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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 23, 2015

by - Published March 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was not a great day to be a No. 2 seed. That alone was noteworthy in two games on the day, but each was also noteworthy for other reasons.

We’ll start by mentioning the lone No. 2 seed to advance, which was Gonzaga (South). The Bulldogs ran out to a 46-29 halftime lead, shooting 62 percent in the opening frame, easily handling No. 7 Iowa 87-68. It’s the first time in six years that Gonzaga has reached the Sweet 16, and No. 11 UCLA awaits.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 21, 2015

by - Published March 21, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

If it was possible to have a day that was the opposite of Thursday, we pretty much had it on Friday. Whereas Thursday was a wild day with historic upsets – three double-digits seeds won by a point on the same day for the first time in NCAA Tournament history – Friday was, well, ho-hum. In fact, it was almost a historic day in just about the opposite fashion.

The first 15 games of the day saw every higher seed win. Since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams, there has never been a day in the round of 64 where all 16 higher seeds won. Then we had the last game of the day. It was one that was full of ridiculousness, quite frankly, but the most important thing is that the game kept the day from being historic. No. 11 Dayton beat No. 6 Providence 66-53, providing the lone upset of the day.

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Rhode Island has grown up right before our eyes

by - Published March 18, 2015 in Columns
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – A year after a lot of growing pains, Rhode Island has, quite simply, grown up a lot. You could see it over the course of the season, and on Tuesday night, it was even clearer as the Rams took care of Iona in the first round of the NIT.

And along the way, we may have gotten a glimpse of the future in more ways than one for this team.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Players to Watch – Part 2

by - Published March 17, 2015 in Columns
ncaa

March has a way of bringing people out of the shadows. Whether it’s the causal sports fan who suddenly tunes in to college basketball in time for the NCAA Tournament or the unknown player who becomes a household name even for a day, March is the best month of basketball in part because of this.

Every year in the NCAA Tournament, players who have been outside the spotlight make a name for themselves under the bright lights of March. This year will surely be no different, especially considering how competitive the landscape is. With that, here’s a look at some players you may not have heard about yet, but will as the NCAA Tournament goes on.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Players to Watch – Part 1

by - Published March 16, 2015 in Columns
ncaa

March has a way of bringing people out of the shadows. Whether it’s the causal sports fan who suddenly tunes in to college basketball in time for the NCAA Tournament or the unknown player who becomes a household name even for a day, March is the best month of basketball in part because of this.

Every year in the NCAA Tournament, players who have been outside the spotlight make a name for themselves under the bright lights of March. This year will surely be no different, especially considering how competitive the landscape is. Stars are important, and are part of what draws fans, but hidden stars and complementary players make a big difference as well.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 16, 2015

by - Published March 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Selection Sunday has come and gone, and as usual, there is much to talk about. As much as ever, though, bubble teams are the center of the conversation, and understandably so.

By 7 p.m. Eastern time every year on this day, there are programs that are excited and ones that are sad, upset, even angry. Nowadays, where the bubble always seems more even and perhaps weaker than in the past, you get the feeling that there are more teams in the latter category. And one thing that is true more than ever is that any team that doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large certainly had their chances to play their way in, and not just by winning their conference tournament.

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A tough missed opportunity for Tulsa

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns
tulsa

HARTFORD, Conn. – Saturday was a missed opportunity for Tulsa. They let it get away. Now they hope it doesn’t turn out to be bigger than that, and all they can do is wait and hope. And waiting will be a hard thing to do at this point.

Tulsa lost a tough one to UConn in the American Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals. It was a game they were mostly in control of, as they led for almost 33 minutes. They scored the game’s first seven points, not allowing the Huskies to score until almost eight minutes in. They responded well to runs the Huskies made for much of the game.

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Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
temple

HARTFORD, Conn. – This isn’t the kind of uncharted waters you want to be in. Uncertainty is something humans hate more than anything else. For now, though, all Temple can do is wait and hope that they will be part of the field of 68. It’s something Fran Dunphy hasn’t had to do before.

Dunphy has had seasons where his team hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament. He’s a great coach, but he hasn’t been perfect. To this point in his career, he’s always known whether his team is in or out, though. While at Penn, his team was only going with a league championship, so he knew before Selection Sunday if he was in or out. At Temple, he’s won three conference championships, had other teams that were locks regardless and others that were definitely not making the Big Dance.

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UConn is one game away

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns
connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. – They have one more to go.

One more game to pull off another magical conference tournament run.

One more game for one more guard to get them in one more NCAA Tournament.

One more opportunity to do something special, to finish the job.

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It didn’t take Larry Brown long to change SMU

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
smu

HARTFORD, Conn. – SMU probably won’t have Larry Brown as their head coach for long. He’s 74 years old, and the school knew his time was limited when they hired him with a head coach-in-waiting in Tim Jankovich. However, his hire has had the impact they wanted: the program has a winning product in three years.

Now, people know about SMU. It’s a destination for players.

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Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

It didn’t take Larry Brown long to change SMU

March 15, 2015 by

smu

Larry Brown won’t be the head coach at SMU forever. As such, it’s a good thing he has already turned the program into one that can get better players and possibly win championships.

History shows the challenge ahead of East Carolina

March 14, 2015 by

eastcarolina

East Carolina’s first season in the American Athletic Conference is complete. With that, the challenge they face as shown by their history looks clear, and they may have just the right coach to navigate it.

Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

Be sure to listen to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on WNYM AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on Selection Sunday, then from 5-7 p.m. each Sunday up to the Final Four. Check here every Sunday evening starting with Selection Sunday, March 15, for a link to the live stream.

Coming up soon: archives of this year's shows.

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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.