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2015 NCAA Tournament Final Review: A solid tourney by historical standards

by - Published April 13, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

Collectively, the 2015 NCAA Tournament was a roller coaster. There was the high of the first few days before the tourney slipped into mediocrity in its middle rounds, only to rise back up again for a big finish at the end, worthy of all the history of such a splendid event.

It is the truth that three of the very best games of this year’s tourney came from the regional finals onward. Kentucky against Notre Dame, Wisconsin against Kentucky and Duke against Wisconsin were all competitive and terrific theater down to the wire. And also very high in the TV ratings, it might be noted, much as those who would prefer you to believe the sport is a steaming disaster would rather you not know that.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, April 5, 2015

by - Published April 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

We have been blessed this NCAA Tournament. For a lot of reasons, it has been one for the ages, though most of all for the great games, especially in later rounds. And as we reach Easter Sunday, we should see that as a gift – as well as what Kentucky gave us this season, even as their season came to an end last night.

In the national semifinals, the first game proved to be an undercard. Taking nothing away from it, Duke comfortably beat Michigan State 81-61 to advance to tomorrow night’s national championship game. The Blue Devils were never seriously threatened in the second half, taking over the game with a 30-11 run after the Spartans ran out to a 14-6 lead early on. The Spartans never gave up, but basically ran out of gas. It was the worst NCAA Tournament loss in Michigan State’s history.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, April 4, 2015

by - Published April 4, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

The Final Four is here at last, the culmination of the 2015 NCAA Tournament very near now with the national semifinals tonight and the championship game coming Monday night.

We’ve been waiting for six days now. The weeklong break in the NCAA Tournament before the Final Four provides sufficient time for every type of analysis one can imagine. Such is the depth of scrutiny this week, if one looks hard enough they probably can find something on all 59 players on the four rosters for Saturday’s games-including the redshirts. There’s only four teams remaining, and there’s only so much that can be said at some point.
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NCAA Tournament second weekend notes: Duke, Kentucky Final Four regulars, but seldom together

by - Published March 31, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

With a group of regional semifinalists that was dominated by historically powerful programs, the second weekend of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was bound to leave us with a touted quartet of teams for the Final Four.

It has done just that, providing us with a mix of the recent and the historic, including two programs that have joined each other at this time of the season more than a time or two before. Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin is not the most history-rich group of four that we’ve ever had in a Final Four-1991, 1993 and 2008 were more so, to list a few-but it is indeed a group with plenty of roots in this sport.

Kentucky and Duke. It should be no surprise at least one of them are here, though it surprisingly is a surprise that both are.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 30, 2015

by - Published March 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Two more teams advanced to the Final Four on Sunday. Their stories are a contrast, even as similar as the programs may be in recent times.

Most expected that Duke would be a Final Four team this season. Take a team that was good last year, though flawed, subtract good but not irreplaceable players, and add the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, and that was a natural expectation. Many years, that’s what they expect in Durham. When the Blue Devils ran out to a big start, the idea that they would be a Final Four team only grew, as did the talk that Okafor could be National Player of the Year.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 29, 2015

by - Published March 29, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

The 2015 NCAA Tournament now has its signature game. Just like last year, that game involves Kentucky.

Last year, Kentucky’s second round game against Wichita State was the best of the tourney and maybe one of the best in years, an up-and-down, back-and-forth, 78-76 UK win. Last night, in a tourney that started out strong but has almost bordered on dull the last couple rounds, Kentucky’s Midwest regional final against Notre Dame was a welcome return to the NCAA Tournament that we’ve been spoiled to expect. The Wildcats pulled it out, but not without more than a few nervous moments, as Notre Dame gave a heroic effort before missing a shot at the buzzer in falling 68-66.
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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 28, 2015

by - Published March 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

It’s been a long time coming for Gonzaga. The question now is if they have one more in them to go even further.

Since the late 1990s, Gonzaga has been the clear best team in the West Coast Conference and then some. They made a big splash by running to the Elite Eight in 1999, but weren’t just a flash in the pan. They became more than just the alma mater of John Stockton, as they started beating good teams in non-conference every year as well. They would be a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament, helping the WCC become a two-bid league in many recent years as other programs had to get better to compete with them.

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NCAA Tournament first week review: few upsets, but history-rich programs remain

by - Published March 23, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

The first week of the 2015 NCAA Tournament has brought us a little of everything, much of nothing. Like the beer commercial, you might say it is up for whatever.

We started with a boatload of close games, but the number and intensity of those games has petered out over the past three days, taking this year”s tourney from historic to almost pedestrian. The Sweet 16 will include three 1 seeds, but otherwise is a buffet of differing squads and resumes. The last 16 remaining includes teams from eight different conferences and seeded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11.

What do we have left is a field of teams that is loaded with history, whether it be recent or distant. In fact, every single team left falls into at least one of the categories, if not both.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 23, 2015

by - Published March 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was not a great day to be a No. 2 seed. That alone was noteworthy in two games on the day, but each was also noteworthy for other reasons.

We’ll start by mentioning the lone No. 2 seed to advance, which was Gonzaga (South). The Bulldogs ran out to a 46-29 halftime lead, shooting 62 percent in the opening frame, easily handling No. 7 Iowa 87-68. It’s the first time in six years that Gonzaga has reached the Sweet 16, and No. 11 UCLA awaits.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 21, 2015

by - Published March 21, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

If it was possible to have a day that was the opposite of Thursday, we pretty much had it on Friday. Whereas Thursday was a wild day with historic upsets – three double-digits seeds won by a point on the same day for the first time in NCAA Tournament history – Friday was, well, ho-hum. In fact, it was almost a historic day in just about the opposite fashion.

The first 15 games of the day saw every higher seed win. Since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams, there has never been a day in the round of 64 where all 16 higher seeds won. Then we had the last game of the day. It was one that was full of ridiculousness, quite frankly, but the most important thing is that the game kept the day from being historic. No. 11 Dayton beat No. 6 Providence 66-53, providing the lone upset of the day.

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Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Friday notes

April 25, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

Friday night got the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis going, and we take a look at a few players who stood out before a full day of action comes to us on Saturday.

Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 20, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was time for a trip to Hanover for late action in the Northeast Hoops Festival, and we have a look at some prospects who stood out on the day.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Saturday & Sunday notes

April 14, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Saturday was a full day of action at EYBL Hampton, and Sunday capped it off with a brief slate. We look at some of the talent that was on hand each day to close out the first live weekend.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Friday notes

April 11, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Friday night was the beginning at EYBL Hampton, with a relatively light night of action. We have notes on a few players from the opening games to get us started.

2015 Playaz Spring Fling – Friday notes

April 8, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

The spring travel circuit is getting started, and the Playaz Spring Fling was a good early stop as it usually is during the Final Four weekend.