Home » The Morning Dish » Currently Reading:

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 11, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

Like the NCAA Tournament, conference tournaments have a lot of drama and stories. Friday was no different, a seemingly decisive day in many respects all over the country.

The drama actually starts with one of the last games of the day, and one that was probably off of everyone’s radars. The WAC Tournament looked like it could be heading towards a rematch of last year’s thrilling championship game, but Utah Valley had ideas of getting in the way as they took on defending champion CSU Bakersfield. It was a pretty low-scoring game throughout, as neither team shot better than 32 percent in a defensive struggle. Utah Valley led by eight with 2:40 left in regulation, and it looked like the Roadrunners were on the ropes. In a low-scoring game like this, a lead like that might be insurmountable.

Jaylin Arlington put them on his back, rallying them in the final minutes to force overtime. He went on a personal 6-0 run, then later made the game-tying jumper with 15 seconds left that forced overtime. But one extra session was not enough – a second, then a third, and before you knew it, we had the first four-overtime game in WAC Tournament history.

The game had 18 ties and 22 lead changes, and set several tournament records. Among the records are the 68 rebounds by Utah Valley, 28 turnovers forced by CSU Bakersfield, and the Roadrunners attempting 45 free throws and making 32. Finally, Bakersfield held on for an 81-80 win in the fourth extra session. New Mexico State cruised in their semifinal, but head coach Rod Barnes knows his team will be ready for the rematch. He knows they are 40 minutes away from another NCAA Tournament trip. He knows there is too much at stake to not put it all on the line.

His counterpart, Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope, didn’t find the words easily, but his opening comment really said it all – “This game is a beautiful game, because most of the time, it’s really, really honest, it’s an honest game.”

You know he and his team were not in a good place after such heartbreak. They very ably addressed the media for several minutes after the game.

After that, we go early in the day and look at Michigan. Barely 48 hours removed from a near-death experience that undoubtedly shook everyone to their core, the Wolverines had a date with Big Ten regular season champion Purdue. They got their uniforms back in time for the game, one more sign of the seriousness of what happened that puts things in perspective.

Beating Illinois a day earlier, and in practice jerseys, was one thing. Beating Purdue would be quite another. Overtime came, and Michigan came up big in the extra session for what was surely an emotional 78-74 win, one that probably locks them into the NCAA Tournament if they weren’t already in. There’s another one at stake for them today, though, and they are trying to make this one of the real feel-good stories of March.

Also in the Big Ten, Indiana couldn’t salvage their season that went downhill after a nice start. Wisconsin ended it with a 70-60 win over the Hoosiers, a little before Northwestern continued their feel-good story with a 72-64 win over Maryland to reach the semifinals.

Cal had another shot at Oregon in the Pac-12 semifinals, and the Golden Bears needed it. Their resume could use a quality win, especially after they let one get away from them against the Ducks in Berkeley a few weeks ago. This time, though, Oregon was in control for more of the game in a 73-65 win that will have Cal sweating it out on Sunday.

Rhode Island kept their hopes alive by advancing to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a 74-63 win over St. Bonaventure. That’s a better fate than what happened to regular season champion Dayton, as Davidson got 34 points from Jack Gibbs to knock off the Flyers.

That was also better than what happened to another team clinging to slim at-large hopes. Houston probably needed to at least reach the American Athletic Conference championship game to have a chance, but UConn beat them 74-65 to make that moot. The Cougars are likely off to the NIT or CBI.

Vanderbilt may have punched their ticket on Friday as well, as they clearly seem to have Florida’s number. Beating the Gators twice in the regular season was one of their resume highlights, but a third win – Friday’s 72-62 overtime win in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament – might well put Bryce Drew’s club over the hump.

Last, but not least, Duke is reminding us of how dangerous they are. The Blue Devils have certainly not had a simple journey to this point by any means, but after beating North Carolina in a third meeting between the arch-rivals to reach the ACC championship game, they look like they might be rounding into form just in time. There is a reason many felt this team was as good a pick as any to win the national championship before the season.

Championship Saturday is always a fun day of college basketball, and this one should be no different. Friday set the stage beautifully for us.


