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2013-14 ACC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 27, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
acc

With Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse entering, much was expected of the ACC this year. The end result? Well, the ACC was still pretty good, but it wasn’t exactly the super conference some expected it to be. In fact, even before the NCAA Tournament came and went with just one team making the Sweet 16 and going no further, it seemed clear that the conference underachieved relative to expectations this season.

The truth, as is often the case, is a bit more complicated than that. That’s especially true when you realize that ACC teams won five in-season tournaments in non-conference play. It was also a nice year for the conference in terms of individual talents.

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Atkins, Notre Dame continue to dig deep

by - Published February 17, 2014 in Columns
notredame

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Eric Atkins and Notre Dame have had to dig deep this season. They have had some real adversity come their way, and haven’t handled it very well on the bottom line. With a stretch of three straight road games having just started, though, the Fighting Irish just might be getting to a point where wins won’t be so hard to come by.

“We’ve got a tough stretch here,” Atkins said after Notre Dame’s 73-69 win at Boston College on Sunday night. “It’s going to be tough, but I think things are coming together a little bit for us. I think everyone has really fallen into their roles, and everyone is stepping up.”

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Despite semifinal loss, Notre Dame feels better leaving New York than when they entered

by - Published March 16, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
notredame

NEW YORK – Let the debate about the value of conference tournaments rage on. You’ll find a few willing supporters of them in New York, including Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, even after his team was eliminated by Louisville 69-57 in the semifinal on Friday night. There was plenty of value for him and his team here, and it wasn’t just sentimental, although there was a little of that.

“I can’t say enough about the Big East, man,” said Brey. “I don’t think it’s really hit me yet saying bye to (associate commissioner Tom Odjakjian) and John (Paquette) and some of the other people, and the Big East has kind of made me.”

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2013 Big East Tournament quarterfinal quick hitters

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigeast

NEW YORK – Georgetown vs. Syracuse. The rivalry lives on in the context of the Big East just a little longer.

The semifinals are set for the 2013 Big East Tournament, and the first one that set up had many people buzzing. Georgetown and Syracuse will have one last game while both are members of the Big East, which is only fitting considering this is the last Big East Tournament as we know it. That game will be a tough act to follow, but Louisville and Notre Dame will try to do that. Considering the Cardinals and Fighting Irish produced the most thrilling game of the season to date when they went to five overtimes, we know they are capable.

Some quick hitters from Thursday’s games:

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Barclays to MSG: A long (and enjoyable) day’s journey

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
author_floriani

Two main venues, two great tournaments, just miles apart. A day filled with some very good basketball and interesting stories. Why not ? It is March Madness….

11:30 AM – Riding the subway to Brooklyn. The  preceding train ride from New Jersey to Penn Station was spent talking with a Cincinnati fan. The train has fans wearing gear from Pitt, Syracuse (most prominent) and of course, Cincinnati. The Bearcats, our new found basketball friend admits, have a tough assignment facing Georgetown at noon. Overall he is satisfied with the way things are going with Cincinatti but would like to see a little more inside play on offense. For now the Big East can wait. It’s onto the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10. It is difficult typing on a moving train.

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2013 Big East Tournament second round quick hitters

by - Published March 14, 2013 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigeast

NEW YORK – The quarterfinals are up next in the Big East Tournament. In the second round, we saw Cincinnati blitz Providence early and fend off a rally, Syracuse rally from an early deficit due to a hot shooting Seton Hall team with a very strong second half, Villanova knock off a young St. John’s team and Notre Dame pull away from Rutgers and then hold them off. The four winners take on the top four seeds on Thursday.

Some quick hitters from Wednesday:

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Loss at Providence an aberration for Notre Dame

by - Published February 16, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
notredame

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Throw out Saturday’s 71-54 loss at Providence for Notre Dame. It’s an aberration, and maybe it was something they were due for given what they’ve had to do lately. The Fighting Irish have now lost their last two games decided in regulation, but they have come a couple of games apart. And while they didn’t play well, head coach Mike Brey very accurately assessed that this outcome is more about the home team.

“It’s been a long week, but I’d say 95 percent of tonight was Providence’s performance, and they were fabulous,” said Brey.

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Cooley carries Notre Dame until perimeter players get untracked

by - Published November 18, 2012 in Columns
notredame

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Notre Dame bounced back from a tough loss on Friday night to leave the Barclays Center with a win. The formula was simple: let the big man lead the way and even carry the team on his back, then get others going to put the game away. Jack Cooley certainly led them with another solid performance, and the Fighting Irish rallied in the second half for a 78-68 win over Brigham Young.

Cooley has been a double-double machine early this season, as he posted his third in the team’s four games on Saturday night with 19 points (7-12 shooting) and 13 rebounds. In fact, he already had one in the first half as he had 12 points and 10 boards at the break, controlling the paint often while BYU’s best big man, Brandon Davies, sat with foul trouble. He was also the one player they were able to get going for a while; the other four starters were a combined 3-10 from the field for nine points in the first half as BYU lead by one at the break.

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A look back on Notre Dame advancing to the Big East Semis

by - Published March 10, 2012 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – Semifinal night. A Friday in New York. A  lot of pre-game talk at the Big East Tournament centered on the prior evening’s quarterfinal matchup between Notre Dame and South Florida. The Irish pulled it out with a 57-53 overtime victory.

The pace and efficiency:

 

Possessions Off. Efficiency
South Florida 58 91
Notre Dame 60 85

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Harvard’s path to the elusive NCAA Tournament bid just got tougher

by - Published February 26, 2012 in Columns, Full Court Sprints
hoopguy-orange

Harvard is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious institution of higher learning. Many of the brightest young people grow up dreaming of attending the school, unless you’re like me and dreamed of going to MIT (or Cal Tech) because of engineering. The university has produced a number of high achievers in just about every field imaginable.

On the hardwood, it’s been a different story. Harvard has had seasons of 20 or more wins, and they’ve been to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and NIT the past two seasons. But they have yet to get to the holy grail of college basketball, the NCAA Tournament. That has eluded them, including last year when they went to a one-game playoff against Princeton and lost on a buzzer-beating jumper in New Haven. And after Saturday night, they might be on a path to such a game once more, as Penn came to Lavietes Pavilion and stunned Harvard 55-54 on Senior Night.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

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bostonuniversity

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Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

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hofstra

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Cornell’s future can only be better

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cornell

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Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

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