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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 20, 2015

by - Published November 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Though still a week from Thanksgiving Day, the holiday tournament season really began yesterday, and the results from the first two events were a good sampling of the first week of the 2015-16 season as a whole.

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off and Charleston Classic both got underway on Thursday, and the games featured some high scores, some low ones, a lot of free throws and another sprinkling of surprising results. We saw Butler red-hot-again. Mississippi State showed again that a turnaround under Ben Howland with Malik Newman isn’t going to be instant. Long Beach State may be inexperienced-but also already a better team than last year. And Virginia is Virginia, and still in a class among the nation’s best.

Among the tourney results:
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 19, 2015

by - Published November 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

An otherwise non-descript non-conference game in mid-November included one of the more tantalizing-and enjoyable-scenes we will see all of this college basketball season.

Wednesday night provided something very unique when UC Irvine traveled across country to face Central Florida. The game featured not one but two 7-foot-6 players in the Anteaters’ Mamadou Ndiaye and recently eligible UCF freshman Tacko Fall. For those scoring at home, that’s a collective 15 feet of post battling it out.

The game was billed as the tallest matchup in NCAA history. Fall got the better of Ndiaye head-to-head, but Ndiaye got the last word in by scoring all three of the Anteaters’ points in overtime for a 61-60 victory.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, November 16, 2015

by - Published November 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish

As we gear up for the first of two weeks full of early season tournaments, Sunday was a decidedly ho-hum day on the bottom line. We didn’t have some of the surprise results we had the first couple of days, while all of the ranked teams in action won by more than 20 points. What we did have was a rivalry game late in the day that lived up to its billing, but also had a scary moment.

New Mexico traveled to Las Cruces to take on arch-rival New Mexico State in the Rio Grande Rivalry. Behind 31 points from Elijah Brown, the son of former NBA coach Mike Brown, they won 83-74. The Lobos continued their recent dominance in the rivalry, as they have won 14 of 17, including nine straight in Las Cruces. It was a close game well into the second half, before the Lobos eventually opened up a double-digit lead. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 27, 2015

by - Published March 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish

A West Region final rematch is what many have been looking forward to this year, even if they didn’t know it. And a West Region final rematch is what they are getting, and it’s one that will be a historical rarity.

It’s an isolated occurrence for teams to meet in the NCAA Tournament two years in a row at all, and it is flat-out scarce that they square off in the same regional in the same round two years straight. It hasn’t happened since UCLA and San Francisco played in the 1973 and 1974 West regional finals, when the tourney was just 25 teams and placing teams in their home region was a priority and also easy to accommodate with so few teams. It took 41 years, but it will finally happen again on Saturday in the West Region (again) as Wisconsin and Arizona will meet again with a trip to the Final Four on the line after the Badgers defeated North Carolina 79-72 and the Wildcats held off Xavier 68-60 on Thursday.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 21, 2014

by - Published December 21, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Saturday’s college basketball day had all kind of major storylines featuring many of the sport’s biggest name schools. Kentucky and North Carolina winning big made-for-TV games. A pair of former Big East rivals putting on a show. Louisville, VCU and SMU getting quality road wins. Illinois defeating Missouri at the buzzer in their annual Braggin’ Rights game. And that was just during the daytime.

Would like to take a moment, though, to recognize a league at the other end of the spectrum, maybe as far from the biggies as can be in NCAA Division I. The Southwestern Athletic Conference is frequently a punching bag for schools like the aforementioned, regularly racking up the losses in November and December while playing ridiculous non-conference schedules.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 7, 2014

by - Published December 7, 2014 in The Morning Dish

The independents are dead. Long live the independents.

Whereas once independents were far more than an exception in college basketball, the ranks have dwindled in recent years to near extinction, as well documented for some time.

The lone independent the last couple years has been New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey Tech, NJIT. By any name, it has one of those perfectly obscure independent names, carrying on the tradition of indies of the past like Brooklyn College, Utica and U.S. International. As the lone independent left, though, it’s sometimes hard for the Highlanders to get so much as a mention in preseason annuals, much less a real chance at postseason glory.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 4, 2014

by - Published December 4, 2014 in The Morning Dish

This introduction was going to be about one of the most anticipated games of the year so far, as Duke and Wisconsin squared off in a battle between top 5 teams, Final Four contenders and legendary coaches. That changed after midnight here in the Central time zone after watching Wichita State face Utah in what was maybe the second-most anticipated game-of at least the night, anyway.

The Utes picked up a signature non-conference win, edging the Shockers 69-68 in overtime. It’s a huge win for Utah, but if someone happened to turn this off late in the second half, they should know the win came far tougher for Utah than it may have looked late in regulation.
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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 22, 2014

by - Published November 22, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Early season tournaments continue to lead the way, and will for much of the next week. Friday featured plenty of such action leading into the weekend, setting the stage for what’s to come. In one of them, a champion was crowned.

At Madison Square Garden, Texas won the 2K Classic 71-55 over California, frustrating the Golden Bears with their defense all night long, especially the 10 shots they blocked. In the consolation game, Syracuse held off Iowa 66-63 behind a career-high 20 points and nine rebounds from freshman Chris McCullough, who also got the game-sealing steal in the final seconds. More coverage on this is coming soon, so stay tuned.

… Continue Reading

2013-14 Mountain West Post-Mortem

by - Published May 19, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

With conference realignment being a headline the last few years, few conferences have escaped unharmed outside of the BCS conferences. The Mountain West is one of them, although they almost lost out big. The end result, as pertains to 2013-14, was another excellent season, led by the program that has become the standard bearer of late.

San Diego State had another big year, winning 31 games, including a 16-2 mark in Mountain West play to pace the conference. The 16 conference wins set a new record. They also reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by Arizona.

… Continue Reading

BracketBusters takes center stage once again

by - Published February 19, 2012 in Columns

Every year, there is a lot of talk about how to make BracketBusters better, or if it should just go away entirely. While teams have undoubtedly benefited from it over the years of its existence, the feelings on it seem a bit mixed, and it’s debatable whether or not it has been good as a whole. Right now, it’s what we have, and on Saturday it was center stage.

Proponents have talked about teams getting an extra national television appearance for people to see them. They have also cited the chance to get an RPI boost. Certainly, some of the teams that have benefited can look back and argue that they would not have made the NCAA Tournament if not for a win in the BracketBusters, including Final Four teams from George Mason and VCU. … Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2015-11-12 10:09:26
end_date 2015-11-17 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Who is your pick to win the 2016 national championship?

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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

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.