With holiday tournaments past, college basketball hits a docile stretch, a relative lull in the schedule. One filled with guarantee games, light weeks while teams take final exams, made-for-TV games, and more guarantee games.
The TV networks try to inject some intrigue into this time with happenings like the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. And the event does have some excellent games, but the truth is the novelty of most of this event wore off long ago. Duke and Michigan State already play every few years in the not-so-modestly named Champions Classic, Indiana and Purdue face Notre Dame regularly in the Crossroads Classic. How many more games do these teams need to play against each other? Also: why should we buy the idea that Georgia Tech playing Penn State or Rutgers facing Miami (Fla.) is a big deal just because of their conference affiliations? … Continue Reading
Good Sunday morning:
Continuing Hoopville’s preseason look at conferences:
After a couple years of North Carolina Central serving as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s meanest team on the block, the MEAC held considerably more suspense in 2015-16.
LaVelle Moton’s N.C. Central program won 46 of 48 regular season conference games over the past three years, including 31 of 32 while winning the last two titles. This time, though, three teams finished just one game apart at the top of the league, with Hampton (13-3) holding off Norfolk State and South Carolina State (12-4) by one game. … Continue Reading
Championship Week has given us so many great stories. There are plenty more still to be written today alone, as Championship Saturday is the biggest one of them all. Friday night paved the way for it beautifully.
There was the Big East Tournament, where Seton Hall advanced to continue a great story for them. A year ago, the Pirates’ season ended in discord; they were in a bad place, and there was plenty of talk about who might not return this season, from underclassmen who might leave to the coach. Kevin Willard had a fairly prohibitive contract for the school, but the talk was there all the same. A year later, the Pirates once again started out with promise, but this time they have persisted through the ups and downs that come with a season. They will take on Villanova, who beat Providence earlier in the evening. This is a more mature team, and one that we’ll see playing later in the month.
Where has the 2015-16 season gone?
The presence of a leap year day yesterday did nothing to convince us that the past four months have absolutely flown by. If anything, it only enhanced that feeling, as conference postseason honors started trickling in at the same time that we started checking out the brackets for the first conference tournaments that kick in starting…today?
Super Tuesday, indeed.
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Not only are we in the midst of the holidays, but conference play beckons if it hasn’t already started. Non-conference play is almost complete, and teams form impressions during this time of how they will be in conference play. Even so, as is always the case this is imperfect. Conference play is a different animal, as teams are more familiar with each other from having played each other every year. That’s why we see some teams even in mid-majors get nice wins in non-conference play, but then lose games in conference play that strike the untrained eye as head-scratchers.
It is with that in mind that we take a look at how all 31 conferences shape up based on non-conference play thus far.
With Monday night being a mostly quiet one on the college basketball schedule, it left us a little more time to think of former Butler center Andrew Smith, as he enters yet another battle.
Sad news in the college basketball world was shared Monday morning by Andrew Smith’s wife Sam, who revealed her husband is now fighting leukemia. It’s the latest unfortunate turn of health for the former big man who was a member of the Bulldogs’ national runners-up teams in 2010 and 2011.
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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Unwatchable? In a state of crisis? We challenge anyone who watched even a little bit of the college basketball action on Saturday to come to those conclusions about this sport.
While college basketball certainly has areas with room for improvement-and indeed, sometimes is not pretty-the fact is the product still provides consistent drama-and we haven’t even started the NCAA Tournament. Contrary to some of what you hear, the sport is not dying. College basketball still delivers, over and over.
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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.