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MAAC semifinal box score breakdown

by - Published March 7, 2016 in Columns
maac

On Sunday, Monmouth and Iona punched their respective tickets to the MACC championship game on Monday evening in Albany. Sunday’s doubleheader set up a much anticipated meeting among two teams that each won on the other’s home court in regular season.

Monmouth 76, Fairfield 63
In a 73-possession game, Monmouth imposed a defensive will in holding the Stags to 88 offensive efficiency. Fairfield coughed the ball up at a 21 percent turnover rate. It wasn’t just forcing errors, as King Rice’s club held Fairfield to a 42 percent eFG percentage. Monmouth did use some of those forced turnovers to generate offense with a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 23, 2016

by - Published February 23, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Before Iowa State was placed in so many preseason top 10s and labeled by some as a Final Four favorite and a short-list contender for the national title, it might’ve been instructive to watch the Cyclones’ final game from the 2014-15 season.

In a stunning first-round loss to No. 14 seed UAB in the NCAA Tournament, third-seeded ISU was outrebounded 51-34. This came against a team that was just +1.5 on the season on the glass while competing in Conference USA (and, indeed, the Blazers were outrebounded 41-26 in their next game by fairly middling UCLA).
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Scanning the Nation Notebook: Atlantic 10, Wisconsin, Siena, Notre Dame & more

by - Published February 11, 2016 in Columns
glatczak

The Atlantic 10 is a more-than solid conference this year, comfortably in seventh in the conference RPI and with at least four NCAA Tournament-quality teams-and maybe five, depending on if St. Bonaventure can finish strong. That said, we fear the league is cannibalizing its own too much, and it’s conceivable that the A-10 could finish with as few as two or (gasp) one NCAA bid, should Dayton win the conference tournament.

George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, VCU and St. Bonaventure all are far from sure things for bids, and it’s certainly possible the selection committee will regard results such as GW winning at VCU and then losing at home (by 18 points) to Saint Joseph’s as signs of mediocrity more than strength. Should the numbers hold at or near their currents, we sure hope the committee seriously considers VCU’s improvement since late December (12 straight wins before the loss to the Colonials), St. Joe’s road record (9-0) and the Bonnies’ lack of bad losses (the worst are at RPI No. 106 Duquesne and 107 Siena, hardly a complete embarrassment), but we’re not optimistic. The committee likes to talk about road wins-and these four are a combined 26-8 away from home-yet regularly (and wrongly, from this view) ignores consistent road winners in favor of those who make one or two splashes away from home out of conference…
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 2, 2016

by - Published February 2, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

This season, there are no surprises when a top-5 team goes down. Frankly, it’s also almost never a surprise when Louisville is the group defeating such a highly ranked squads.

Still, the Cardinals’ 71-65 win over No. 2-ranked North Carolina on Monday was bigger than some and maybe most this year, as it was Louisville’s first win over a sure NCAA Tournament team. There were previously losses to Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan State plus a loss to Clemson, while the best wins-Pittsburgh, Florida State plus several other mid-to-bottom pack ACC teams-were only moderately impressive.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 5, 2016

by - Published January 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Polls do matter. A case could be made that the All-America first team is almost wrapped up right now. And it’s not at all hard to envision Oklahoma and Kansas playing two or three more times this year, including perhaps again in April.

Nights like Monday make it hard to fathom the idea that college basketball’s regular season is meaningless. Exactly how much more can fans ask for than an evening featuring incredible individual performances by two of the nation’s very best players, an upset of a top 10 team, plus a 1 vs. 1 matchup between two Final Four contenders who couldn’t decide their game after 40 minutes and provided some bonus hoops. And then some more. And then some more.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 3, 2015

by - Published February 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

The Monday after the Super Bowl was a quiet night for college basketball, which one can only hope gave our nation of expert armchair quarterbacks enough time to get the whining about a play call out of its collective system. (Why can’t we take a little more notice of the story of a humble rookie reserve from a Division II school making the play of his life, one of the greatest defensive plays in Super Bowl history?)

