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2011-12 ACC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 19, 2012 in Conference Notes
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Kendall Marshall, Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland.

Those three Tar Heels were supposed to anchor the North Carolina backcourt entering the 2011-12 season. With Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston, the Tar Heels figured to have one of the deepest set of guards in the country to pair with a great front line led by Tyler Zeller and John Henson. And that’s before accounting for Harrison Barnes, projected to be one of the best wing players in the country.

But injuries decimated North Carolina’s backcourt, forcing coach Roy Williams to run with little-used freshman Stilman White and jack-of-all-trades Justin Watts in the team’s most important game of the season, an Elite Eight clash with Williams’ old squad, the Kansas Jawhawks, in St. Louis. … Continue Reading

Kentucky, SEC shatter statistical expectations; ACC underwhelms

by - Published April 4, 2012 in Columns
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It’s good to be an SEC fan.

On Monday night, Kentucky completed its return to national supremacy by winning the program’s first championship since 1998. The title run marked the Wildcats’ second consecutive Final Four under coach John Calipari, who figures to make Kentucky a national championship contender pretty much every season that he’s on the sidelines.

Even though many people figured the Wildcats would cut down the nets in New Orleans, Kentucky exceeded expectations from a statistical perspective as soon as the Wildcats beat Baylor to reach the Final Four. Based on seed expectations, the typical No. 1 seed wins 3.32 games. So reaching the Elite Eight isn’t much to crow about for No. 1 seeds. … Continue Reading

A-10 and Big East sit pretty entering Sweet 16

by - Published March 20, 2012 in Columns
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Through the first three rounds of the NCAA tournament, which conferences are off to the best start? The answer — mathematically speaking — might surprise you: the Atlantic 10 and Big East.

Yes, the Big Ten has four teams in the Sweet 16, the same number as the Big East. But the Big Ten was supposed to do well with five teams receiving a No. 4 seed or better. In comparison, the Big East had one fewer team among the protected seeds.

In looking at teams’ actual performance vs. expected performance based on seeds, the Atlantic 10 and Big East are shining stars among conferences that sent at least three teams to the Big Dance. … Continue Reading

March to Madness: Breaking down the East and Midwest

by - Published March 13, 2012 in Columns
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In our first look at the brackets, we checked out the South and West, with lots of love for Kentucky and Missouri.

In this edition, we’re looking at the East Region in Boston and Midwest Region in St. Louis. There’s plenty of excitement ahead in both regions, and we take a look at the top players, potential spoilers and bracket favorites. … Continue Reading

March to Madness: Dissecting the South and West

by - Published March 12, 2012 in Columns
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During the next couple of days, we’ll profile each region of the NCAA Tournament bracket, breaking down the favorites and potential Cinderellas. We’ll also spotlight a few of the players you should keep an eye on.

The VCU Index searches to find a team that can fit the glass slipper. This is a team with a No. 10 seed or worse that has the chops to make a run to the Final Four.

And of course, we have to pick a team to reach New Orleans. … Continue Reading

March to Madness 12.0: The final take

by - Published March 11, 2012 in Columns
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It’s almost time to discover the brackets. The committee has been busy at work for most of the past few days. They are probably dreaming in S-curves and brackets when they sleep by now. I certainly am.

This afternoon was more like a nightmare for the fans of NC State, Drexel, Dayton, Tennessee and several mid-major dominators that slipped up in their conference tournaments. St. Bonaventure finished off a great run through the Atlantic 10 in Atlantic City by beating Xavier to claim the conference’s automatic bid. Xavier almost certainly is in the field, meaning that some bubble team that had been in the field yesterday is now out. In my opinion, that team is Tennessee. … Continue Reading

Championship Week(s) Central

by - Published March 11, 2012 in Columns
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For two weeks, nearly every team in Division I will get a chance to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The road to the Big Dance starts with 30 conference tournaments — the Ivy League gives its auto bid to the regular-season champ. We preview each conference tournament as the action starts to heat up. Check back here for each day’s schedule and a rundown of the previous day’s results.

In a few hours, all conference tournament games will be over, and we’ll be anxiously waiting to see where 68 teams land in the NCAA Tournament.

We had plenty of automatic bids go out yesterday without too many shockers. The ACC Tournament featured plenty of excitement and controversy as questionable officiating enraged the fan bases of NC State and Duke. The two semifinal games were decided by a total of five points. … Continue Reading

March to Madness 11.0: Happy Selection Sunday!

by - Published March 11, 2012 in Columns
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Selection Sunday is here. We’re down to the final hours before the selection committee reveals this year’s NCAA Tournament bracket, and there’s still potential for drama this afternoon.

Based on my latest projections, Tennessee should be very nervous. The Volunteers are the last team in right now, which means they’d be the first team out if St. Bonaventure wins the Atlantic 10 title and grabs an automatic bid. Xavier is already safely in the field, so the Musketeers wouldn’t drop out with a loss. In addition, a victory by the Bonnies would mean Southern Miss drops into the First Four and play against Drexel as a No. 13 seed. … Continue Reading

March to Madness 10.0: Championship Saturday could instigate seeding chaos

by - Published March 10, 2012 in Columns
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Friday provided plenty of surprises, with a potential No. 1 seed, Kansas, going down, to a team that’s moving up the S-curve, Baylor.

Among the non-power conferences, the WAC favorite, Nevada, fell to Louisiana Tech late last night, opening the door for New Mexico State to claim the conference’s automatic bid. All the action shifted the outlook for the NCAA Tournament at nearly every level. Here are some the highlights. … Continue Reading

March to Madness 9.0: Year of the Dragon approaches

by - Published March 9, 2012 in Columns
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I recently bemoaned that Drexel’s loss to VCU in the CAA title game would relegate the Dragons to the NIT, with some barely deserving major conference team squeezing into the NCAA Tournament with 12 or 13 losses.

Not so fast.

After a day of madness and general lackluster performances by teams that had to win, Drexel is back in the field. In addition to the Dragons, I’ve got Texas and Seton Hall in the field. Those three are replacing Mississippi State, Northwestern and Washington. … Continue Reading

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bostonuniversity

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Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.