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2018 NCAA Tournament Final Review: Villanova, UMBC, Big 12 among big winners

by - Published April 4, 2018 in Columns

It’s unfortunate but also plenty fair to say that the 2018 NCAA Tournament finished up with a couple games that were relative lemons. That shouldn’t obscure the fact that as a whole, an event that delivers annually did exactly that again this year.

The tourney has a way of salving over college basketball’s wounds, and it did as much yet again, making us all forget for a couple weeks about FBI scandals and the endless debate about rules changes (not that some Ronnie Rainclouds didn’t try their darndest to keep pushing their agendas on the latter). It was an enjoyable tourney-if one that slumped to the finish a little-that will be remembered for, among other things: … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, April 1, 2018

by - Published April 1, 2018 in The Morning Dish

Wishing a blessed, Happy Easter to all.

Saturday brought us the Final Four for the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and while the two national semifinal games revealed to us the contestants for the national championship game on Monday, it also made clear something else:

Bar none, Villanova is the best team in this 2017-18 college basketball season.

Of course, declaring such may well be the kiss of death for the Wildcats on Monday when they face Michigan in the NCAA tourney final. It’s certainly possible Villanova could lose the game, and it’s preposterous to suggest otherwise. But over the course of this season, and certainly through six of the seven rounds in the NCAA Tournament, there’s little doubt anymore that the Wildcats have been the cream of the crop of this season. … Continue Reading

2018 NCAA Tournament second week review: Final Four has a distinct retro feel to it

by - Published March 27, 2018 in Columns

If one likes retro-especially as a college basketball fan-they should love the 2018 NCAA Tournament Final Four.

One of the first things that jumped to mind about this year’s quartet of Kansas, Loyola Chicago, Michigan and Villanova after it was settled Sunday night was that this year’s group has a distinct 1985 flavor to it. Now we’ll see if it ends up with 1985 results, in one way or another.

The 1985 NCAA Tournament was the first year of an expanded 64-team field (essentially the beginning of the wondrous event we have today), and all four of this year’s final teams were factors on the national college landscape then. Yes, even Loyola. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 25, 2018

by - Published March 25, 2018 in The Morning Dish

Two years ago, Loyola Chicago was an 8 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, playing in the tourney’s play-in round, and a 15-17 season ended in the quarterfinals after a hard-fought loss to top seed Wichita State.

One year ago, Loyola finished 18-14 and did not play in a postseason tournament of any kind after being knocked out the MVC Tournament by Southern Illinois in the quarterfinals again, this time as a 5 seed.

This year, Loyola is heading to the Final Four. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 23, 2018

by - Published March 23, 2018 in The Morning Dish

As little order as there has been in college basketball this year, an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight that so far includes a 3 seed, two 9 seeds and an 11 seems strangely appropriate.

A bizarre season and bizarre NCAA tourney became only moreso Thursday, as lower seeds won three of four regional final games. Such a down-is-up, left-is-right tourney has it been that an 11 seed winning Thursday night was barely an upset at all compared to the other happenings.

The 11 seed moving on is Loyola Chicago, which edged No. 7 Nevada 69-68 to continue an incredible postseason run. A team that would not have been in the tourney if not for winning the Missouri Valley Conference final, the Ramblers’ first NCAA Tournament trip in 33 years now has won three tourney games by a combined four points, and the school is suddenly just three wins away from duplicating its 1963 feat when it won the national championship. … Continue Reading

Final Arch Madness Notes: MVC’s choice of Loyola has proven a terrific one

by - Published March 6, 2018 in Columns, Conference Notes

There’s little doubt that when the Missouri Valley Conference decided to replace Creighton with Loyola University Chicago in 2013 that some thought the conference’s move was a gamble, maybe even a hope and a prayer.

In place of a program that won eight MVC basketball tourney titles over its last 15 years in the conference and annually ranked among the NCAA Division I attendance leaders, the Valley picked another Jesuit institution, but one with far less recent success in the conference’s signature sport. … Continue Reading

Loyola outlasts Northern Iowa at its own game to move on at Arch Madness

by - Published March 2, 2018 in Columns

Anyone who has seen Northern Iowa at its best in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament knows the type of game.

Low-scoring, low-possession, slow possession-when UNI has gotten on a roll at Arch Madness in recent years, the Panthers’ style of play is worthy of a registered trademark. Scores struggle to get out of-and sometimes even into-the 50s, opponents are virtually strangled by their halfcourt defense, and their deliberate offense often serves a similar purpose, with the added effect of demoralizing them with big shots at the end of the shot clock.

Top-seeded Loyola Chicago got itself locked into such a game in the quarterfinals of this year’s MVC Tournament. A potential nightmare matchup on paper against an opponent proven capable of beating top-level competition became exactly that, with the ninth-seed Panthers leading by four in the second half, the score still solidly in the 30s as the game neared its three-quarter mark. … Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook for Feb. 8 – On Michigan State, bubbles, Loyola Chicago, Summit League & more

by - Published February 8, 2018 in Columns

Notes, thoughts, numbers and more gibberish about the college basketball landscape post-Super Bowl and with Selection Sunday now just over a month away. The Big Ten, Summit League, regional TV and some hidden gems to watch in March are among our topics…

Michigan State may be winning games-almost silently, the Spartans are on a seven-game streak now-but the Spartans still concern us. There’s the turnovers, obviously, but just as much is the inconsistent halfcourt offense. MSU is still hustling the ball up the court after missed shots like it always has, but if it doesn’t convert (or turn it over), the Spartans too often suddenly look like Virginia or Northern Iowa on the offensive end, but without the Cavaliers’ results to show for it. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 8, 2018

by - Published February 8, 2018 in The Morning Dish

St. John’s and St. Bonaventure. What a night it was Wednesday for a pair of Catholic schools in New York on the college basketball scene.

Also, if anyone has been lulled into thinking there are three teams this season far and away above everyone else? Wednesday night provided the reality check.

It became easy to forget throughout January as St. John’s racked up one loss or another in the rugged Big East that the Johnnies were a more-than competent team in November and December, one that looked like it would be in contention for an NCAA Tournament bid. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 25, 2018

by - Published January 25, 2018 in The Morning Dish

The No. 8 conference in the country should get more attention than it has this year, though Missouri Valley Conference schools have few others to blame but themselves for that.

A league that had such a good non-conference season that it is clearly ahead of leagues like the Mountain West (a good distance back at No. 9 in conference RPI), Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conference has once again done itself no favors for national perception with its parity in conference play. All 10 MVC schools have at least 10 wins overall already-a real achievement in January in a conference that isn’t playing 70%+ of its non-conference games at home-and all 10 are also in the top 160 in the RPI. And yet, nine of the 10 also have seven losses, too, and having seven teams separated by a total of two games between 5-4 and 3-6 in league play is no way to build a NCAA Tournament at-large contenders.

Wednesday did feature a battle for first in the Valley, though, and it’s also possible the conference’s hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAAs aren’t done yet. The first half of the MVC’s round robin is now complete with Loyola Chicago alone in first place after what turned out to be a resounding 80-57 win at Drake, and the Ramblers are making a mighty nice run at separating themselves from the rest of the Valley pack. … 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

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

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!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we break d own the national semifinals, where one game went back and forth while the other was never really a ballgame thanks to an impressive performance for the ages by the winning team.

College Basketball Tonight – March 26, 2018

March 27, 2018 by

With the Final Four all set, we look back on the regional finals and ahead to the final games of the season. We are joined along the way by veteran writer Ken Davis and Towson head coach Pat Skerry for their insights as well.

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.