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For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

by - Published October 21, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

In recent years, when the subject of the best basketball conferences has come up, how good the ACC and Big Ten are has often been at the center. Previously, it centered on the Big East before it broke up, including in 2011 when 11 of its 16 teams made the NCAA Tournament, while last year, the ACC set a record for NCAA Tournament wins by its members with 19. (And that was a year after the ACC came up one short of the previous record of 18 by the 1985 Big East.) The Pac-12 grabbed a bit of the conversation as well since it was very deep and intensely competitive. All the while, the Big 12 has been on quite a run, and has arguably been the best conference of late.

Continuing that run, however, will be a different challenge this season.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 21, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Big 12 has been on one heck of a run over the last three years, but it is undeniable the league took its game up even another notch in 2015-16.

Three straight years now, the Big 12 has finished first in conference RPI (some RPI measures had it second in 2013-14), kept a steady presence in top 25 polls all year (it finished the season with an incredible streak of 38 consecutive weeks with at least five teams in the polls) and in all three years put 70% (seven) of its teams in the NCAA Tournament, a feat accomplished just seven times total by any conference and by none in 21 years before the Big 12 did in 2014. … Continue Reading

2016 NCAA Tournament Final Review: Final finish what this year’s event needed

by - Published April 7, 2016 in Columns

The 2016 NCAA Tournament needed its signature game, and it got one in no better place-in its final game.

Villanova’s 77-74 win over North Carolina is not just one of the great championship games of all-time, it’s one of the great NCAA tourney games ever in any round. It was played at a high level from start to finish, and while it didn’t have the back-and-forth down the stretch of Duke-Kentucky in 1992 or, say, Kansas State-Xavier in 2010, the star power of Georgetown-North Carolina in 1982 or Houston-N.C. State the next year, and may not carry the transformational significance of Michigan State-Indiana State in 1979, it had a finish that will lead to discussions from now until the end of time about its place as possibly the greatest ending to a title game ever. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 23, 2016

by - Published February 23, 2016 in The Morning Dish

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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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 17, 2016

by - Published February 17, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Conversation about the “bubble” will dominate college basketball for the next 3 1/2 weeks. Though at times it will encroach on becoming overkill, it’s pretty hard to ignore at the moment, and unfortunately for a number of teams that’s not a good thing.

Last week we saw losses seemingly by clusters among a number of potential at-large candidates from otherwise expected one-bid leagues (see: Arkansas-Little Rock, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Valparaiso). Turning the page to this week has shown us, though, that the fence is an equal opportunity locale, an uncomfortable place for bigger brand names as well.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 2, 2016

by - Published February 2, 2016 in The Morning Dish

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.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 21, 2016

by - Published January 21, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Michigan State lost at home to Nebraska Wednesday night 72-71 for its third loss in a row. So it’s time to worry about the Spartans, right?

No way. Not a chance. We’ve seen this flick more than a few times before with Tom Izzo teams. In fact, we’d go as far as saying if there was ever a three-game losing streak that would cause less concern than this one, it’ll be hard to find.

Though Darnell Valentine is back, it’s crystal clear he is still working back to his previous level, and the Spartans have hit a speed bump. Most notably, Bryn Forbes is 3 of 15 from three-point range in the last three games, and Lourawls Nairn has battled a foot injury all year and missed his second straight game Wednesday night. The bench also has provided little at times, a concern especially if Forbes is having one of his occasional off nights shooting.

… Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook: On CFP ratings, injuries, South Carolina and more

by - Published January 14, 2016 in Columns

Some college basketball thoughts in mid-January, as we start to settle into the grind of conference play for the next 1 1/2 months:

It’s notable that there was little more than cursory note by the movers and shakers in college basketball of the fact that the rating for the Alabama/Clemson College Football Playoff title game was lower than that for last year’s Duke/Wisconsin college hoops NCAA national championship game. One would think this is something for the sport to celebrate, not at the expense of college football but as a sign that interest in the sport-or at the very least, its crown jewel event-is not nearly as far behind football as sometimes implied.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 13, 2016

by - Published January 13, 2016 in The Morning Dish

One doesn’t have to know another personally to be affected or moved by them. It’s one of the beautiful things about the gift of life, even when that beauty isn’t always easy to appreciate when another’s life has ended.

Sad news was received by the college basketball world Tuesday as former Butler center Andrew Smith passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 25 years old. On Twitter Wednesday afternoon, his wife Samantha Smith announced that “Andrew peacefully passed away in his sleep and in my arms as I told him I loved him this morning. Love you always, Smith.”

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 3, 2016

by - Published January 3, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Almost certainly now, Monday night will bring us a matchup between No. 1 and No. 2. And we won’t even have to wait a week to see it.

Before the College Football Cartel, er, Playoff contests its championship game next week, we’ll have a real treat tomorrow night. Oklahoma-the likely No. 2 team on Monday-will travel to Phog Allen Fieldhouse to face the almost-certain No. 1 team in Kansas, and with the bowls and NFL regular season over, the game will have center stage on ESPN.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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 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.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by


We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by


We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by


We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by


Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.