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2014-15 Pac-12 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns

Who in the Pac-12 can challenge Arizona for consistent supremacy? It’s a question we asked before the season and now must ponder again with the 2014-15 season in the books.

And ironically enough, the Wildcats could just as easily fall out of the top spot by default, at least for next season.

Sean Miller has brought Arizona back to being the signature program of the Pac-12. In the final years of Lute Olson’s tenure, there was a noticeable slide from the place of being a national power. That’s a thing of the past, though, as Miller is showing that he can coach, and he and his staff are getting big-time talent to Tucson for him to coach. That has its trade-offs, though, as the Wildcats have a mass exodus of talent this season, with three players entering the NBA Draft early and T.J. McConnell graduating. Even so, they bring in another terrific recruiting class and will remain the conference favorite for much of the foreseeable future.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, April 7, 2015

by - Published April 7, 2015 in The Morning Dish

One of the greatest beauties of sports is that it really doesn’t matter how intricate or how detailed the analysis, evaluations and breakdowns are coming into a game. When the games are played, so much of that analysis goes out the window, and the outcome comes down to players making plays, which human beings seize the moment the most.

Coming into Monday night’s national championship game between Duke and Wisconsin, every dissection one could’ve wanted was available over the previous 46 hours. In fact, one didn’t even need to watch the analysis, for they could’ve broken down everything they could ever want from the multiple replays across several ESPN networks of this season’s earlier game between the two in December. (A prudent idea once or twice, but the repeated repeats… perhaps there is no greater example that we have too many cable channels than this one.)
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NCAA Tournament first week review: few upsets, but history-rich programs remain

by - Published March 23, 2015 in Columns

The first week of the 2015 NCAA Tournament has brought us a little of everything, much of nothing. Like the beer commercial, you might say it is up for whatever.

We started with a boatload of close games, but the number and intensity of those games has petered out over the past three days, taking this year”s tourney from historic to almost pedestrian. The Sweet 16 will include three 1 seeds, but otherwise is a buffet of differing squads and resumes. The last 16 remaining includes teams from eight different conferences and seeded 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11.

What do we have left is a field of teams that is loaded with history, whether it be recent or distant. In fact, every single team left falls into at least one of the categories, if not both.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 22, 2015

by - Published March 22, 2015 in The Morning Dish

When it comes to the very best teams in March, the current list starts with names like Arizona. Duke. Kentucky. Michigan State.

It’s high time another school was added to that elite hierarchy in the sport.

Xavier is back in the Sweet 16-again. This time, it’s after a 75-67 win over Georgia State on Saturday, as the Musketeers shot an incredible 67.6% for the game, including 81.3% (13 of 16) in the second half. It took that kind of effort to knock out the Panthers and R.J. Hunter-who almost certainly made himself some serious money with his performance this week-but X is on to the regional semifinals and now will face Arizona.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 20, 2015

by - Published March 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The first full day of the 2015 NCAA Tournament was littered with close, down-to-the-wire games. If it felt like an extraordinary day for the consistency of the fantastic finishes, that’s because it was.

Thursday saw 11 of the 16 first round games decided by eight points or less. Eight were decided by a single possession. Five were decided by a point, a record for a single day in the tourney. Two went to overtime.

As far as drama goes, it was as about as good as it can get. But there’s also a good chance that such games aren’t going anywhere and are going to be the norm this year. And maybe for the foreseeable future.
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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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The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 5, 2015

by - Published March 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We’re just getting started on March, prime time for the college basketball season, but on Wednesday we couldn’t help but look back for a day.

Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Hank Gathers, a former All-American at Loyola Marymount who collapsed on the court and passed away hours later in a West Coast Conference semifinal game against Portland. There were a number of poignant articles about Gathers posted yesterday-longtime Philly hoops scribe Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News had an outstanding one here, while ESPN’s Myron Metcalf also had an excellent story here. For those who never saw Gathers and those LMU teams play over three years from 1987-88 to 1989-90, they missed a superlative player and some all-time entertaining teams from a special time in college basketball history.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 2, 2015

by - Published March 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Anyone who has followed the ACC the last few years might find it hard to believe that at one time, Wake Forest was among the ACC’s standard-bearers. They might never imagine that the small school in Winston-Salem was pretty good most years and produced some good NBA players, including Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. Danny Manning has a tall order in front of him, but there’s a lot to like so far, and that included on Sunday.

Wake Forest has been very competitive this year despite its 5-11 mark in ACC play. In the opener, they gave Louisville all they could handle and could easily have won that game. They were right there with Duke in the next game and took Syracuse to overtime in the Carrier Dome. They broke through against NC State and Miami, then nearly pulled off a huge upset at Virginia. On Sunday, they took on a Pittsburgh team that needs to keep winning for its NCAA at-large hopes, and the Demon Deacons pulled out a 69-66 win.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 19, 2015

by - Published February 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Wednesday night featured the very best of what college basketball has to offer, in so very many ways.

Passionate rivalries. Contrasts in styles. Outstanding players. Coaches with the freedom to coach teams the way they want to, and taking advantage of that in different ways. And, yes, very relevant regular season games.

The evening included what are, for our money, the two very best rivalries in the sport. Of course, the evening was mainly marked by Duke and North Carolina meeting again, but the night started with Xavier and Cincinnati squaring off once more in a series that as a whole is its equal, or awfully close to it.
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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.