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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 9, 2018

by - Published January 9, 2018 in The Morning Dish

College football’s Cartel Bowl was played Monday night, reminding us one more time that, for as frustrating as the NCAA Tournament selection committee can be, it still has a thousand times more legitimacy than a championship’s group of selectors with five representatives directly tied to five conferences and exactly zero committee members attached to the sport’s other five conferences. (Let’s stop pretending that Central Florida’s being kept from the playoff was because of its schedule and not because of out-and-out committee bias, now that we know the Knights had more regular season wins against the final Associated Press Top 25 before bowls than the team that ended up winning the season’s final game Monday.)

Almost as infuriating on Monday as a deserving contender being kept from a real shot at a national title solely because of collusion, though, is how so many networks covering college basketball continue to run away from a prime opportunity to do something different on that night. Networks have decided to treat a college football pseudo-championship game as if it’s the Super Bowl, impossible to compete against so it’s not even worth trying. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 7, 2018

by - Published January 7, 2018 in The Morning Dish

Conference play may be still just getting rolling, but we’ve had more than enough to talk about already, from highly ranked teams going down to upstarts making moves. Here is a potpourri of thoughts from another crazy Saturday-and we’ve just started January:

Before Thursday, who ever would’ve thought that the team of the week would without a doubt be…Colorado? The Buffaloes came into the week just 8-6 overall off back-to-back double-digit losses to Oregon State and Oregon and also with losses this year to Colorado State, Iowa and San Diego (more on the Toreros in a bit). CU made life miserable for both Arizona Pac-12 teams making the Rocky Mountain trip, first upending Arizona State on Thursday and on Saturday dumping Arizona 80-77. The Buffs forced both teams into rough shooting games-everyone not named Deandre Ayton shot a combined 17-for-56, or 30.3% on Saturday. And Colorado got all kinds of contributions in the win, none better than those from McKinley Wright IV with 16 points and 10 assists as coach Tad Boyle celebrated a win on his birthday. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 14, 2017

by - Published November 14, 2017 in The Morning Dish

The landscape of conference challenge events, once so ably started by the ACC and Big East nearly 30 years ago, has become saturated in recent years, greatly watered down by mega-sized conferences, little common geography, bad matchups, and sometimes all three together.

While all have their strong points, most challenges now are nothing more than scheduling collusion, or excuses for TV networks to hype up their preferred conferences, which is understood to a point, but not always good for the sport as a whole. Not when fans are sold a bill of goods that a game between Clemson and Penn State is something they should by psyched about, when most so obviously aren’t. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 27, 2016

by - Published December 27, 2016 in The Morning Dish

One way to get an otherwise obscure game into the college basketball spotlight-at least relatively speaking in a time on the sport calendar when bowl games of even the most unequivocally mediocre variety hold sway-is to be the only game on the schedule for an entire day.

Loyola Marymount can’t be faulted for its efforts to make the most of its game at Gersten Pavilion against Morgan State on Monday. The game one day after Christmas was the lone contest in all of NCAA Division I, and LMU offered free admission, free parking and $1 hot dogs for those in attendance. … Continue Reading

2015-16 MEAC Post-Mortem

by - Published August 22, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

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

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 1, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

Though it is often right around the bottom of NCAA Division I, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference furnishes some really good teams from time to time. North Carolina Central provided yet another example of that this year.

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year. The Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of MEAC and were easily its best team, winning both the regular season and tournament titles and capturing their first-ever D-I tourney bid. The Eagles finished 28-6 overall, won at North Carolina State, and were competitive in every one of their losses, even giving Wichita State a stiff challenge on the road in December.
… Continue Reading

Three coaching legends lose on the same day

by - Published January 22, 2012 in Full Court Sprints

It’s not every day that three of the greatest coaches ever lose a game on the same day. Yet that’s what happened on another Saturday full of noteworthy games, as Syracuse suffered its first loss on the season, Duke lost at home to put an end to a long home winning streak and Connecticut lost as well.

