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2016-17 Conference USA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 22, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Now that’s the way to build on a program-defining moment.

After stunning Michigan State as a 15 seed in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Middle Tennessee State could’ve faded into obscurity and been for all intents and purposes a one-hit wonder, a nice program making a brief national cameo. Instead, the Blue Raiders didn’t just fade, they were considerably better, and certainly the story of the 2016-17 season for Conference USA.

Middle Tennessee built on arguably the greatest moment in the school’s basketball history with what was likely the best season in school history. The Blue Raiders won 31 games, drubbing a couple SEC teams along the way, blew through C-USA for regular season and tournament titles, and won a game in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. The latter put them among an elite group of just 15 schools to win at least one NCAA tourney main draw game each of the last two years. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 17, 2017

by - Published March 17, 2017 in The Morning Dish

With all respect to the four teams eliminated in play-in games, Thursday always marks the start of the NCAA Tournament as most know it. As far as opening days go, this year’s opening day was somewhere in the middle.

There were no buzzer beaters, and really only one true upset. Maryland was a better team than Xavier much of the season, but the Terrapins are young while the Musketeers are one of the most tournament-tested programs of all. It didn’t take much at all to imagine a result like X winning 76-65. … Continue Reading

Bracket impressions: Little changes with selection committee fixations

by - Published March 13, 2017 in Columns

As a whole, this year’s selections for the 2017 NCAA Tournament were not filled with a ton of surprises. It doesn’t mean that predictability was a good thing.

The revealing of the bracket for this year’s tourney wasn’t going to induce as much frustration as a year ago for a number of reasons. For one, the pool of at-large contenders on the cut line this season was truly poor. For another, it would’ve been hard for the committee to have done a worse job than it did last year.

Mostly, though, it’s because by now many have become conditioned to the committee’s shift in philosophy over the last four years. They’re getting used to the committee overemphasizing top level wins, ignoring losses when convenient, picking and choosing whichever metrics they find to support putting in the teams they want in, and regularly ignoring just about every other criteria (road wins, non-conference scheduling) that once used to be important parts of selection.

That’s not a good thing. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, February 3, 2017

by - Published February 3, 2017 in The Morning Dish

It wouldn’t be a college basketball season without Belmont finding a way to make ripples with its excellence, and sure enough, the Bruins are at it again.

After a relatively slow start to the season, Belmont has now won 13 straight games, including 11 consecutive in the Ohio Valley Conference to rank as one of the few teams remaining undefeated in its conference. That includes an 81-69 win Thursday night at Murray State in the latest renewal of what has become the OVC’s best current series.

The Bruins and Racers again put on an entertaining game, one that was in doubt until the final minutes. The game was a clash of the league’s East and West division leaders as well as perhaps the league’s two best players (Belmont’s Evan Bradds vs. Murray State guard Jonathan Stark), and the contrast in styles of the Bruins ’ always efficient four-out offense against the Racers’ attacking guards made for a game again worthy of its national television date on ESPNU. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, January 27, 2017

by - Published January 27, 2017 in The Morning Dish

Thursday night meant one thing among all others in college hoops: Cincinnati vs. Xavier. The Crosstown Shootout. The best non-conference rivalry in college basketball, and (in this opinion) one of the top three rivalries in the sport right now.

A game that always provides plenty of that “buzz” the NCAA men’s basketball committee so badly wants was relegated to ESPN2 (a somewhat minor note, but never let someone tell you perceived issues in this sport aren’t self-inflicted), but it was still every bit the biggest and best game of the night that its history regularly suggests it will be. While ESPN’s decision to show a pretty good matchup on its mothership with North Carolina hosting Virginia Tech was a relative flop (the Tar Heels breezed to a 91-72 win), Cincinnati fought back for an 86-78 win to defeat its bitter city rival for the first time in four meetings and in what was incredibly just the third-ever meeting between the two when both were ranked. … Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation January 24, 2017: On Wake Forest, Tulsa, Bucknell and more

by - Published January 24, 2017 in Columns

Notes from around college basketball as we are in the late stages of January and endless bubble talk is just around the corner:

A reminder that a basketball season is a journey and doesn’t always follow a linear path annually comes right around this time of year, when conference races have started to take form. Non-conference records are often a good indicator of which teams will be finishing where in their leagues, but not always. There is always a handful of teams that-for any number of reasons-plays much better in conference than it did out of its league.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, January 13, 2017

by - Published January 13, 2017 in The Morning Dish

UCLA contributed maybe its most mesmerizing offensive performance yet, in a season that’s already been full of them.

Saint Mary’s
posted one of the most dominant defensive shutdowns of the year (along with its trademark efficiency).

Gonzaga
merely kept NCAA Division I’s lone perfect record alive with a 38-point win, in a game where it “didn’t play that well in the first half,” as noted by the team’s center. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, January 6, 2017

by - Published January 6, 2017 in The Morning Dish

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has furnished more than its share of scoring machines in the league’s 36-year history. It’s really quite a list.

From its birth, the MAAC has been blessed with players who could fill it up. Army’s Kevin Houston (1986-87 season), Alvin Young of Niagara (1998-99) and the great Keydren Clark of St. Peter’s (two consecutive years in 2003-04 and 2004-05) all were national scoring champions. La Salle’s Lionel Simmons is the No. 3 scorer in NCAA Division I history, while Clark isn’t far behind in seventh.

From Steve Burtt (Iona), Houston and Jim McCaffrey (Holy Cross), to Simmons and his teammates Doug Overton and Randy Woods, to Doremus Bennerman (Siena), to more recent stars like Clark, Luis Flores (Manhattan) and Jason Thompson (Rider) and take your pick of Iona guards in recent years. Pick a year, almost any year, and you can probably find a MAAC player who was among the top snipers in the country. … 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

Scanning the Nation Notebook – Dec. 6, 2016

by - Published December 6, 2016 in Columns

Temple will still have ups and downs this season because of how young the Owls are. But the talent Fran Dunphy has is sure going to be fun to watch. Obi Enechionyia is playing with supreme confidence right now, a 6-foot-8 matchup nightmare who is on fire from three, and freshmen Quinton Rose and Alani Moore are playing major minutes and are exciting, energetic players. Josh Brown also has returned from an Achilles injury faster than many expected and provides veteran leadership. Temple’s players also are moving themselves and moving the ball more this year than in recent years. The Owls’ wins over Florida State and West Virginia were no flukes. … Continue Reading

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Hoopville Archives

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 – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

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.

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.