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Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

by - Published December 4, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

While football remained top of mind for many in college sports on a day of championship games, Saturday was a much-anticipated day on the hardwood, the first of its kind this season. And it didn’t take long to live up to that hype.

In one of the first games of the day, UCLA beat Kentucky for the second straight year. As was the case last year, what to take from that game says much more about UCLA than Kentucky, and this time around, if you’re a UCLA fan you can feel pretty good, as opposed to a year ago. We’ll have more on this later.

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Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

by - Published November 7, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Last season, Gonzaga’s run to the Sweet 16 overshadowed the reality that this team was far from a lock for the NCAA Tournament in the first place. Had they not won the West Coast Conference Tournament, they might have been in the NIT, as it was not typical of the seasons the program has had the last two decades.

The Bulldogs didn’t run through the WCC as they often have over the past couple of decades. Saint Mary’s actually had the top seed in the conference tournament via tie-breaker after sweeping them during the regular season. In non-conference play, it was debatable whether or not wins over Washington and UConn (both in the Battle 4 Atlantis) would be enough. They whiffed on their other chances, dropping close ones to Texas A&M (also at the Battle 4 Atlantis), at home against Arizona and at SMU, all by single digits.

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For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

by - Published October 21, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

In recent years, when the subject of the best basketball conferences has come up, how good the ACC and Big Ten are has often been at the center. Previously, it centered on the Big East before it broke up, including in 2011 when 11 of its 16 teams made the NCAA Tournament, while last year, the ACC set a record for NCAA Tournament wins by its members with 19. (And that was a year after the ACC came up one short of the previous record of 18 by the 1985 Big East.) The Pac-12 grabbed a bit of the conversation as well since it was very deep and intensely competitive. All the while, the Big 12 has been on quite a run, and has arguably been the best conference of late.

Continuing that run, however, will be a different challenge this season.

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A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

by - Published October 7, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Twelve months ago, the anticipation was building. There was plenty of buzz. Plenty of people wondered if the Pac-12 was going to have a new team at the top and carrying the flag. The questions that followed were only natural.

Could California upend teams like Arizona, Utah and Oregon that had been carrying the flag for the conference of late and even be a team to make a deep run in March? Were the Golden Bears at the beginning of something early in Cuonzo Martin’s tenure after getting two McDonald’s All-Americans to come there, including one whom virtually no one thought they had a shot at landing?

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Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

by - Published May 31, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Michael Gbinije seemingly had “college All-American” and probably more written all over him growing up. He played at a powerhouse in DeMatha Catholic in Maryland, and as often happens with good players there, was highly recruited. When he chose Duke, many probably figured he had a lot ahead of him.

Well, he did, but the road was far from easy. His college career was quite a journey that took him elsewhere, but could still take him to the promised land beyond college. For that matter, he experienced the promised land of the Final Four in his final season, though it’s one as unexpected as how he got to this point.

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The wait is over for Stony Brook

by - Published March 12, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Stony Brook is going to the NCAA Tournament.

At long last, the program that’s had the regular season titles, then so much heartache in the America East Tournament, is a winner.

And at long last, a few things can come to a stop, too.

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Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

by - Published February 28, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

A number of conference regular seasons are now over, with Saturday providing the last hurrah. More will follow on Sunday, and conference tournaments begin this week. And to put it simply, this Saturday was like so many other days of the season to date in that for every result that might provide further clarity, there was another that provided less.

And all the same, there were many great games and finishes to the standings. Some ended in ties atop the conference, while others came down to the final game and had ties elsewhere near the top of the standings (the CAA had a two-way tie for first and a three-way tie for third place). College basketball fans have arguably never had it better. We have every reason to expect that Championship Week will be full of great games and some unexpected results along the way.

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Saturday Notes – February 20, 2016

by - Published February 21, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Another Saturday full of consequential games is in the books. The bubble is very large this year, with so many teams seemingly in the discussion, and unlike other years where that has been the case, this time around it doesn’t represent a large drop-off from teams that are locks at this point for the NCAA Tournament – and to be honest, there aren’t many that you can solidly put in that category just yet, either, although that’s going to change by the time the conference tournaments roll around.

On Saturday, it seemed like for every bubble team that got a big win, there was at least one that lost a game they couldn’t afford to. In the one that doesn’t have a tournament, the top three teams in the Ivy League held serve, so they exit the weekend with one game separating the top three teams.

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Saturday Notes – February 13, 2016

by - Published February 14, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Another Saturday in the books, and one that had a number of big games and great endings. It also followed the script of the season, as we saw teams that appeared to be on the good side lose while teams on the bad side won, making things more interesting.

The day featured a highly anticipated rematch between Kansas and Oklahoma, but there was much more on tap. The most drama came in a big ACC battle, while the SEC continues to be interesting and a couple of Big Ten teams scored big wins. The CAA and Ivy League races got a bit clearer on Saturday, though there’s a lot left to play out with both.

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

by - Published February 7, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

This college basketball season has been quite the treat, and Saturday epitomized that. For the first time in ten years, the top two teams in the AP poll lost on the same day. This just further demonstrates that there are many teams who could hoist the national championship trophy in April.

It wasn’t a great day to be a favorite, as it wasn’t just Oklahoma and North Carolina that had setbacks. A few others lost, with some suffering a potentially critical blow as regards their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes. A few conference races also got more interesting.

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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!

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.

Hoopville Podcasts

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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