Program! Get your program!
In college basketball, that becomes a more important phrase every year, at some schools more so than others. While there is always turnover even in pro sports, and college sports have seniors who graduate along with incoming freshmen, the amount of turnover seems to only be going up. The biggest part of this is, as has often been discussed, transfers.
For a year at least, the Horizon League harkened back to some glory years, and we’re not talking about 2010 and 2011.
Butler’s back-to-back NCAA title game appearances those years are remembered most recently, and because of their relatively current nature are what most will instantaneously cite as the high water mark of the Horizon. This past season didn’t have that-or even an NCAA Tournament win for that matter-but it was reminiscent of a time when the league was one of the more consistently entertaining ones in the country, as well as capable of more than occasional national noise. … Continue Reading
No league has sent the college basketball coaching carousel spinning more in the last month than the Horizon League, which is tied with the West Coast Conference for most coaching changes this offseason (so far) with four each.
The Horizon was yet again in the news on more than one occasion Thursday, as a pair of its coaching openings were filled within a few hours. It started early in the day when word got out that Wisconsin-Milwaukee will hire LaVall Jordan as its new coach. … Continue Reading
It’s been a combined 30 years since Wisconsin-Green Bay and Fairleigh Dickinson have made the NCAA Tournament. For that reason and many others, both will be very welcome additions to this year’s NCAA tourney field.
Fourth-seeded Green Bay topped 3 seed Wright State 78-69 to win the Horizon League tourney in Detroit, completing a run of four wins in four days. Meanwhile, No. 2 seed FDU won at top seed Wagner 87-79 to clinch the Northeast Conference title and complete a rags-to-riches season in which the Knights were picked ninth of 10 teams in the NEC preseason poll.
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Tthe unabashed chaos of the conference tournaments this year may have reached a climax Monday night, with a pair of teams losing-and maybe even three-who will now be talked about at length for the next week. Then again, the night was pretty much par for the course for this season, so we shouldn’t be surprised in the least if/when it continues.
Monmouth and Valparaiso both lost in their conference tourneys Monday night, and both now for the next six days are going to be subject of cheerleading for their causes and condescension from major school apologists who still do think they would’ve finished 12th in the Big Ten. The Hawks lost to red-hot Iona 79-76 in the Metro Atlantic final, while Valpo took a 99-92 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Horizon League semis.
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Three more NCAA Tournament bids went out on Sunday, all to familiar faces. One had a familiar ending, while another nearly had a quirk in the end result.
It was six years ago that Ali Farokhmanesh was one of the newest names born in the month of March, hitting a big three-pointer to sink No. 1 seed Kansas and lift Northern Iowa into the Sweet 16. The Panthers have been a steady program over the years, especially under Ben Jacobson, as they have finished in the top half of the Missouri Valley Conference for 13 straight years. They are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in his tenure now, though it didn’t look like it would happen for much of the season.
Two NCAA Tournament bids went out on Saturday night, one expected and one not necessarily expected at the beginning of the day. And for different reasons, you can’t blame either coach if they got a little emotional.
We start with the Ohio Valley Championship game, the one certainty when the day began. UT-Martin, who has never been to the NCAA Tournament, took on Austin Peay, the school that’s been there six times and has been among the signature programs in the conference for a long time. Head coach Dave Loos, who for a long time was also the athletic directory, turned 69 on Saturday and has been doing this for a long time. He is the winningest coach in Ohio Valley Conference history, having been at Austin Peay for 26 years; the conference’s other coaches have combined to be at their schools for 33 years. He’s seen a lot, and won a lot, but this one was clearly different for him.
Tuesday night was a moment New Jersey Institute of Technology awaited for 10 years. Unfortunately for the Highlanders, it didn’t last nearly as long as they hoped.
Ever since NJIT started its move to NCAA Division I in 2006, the school waited for a conference to take it in, offering the opportunity to compete for an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. It happened prior to this year as the Atlantic Sun invited the Highlanders, and Tuesday night marked the start of the program’s first-ever conference tournament with an NCAA bid on the line. … Continue Reading
There was an obvious irony to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hosting a Throwback Night on Friday. For if one is familiar with the program’s history, this year’s Phoenix team is anything but a throwback-unless maybe one is throwing it back to 1971.
Dave Buss-the program’s very successful first coach-once led a team that averaged over 90 points per game in 1970-71, but his teams soon came to be known for a slower pace and zone defense. The iconic Dick Bennett’s defensive philosophies at Green Bay-as the school likes its athletic programs to go by now-are among the most influential in the sport today. Even recent coach Brian Wardle’s teams were hard to score on, with an underappreciated athleticism and length not many would expect at the Horizon League level. … Continue Reading
In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.
In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.
In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.
In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.
Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.
We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.
We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.
We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.
Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout
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.