Side Dishes

With Kansas already out of the Big 12 Tournament, the Jayhawks were in the news for a different reason, and not a good one. The Kansas City Star reported that the father of a woman’s basketball player at the school is alleging that an attorney for Josh Jackson attempted to pay her family so she would not press charges after a December incident involving the two. Jackson, a freshmen on the men’s basketball team, allegedly kicked the car of McKenzie Calvert, a sophomore on the women’s team, outside a bar in Lawrence on Dec. 9. Tim Calvert, McKenzie’s father, told the Kansas City Star that Jackson’s lawyer offered restitution to them on several conditions, nearly two months after the incident occurred. McKenzie Calvert was suspended and banned from Allen Fieldhouse Dec. 9 and 10, and was supposed to be suspended further to include the game Dec. 11 game against Rhode Island, but Tim Calvert took issue with Jackson not receiving any kind of disciplinary action and McKenzie suited up. At this point, all we know is that Jackson was disciplined in house after the incident, but what that means is not known and no one is talking. There is much more at the Star’s report on the situation.

UCLA got a bigger scare than losing their Pac-12 semifinal game could provide, as Lonzo Ball injured his left thumb in the first half of the game from the ball hitting it awkwardly. X-rays came back negative, so while the star guard looked visibly in pain during the game, he should be ready to go in the NCAA Tournament next week.

In what might go down as the least surprising news of the year, Washington guard Markelle Fultz announced that he will declare for the NBA Draft. The freshman guard has long been pegged as a likely top overall selection, and this will continue quite a meteoric rise for a kid who only a few years ago did not play on his high school’s varsity team. We are keeping track of all the early entrants to the NBA Draft right here.

Miami (Ohio) fired John Cooper, who led the program the past five seasons after the late Charlie Coles retired. Previously the head coach at Tennessee State, Cooper went 59-100 in Oxford, including an 11-21 mark this season. We are keeping track of all the coaching changes right here.


Tonight’s Menu

It’s perhaps the best day of the season – 14 conference championship games are on tap over a 15-hour stretch, and six more have semifinal action.

  • The Sun Belt semifinals have an in-state battle with Texas State taking on UT Arlington (12:30 p.m.), then Troy takes on Georgia State (3 p.m., both on ESPN3).
  • The Atlantic 10 semifinals have Davidson taking on Rhode Island (1 p.m.) and another rivalry game as Richmond takes on VCU (3:30 p.m., both on CBS Sports Network).
  • In the Big Ten semifinals, Michigan takes on Minnesota (1 p.m.) and Northwestern takes on Wisconsin (3:30 p.m., both on CBS).
  • The Ivy League has semifinal action in its first-ever tournament, with No. 1 Princeton taking on No. 4 Penn (1:30 p.m., ESPNU) and No. 2 Harvard taking on No. 3 Yale (3:30 p.m., ESPNU) at the Palestra.
  • In the American Athletic Conference semifinals, UCF takes on SMU (3 p.m.) and Cincinnati takes on UConn (5:30 p.m., both on ESPN2).
  • The SEC semifinals have Alabama taking on Kentucky (1 p.m.) and Vanderbilt battling Arkansas (3 p.m., both on ESPN).
  • Championship games start with the America East championship game, with Vermont hosting Albany (11 a.m., ESPN2).
  • The MEAC championship game is next on the docket with Norfolk State taking on NC Central (1 p.m., ESPN2).
  • In the Big East championship game, Creighton takes on Villanova (5:30 p.m., Fox).
  • The Big 12 championship game is up next, with Iowa State and West Virginia doing battle (6 p.m., ESPN).
  • Also at that time is the Mountain West championship, which pits Colorado State against Nevada (6 p.m., CBS).
  • The SWAC championship game has Alcorn State taking on Texas Southern (6:15 p.m., ESPNU).
  • In the MAC championship game, Kent State takes on Akron (7:30 p.m., ESPN2).
  • The Big Sky championship is up next, with Weber State taking on North Dakota (8:30 p.m., ESPNU).
  • Also at that time, the Conference USA championship game has Marshall challenging Middle Tennessee (8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
  • The ACC championship game has Duke taking on Notre Dame (9 p.m., ESPN).
  • In the Southland Conference championship game, Texas A&M-CC takes on New Orleans (9:30 p.m., ESPN2).
  • We head out west to close out the night, starting with the Pac-12 championship game between Arizona and Oregon (11 p.m., ESPN) and the WAC championship game, a rematch of last year’s as CSU Bakersfield and New Mexico State battle it out (11 p.m., ESPNU).
  • The day closes out on the west coast, naturally, as the Big West championship game features UC Davis battling UC Irvine (11:30 p.m., ESPN2).

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.