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The long road to Northeastern’s first CAA championship

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns

BALTIMORE – When Northeastern finished its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association, there were plenty of doubters. That might seem surprising when you consider they had the Player of the Year (Jose Juan Barea) and Defensive Player of the Year (Shawn James) and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. They finished fifth, so they had to win two games to get there. But some were not impressed despite the challenges involved in switching conferences.

The thought from some was that if they had two award winners and finished fifth, how in the world would they ever win in the CAA? That first year, by the way, was the year George Mason made its legendary Final Four run. It was the CAA’s best year until a couple of years ago; the Patriots didn’t even win the conference tournament, losing to Hofstra in a semifinal game best remembered for a player who earned a one-game suspension.

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What happens next for Delaware?

by - Published March 9, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BALTIMORE – What now?

That’s probably the simplest, but also the most wide-ranging, question. There are lots of questions, actually, and no answers at the moment. There is lots of speculation, some of it even of the well-reasoned variety, but no clarity for now.

What happens to Monte Ross? What will Delaware look like next year and beyond, not only on the bench, but on the court? Why has it come to this? When will we know?

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 9, 2015

by - Published March 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish

March is the best month of the year for a reason. College basketball has the conference tournaments and the grand-daddy of them all, the NCAA Tournament. The NIT, CBI and CIT add to it. While the last four are the big ones, especially the NCAA, the conference tournaments provide plenty of lasting memories as well. There, teams play with everything on the line, especially in conferences that will only send their champion to the NCAA Tournament.

Enter this weekend. We had the Ohio Valley Conference giving us another memorable championship game on Saturday night. Then on Sunday, a day where three automatic bids were handed out, it was a semifinal game in Baltimore that provided us with an instant classic.

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The place for improvement is clear for James Madison

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns

BALTIMORE – Of the four teams that tied for first in the CAA, one of the more unlikely ones was James Madison. Next year, however, don’t be surprised if contention and something better than a Saturday exit from the tournament is expected from them.

The Dukes were already down several players from last season just to start, including the transfer of Charles Cooke. They were an inexperienced team, though perhaps not quite as much as last year. Things didn’t get better from there. Andre Nation, their most talented player, was dismissed from the program, robbing them of one of their most experienced players as well. Later, promising freshman Hari Hall missed the last month of the season due to injury.

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Family helped Elon get off the mat and win late games

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BALTIMORE – With Elon this weekend, you saw a mix of why they had to play on the first night of the CAA Tournament and some hope. It all went together, but didn’t translate into a big upset on Saturday to move on, as William & Mary took over the game early and scored a convincing 72-59 quarterfinal win.

The issues were clear. The Phoenix were not good defensively, and this was a bad time for that to be the case as they were up against a very good and disciplined offensive team. They had offensive issues, too, but it started on defense, particularly with the way William & Mary took the lead for good – primarily on three-pointers as they hit three in an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 7, 2015

by - Published March 7, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Big South Conference doesn’t get a lot of attention, but if you have been following it, you have received a treat. It has been arguably the most competitive conference in the country, and that’s saying something considering the CAA had a four-way tie for first and how bunched up the Patriot League standings were. And on Friday, the Big South reinforced this in stunning fashion in the quarterfinal round of its tournament in Conway, SC.

We start with the opener, where Longwood met the top seed, Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers gained the top seed by knocking off High Point in the regular season finale, and they won the tie-breaker. But it was the Lancers who first grabbed a 29-20 lead at halftime, then responded after Charleston Southern scored the first 12 points of the second half to take the lead with a 13-0 run of their own en route to a 68-60 win. Shaquille Johnson had a big game with 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the way. The Buccaneers will be in the NIT.

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Gonzaga not a No. 1 seed even before BYU loss

by - Published March 6, 2015 in Columns

I may be in the minority, but prior to last Saturday night I was not really in the camp that thought Gonzaga should be a No. 1 seed. I was probably lukewarm to the idea, though it had been looking like a better case of late. It’s probably moot now that BYU beat them in Spokane, but should they sweep their way to a West Coast Conference championship, the subject will probably come up again.

Gonzaga has been a trendy team to speak of as a Final Four contender and a No. 1 seed as well. It’s understandable why; since the late 1990s they have ruled the West Coast Conference and annually play a loaded non-conference schedule, one where they win enough to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament whether they win the WCC or not. Last year might have been an exception, as I’m not sure they would have been in without a WCC championship, but they won, so it was moot.

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Tough loss doesn’t take away Sacred Heart’s improvement

by - Published March 6, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The other side of Wednesday night’s instant classic is Sacred Heart. The Pioneers came out on the wrong end of a game that unfortunately only one team could win. While there were no moral victories to be had, it’s undeniable that they were even in that game and nearly had it won is the end result of a big improvement from last season. It’s also an improvement that will be tough, but hardly impossible, to maintain in the immediate.

Year two for a coach is almost always more challenging than the first year, but given the challenges Anthony Latina faced with his team in his inaugural season a year ago, this might be different. The Pioneers were 5-26 as he took over for the retired Dave Bike, and they simply were not good. There was youth, there was an adjustment – though Latina was an assistant before ascending into the head coaching position, he is not Dave Bike Lite – and the Northeast Conference was very good last year.

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Third time is the charm for Bryant

by - Published March 5, 2015 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For Bryant, the third time was the charm. Not that it was as simple as that, but the end result said as much, and it could easily have not been the case for so many reasons that may or may not make sense right now.

“Honestly,” said senior guard Dyami Starks, “I looked at (Joe O’Shea’s) face, and he looked bewildered, like, ‘Did I hit that?'”

Starks was recounting the final seconds of regulation – what could have been the final seconds of Bryant’s season once again, in their home gym once again, in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference Tournament once again. Seconds earlier, he put up a shot from well behind the three-point line that was off-line. The ball bounced off the rim and went away from it, with precious seconds ticking off the clock, hope of keeping the game alive, keeping the season alive, fading with each tick.

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2015 CAA postseason awards – how one man voted

by - Published March 4, 2015 in Columns

On Thursday night, the CAA will hand out its postseason awards just before the conference tournament. It’s been quite a year in the conference, as was to be expected. With no clear favorite aside from perhaps Northeastern, if you go by returning talent and experience, this figured to be an interesting and highly competitive year, and it was just that. For the first time in the conference’s history, four teams finished tied for first, as evidence of it, and all four were 12-6.

As I am one of the voters for the conference’s postseason awards, I feel it is worth sharing how I voted and some of what went into each selection. It also gives some insight into how the conference looks overall as we head into the conference tournament in Baltimore this weekend.

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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!

Hoopville Podcasts

College Basketball Tonight – March 19, 2017

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – March 10, 2017, Part 1

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In Part 1 of the podcast as Championship Week rolls on, we look at some important games in New York, as well as surprises in the Big 12. Also, more coaching changes are happening, and we talk about some of the news there.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

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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

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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

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At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

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Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

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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.