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2014-15 Missouri Valley Post-Mortem

by - Published July 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Once again, the Missouri Valley Conference is on the comeback. Not that it ever really leaves.

For more than 100 years, few conferences have rolled with the punches better than the MVC. The Valley continues to claw out a spot just outside the top tier conferences in college basketball, and it did so again in 2014-15 with a noticeably improved product that again proved the league has a niche in the sport.

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2014-15 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Atlantic 10 was bound to have a hard time duplicating the success of the 2013-14 season, and that is exactly what happened. That reality is much less an indictment of the conference in 2014-15 than it is a reminder of how historically good the preceding season was. In the end, the results show a mixed bag of promise and concern for the conference heading into next season.

Davidson joined the conference and showed they have much more going for them than being the school that produced NBA MVP Stephen Curry. The Wildcats came seemingly out of nowhere to win the regular season title outright. Besides the fact that they were coming from the Southern Conference, they played a very soft non-conference schedule, so they weren’t exactly projected to make a grand entrance into the conference. But they kept on winning, having gained confidence with their non-conference wins. They were one of three teams to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the conference’s streak of seven straight years with at least one team in the Sweet 16 was snapped.

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2014-15 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Seldom does a team enter a season with high expectations and then fulfill predictions of greatness in almost every way possible the way Wisconsin did this year.

The Badgers came into 2014-15 with four starters returning from a team that made it to the Final Four, and Bo Ryan’s team was on the short list of favorites to get there again. Wisconsin also was an overwhelming favorite to win the rugged Big Ten and had a pair of players receiving preseason All-America recognition (Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker). While the expectations will never be at a Kentucky or UCLA level in Madison, a run at the national title was a realistic goal.

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2014-15 Summit League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

You may not hear much about it from TV networks increasingly narrowing their coverage scope, but few NCAA Division I conferences have struck gold with conference realignment like the Summit League.

North Dakota State and South Dakota State were in the league’s footprint when both were considering moves to Division I in the early 2000’s. At the same time, the then-Mid-Continent Conference was regularly toting 15 or 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament and was widely regarded as low in stability because of a footprint that spread from Indiana to Utah ad down to Louisiana. With little to lose, the conference wisely snapped them up, and the results have been superb.

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2014-15 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The old phrase “What a difference a year makes” normally has positive connotations. For the Ivy League following the 2014-15 season, however, the opposite would be true. At a time when the league appeared to be in a big up cycle, the rise didn’t quite continue this season.

There was very good basketball in the Ivy League, to be sure. Harvard and Yale set the pace with good non-league showings, with the Bulldogs pulling out the league’s signature victory at UConn in December. The middle of the pack was pretty good – perhaps better than one might have expected given the adversity some teams faced. But there’s no two ways about it: the league went from five postseason teams in 2013-14 to just two this time around. And while postseason bids is a very imperfect way to measure a league, it’s certainly one way to do it.

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2014-15 Southland Post-Mortem

by - Published June 19, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Those buying into the overhyped storyline about college basketball being unwatchable this past season could’ve found their antidote if only they watched a little bit more of Stephen F. Austin and the Southland Conference.

SFA ran through the Southland as Coach Brad Underwood led his team to a second consecutive memorable year. The Lumberjacks lost just once in SLC play and ran off 28 wins in 29 games before a cold-shooting performance in the NCAA Tournament kept them from duplicating their feat from a year earlier of scoring a first round victory as a 12 seed in the Big Dance.

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2014-15 America East Post-Mortem

by - Published June 19, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The America East had a very familiar look at the top this season, in more ways than one. The conference championship game was a rematch, with a similar result in more ways than one, while the top three teams in the standings all looked very familiar.

After that, it gets interesting. It is perhaps where we can look for some change in the times to come.

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2014-15 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published June 10, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Seemingly in a perpetual search for an identity due to so many membership changes, the Sun Belt Conference found one in 2014-15 as a conference that provided a little of it all.

The Sun Belt was both as predicted and unpredictable. It played games in the 90s and 100s…or the 30s and 40s. It even had some star power amidst rosters that would mostly generate a shrug on the national level. It was a unique mix, but in the end it worked out well for a now-venerable league that has faced numerous changes over the years but is nearing its 40th anniversary.

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2014-15 Big West Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Big West entered 2014-15 poised for a very good year, and it eventually got there, albeit in a very roundabout way.

A number of the storylines for the league coming into the season never quite materialized, for a myriad of reasons. Among them:

-Preseason favorite UC Irvine was hammered by injuries for much of the season. Mammoth (7-foot-6) game-changer Mamadou Ndiaye played in less than half the team’s games, and four other regulars missed substantial time. After a 3-2 start that included a scare of Arizona and a tough loss at St. Mary’s, the Anteaters really were never whole again the rest of the year.

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2014-15 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

In a year full of competitive conference races, the Colonial Athletic Association fit right in while still being under the radar. It didn’t have a seven-way tie at the top at one point, like the Big South did or three games separating first from tenth like the Patriot League did for a lot of the season, but it did produce its own great result: a four-way tie for the regular season title.

The conference wasn’t top-heavy, either. Another team was two games back of the top four and two more teams another game back. The six losses by the top four teams were tied for the most by a regular season champion in CAA history and marked the first time in 18 years that the regular season champion had more than four losses. Drexel was 9-9 in CAA play and had to play on opening night of the conference tournament. The other 9-9 team, Delaware, knocked off three of the four teams that tied for first during the season.

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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

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"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
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"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."
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Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

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