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

by - Published April 13, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

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
hoopguy-yellow

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
hoopguy-orange

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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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 27, 2015

by - Published March 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

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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NCAA Tournament first week review: few upsets, but history-rich programs remain

by - Published March 23, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

The first week of the 2015 NCAA Tournament has brought us a little of everything, much of nothing. Like the beer commercial, you might say it is up for whatever.

We started with a boatload of close games, but the number and intensity of those games has petered out over the past three days, taking this year”s tourney from historic to almost pedestrian. The Sweet 16 will include three 1 seeds, but otherwise is a buffet of differing squads and resumes. The last 16 remaining includes teams from eight different conferences and seeded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11.

What do we have left is a field of teams that is loaded with history, whether it be recent or distant. In fact, every single team left falls into at least one of the categories, if not both.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 22, 2015

by - Published March 22, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

When it comes to the very best teams in March, the current list starts with names like Arizona. Duke. Kentucky. Michigan State.

It’s high time another school was added to that elite hierarchy in the sport.

Xavier is back in the Sweet 16-again. This time, it’s after a 75-67 win over Georgia State on Saturday, as the Musketeers shot an incredible 67.6% for the game, including 81.3% (13 of 16) in the second half. It took that kind of effort to knock out the Panthers and R.J. Hunter-who almost certainly made himself some serious money with his performance this week-but X is on to the regional semifinals and now will face Arizona.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 20, 2015

by - Published March 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

The first full day of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was littered with close, down-to-the-wire games. If it felt like an extraordinary day for the consistency of the fantastic finishes, that’s because it was.

Thursday saw 11 of the 16 first round games decided by eight points or less. Eight were decided by a single possession. Five were decided by a point, a record for a single day in the tourney. Two went to overtime.

As far as drama goes, it was as about as good as it can get. But there’s also a good chance that such games aren’t going anywhere and are going to be the norm this year. And maybe for the foreseeable future.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 19, 2015

by - Published February 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Wednesday night featured the very best of what college basketball has to offer, in so very many ways.

Passionate rivalries. Contrasts in styles. Outstanding players. Coaches with the freedom to coach teams the way they want to, and taking advantage of that in different ways. And, yes, very relevant regular season games.

The evening included what are, for our money, the two very best rivalries in the sport. Of course, the evening was mainly marked by Duke and North Carolina meeting again, but the night started with Xavier and Cincinnati squaring off once more in a series that as a whole is its equal, or awfully close to it.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 9, 2015

by - Published February 9, 2015 in Columns
hoopguy-cyan

If you ever go to the Dean Smith Center at the University of North Carolina, a look up in the rafters will give you an idea of why the building is named after the man. It’s an amazing collection of college basketball history.

Smith passed away late Saturday night at age 83. It came late enough in the evening that word did not get out about it until yesterday morning. And so we begin to remember him, including that like so many legends, he was more than just a coach.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 27, 2015

by - Published January 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

ESPN’s new practice of not sending announcers to cover a few of its games and instead broadcasting those games from a studio has already resulted in some embarrassing moments this season, and last night brought the worst one yet.

ESPNU was to televise the Southwestern Athletic Conference game between Prairie View A&M and Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 8 p.m. Central time last night. For those looking to tune in, though, they instead found a reality show about Snoop Doggy Dogg and his son Cordell Broadus, a highly rated high school football player. A message ran on the bottom of the screen simply saying that the Prairie View/UAPB game “will not be shown at this time.”

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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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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