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2014-15 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Seldom does a team enter a season with high expectations and then fulfill predictions of greatness in almost every way possible the way Wisconsin did this year.

The Badgers came into 2014-15 with four starters returning from a team that made it to the Final Four, and Bo Ryan’s team was on the short list of favorites to get there again. Wisconsin also was an overwhelming favorite to win the rugged Big Ten and had a pair of players receiving preseason All-America recognition (Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker). While the expectations will never be at a Kentucky or UCLA level in Madison, a run at the national title was a realistic goal.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 2, 2015

by - Published March 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Anyone who has followed the ACC the last few years might find it hard to believe that at one time, Wake Forest was among the ACC’s standard-bearers. They might never imagine that the small school in Winston-Salem was pretty good most years and produced some good NBA players, including Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. Danny Manning has a tall order in front of him, but there’s a lot to like so far, and that included on Sunday.

Wake Forest has been very competitive this year despite its 5-11 mark in ACC play. In the opener, they gave Louisville all they could handle and could easily have won that game. They were right there with Duke in the next game and took Syracuse to overtime in the Carrier Dome. They broke through against NC State and Miami, then nearly pulled off a huge upset at Virginia. On Sunday, they took on a Pittsburgh team that needs to keep winning for its NCAA at-large hopes, and the Demon Deacons pulled out a 69-66 win.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 27, 2015

by - Published February 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Normally, the Big South is not leading news items in college basketball, especially at the end of February, when never-ending talk of bubbles and No. 1 seeds dominate the discussion.

There are no teams from the Big South on the bubble-it’s automatic bid only to the NCAA’s. And the only race for a No. 1 seed is that for the league tournament in a conference that would be happy if its champion receives a 14 seed in the Big Dance.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 9, 2015

by - Published February 9, 2015 in Columns

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 – Saturday, February 7, 2015

by - Published February 7, 2015 in Columns

Friday night in February is usually a relatively idle night in college basketball. This one was a bit different, as it was full of big matchups and games that delivered on their promise. A few stand out enough to warrant a little further look.

Leading the way is the Atlantic 10, where Dayton visited George Washington. The two teams were picked to finish right behind VCU before the season, and have been right there for much of the way. In particular, we’re going to learn something about the Colonials, who are in the midst of a challenging stretch. After two road losses, they came home and nearly lost it in overtime, but Joe McDonald was the hero as put back a blocked shot before the buzzer to give the Colonials a 65-64 win. McDonald finished with a game-high 19 points.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 5, 2015

by - Published February 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Some greeted the news with surprise, others with cynicism. Either way, when one of college basketball’s signature programs makes the decision to hold itself out of the postseason, the development most certainly qualifies as big news.

Syracuse announced on Wednesday that it is self-imposing a ban from postseason play this year, in response to an NCAA investigation and “as a further means of past mistakes,” according to a university press release. The ban, which includes the ACC Tournaments, NCAAs, NIT and all over postseason tourneys, is essentially an admission of guilt in regards to allegations against the program dating all the way back to 2007, and suggests that the rules violations are more serious than we might have thought.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 30, 2015

by - Published January 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish

It’s rare when we see TV networks do something even remotely outside the box when it comes to scheduling (sorry, pairing powerhouses against each other doesn’t count). Given this, yesterday’s announcement of the Big 12 and SEC moving their Challenge event to late January certainly qualifies as big news.

All 10 games in the event in the 2015-16 season will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30. The idea is to maximize exposure and separate the event from the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as well as the glut of other tournaments and one-day events around late November. Of course, it also will keep it separated from football season, which with the way-too-long college football docket now results in games regularly played into December.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 26, 2015

by - Published January 26, 2015 in Columns

What can you say about Mike Krzyzewski that hasn’t already been said? Well, there can’t be much by now. Leading up to the possibility of a big milestone, there was a lot that we learned about him that we might not already know. As of Sunday, we can say one thing about him with certainty: he is the first Division I men’s basketball coach to win 1,000 career games.

This one didn’t come easily at all, and when you’ve won 1,000 games, surely a few have been very difficult. St. John’s led at halftime, aided by the officials allowing a three-pointer that appeared not to beat the shot clock just before the half, and then they led by as many as ten in the second half. It took an 18-2 run by the Blue Devils to pull this one out.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 14, 2015

by - Published January 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

What a difference a couple days makes.

A week ago, we had three undefeated Division I teams, and there was a fair amount of debate of if Duke might be as good or better than Kentucky, the team that had been almost universally acclaimed as the top squad for the prior month-plus.

The Wildcats were coming off a narrow escape at home against Mississippi, hardly their first close shave this season. Meanwhile, Duke was 13-0, Coach K was on his way to 1,000 wins and the Blue Devils were cruising, having defeated everyone they’d played by at least 10 points on the way to a 13-0 record.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 7, 2015

by - Published January 7, 2015 in The Morning Dish

For a half last night in its game against Georgia, Arkansas was looking like same old Arkansas on the road.

The Razorbacks have a fairly well-earned tag by now from the past couple of years as a team that can’t win on the road, and in the first half against Georgia that’s exactly how the Hogs looked. Arkansas trailed from the start as the Bulldogs were outstanding, shooting 57.7% in taking a 44-37 lead into halftime.

The second half looked as if it was played by two entirely different teams. The Razorbacks battled back on the road and got a big 79-75 win at Georgia. Arkansas shot 51.7% for the game and Bobby Portis finally got some help after carrying the team offensively the first 20 minutes, while the Bulldogs cooled off and shot just 10 of 29 in the second half.

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Your Phil of Hoops

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.

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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.