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NCAA Tournament second weekend notes: Duke, Kentucky Final Four regulars, but seldom together

by - Published March 31, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

With a group of regional semifinalists that was dominated by historically powerful programs, the second weekend of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was bound to leave us with a touted quartet of teams for the Final Four.

It has done just that, providing us with a mix of the recent and the historic, including two programs that have joined each other at this time of the season more than a time or two before. Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin is not the most history-rich group of four that we’ve ever had in a Final Four-1991, 1993 and 2008 were more so, to list a few-but it is indeed a group with plenty of roots in this sport.

Kentucky and Duke. It should be no surprise at least one of them are here, though it surprisingly is a surprise that both are.
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Kentucky 78, West Virginia 39: Tempo Free Post-Mortem

by - Published March 28, 2015 in Columns
kentucky

At the 16:33 mark, it was 7-2. It only got worse. Kentucky thoroughly dismantled West Virginia 78-39 in the Sweet 16.

Thursday’s night in Cleveland saw the Wildcats post an efficiency of 122. That was double the Mountaineer efficiency of 61. The win brought Kentucky’s record to 37-0, while West Virginia ends the year 25-10.

The pace of the contest was 64 possessions, a moderate tempo as full-court pressing was not an issue the final twenty minutes as Kentucky was enjoying a huge double-digit lead.

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NCAA Tournament first week review: few upsets, but history-rich programs remain

by - Published March 23, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

The first week of the 2015 NCAA Tournament has brought us a little of everything, much of nothing. Like the beer commercial, you might say it is up for whatever.

We started with a boatload of close games, but the number and intensity of those games has petered out over the past three days, taking this year”s tourney from historic to almost pedestrian. The Sweet 16 will include three 1 seeds, but otherwise is a buffet of differing squads and resumes. The last 16 remaining includes teams from eight different conferences and seeded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11.

What do we have left is a field of teams that is loaded with history, whether it be recent or distant. In fact, every single team left falls into at least one of the categories, if not both.
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Rhode Island 88, Iona 75: A tempo free recap

by - Published March 19, 2015 in Columns
author_floriani

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – The pace was in the eighties. Not a shock at all. It would have been if the tempo was more pedestrian 60 something. At any rate, playing a speed both clubs enjoy, Rhode Island defeated Iona 88-75. The first round NIT game at URI’s Ryan Centers saw the Rams improve to 23-9 while Iona finishes 26-9. The Gaels had 84 possessions to the 82 of Rhode Island.

The efficiency:

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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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Crisis? Tuesday’s First Four showed college hoops is far from it

by - Published March 18, 2015 in Columns
ncaa

“Oh, wowsie wowsie woo woo. Miserable day, isn’t it?”

The words of the old Flintstones cartoon character Bad Luck Schleprock often seem to sum up the state of college basketball, according to the narrative we’ve heard so many times this year. Not that many today remember him (unfortunately, Flintstones reruns on TBS went away long ago), but Schleprock was literally followed by a rain cloud most places where he went. According to what we have regularly heard this year, you might suspect Schlep is courtside at nearly every single Division I game this season.

Earlier this week there was yet another story about the “epidemic” the sport is facing. It focused on attendance (which is down for college football now as well, it should be noted) but again continued the theme at the sport is in grave danger of falling off the map. Tuesday night, though, we were treated to a pair of NCAA Tournament games that were far more representative of the actual state of the sport than the gloomy picture we have been painted too many times now.
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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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Atlantic 10 to Big East: On the conference road (and rails)

by - Published March 17, 2015 in Columns
author_floriani

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In actuality, the day begins in New York at Penn Station. The first stop is the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center. The evening finishes at MSG for the Big East. A basketball odyssey of one day, two venues, two conferences, two boroughs, eight teams. Countless enjoyment for a basketball connoisseur.

10:45 a.m. – On the 2 train Brooklyn-bound out of Penn Station. No one in La Salle or Davidson gear spotted. Train is filled with later morning commuters and those entrenched in their 9 to 5 routine.

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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.

… Continue Reading

Bracket impressions: Committee missed it with Indiana, Texas, UCLA

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

Texas and its 3-12 record against the top 50? In.

UCLA going 2-8 against the top 50, 5-10 against the top 100 and 4-11 in road/neutral games? In, and not even needing a play-in game. (Yet Dayton goes 1-3 against the top 50, 6-6 against the top 100 and 9-8 in road/neutral games and needs to play in?)

Indiana and its 4-9 mark against the top 50? Not just in, but a comfy 10 seed.

What can one say? Apparently this year’s NCAA Tournament selection committee, more than ones the past couple years, thoroughly enjoys mediocrity.
… Continue Reading

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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

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