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Scanning the Nation January 17, 2017: notes from across college hoops

by - Published January 17, 2017 in Columns

We’re well past the turn of the new year now, settled firmly into conference play, and around-the-clock talk of bracketology and Joe Lunardi on ESPN 25 hours a day is just around the corner (in the rare case with that network, this is not a bad thing-there’s never enough of Affable Joe in February and March). Here are some notes from around college basketball:

 

  • We don’t normally go for hot takes, only sometimes for predictions or statements, but we’ll try this one on for size: North Carolina against Florida State just might have been a Final Four preview. The Tar Heels are obviously that good. But so are the Seminoles.
    … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, January 6, 2017

by - Published January 6, 2017 in The Morning Dish

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has furnished more than its share of scoring machines in the league’s 36-year history. It’s really quite a list.

From its birth, the MAAC has been blessed with players who could fill it up. Army’s Kevin Houston (1986-87 season), Alvin Young of Niagara (1998-99) and the great Keydren Clark of St. Peter’s (two consecutive years in 2003-04 and 2004-05) all were national scoring champions. La Salle’s Lionel Simmons is the No. 3 scorer in NCAA Division I history, while Clark isn’t far behind in seventh.

From Steve Burtt (Iona), Houston and Jim McCaffrey (Holy Cross), to Simmons and his teammates Doug Overton and Randy Woods, to Doremus Bennerman (Siena), to more recent stars like Clark, Luis Flores (Manhattan) and Jason Thompson (Rider) and take your pick of Iona guards in recent years. Pick a year, almost any year, and you can probably find a MAAC player who was among the top snipers in the country. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 23, 2016

by - Published December 23, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Thursday was a very good night for the West Coast Conference. It came very close to being an out-of-sight awesome night, but it was still a very productive evening for the conference.

WCC teams won five of the eight games they played Thursday, despite playing just three of those contests at home. The league’s haul included two signature wins-one on the road, one at a neutral site-and the WCC collectively was a few more points in regulation from being perfect through all eight games of the day. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 7, 2016

by - Published December 7, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Three distinct events, all exceptional and special in their own way, led the college basketball schedule Tuesday. They were unique, poignant, just fun, or all of the above, and it’s impossible to feature one but not the others.

On Dec. 7, though, any discussion has to start with Pearl Harbor, especially in this year marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor Invitational is one of the sport’s best new events in just its second year. Fox Sports 1 has led the charge on this one, which is played in Bloch Arena at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in a tiny-but-character-filled bandbox that looks great on TV. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 1, 2016

by - Published December 1, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Good morning. Welcome to December.

When you get past a couple splashy games, road teams were the story of the night in college basketball on Wednesday. Now there’s something you don’t say often in this sport at the end of November.

A total of 24 teams won on the road in last night’s 90-game schedule in college hoops, and while that win percentage of less than 27% is right around the norm for road teams out of conference as a whole, it was a night with a number of nationally significant road wins. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 12, 2016

by - Published November 12, 2016 in The Morning Dish

And we’re off and running on the 2016-17 season. The first official game of the season, with a noon Eastern tip, was Middle Tennessee’s 102-64 win over Milligan. Everything followed from there, peaking with the early evening games on two fronts.

Opening night tends to be a good mix of lopsided matchups and really good ones. We saw plenty of both, and we’ll focus more on the dandies after noting some surprises and close calls.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published July 8, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Big Ten had an enjoyable, entertaining, very nice 2015-16 basketball season, but enthusiasts of the conference can easily be forgiven if they were left with just a little bit of a dull taste at the end.

If one takes the larger view of the conference’s overall performance, the good should far outweigh the bad. The league had one of the very best players in all the country (Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine) and two more who were very close to that top layer (Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff). It had five teams who were legitimate top 10-level good at one time or another, from mainstay Michigan State to surprising Iowa. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Monday, February 29, 2016

by - Published February 29, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The 2015-16 season will go down as one where you didn’t want to be a highly-ranked team. Sunday was no different, capping a week in which only two teams in the AP top 10 did not lose. On the season, teams ranked in the AP top 10 have now lost a record 73 games in those positions in the poll. There is still one week to go, so that record will probably only grow.

Besides that, ESPN Stats and Info put out another great note later on Sunday, which is that every major conference team has at least four losses on the season. That means we will see just the third time since seeding began that all four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament have four or more losses, with 1990 and 2009 being the others.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 24, 2016

by - Published February 24, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tulsa narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament last year, and the Golden Hurricane looked destined for a similar fate after their first meeting with Temple this year. After a second matchup with the Owls, though, it’s safe to say a lot has changed.

Tulsa posted an impressive 74-55 win over Temple Tuesday night, continuing to put itself firmly in consideration for a spot in the Big Dance with its fifth win in six games. The Golden Hurricane also notched another quality win-technically not an RPI top 50 win, as the Owls were 55th entering the night and likely will slip some from there (down to 57th this morning)-but a win over the current American Athletic Conference leaders.

The manner in which this came about was rather jarring. Temple jumped out to an early 25-13 lead on the strength of five three-pointers as Tulsa came out in a 2-3 zone. The hosts then switched to a man-to-man defense and proceeded to outscore the Owls 61-30 the rest of the way, including a second half performance that was dominating in every way, and by the end left Temple attempting to come back with full-court pressure that the Golden Hurricane navigated with ease.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, February 5, 2016

by - Published February 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish

For the best-kept secret among conferences in college basketball this season, look no further than the Colonial Athletic Association, which also just so happens to have the very best conference race this year.

Perhaps the game of the night Thursday was in the CAA, where UNC Wilmington visited Hofstra with sole possession of first place on the line. The game lived up to all one could’ve hoped for, coming down to the wire before Denzel Ingram hit the winning three-pointer with four seconds left to give the Seahawks a 70-67 win.

The CAA has long done a very nice job with its regional television packages, but this message goes to the national networks: this game belonged on national television. UNCW rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit and from 14 down with 11:28 to play. The Seahawks continued to chip away and took the lead late, but then had to weather a tying triple by Juan’ya Green with 20 seconds left before winning their eighth straight game.
… Continue Reading

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We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

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