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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

by - Published November 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The championship game for the 32nd annual Maui Invitational is set, and this year’s matchup looks primed be a dandy like so many other title games in the tourney’s history.

Vanderbilt clinched its spot in the final with its second straight rout, defeating Wake Forest 88-64. The Commodores did what Indiana could not-defeat the Demon Deacons, and did so with authority. Vandy will take on Kansas in the final after the Jayhawks also won their second straight game in blowout fashion, this time steamrolling UCLA 92-73 in a game that wasn’t that close.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 24, 2015

by - Published November 24, 2015 in The Morning Dish

With the Maui Invitational, Kris Dunn, Ben Simmons and a renewal of an old Big 8 rivalry, Monday night saw a number of heavy hitters in action. Incredibly, though, a school that has never been a household name just keeps forcing itself into the national conversation, too.

Texas-Arlington followed up its win this weekend at Ohio State with another road shocker, defeating Memphis 68-64. A bizarre game all around saw the Mavericks make just 26 of 78 shots from the field (33.3%) and commit 33 fouls, but UTA built a 10-point halftime lead and then rallied after falling behind by six midway through the second half.

The Mavericks finished with 20 offensive rebounds, had the best player on the floor in Kevin Hervey (22 points, 11 boards) and withstood serious foul trouble, with five players finishing with four fouls or more. All this from a team that went 16-15 last year, lost three starters-including one through college basketball’s version of free agency in guard Johnny Hill, who is now starting for Purdue-and was picked to tie for 8th of 11 teams in the Sun Belt Conference this year.

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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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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: February

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns

We conclude our look at our favorite games for every day of the season from November through February, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game to watch. Some days the picks are obvious, others they are no doubt up for debate, but we limited it to one pick and one special mention each day. We started this on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, January and Wednesday, and today we finish with February:

Feb. 1: North Carolina at Louisville. Besides the obvious skill of these teams, it’s always a sweet pairing of the Tar Heels’ running and the Cardinals’ pressure defense. Honorable mention: SMU at Houston

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: December

by - Published November 10, 2015 in Columns

Continuing our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, our ultimate dream road trip, if you will.

We started on Monday with November, and today we continue with December:

Dec. 1: Maryland at North Carolina. We’re not one to get into the hypefest aspect of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but this is a pretty easy pick. No. 1 and No. 3 in the AP preseason poll, former ACC rivals, etc. One of the best games of the year. This should be fun, and will only reinforce how much we think the Terrapins really should still be an ACC school. Honorable mention: Villanova at St. Joseph’s

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A game a day for the whole 2015-16 season: first up, November

by - Published November 9, 2015 in Columns

If one could go to any one college basketball game or event they wanted, for every day of the season, without restrictions, without worries about travel…

…it would take professional sports team-level travel accommodations, probably a pro athletes’ disposable income, and a whole lot of sleep on airplanes. As well as an understanding spouse.

Which doesn’t mean one can’t dream. Going into the 2015-16 season, we wanted to highlight what we see as the best game of the day, for every day of the regular season. The games we would go to every day of the season, if we could.

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2015-16 CBB Preview Questions: A different game, or is it?

by - Published November 3, 2015 in Columns

College basketball’s Chicken Little phase has passed. The sky was allegedly falling, the sport was dubbed by some as “unwatchable,” in a crisis and two steps shy of oblivion, so this year we will have a game much different from the one we are used to.

Or maybe not.

Despite guarding a sport whose postseason ratings round-for-round continued to dominate those of the NBA, the NCAA basketball rules committee was coaxed by some loud but influential voices among coaches and media to make a host of alterations this summer, and those changes undoubtedly are the biggest overarching story entering the 2015-16 season.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Final Review: A solid tourney by historical standards

by - Published April 13, 2015 in Columns

Collectively, the 2015 NCAA Tournament was a roller coaster. There was the high of the first few days before the tourney slipped into mediocrity in its middle rounds, only to rise back up again for a big finish at the end, worthy of all the history of such a splendid event.

It is the truth that three of the very best games of this year’s tourney came from the regional finals onward. Kentucky against Notre Dame, Wisconsin against Kentucky and Duke against Wisconsin were all competitive and terrific theater down to the wire. And also very high in the TV ratings, it might be noted, much as those who would prefer you to believe the sport is a steaming disaster would rather you not know that.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, April 9, 2015

by - Published April 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish

It remains to be seen just how much of an exodus there is from Kentucky’s absolutely loaded roster this year, and last year proved there could be more mystery to that than some might think.

Despite being the school so often identified with “one-and-dones,” the fact is a lot of Kentucky players who were anticipated to be one-year players last year stuck around for at least one more season, a big part of just why this year’s Wildcat team was so loaded. Head coach John Calipari has already predicted that as many as 6-7 of his players could be gone this year, but before the 2013-14 season he also thought the same number would go pro last year.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, April 2, 2015

by - Published April 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Even at the lower levels of NCAA Division I, there are programs that are sleeping giants. Liberty is one such place, a school where the resources have often outpaced the results on the court. The Flames often have been far more asleep than a giant since joining D-I almost 30 years ago, but the school’s coaching history has been…interesting? Quirky? Bizarre? Take your pick.

Liberty has its new coach to replace Dale Layer, and it’s one of the school’s former coaches. Ritchie McKay coached the Flames for two years from 2007-09 before leaving to take an assistant position at Virginia. In his second year at Liberty, McKay led the team to a 23-12 record, tying the school’s NCAA Division I record for wins.
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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?

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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.