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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 16, 2015

by - Published January 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We are still barely past the halfway mark of this college basketball season, but there’s a question that probably should start getting pondered a little bit: Is Utah a Final Four contender?

The Runnin’ Utes have been a great story. From 6-25 three years ago, to just missing the NCAA Tournament last year, to the top 10 this year, Larry Krystkowiak has had tremendous success. (He’s a former Montana coach: that’s what former Montana coaches do.) More than just a great story, though, Utah of late is looking like not just a real national contender, but even a bully.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 2, 2015

by - Published January 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Of all the leagues in the college basketball landscape, few are as much fun to follow as the Missouri Valley Conference.

The MVC is a true conference that makes sense, not a conglomerate thrown together for football interests that has sold out to TV executives. It plays a double round-robin schedule, which means it produces a real regular season champion that has to prove its worth home and away against every opponent in its conference. No worries about unbalanced schedules furnishing debatable division champions here, and for those who think a true conference regular season title doesn’t mean anything, ask members of the teams that win them.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 30, 2014

by - Published December 30, 2014 in The Morning Dish

In a long-running rivalry that has been lopsided of late, San Francisco and St. Mary’s provided a little bit of a stir at the finish of their game Monday night.

The Gaels used a big second half to defeat the Dons 69-56 for their 18th win in the last 19 games between the two Bay Area rivals. The end of the contest saw some words exchanged after the buzzer between a couple USF and St. Mary’s coaches, as well as a few unpleasantries between players from both teams. At issue was St. Mary’s reserve Jock Landale attempting a dunk while getting fouled by Tim Derksen on a hard (SMC might argue it was reckless, though that is debatable) challenge on an attempted shot block at the buzzer. That came after the Gaels rebounded a late San Francisco missed shot and then under pressure made an outlet to Landale, who attempted to beat the buzzer with his rim run.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 29, 2014

by - Published December 28, 2014 in The Morning Dish

The Kentucky hype wagon, already rolling along at NASCAR-like speeds, will only gain even more momentum after yesterday.

Whereas that wagon was humming at, say, Bristol Motor Speedway speeds before, though, it now is flying along at a Daytona-like pace after the Wildcats’ 58-50 win over Louisville Saturday afternoon.

And truthfully, why wouldn’t it be? Kentucky has beaten all comers this year, frequently in impressive fashion. In this one, UK held the Cardinals to 25.9% shooting and was so good that Louisville finished with one assist. One. In a road game against a bitter rival and top five team that has blown out almost everyone it faced.

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Scanning the Nation Notebook – Dec. 24, 2014

by - Published December 24, 2014 in Columns

On Christmas Eve, we share some weekly thoughts from following the nation in college basketball:

  • West Virginia’s turnaround this year has been a joy to watch and, at the risk of falling into the type of coach worship you hear so often on TV, also is a tribute to just how good a coach Bob Huggins is. After a couple mediocre seasons, this year’s Mountaineers look distinctly more like Huggins’ former Cincinnati teams with their running, pressing, scrambling and hustling all over the floor. Huggins has drawn on his vast experience in getting this team to play a different way than it has the past couple years, and the result has been an 11-1 record and a number of impressive wins, the most recent being a dismantling of a darn good Wofford team that just beat North Carolina State a week earlier. WVU entered Monday leading the nation in turnover margin, steals and offensive rebounds-categories all partially or completely related to hustle and playing hard. The Mountaineers do that all the time.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 23, 2014

by - Published December 23, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Watching Wisconsin this season, one gets the feeling that the Badgers could shut it down right now and cancel the rest of their regular season schedule, get some rest, get a good start on second semester homework, eat some brats on State Street, and then begin playing again in March and still be a favorite to make a Final Four run.

Of course, the season is a journey and not just an end, but from the start, Wisconsin has looked like the national championship contender it has been touted as. The Badgers are experienced, skilled, tall, well-schooled, and loaded with shooters. Most important, they are consistent, making them primed for a second straight trip to the national semifinals and a chance to take care of some unfinished business from last year.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 17, 2014

by - Published December 17, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday night was ready to be pronounced as quite the dud, one of the more disappointing nights of the young season so far when it comes to anticipated games not being competitive.

Admittedly, the night’s schedule was already on the weaker side, but we still thought Belmont would give VCU a challenge, that Oral Roberts or Middle Tennessee State could at least make Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (respectively) sweat, or that one of the three of North Carolina, Texas or Arizona would have a case of the mid-December blahs and get a tussle from an overmatched opponent.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 21, 2014

by - Published November 21, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Holiday tournament basketball tipped off on Thursday, one of the many things we can give thanks for over the upcoming holiday. Though perhaps not too much thanks.

The proliferation of large, eight-team in-season tourneys has been a boon for teams looking to get in an extra three games each season, but it also has played a part in watering down the importance of such tournaments as a whole.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 18, 2014

by - Published November 18, 2014 in The Morning Dish

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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2013-14 WCC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 17, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The West Coast Conference had a nice year in 2013-14, to be sure. For a time, though, it looked like it would be even more than that.

The WCC once again put two teams in the NCAA Tournament, just like it has in four of the past five years. Gonzaga again advanced at least one round, just like it has in each of the past six years. The league went 71-41 out of conference against Division I foes and finished a very respectable ninth in the RPI, proving its No. 10 ranking from the year before was no fluke.

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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.