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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 14, 2015

by - Published November 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

It’s here at last. The college basketball season began on Friday. Amidst the excitement, however, we were reminded that as much as we love the game, there are many other things of paramount concern. A series of terrorist attacks in Paris captured everyone’s attention, with well over 100 people killed. As we take a look at college basketball on the day, we extend our thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones.

As usual, there were plenty of mismatches, along with some very good matchups, and with the latter came surprises. There was also an unfortunate early end to one of two games played outside the country.

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: February

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns

We conclude our look at our favorite games for every day of the season from November through February, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game to watch. Some days the picks are obvious, others they are no doubt up for debate, but we limited it to one pick and one special mention each day. We started this on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, January and Wednesday, and today we finish with February:

Feb. 1: North Carolina at Louisville. Besides the obvious skill of these teams, it’s always a sweet pairing of the Tar Heels’ running and the Cardinals’ pressure defense. Honorable mention: SMU at Houston

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Shaka Smart now tries to take Texas to another level

by - Published April 5, 2015 in Columns

Shaka Smart finally found a job worth leaving VCU for. It was something that some thought might never happen, but was bound to – and may finally also end an annual ritual.

Ever since Smart, who will soon turn 38, took VCU on an unexpected Final Four run in his third season at the helm, his name has come up for one high-major job after another. It doesn’t matter who it was; if a high-major job opened up, his name got mentioned. When the off-season came, you knew his name would be all over the place for head coaching vacancies.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, April 3, 2015

by - Published April 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart were the coaches in one of the most unlikely Final Four matchups you’ll ever see in 2011 when No. 8 seed Butler faced No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth in a national semifinal.

It once seemed they might be at least long-tenured at their schools, if not complete lifers, when both were consistently spurning numerous job offers despite repeated opportunities to move on to bigger (paying) things. A couple years later, though, both are gone now to new challenges.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 31, 2015

by - Published March 31, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The thinking seems to be that the main motivation for St. John’s to be ready to hire Chris Mullin is that the school wants to follow the Fred Hoiberg Model of hiring an alumnus who was a former NBA front office before making a splash as a college coach.

That may be true for St. John’s, but it also oversimplifies all of what the school will get when it hires Mullin, an announcement that is expected to happen Wednesday.

In hiring Mullin, St. John’s will be bringing back one of its greatest players, a three-time All-American and, perhaps even more impressive, three-time Big East Player of the Year, in an era when guys such as Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington were in the league. It also will be bringing in a local product in New York City, which even in what is considered a state of decline is still a fertile recruiting area.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 30, 2015

by - Published March 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Two more teams advanced to the Final Four on Sunday. Their stories are a contrast, even as similar as the programs may be in recent times.

Most expected that Duke would be a Final Four team this season. Take a team that was good last year, though flawed, subtract good but not irreplaceable players, and add the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, and that was a natural expectation. Many years, that’s what they expect in Durham. When the Blue Devils ran out to a big start, the idea that they would be a Final Four team only grew, as did the talk that Okafor could be National Player of the Year.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 29, 2015

by - Published March 29, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The 2015 NCAA Tournament now has its signature game. Just like last year, that game involves Kentucky.

Last year, Kentucky’s second round game against Wichita State was the best of the tourney and maybe one of the best in years, an up-and-down, back-and-forth, 78-76 UK win. Last night, in a tourney that started out strong but has almost bordered on dull the last couple rounds, Kentucky’s Midwest regional final against Notre Dame was a welcome return to the NCAA Tournament that we’ve been spoiled to expect. The Wildcats pulled it out, but not without more than a few nervous moments, as Notre Dame gave a heroic effort before missing a shot at the buzzer in falling 68-66.
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Bracket impressions: Committee missed it with Indiana, Texas, UCLA

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns

Texas and its 3-12 record against the top 50? In.

UCLA going 2-8 against the top 50, 5-10 against the top 100 and 4-11 in road/neutral games? In, and not even needing a play-in game. (Yet Dayton goes 1-3 against the top 50, 6-6 against the top 100 and 9-8 in road/neutral games and needs to play in?)

Indiana and its 4-9 mark against the top 50? Not just in, but a comfy 10 seed.

What can one say? Apparently this year’s NCAA Tournament selection committee, more than ones the past couple years, thoroughly enjoys mediocrity.
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Selection Sunday morning: One projection of NCAA Tournament field

by - Published March 15, 2015 in Columns

With so many years of “bracketology” and the resulting better understandings of the NCAA Tournament selection process that has come from it, there are many years where predicting the teams in the field is not that much of a mystery, sometimes almost easy even.

This year is not one of those years.

It might be because of the curveballs the selection committee has thrown out the last couple years , or maybe it’s just paralysis by analysis. But from this view, there are as many as 7-8 spots in the field that could go to any number of teams.
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Texas simply wasn’t as good as we thought they were

by - Published March 13, 2015 in Columns

If Texas doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament, it is only fitting that their season would end the way it did. Thursday’s stunning loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament sums up their season in one game.

And while they will hold out hope for a bid amidst bracketologists saying they might still be in even after Thursday, at this point putting Texas in would be a travesty. The Longhorns simply don’t deserve to be in. Perhaps, though, theirs will not be a story of a great collapse, but rather, one of a team that wasn’t as good as we thought they were.

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

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.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2015-11-12 10:09:26
end_date 2015-11-17 23:59:59
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Who is your pick to win the 2016 national championship?

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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

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.