And it all happened, ironically, on the day that a football coaching legend appeared close to losing his life. On Saturday night, there were conflicting reports about former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, but we did not learn for sure that he had passed until about 10:30 this morning. We send our condolences to Joe’s family and friends at this time.

The last time Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski lost a game on the same day was January 18, 2003. The three coaches have combined for over 2,600 wins, so they have won a little more than they have lost, and one might even be surprised that this wasn’t the first day all three lost.

It started in the middle of the afternoon, with two of the games. Connecticut took on Tennessee in Knoxville, a return of a game played last year. The Volunteers got a double-double from freshman Jarnell Stokes and fended off a late Husky rally for a 60-57 win. Turning the ball over one time in the second half certainly helped, especially as taking care of the ball had been a problem for Tennessee of late. Connecticut shot just 36.4 percent from the field.

Around that same time, Florida State looked like they had a shot to end Duke’s 45-game home winning streak, as they were right there with the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They had leads late in the game as well. And finally, with the game tied at 73 in the final seconds, the Seminoles got the ball up the floor to Michael Snaer in front of his own bench, where he hit a three-pointer just as time expired to give Florida State their second big win in as many Saturdays, a 76-73 decision over Duke.

Not only had Duke not lost at home since North Carolina knocked them off in February 2009, but they also had a longer (64 games) home winning streak against unranked opponents. They had a chance to tie their own ACC record of 46 straight home wins, set between January 13, 1997 and February 9, 2000.

Florida State is now looking more and more like the team some thought they would be this season. In the preseason, a good number of prognosticators thought they might be the third-best team behind Duke and North Carolina. Virginia had emerged as that team, and probably still is, but now the Seminoles look like another formidable team in an ACC that is not looking much better than last year. They are in a three-way tie atop the ACC at 4-1, along with the two teams they have knocked off the past two Saturdays.

By the time the evening came around, one already had a sense that Syracuse could suffer its first loss of the season. The team announced earlier in the day that sophomore center Fab Melo would not make the trip to Notre Dame and Cincinnati and that junior forward Mookie Jones had left the school for personal reasons. The Orange are so deep, it would not have been a shocker if they came away with two wins, but if they dropped one it would not have been a surprise. Sure enough, a Notre Dame team that knocked off Louisville a couple of weeks ago beat Syracuse 67-58 in South Bend.

Notre Dame led throughout the game and beat a No. 1 team for the eighth time, which ties for the fourth-highest total. They did it led by junior big man Jack Cooley, who went for 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Fighting Irish out-rebounded Syracuse 38-25. While Melo’s absence hurt there, it wasn’t a big factor in the Orange’s offensive struggles on the night.

 

We take you coast to coast with news from around the college basketball nation

With Syracuse losing, that left just one team undefeated: Murray State. The Racers were 82-65 winners at SIU-Edwardsville to improve to 20-0 on the season.

Missouri got perhaps its most impressive win yesterday, going on the road to beat Baylor. That’s two in a row now for Baylor, and it seems that at the moment, Baylor is close, but not there when it comes to the top of the Big 12.

Georgetown got all they could handle from Rutgers, and needed to score the game’s last seven points to eke out a 52-50 win in the nation’s capital.

Louisville continued Pittsburgh’s misery as they went into the Peterson Events Center and left with a 73-62 win over the Panthers, who are now 0-7 in the Big East and have lost eight straight.

UNLV convincingly won a key matchup with New Mexico, the second straight loss for the Lobos as they took on the two favorites in the conference this past week.

Mississippi State won an overtime thriller at Vanderbilt in a key matchup among teams chasing Kentucky in the SEC.

Todd Bozeman returned to the bench at Morgan State, but his team’s struggles continued as they lost for the fifth time in seven games by dropping a 62-61 decision against visiting North Carolina A&T.

