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2016-17 MAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 29, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Mid-American Conference in 2016-17 looked a lot like the Mid-American Conference in 2015-16.

Once again, big men dominated the MAC (despite the efforts of Central Michigan hotshot guards Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson). Once again, Akron was the league’s dominant regular season team. Yet again, a whole lot of teams’ overall seasons fell just to the right or left of middling-or right on it. And, again, a relative surprise toppled Akron in the MAC tourney title game, again leaving the league’s NCAA Tournament representative with a low seed and tough draw. … Continue Reading

2015-16 MAC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Perhaps the most interesting development in the Mid-American Conference in 2015-16 was its quietly becoming one of the best leagues in the country for…centers?

Surprisingly, yes. Three players on the all-MAC first team-Toledo’s Nathan Boothe, Ohio’s Antonio Campbell and Isaiah Johnson of Akron-were centers. Another-Kent State’s Khaliq Spicer-was voted the league’s best defensive player. Yet another-Eastern Michigan’s James Thompson-was its top freshman, as well as one of the most productive first-year players in the nation.

Those big men provided a variety of skills, whether they be scoring, rebounding, passing/facilitating (Boothe was one of the best-passing bigs in the country), defense or shot-blocking. Though maybe not of the seven-foot variety typically associated with men in the middle, the MAC was as good a spot as almost any in the country to look if one wanted to see post play. … Continue Reading

Western Michigan should grow from non-conference challenges

by - Published December 9, 2014 in Columns

BOSTON – Non-conference play is a time to figure things out. It’s a time to get better. And while many teams certainly want to win games, whether to rack up quality wins for NCAA Tournament at-large candidacy or gain confidence, for a team like Western Michigan, getting better is paramount. The Broncos are in a challenging stretch of trying to do a little of both, with the latest challenge being an 81-69 setback at Northeastern on Saturday.

The Broncos have an experienced group overall, though they are younger in the frontcourt. They are playing a challenging slate, with Saturday’s game being the fifth of seven in a row away from home. Adding to the challenge is the actual travel involved, as this is mixed in with several games in California. They began this stretch at San Diego, then played three in Anaheim as part of the Wooden Legacy. They lost the first two, but regrouped to finish fifth with a 2-1 mark in Anaheim.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Monday, November 10, 2014

by - Published November 10, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Picking up where we left off with conferences, we start today with the best academic league of them all, the Ivy League.

The Ivy League is in the midst of a great up cycle, and league favorite Harvard has a lot to do with that. The Crimson will again be favored, though not to the same degree as last year when they were prohibitive favorites. They have the league’s best backcourt and plenty of options up front. They will be pushed, however, by the likes of Yale (whose own star, Justin Sears, will be in the running for Player of the Year), Princeton and Brown, for starters. Columbia figured to be right there, but the loss of Alex Rosenberg is a big blow and has to knock them back some.

… Continue Reading

Vikings pull out dramatic victory over Akron

by - Published December 10, 2011 in Conference Notes

Longtime Cleveland sports fans are familiar with the “Kardiac Kids,” which was the nickname bestowed on the 1980 Cleveland Browns team that won multiple games in the waning seconds of the game.

Although the 2011-12 college basketball season is still somewhat young, the Cleveland State Vikings have already given that famous Browns squad a serious challenge for this nickname. For the second time in less than a month, the Vikings won a game with a 3-pointer against a quality opponent in the final seconds as they defeated the Akron Zips by a score of 69-66.

Playing its second game in less than 48 hours, the Vikings hosted the Zips in a game billed as the “Backyard Battle” on Saturday afternoon in front of a large crowd at the Wolstein Center. Saturday’s match up was the Vikings’ first home game since their thrilling contest against St. Bonaventure Nov. 18, and a crowd filled with both Vikings and Zips fans from nearby Akron were eager for a contest between two strong mid-major programs.

As might have been expected after Thursday night’s hard-fought contest against Robert Morris, the Vikings came out a bit flat against the well-rested Zips, who last played Dec. 4 against Middle Tennessee State. After scoring the first points of the game, the Vikings eventually fell behind by a score of 15-9 with 13:27 remaining in the first half. Initially, the Vikings struggled to contain Zeke Marshall, the Zips’ talented junior center who dominated on both sides of the court. Eventually, the Vikings managed to slow him down with near-constant double teaming. The Vikings rallied with a 16-4 run that ended with a thundering block by senior center Aaron Pogue leading to a 3-pointer by freshman Ike Nwamu in transition that gave the Vikings a 25-19 lead with slightly over seven minutes remaining in the first half.
At halftime, the Vikings headed into the locker room with a 35-30 lead.

In the second half, the Vikings came out hot and extended their lead to 42-33. By the time the Vikings stretched their lead to 13 with 13 minutes left in the game, some fans may have expected Cleveland State’s intense pressure defense to clamp down on the visiting Zips and to take away any remaining chance they had of winning the game.

Instead, Cleveland State’s sloppiness nearly stripped them of a chance to win the game.

Multiple turnovers and missed shots by Cleveland State allowed Akron to rally and take a 65-64 lead on a layup by Chauncey Gilliam with 3:31 remaining in the second half. A foul shot by Demetrius Treadwell extended the Zips’ lead to 66-64 with 1:48 left.

However, those were the Zips’ last points of the game, and they could do nothing but watch as Cleveland State’s Jeremy Montgomery proceeded to single-handedly lead the Vikings’ tenth victory of the season.

After being fouled by Akron’s Alex Abreu, Montgomery sank two free throws to tie the game at 66-66. Following an Akron turnover, the Vikings regained possession with a chance to take the lead. After the Vikings missed two shots, Montgomery took a pass from Tim Kamczyc and hoisted up a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining that hit nothing but net and gave the Vikings at 69-66 lead.

Akron had one last chance to tie the game, but Demetrius Treadwell’s 3-point attempt was short and the Zips could not stop the clock with a foul before time expired.

With today’s win, the Vikings’ record improved to 10-1 and they currently have a firm grip on first place in the Horizon League. Before the game, Cleveland State honored the accomplishments of last season’s squad, who advanced to the second round of the NIT and won the school’s first regular-season Horizon League men’s basketball championship. Based on the Vikings’ current progress this season, their potential for improvement, and ability to close out close games, they have the potential to exceed the accomplishments of last year’s storied squad.

The Vikings will have over a week off to take finals before taking their talents to South Florida for a road game on December 19th.

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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

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March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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"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."
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Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

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