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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 30, 2015

by - Published January 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

It’s rare when we see TV networks do something even remotely outside the box when it comes to scheduling (sorry, pairing powerhouses against each other doesn’t count). Given this, yesterday’s announcement of the Big 12 and SEC moving their Challenge event to late January certainly qualifies as big news.

All 10 games in the event in the 2015-16 season will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30. The idea is to maximize exposure and separate the event from the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as well as the glut of other tournaments and one-day events around late November. Of course, it also will keep it separated from football season, which with the way-too-long college football docket now results in games regularly played into December.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 28, 2015

by - Published January 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Surprisingly, we haven’t heard a whole lot about Texas A&M as an NCAA Tournament candidate yet.

That should be changing very soon, because the Aggies are leaving us all no choice. A&M is playing its way into serious NCAA tourney consideration and is now 14-5 after a 71-61 win over fellow upstart Auburn Tuesday night.

A couple weeks back, it felt like just another one of those disinterested performances by Kentucky after the Wildcats needed two overtimes to beat Texas A&M. Now with the perspective of more results, we’re seeing that game for UK was indeed much tougher than thought at the time. The win at Auburn makes it five straight wins (including an impressive three of those on the road) for the Aggies, who also are 5-2 in the Southeastern Conference and really don’t have a bad loss other than a 21-point defeat at Alabama.
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Saturday Notes – January 10, 2015

by - Published January 11, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

As conference play is now in full swing, Saturday offered an early referendum on a number of teams. While the day wasn’t full of shockers, there were plenty of noteworthy games. 11 games went to overtime, with three needing a second extra set of five minutes to decide. And if there’s one conference that stood out, it was the Big 12.

Simply put, the Big 12 is reinforcing the idea that it is the strongest conference from top to bottom this season. There’s no one that appears poised to run away with the conference, and the regular season champion might well have at least four or five losses. Kansas and Iowa State are 2-0, four other teams are 2-1, and Baylor and Texas are hardly stiffs even with their early 1-2 marks, though Texas ended a rough week on Saturday. The only two teams you might rule out of the race are Texas Tech and TCU.

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How the conferences shape up as we hit 2015

by - Published January 1, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Non-conference play is basically done at this point. A handful of games remain for many teams, and we’ll see a non-conference game or two sprinkled in between conference games over the next couple of months, but conference play beckons. Several have already started, with the West Coast Conference getting jump on the rest of the country this past Saturday and Monday. For two months, we’ve had a look at teams to get an idea of who they are. They have shown us something thus far.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how the conference races shape up based on what we’ve seen in non-conference play.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 6, 2014

by - Published December 6, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Earlier this week, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge was the center of attention. For the past couple of nights it’s the SEC/Big 12 Challenge that has taken over. And just like one game in particular in the former got everyone’s attention, and was about as good as billed, there was one matchup in the latter that many were eagerly awaiting. It wasn’t quite as good as billed in the second half, but it was a competitive game, for the most part.

Texas had about as good a month of November as Kentucky, as previously detailed in this space. The Longhorns also have a lot of length, so they figured to be able to match up with Kentucky. Texas led several times in the first half and had a big edge on the glass, and the teams were tied at 26 at the break. It figured to be quite a second half.

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2K Classic: Numbers and notes, a look back

by - Published November 24, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – We have a few final notes and numbers from the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden.

In the first semifinal, for Texas, and Iowa for that matter, it was a classic tale of two halves. Our look at the numbers breaks it down by half, starting with the first half:

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Texas has come a long way from the “Chaminade Crew”

by - Published November 22, 2014 in Columns
texas

NEW YORK – Texas has come a long way from a couple of years ago. There were bad memories then, and there will be good ones from right now.

Two years ago, Texas had fallen on hard times. A consistently very good program, with a Final Four run in 2003, the Longhorns lost to Chaminade in the Maui Invitational. That was the start of a bad year, and the continuation of a downward trend for the program from one that was a consistent big winner. The year before, they barely made the NCAA Tournament. It got so bad that there was speculation that Rick Barnes’ job may be on the line.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 8, 2014

by - Published November 8, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

With the start of the regular season now less than a week away, we’ll now look at a few conferences on some of these upcoming days.

America East has a familiar look among its favorites, as Stony Brook should once again be the team to beat. The Seawolves have had a great run in recent years, but haven’t been able to get over the hump in the conference tournament. They’ll have good competition from a senior-laden Hartford team, as well as defending champion Albany.

Defending national champion Connecticut was chosen as the favorite in the American Athletic Conference coaches poll, but the thinking here is that SMU is more deserving of the nod. The Mustangs bring back plenty from last season, while most of the other top teams in the conference – the Huskies, Cincinnati and Memphis – all lose a lot. Newcomer Tulsa might be the sleeper.

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2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 30, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
big12

Top to bottom, the Big 12 was the best college basketball conference in the country this year. Let’s get that out of the way right now.

In fact, when it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney. And as good as those seven teams were, the league’s eighth and ninth teams may have spoken most to the Big 12’s depth.
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Saturday Notes – February 8, 2014

by - Published February 9, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Saturday saw a number of good matchups among the nearly 140 Division I games. Unfortunately, it’s a day that will likely end up being remembered for a bad incident near the end of a great day of basketball. As Texas Tech finished off a big win over Oklahoma State, Cowboy guard Marcus Smart shoved a fan behind the basket after he ran back to make a play and his momentum took him into the crowd. It was a shocking thing to witness from a young man who has the reputation of being a different kid than many others.

But focusing on basketball, there weren’t many matchups with two contenders battling one another. Still, a number of games saw teams a little back from the top of their conference playing one another. The end result in many cases seems to be that the picture isn’t much clearer than it was at the beginning of the day, especially in the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12. The Big 12 also saw several of the day’s best individual efforts.

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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

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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.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.