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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 29, 2016

by - Published February 29, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

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.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 24, 2016

by - Published February 24, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

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.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 5, 2016

by - Published February 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

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.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 11, 2016

by - Published January 11, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

At UNLV, expectations are very high. They might not be “Final Four or bust,” but this is a program that has a national championship in its history and a lot of things going for it. The expectation is that the Runnin’ Rebels are a consistent postseason, if not NCAA Tournament, team. When that’s not met, the end can come, even for someone who is a cherished part of the program’s history.

Dave Rice, line one.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 7, 2016

by - Published January 7, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

One of what may be the games of the year in the Missouri Valley took place last night. And now, with one its back pocket, Wichita State gets ready for what could well be another one.

The Shockers held on to defeat upstart Evansville 67-64 at Koch Arena on Wednesday, improving to 3-0 in Valley play and dealing the Purple Aces their first conference loss and just their third loss of the season. The Shockers got their customary terrific game from Fred VanVleet (16 points, nine assists) but needed more, especially on a night when Ron Baker scored just nine points on 3-for-10 shooting and no other starter scored more than eight points.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 4, 2016

by - Published January 4, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

With Sunday’s slate featuring plenty of Pac-12 games, we almost have to revisit it after taking a look a couple of days ago. And what we come away with is a conference that will be a lot of fun to watch all the way through.

The conference has some good strength, noted by five teams in the RPI top 30, eight in the top 50 and ten in the top 60. What it doesn’t have is a clear favorite, or a team whose play thus far puts them head and shoulders above everyone else. So while at first glance it may not appear that the conference has a national title contender, it has a lot of other things going for it right now.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 28, 2015

by - Published December 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

The middle of the Big Ten is going to be well worth watching. There might not be a middle of a conference that appears to be as wide open as this one does, and Sunday gave us a look at two teams that could be there. One was expected before the season, the other, not so much.

The top of the Big Ten appears to be what we expected. Michigan State and Maryland have done nothing in the first month and a half to dispel any notion that they should lead the pack, with Purdue joining them in the projected top three. Michigan State and Maryland both look like national title contenders, while Purdue was a team with potential and is harnessing a lot of it now. The Boilermakers may be a bit of a surprise to some, but not much; they were expected to be pretty good this season. It’s after those three that things appear to get very interesting.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 20, 2015

by - Published December 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Come mid-March, December 19th may hold a special meaning to more than a few college basketball teams selected to the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday furnished us one of the best slates of games we’ll see all season. If there was a theme through the day, it was of teams earning signature wins, ones that could either make the difference in teams qualifying for the Big Dance or not or, in conjunction with other big wins, could pump up their seed a line or two. Among those huge games:

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 19, 2015

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

Frank Martin has done some very good things as a college basketball coach. The latest of those is making South Carolina relevant once again and on the verge of NCAA Tournament contention, something that continues as non-conference play is winding down.

The Gamecocks completed another 2-0 week with a 65-69 win over Clemson in Greenville on Friday night, improving to 10-0, their best start since 1933-34. They are the only undefeated team in the SEC at this point, and although all non-conference schedules are not created equal, this is the latest sign of progress under Martin. That’s also not to cast their record in the wrong light, because it’s not like they have only beat up on teams with RPIs north of 300.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

by - Published November 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

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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