Beyond the NFL Patriots, though, the calm on the hoops front gives us a chance to look at the Patriot League, home to what is top to bottom the most competitive conference race in NCAA Division I, bar none. For those who think the college basketball regular season is meaningless…it’s a weak generalization anyways, but there’s no way it can be applied to this league.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 9, 2015

by - Published January 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Iowa and LSU continue to be two of the bigger teases in the country.

That much remained certain after last night, when-just when you’re ready to believe in them-both suffered losses that can only be categorized as disappointing. Iowa was outstanding for a half, but lost an 11-point lead and eventually the game going away, Michigan State putting the Hawkeyes well in their mirror for a 75-61 win. LSU, meanwhile, played what should’ve been a manageable road game, but surrendered an eight-point lead in the second half and never could shake Missouri, eventually losing 74-67 in overtime.

First off, before noting the schizophrenic nature of the losing teams, credit goes to the winners. Michigan State winning at Iowa wasn’t much of a surprise-the Spartans are a talented bunch-but rallying after a poor first half with a terrific three-point shooting performance (8 of 9 in second half). Missouri, meanwhile, has been a nuisance for many teams of late and will only become even more of a tough out as the season continues, and that’s a credit to new coach Kim Anderson.
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Scanning the Nation – January 7, 2015

by - Published January 7, 2015 in Columns
glatczak
  • Some college basketball thoughts from the first week of the new year:
    Seton Hall
    ’s resurgence has been one of the best stories of the first half of the season, and its win at Villanova was an example of a team finding a way when best-laid plans fall apart. Whatever game plan coach Kevin Willard came in with fell apart when the Pirates got in heavy foul trouble in the first half, forcing him to go deep into the bench as the Wildcats repeatedly pounded the ball inside. Haralds Karlis, Chier Ajou and Ismael Sanogo played a combined 85 seconds in SHU’s prior game against St. John’s, but all three came in during the first half and helped hold the fort. Karlis hit a three-pointer and the trio combined for four rebounds as the Pirates got to halftime with a 31-27 lead despite having seven players with two fouls each.
    While guard Sterling Gibbs is rightly getting noticed for stepping up his play in the absence of Isaiah Whitehead, freshman Khadeen Carrington also has picked it up several notches in recent weeks. Carrington had 11 against St. John’s and a career-high 17 in the win over Villanova. The 6-foot-3 lefty is fearless and constantly on the attack-a combined 18 free throws in the Pirates’ two wins last week-which makes him a whole lot of fun to watch.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 30, 2014

by - Published November 30, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

As part of this weekend’s big kick off to the Christmas shopping season, yesterday was dubbed Small Business Saturday across the country. The basketball schedule for the day might have qualified under that designation, as few of the biggest names were in action, in part because the big holiday tourneys ended a few days ago. What the day may have lacked in big names, though, it did not lack for stories:

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 18, 2014

by - Published November 18, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

For all the things ESPN has messed up in recent years (and there are a lot of them), its 24-hour college hoops marathon shows where the network continues to shine.

The hoops marathon is pure, old-school ESPN at its best. Games around the clock at funky hours, similar to how the Ohio Valley Conference used to buy time on the network to play games at midnight Eastern time when one Jim Delany was its commissioner. Intriguing matchups featuring good teams regardless of conference affiliation, as opposed to force-feeding us more games involving football conference bottom feeders or powerhouses hosting guarantee games that shouldn’t see the light of day on national TV (see: Elon at Duke, Dec. 15; apologies Phoenix fans).

It’s an event that truly builds up buzz on the campuses where it takes place. When schools like Monmouth, Rider and Florida Gulf Coast get a chance to be the featured game on ESPN, it’s a big deal. Even if it is at 6 a.m. in the morning.

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March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

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2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

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