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2016-17 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 26, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Any other college basketball conference in the country would go gaga for what constituted as a down year for the Big 12 in 2016-17.

After two straight years as the top-ranked conference in the country in the RPI (some RPI data had it as three straight), the Big 12 slipped out of that spot-all the way down to second. Also, after three straight years with seven of its 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament, the league fell down-to six, sending merely 60% of its members to the Big Dance instead of 70%. And while the league’s incredible streak of 38 consecutive weeks of having at least five teams in the Associated Press Top 25 ended when just four were selected to the preseason poll, every single Big 12 team received votes in either the AP or coaches poll during the season, and six of them were ranked at some time.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 1, 2017

by - Published March 1, 2017 in The Morning Dish

One game is just one game, but sometimes in the course of the rather short college basketball season it makes all the difference.

As Selection Sunday 2017 nears, Vanderbilt down the stretch has become one of the most intriguing case studies of this season. The Commodores have heated up late, have a top-rated schedule and are highly recommended by pretty much every computer rating imaginable. They also have a record that screams mediocrity.

Vanderbilt had a golden opportunity on Tuesday, though, to pretty up that record in more ways than one. A win at Kentucky would’ve moved the Commodores to 17-13 overall and also been an undeniable name-brand quality win of the highest order, certain to make them an even hotter subject than they’ve been. Alas, Vandy couldn’t make an early 19-point lead hold up to the end, and the Wildcats emerged for a 73-67 win in the biggest rally in John Calipari’s time coaching there. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 5, 2017

by - Published February 5, 2017 in The Morning Dish

The Big 12 displayed once again on Saturday how its depth from top to bottom the past few years has been peerless. Unfortunately, Saturday also showed how the league might be destined for yet another year of predominantly early exits from the NCAA Tournament.

On a Saturday where top 10 teams and favorites in general were getting knocked down left and right, the Big 12 was the biggest winner when it came to slaying giants. Three of its teams that appeared to be sitting on the NCAA Tournament fence now possessing big-time road wins with Kansas State stinging second-ranked Baylor 56-54, Iowa State winning at No. 3 Kansas 92-89 in overtime and Oklahoma State winning 82-75 at No. 7 West Virginia.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 25, 2017

by - Published January 25, 2017 in The Morning Dish

It’s become obvious in recent years that the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, commonly known by most as the selection committee for the sport’s tournament field, feels the need to regularly throw out trial balloons under the guise of making the event “better.”

That so often those balloons are filled with lead (see: 96-team field, which made the internet blow up before the internet knew how to do so regularly) seems to makes no difference. The selection committee desperately feels the need to tinker with something that already works to a sublime level. It’s like someone who might own a bad fast muscle car but just really thinks he should throw a Saturn engine in it. Those in charge of the NCAA Tournament really think they can do better than best, and darn it if they aren’t going to try, no matter how ill-advised it is. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 9, 2016

by - Published December 9, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Middle Tennessee State carved out a place in college basketball history in March when it posted one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history by knocking out Michigan State. This year’s Blue Raiders are not the same team as last year’s group, though.

They very well might be better.

For those wondering what MTSU has been up to since last season ended with a loss to Syracuse in the second round of the NCAAs, it’s time to take notice. Middle Tennessee is now 9-1 on this season after taking advantage of the chance to host an SEC school and posting a convincing 71-48 win over Vanderbilt. Giddy Potts scored 27 points and Reggie Upshaw and JaCorey Williams also were terrific, with the trio combining for 54 points to outscore the Commodores themselves. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 6, 2016

by - Published December 6, 2016 in The Morning Dish

There was nothing like a return to comfortable surroundings against a comfortably familiar rival to get Connecticut a win that maybe can get the Huskies’ season back on track.

Desperately needing a spark in a season that early on has been defined by injuries, stunning losses and near-losses, the Huskies rallied past Syracuse for a 52-50 win Monday night. The game was played at Madison Square Garden, home to so many clashes between these two in the Big East Tournament in the past, and was the first of several big college games at the venerable arena this week.

It wasn’t Big Monday, and it was far from a work of art, but the night still reminded us just what the sport is missing when these two are not in the same conference anymore. With their games there in the past, both can make a figurative claim to MSG being their home away from home, and the atmosphere for this game made for typically great television between these two. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 2, 2016

by - Published December 2, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Cincinnati won the battle against Iowa State Thursday night, and then the Bearcats went ahead and won the war too.

In a game that displayed just how captivating college basketball can be when teams with vastly different styles of play collide, the Bearcats earned a decisive decision in the category of controlling tempo, and eventually toughed out a 55-54 road win at ISU’s Hilton Coliseum, one of the toughest places to play in the country. While the former became obvious fairly quickly in the early going, the latter was hardly a given at any point. Cincy trailed by four late in regulation and by three with less than two minutes left in overtime, but got the stops it needed and received two free throws from Jacob Evans with 20 seconds left. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 26, 2016

by - Published November 26, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The novelty of each program wore off long ago, but Baylor and Butler remain remarkable stories in their own way. They reminded the college basketball world of that on Friday in distinctively different ways.

Both teams took home championships on Friday. The games were very different, but the end result was the main thing in common.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, November 25, 2016

by - Published November 25, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Hoping all had a very happy Thanksgiving yesterday.

If you’re a college basketball fan that grew up watching the sport in the 1980s or even the 1990s, when you thought of Thanksgiving in college hoops, most likely the very first thing you thought of was the Great Alaska Shootout.

The Shootout, hosted by NCAA Division II member Alaska-Anchorage, became a holiday tradition in the 80s and a lynchpin of the early season, as good a place as any in the non-conference season to find quality teams en masse. It regularly brought in top teams, top players and top coaches, and the number of memorable moments from it have been literally enough to write a book about. Before the Maui Invitational, before the ACC/Big Ten Challenge-before the ACC/Big East Challenge even-there was the Great Alaska Shootout.
… Continue Reading

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.

… Continue Reading

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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

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.