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Final Arch Madness Notes: MVC’s choice of Loyola has proven a terrific one

by - Published March 6, 2018 in Columns, Conference Notes

There’s little doubt that when the Missouri Valley Conference decided to replace Creighton with Loyola University Chicago in 2013 that some thought the conference’s move was a gamble, maybe even a hope and a prayer.

In place of a program that won eight MVC basketball tourney titles over its last 15 years in the conference and annually ranked among the NCAA Division I attendance leaders, the Valley picked another Jesuit institution, but one with far less recent success in the conference’s signature sport. … Continue Reading

Redbirds come up just short again at Arch Madness

by - Published March 5, 2018 in Columns, Conference Notes

Illinois State and its fans are getting all too familiar with having the same feeling at about 3 p.m. on a Sunday in early March, after the final game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

It’s the feeling of dejection after coming so close to an NCAA Tournament bid but not being able to cash in. Of being the second-best team in a 10-team tourney, good enough to get to the final stage at Arch Madness, but not quite able to take the final step to end a still-growing NCAA Tournament drought that now stands at 20 years and counting. The Redbirds keep on getting to the doorstep, but so far just can’t find the right key to get in the door. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 4, 2018

by - Published March 4, 2018 in The Morning Dish

After a few years away-what could even be called a long absence for a program so used to postseason success-Murray State is back in the NCAA Tournament. And it couldn’t be in much more satisfying fashion.

The Racers became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2018 NCAA tourney on Saturday, pulling away late from recent nemesis Belmont for a 68-51 win in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in Evansville, Ind. Murray State improved to 26-5, won its 13th straight game and capped a stretch run that saw it come from behind late in the season to overtake Belmont for the OVC regular season title and then take down the Bruins with authority in the tourney final. … Continue Reading

Loyola outlasts Northern Iowa at its own game to move on at Arch Madness

by - Published March 2, 2018 in Columns

Anyone who has seen Northern Iowa at its best in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament knows the type of game.

Low-scoring, low-possession, slow possession-when UNI has gotten on a roll at Arch Madness in recent years, the Panthers’ style of play is worthy of a registered trademark. Scores struggle to get out of-and sometimes even into-the 50s, opponents are virtually strangled by their halfcourt defense, and their deliberate offense often serves a similar purpose, with the added effect of demoralizing them with big shots at the end of the shot clock.

Top-seeded Loyola Chicago got itself locked into such a game in the quarterfinals of this year’s MVC Tournament. A potential nightmare matchup on paper against an opponent proven capable of beating top-level competition became exactly that, with the ninth-seed Panthers leading by four in the second half, the score still solidly in the 30s as the game neared its three-quarter mark. … Continue Reading

Valparaiso’s trying first year in MVC capped by early Arch Madness exit

by - Published March 2, 2018 in Columns, Conference Notes

When Valparaiso signed on for the Missouri Valley Conference late last spring, it was widely acknowledged the Crusaders’ well-known men’s basketball program was stepping up another class in competition.

Even conceding the upgrade from the Horizon League to the MVC on some level, though, few would’ve projected what the ledger will say was a disappointing first year for Valpo in the Valley. A finish in the cellar and the 10th seed for its first trip to Arch Madness, the MVC’s prize postseason event, was not what anyone envisioned for a program that had won five of the last six Horizon titles before moving on. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 2, 2018

by - Published March 2, 2018 in The Morning Dish

It appeared Thursday night was going to offer us yet another instance of a top-ranked team losing this season when Virginia looked on its way to a sure loss at Louisville Thursday night. The Cavaliers trailed by four points, and there was less than one second left on the clock.

No problem. All it took was two made free throws, a travel on the baseline by a Cardinals player inbounding the ball, and then a banked in three-pointer at the buzzer.

Voila. Virginia 67, Louisville 66. … Continue Reading

Northern Iowa, Missouri State could break MVC quarterfinal dominance by top seeds

by - Published March 2, 2018 in Columns, Conference Notes

For more than a quarter century now, regular season performance has almost always guaranteed postseason advancement for top seeds in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

The MVC has been coming to St. Louis for Arch Madness for 27 years, including the last 22 as a 10-team event with two first round games on a Thursday or Friday night followed the next day by four quarterfinal games. Just once in all that time has a 1 or 2 seed in the MVC tourney lost in the quarterfinals (Creighton was the guilty party in 1998, falling to No. 7 seed Bradley). For a time of year when upsets are so obviously the norm, it’s a remarkable level of success for top seeds getting to at least the semifinals. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 25, 2018

by - Published January 25, 2018 in The Morning Dish

The No. 8 conference in the country should get more attention than it has this year, though Missouri Valley Conference schools have few others to blame but themselves for that.

A league that had such a good non-conference season that it is clearly ahead of leagues like the Mountain West (a good distance back at No. 9 in conference RPI), Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conference has once again done itself no favors for national perception with its parity in conference play. All 10 MVC schools have at least 10 wins overall already-a real achievement in January in a conference that isn’t playing 70%+ of its non-conference games at home-and all 10 are also in the top 160 in the RPI. And yet, nine of the 10 also have seven losses, too, and having seven teams separated by a total of two games between 5-4 and 3-6 in league play is no way to build a NCAA Tournament at-large contenders.

Wednesday did feature a battle for first in the Valley, though, and it’s also possible the conference’s hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAAs aren’t done yet. The first half of the MVC’s round robin is now complete with Loyola Chicago alone in first place after what turned out to be a resounding 80-57 win at Drake, and the Ramblers are making a mighty nice run at separating themselves from the rest of the Valley pack. … Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook for Nov. 20 – Notes from CBB’s 2nd weekend

by - Published November 20, 2017 in Columns

Another quiet weekend included college football again making for light schedules, plus some underwhelming fields in eight-team tournaments. Here are some quick-hit notes from the third weekend of November and second of the hoops season:

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off tourney illustrated just how wildly teams’ performances and fortunes can change from one day to the next in tournament play. In the quarterfinals, Illinois State played a terrific game in edging South Carolina, while UTEP had Boise State all but beaten before faltering in the final minutes. One might’ve thought the Redbirds would’ve had an edge the next day, but Boise suddenly turned into an offensive machine, Chandler Hutchison was dominant and ISU looked horrendous, needing a late rally to lose 82-64. Just before that, the Gamecocks drubbed the UTEP team that should’ve been playing Illinois State. At least some clarity was found Sunday, as Illinois State again played very well in handling Tulsa, and South Carolina took care of Western Michigan for the second time this season. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, November 17, 2017

by - Published November 17, 2017 in The Morning Dish

We may be barely a week into the college basketball season, but it’s not hard to make an argument that a number of teams and conferences just might be already entering the most important 7-10 days in their regular seasons.

It’s completely counter intuitive, and it probably shouldn’t be the case for a number of reasons. And no one will argue that conference play and conference tournaments are the heart of any team’s schedule if you were to ask any coach. For schools like Illinois State and Hofstra and leagues like the Missouri Valley and Colonial Athletic Association, though-to name just a couple of many-this has become a critical time of the year, as it is far and away the best time to earn wins over bigger-name (read: football-dominated) schools, the kind that help build power ratings and might get the attention of a certain tournament selection committee in March. … Continue Reading

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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

Coaching Changes

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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

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

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

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

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

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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.