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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 4, 2016

by - Published February 4, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Among all the oddities of this college basketball season, when all is said and done there will be few harder to explain than this: a game between Illinois and Rutgers likely will go down as one of the best and most entertaining games of the entire year.

The chances of a winning Powerball ticket a few weeks ago may have seemed more likely, but indeed, two teams not even in the top 10 of the Big Ten and separated by nearly half a country put on one of the best shows anyone will see this season. The Fighting Illini finally won 110-101 in three overtimes, eventually completing the comeback after trailing much of regulation.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 31, 2016

by - Published January 31, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

January and February belong to conference play in college basketball, and that’s how it should be. That doesn’t mean the sport couldn’t use a few more games like those furnished Saturday.

The move of the Big 12/SEC Challenge to late January has been a welcome shot in the arm for the college hoops season (as well as giving the event itself a far more distinct identity than it had before, when it was held right after, and therefore lost in the shadows of, the ACC and Big Ten’s own event). Of course, part of what makes it special is that the games played are rarities at this time of year, but it cannot be overlooked the mutual benefits games like this have for the participating teams and conferences as well as for fans.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 30, 2016

by - Published January 30, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

What Shaka Smart did at VCU changed the idea of what the program should be. He wasn’t just one more coach who came in, won big as the program did for years as one of the CAA’s signature programs, then moved on to greener pastures. Yes, he won big, highlighted by their run to the Final Four in 2011, but they were consistent winners. He brought them into the Atlantic 10 and made them winners there, including a conference title last season, before leaving for Texas.

Now Will Wade inherits a stronger tradition, but higher expectations. And while the Rams had a relatively non-descript non-conference showing, they now look like a team that grew from it. About halfway through Atlantic 10 play, the Rams have yet to lose, the latest being Friday night’s 79-69 win at Davidson.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 13, 2015

by - Published December 13, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Of all the stats one will see this year, this may be one of the hardest to believe: Saturday’s game between Xavier and Cincinnati marked just the second time ever that both teams were nationally ranked entering the Crosstown Shootout.

Since 1988, the Musketeers and Bearcats have combined for exactly three losing seasons between the two of them. In that time there have been 39 NCAA appearances, 12 trips to the Sweet 16 and five to the Elite Eight for what are by almost any measure two of the most successful programs of the last 30 years in college basketball.

Saturday marked the first time the two played as ranked teams since 1994, and Xavier once again gained the upper hand with a 65-55 victory that adds to an early season resume that is among the most impressive in the country. That makes 14 wins in the last 20 meetings for the Musketeers in a series that remains as intense as any in the sport, as we saw once again.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 2, 2015

by - Published December 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

A big night of college hoops to start December had even more storylines than we thought it would entering the evening.

The heating up of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge was rightfully the main story heading into Tuesday night. We’ve always had a like-dislike relationship with this event, which always has some great matchups, but also some mostly meaningless ones (and it’s not like the two leagues don’t already play each other fairly regularly). Still, anything that spices up traditionally the most vanilla month of the hoops season is a plus, and this event unquestionably does.

Specifically, the renewal of a series between former ACC rivals North Carolina and Maryland was one of the most anticipated non-conference games of this entire season. The contest lived up to its billing, as the Tar Heels stayed a step ahead of the Terrapins all night in an 89-81 win.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 22, 2015

by - Published November 22, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

The Missouri Valley Conference almost had a perfect day – almost. Still, it had a taste of history to lead what was a pretty good day.

Seven Valley teams were in action on Saturday, and six of them won. The seventh – Drake – led UMKC by four at the half, but UMKC opened the second half on an 8-1 run to take the lead, then Drake led again before a 17-6 run put the Kangaroos ahead to stay in a 79-73 win in Kansas City.

That would be the only blemish of any sort on the day.

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: February

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

We conclude our look at our favorite games for every day of the season from November through February, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game to watch. Some days the picks are obvious, others they are no doubt up for debate, but we limited it to one pick and one special mention each day. We started this on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, January and Wednesday, and today we finish with February:

Feb. 1: North Carolina at Louisville. Besides the obvious skill of these teams, it’s always a sweet pairing of the Tar Heels’ running and the Cardinals’ pressure defense. Honorable mention: SMU at Houston

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 11, 2015

by - Published November 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

We’re now just two days from opening day, and  Hoopville continues our preseason look at all 32 NCAA Division I conferences.

Only two single-bid leagues won an NCAA Tournament game last year in the round of 64, and Conference USA was one of them. UAB stunned Iowa State as a 14 seed, and that game could be a precursor to big things for the Blazers this year. UAB is the favorite and is led by guard Robert Brown and sophomore forward William Lee, who should get better and better. Old Dominion has C-USA’s best player, though, in Trey Freeman, and the Monarchs could be right on the NCAA doorstep again if they can find some interior scoring. Also watch Middle Tennessee State if it can improve on its 41.4% shooting last year.
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A game a day for the whole 2015-16 season: first up, November

by - Published November 9, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

If one could go to any one college basketball game or event they wanted, for every day of the season, without restrictions, without worries about travel…

…it would take professional sports team-level travel accommodations, probably a pro athletes’ disposable income, and a whole lot of sleep on airplanes. As well as an understanding spouse.

Which doesn’t mean one can’t dream. Going into the 2015-16 season, we wanted to highlight what we see as the best game of the day, for every day of the regular season. The games we would go to every day of the season, if we could.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, April 3, 2015

by - Published April 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart were the coaches in one of the most unlikely Final Four matchups you’ll ever see in 2011 when No. 8 seed Butler faced No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth in a national semifinal.

It once seemed they might be at least long-tenured at their schools, if not complete lifers, when both were consistently spurning numerous job offers despite repeated opportunities to move on to bigger (paying) things. A couple years later, though, both are gone now to new challenges.
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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

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