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Championship matchup is one more appropriate gift

by - Published March 16, 2013 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – The first Big East semifinal was a thriller. The second one wasn’t, but its result leads to the possibility of one in the final championship game in the Big East Tournament as we know it. What’s not a possibility, but rather, a given, is that the second one sets up a final that is only fitting for a very different reason.

With Syracuse already in the final by virtue of a 58-55 overtime win over Georgetown, Louisville then punched their ticket with a victory over Notre Dame. The Cardinals gradually pulled away from the Fighting Irish, who were able to hang around most of the night and even tied the game in the first half, for a 69-57 victory.

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Everything about this game made perfect sense

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – There was no way it could be any different. Everything came together just right for Georgetown and Syracuse to play each other one last time as Big East members. The only way this game could go was to be a thriller; there was no other option.

It was a close game almost throughout, as Syracuse had a 12-point lead for a short period, and then overtime was a possibility – and it came. It was the first overtime game in the Big East Tournament between these two in more than 27 years. A second overtime looked like a possibility, but it wasn’t meant to be as Syracuse closed out Georgetown 58-55.

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Doubts about Northeastern in the CAA are sure to come again

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
northeastern

It’s been said many times and in many contexts that history repeats itself. Surely one form of that is already here and will continue: the question of whether or not Northeastern can win in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Northeastern had to overcome a 24-point deficit against George Mason in the semifinals and then fell behind big early in the championship before falling to James Madison. The Huskies were the CAA regular season champions, but they couldn’t close it out thanks to a poor performance in the biggest game of the year.

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Villanova hopes the next growth comes in the NCAA Tournament

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
villanova

NEW YORK – Villanova has had to deal with the ups and downs of a relatively young team all season long. Doing that in the Big East is difficult unless you have special young players, and while the Wildcats have good ones they’re not quite at that level. After a tough stretch through some of January, the Wildcats started to play better, and despite losing 74-55 to Louisville in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, they appear to be generally playing better as they hope to hear their name called for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

In mid-January, Villanova didn’t look good. A poor showing at Providence was a bad loss at the time, as Providence was struggling even more en route to a 2-7 start in Big East play. It was their third straight loss, although there was no shame in losing at Syracuse and to Pittsburgh, though the latter was within their grasp at one point. Villanova’s guards were, Wright said, playing like they were inexperienced. Turnovers were a major problem, much like they were on Thursday night when they gave the ball away 25 times, including 18 in the first half.

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John Dunne sad the season is over for St. Peter’s

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
stpeters

John Dunne is sad that his team’s season is over. You might wonder if that would be the case for a team like his, a St. Peter’s team that went 9-21 on the season. But you can believe Dunne when he says it, much as you can believe he would like the results to be a little different.

This year was not a memorable one for the Peacocks on the bottom line, although it started with promise as they won their first three games. Friday night’s 54-47 loss to Fairfield finished a season where they were 3-15 in the MAAC in as competitive a year as the conference has seen. They were 6-6 when MAAC play began in earnest, but started 2013 with eight straight losses in January and never recovered. After the season-opening three-game winning streak, they never won consecutive games again.

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2013 Big East Tournament quarterfinal quick hitters

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigeast

NEW YORK – Georgetown vs. Syracuse. The rivalry lives on in the context of the Big East just a little longer.

The semifinals are set for the 2013 Big East Tournament, and the first one that set up had many people buzzing. Georgetown and Syracuse will have one last game while both are members of the Big East, which is only fitting considering this is the last Big East Tournament as we know it. That game will be a tough act to follow, but Louisville and Notre Dame will try to do that. Considering the Cardinals and Fighting Irish produced the most thrilling game of the season to date when they went to five overtimes, we know they are capable.

Some quick hitters from Thursday’s games:

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Smith leads Louisville on a difficult day

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
louisville

NEW YORK – Russ Smith played one of his best games of the season with a heavy heart. The Big East Tournament is a homecoming for a lot of players, Smith included, as New York is well-represented among the conference’s players. But a phone call the Louisville guard made earlier in the day changed a lot for the young man and also hit a lot of people in Madison Square Garden. Smith learned that Jack Curran, the legendary coach of Archbishop Molloy, had died at age 82.

With Louisville in town for the conference tournament, Smith called the school, as he so often does when in town, to touch base with people there, including athletic director Mike McCleary. That was when he learned that Curran had passed, and Smith was taken aback.

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For Cincinnati, offense will be the key

by - Published March 14, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
cincinnati

NEW YORK – Cincinnati tried to play smaller and faster, which Mick Cronin felt was the way to go for this team. It worked like a charm on Wednesday, but Cronin knew it would be a tall order against Georgetown on Thursday. He was right, and while he seems to have found a way to play that works, the Bearcats will have to wait to go with it again after falling 62-43 in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.

Cincinnati got off to a nice start on the season in winning their first 12 games. Since losing a tough one to New Mexico at home, they haven’t put together a winning streak longer than three in a row, although they started Big East play with a win at Pittsburgh. In February they lost five of six at one point after winning five of six. They should be in the NCAA Tournament, as they have the wins without any bad losses.

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How bright is Rutgers’ future now?

by - Published March 14, 2013 in Columns
rutgers

NEW YORK – Not long after Mike Rice was named the head coach at Rutgers, there was reason to believe better times were ahead. Rice has lots of connections in New Jersey to, in theory, finally get some of the top talent in the talent-rich state. The thought was that Rutgers finally had the right guy running the program. But with his third season at the school now almost certainly in the books, the future seems more murky than one would have expected.

After losing to Notre Dame 69-61 in the second round of the Big East Tournament, Rutgers finishes the season 14-16. There is a slim chance a postseason tournament without the requirement of a .500 record will come calling, but chances are they have played their last basketball of the season. They went 5-13 in Big East play and finished 12th, which is one spot below where they were picked in the preseason poll. They were 14-18 overall last season, including a 6-12 record in Big East play. They were a young team this season, but the lack of bottom line results is just part of the story.

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2013 Big East Tournament second round quick hitters

by - Published March 14, 2013 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigeast

NEW YORK – The quarterfinals are up next in the Big East Tournament. In the second round, we saw Cincinnati blitz Providence early and fend off a rally, Syracuse rally from an early deficit due to a hot shooting Seton Hall team with a very strong second half, Villanova knock off a young St. John’s team and Notre Dame pull away from Rutgers and then hold them off. The four winners take on the top four seeds on Thursday.

Some quick hitters from Wednesday:

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What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

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.

Hoopville Archives

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.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening 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.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 20, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was time for a trip to Hanover for late action in the Northeast Hoops Festival, and we have a look at some prospects who stood out on the day.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Saturday & Sunday notes

April 14, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Saturday was a full day of action at EYBL Hampton, and Sunday capped it off with a brief slate. We look at some of the talent that was on hand each day to close out the first live weekend.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Friday notes

April 11, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Friday night was the beginning at EYBL Hampton, with a relatively light night of action. We have notes on a few players from the opening games to get us started.

2015 Playaz Spring Fling – Friday notes

April 8, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

The spring travel circuit is getting started, and the Playaz Spring Fling was a good early stop as it usually is during the Final Four weekend.

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.