other scores of note on Sunday: SMU beat Cincinnati 60-51, so they split their season series and are even in the loss column in American Athletic Conference play, and San Diego State knocked Nevada out of first place in the Mountain West with a 70-56 win over the visiting Wolfpack. That leaves Boise State alone at the top.

A scary story out of Philadelphia is the news that Towson senior forward John Davis was shot in the leg on Saturday night in an apparent drive-by shooting. The team was in Philadelphia to play at Drexel on Saturday, and Davis remained so that he could attend a dedication ceremony for his infant son. He received more medical care after that, and as of Sunday afternoon had not had the bullet removed from his leg. Towson isn’t worried about a return to the court, but like us they are happy that his long-term health is not a concern.

A difficult rebuilding year for Oklahoma just got tougher, as senior guard Jordan Woodard’s career is now over as he has a torn ACL in his knee. A key starter on their Final Four team a year ago, Woodard and Khadeem Lattin were the big holdovers on this year’s team, and he led them in scoring this season. He suffered the injury in the second half of the Sooners’ 80-64 loss at Iowa State on Saturday.

Kentucky freshmen De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo were fortunately not injured when a car they were riding back to campus in was in an accident Sunday afternoon. The pair were passengers in the car, which rear-ended another vehicle, and because neither was driving, they picked up another ride to get to a team meeting. A passenger in the struck vehicle went to the hospital with minor injuries.

 

Tonight’s Menu

The slate isn’t quite as light as usual, and as is typical of this time of the year, a few games have a good deal of meaning.

  • The most significant game of the night is on the women’s side, as Storrs, CT is home to UConn hosting South Carolina at 9 p.m. with the Lady Huskies trying to win their 100th consecutive game.
  • Syracuse hosts Louisville in a battle of teams just a half game apart in the ACC standings (7 p.m.)
  • In Big 12 play, Texas Tech just lost a tough one to Kansas and now has to bounce back against Baylor (7 p.m.), then West Virginia visits Kansas for a rematch of a game the Mountaineers won earlier (9 p.m.)
  • A full Sun Belt slate features Georgia State at Coastal Carolina (7 p.m.) and Arkansas State at Texas State (8 p.m.)
  • There is also a Big East game on the slate as DePaul hosts Villanova (9 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.