Late Saturday night, Long Beach State picked up a key road win at UC Santa Barbara. That makes the 49ers 7-0 in conference play, a full two games ahead of three teams in the loss column.

Will Syracuse’s hot start cool off this winter?

by - Published January 10, 2012 in Full Court Sprints

Syracuse is officially on the clock.

As of Jan. 9, the Orange look an awful lot like the best team in the country. But considering that it’s still early January, that’s not terribly surprising. The question is whether Syracuse will still look like the best team in college hoops in another two months as the NCAA Tournament approaches.

Since the Orange won the championship in 2003, Syracuse has made a habit of starting hot, building a record at least nine games better than .500 each season. In half of those seasons, the Orange have had a record as gaudy as at least 15 games better than .500.

But each season, the team has fallen apart for one reason or another. In some cases, it’s a lack of leadership to handle adversity when the team inevitably drops a tough Big East game or two. In other cases, the downfall has been rifts in team chemistry, sometimes leading to suspensions or poor play. And injuries have factored into a few of the collapses.

In sum, Syracuse has not finished a season better than three games above .500 after the Orange’s struggles creep into the picture. Why would this team be any different?

To start, this team has fantastic depth. Ten players average at least 12 minutes per game. Seven players contribute at least seven ppg, but no one scores more than 14.1 ppg, and that’s senior swingman Kris Joseph. In addition, the Orange have superior height than nearly any other team in Division I, with nine players who stand 6’4” or taller.

Coach Jim Boeheim has helped this team navigate through the tumultuous Bernie Fine affair without any semblance of a disturbance on the court. Compared to the off court drama, Boeheim must be happy dealing with any complaints about playing time that come from his talented players — if there have been any at all. Only two players are averaging more than 25 minutes per game, but as far as we can tell, everyone has embraced his role on the team. And that is leading to win after win.

At some point, the Orange will likely drop a game or two in Big East play. Road games against Cincinnati, St. John’s, Louisville, Rutgers and Connecticut are potential land mines. But unlike in recent years, this team seems built to overcome the struggles of one night. Boeheim has the Orange playing their best basketball in eight years, according to Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency stats. If Syracuse can maintain its 1.202 points per possession on offense and 0.883 points per possession on defense, both those numbers will be the best marks for offensive and defensive efficiency for the years that Pomeroy has data available (since 2003).

In a season filled with talented teams, Syracuse has earned its No. 1 ranking, and the Orange should remain near the top from wire to wire. And for Syracuse fans, a strong finish to bookend a strong start would be a refreshing change of pace.

We go coast to coast with news from around the college basketball nation.

Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman is in the thick of serious allegations after several people at the Bears’ game at South Carolina State said the coach punched Morgan State senior Larry Bastfield during the game, according to ESPN.com news services. The school has indefinitely suspended Bozeman while looking into the accusations. Bozeman and Bastfield say the news is much ado about nothing — with that nothing being an accidental bump during the game, as Bastfield described it.

Xavier coach Chris Mack made his point, then paid the price. Mack missed the past couple of days after tearing a tendon in his left knee while dunking to re-energize the struggling Musketeers, who are 2-5 in the past few weeks, writes USA Today’s Marlen Garcia.

Arizona State coach Herb Sendek has accepted the departure of leading scorer Keala King, who left a few days after Sendek suspended him for unacceptable conduct, according to a CBS Sports.com wire report. King’s departure is a massive loss for a pretty bad Sun Devils team. King averaged 13.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 3.3 apg.

St. John’s scored a talented point guard when former Texas A&M sophomore Jamal Branch decided to transfer to the Red Storm, writes the New York Daily News’ Roger Rubin. Branch averaged 4.2 ppg and 2.5 apg for the Aggies, and he chose St. John’s over several other suitors.

Michael Jordan’s son Jeff has decided to leave Central Florida, according to an Associated Press report. His brother, Marcus, remains with the Golden Knights, as Jeff cited personal reasons for his decision.

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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

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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

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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.

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