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Scanning the Nation January 17, 2017: notes from across college hoops

by - Published January 17, 2017 in Columns

We’re well past the turn of the new year now, settled firmly into conference play, and around-the-clock talk of bracketology and Joe Lunardi on ESPN 25 hours a day is just around the corner (in the rare case with that network, this is not a bad thing-there’s never enough of Affable Joe in February and March). Here are some notes from around college basketball:

 

  • We don’t normally go for hot takes, only sometimes for predictions or statements, but we’ll try this one on for size: North Carolina against Florida State just might have been a Final Four preview. The Tar Heels are obviously that good. But so are the Seminoles.
    … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 12, 2017

by - Published January 12, 2017 in The Morning Dish

Don’t we seem to write this same story every year for Michigan State? And, for that matter, Richmond too?

They’ve seemed to become two rituals of the college basketball season. The Spartans absorb some thoroughly puzzling losses early, while slightly outside the spotlight, the Spiders also get off to a slower start. And yet, in the end, there they are as usual: MSU right back near the top of the Big Ten and a Final Four contender in March, and Richmond causing havoc in the Atlantic 10, damaging others’ NCAA Tournament chances. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 4, 2017

by - Published January 4, 2017 in The Morning Dish

One Big 12 team earned a signature win Tuesday night, the kind that may well be a golden ticket right into the NCAA Tournament in March. Another Big 12 team had a chance to do the exact same thing-and missed in excuciating fashion.

Texas Tech and Kansas State are two of a large number of major conference teams that were unknown quantities entering conference play, in large part because of (intentional or not) pillow-soft non-conference schedules. Tech took advantage of a prime opportunity on Tuesday, though, edging West Virginia 77-76 in overtime for easily its best win of the season.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 30, 2016

by - Published November 30, 2016 in The Morning Dish

With holiday tournaments past, college basketball hits a docile stretch, a relative lull in the schedule. One filled with guarantee games, light weeks while teams take final exams, made-for-TV games, and more guarantee games.

The TV networks try to inject some intrigue into this time with happenings like the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. And the event does have some excellent games, but the truth is the novelty of most of this event wore off long ago. Duke and Michigan State already play every few years in the not-so-modestly named Champions Classic, Indiana and Purdue face Notre Dame regularly in the Crossroads Classic. How many more games do these teams need to play against each other? Also: why should we buy the idea that Georgia Tech playing Penn State or Rutgers facing Miami (Fla.) is a big deal just because of their conference affiliations? … Continue Reading

2015-16 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

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

The Atlantic 10 celebrated 40 years in 2015-16, and it has seen a little bit of everything in the last year. In all, though, the conference looks to be in a very good place when it comes to the hardwood.

For starters, we saw Dayton and VCU remain among the conference’s elite. They were part of a three-way tie for the regular season title and were the top two seeds in the conference tournament. VCU had some growing pains in Will Wade’s first season at the helm, but they grew into a solid team that won an NCAA Tournament game.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 19, 2016

by - Published March 19, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The first two full days of the 2016 NCAA Tournament weren’t like last year, when you couldn’t possibly have two more contrasting days in terms of results. But they did have a clear pattern develop, especially on Friday: for the most part, seeding doesn’t mean so much this year. The day also ended in dramatic fashion.

And with the way the regular season went, this shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s been that kind of year.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 6, 2016

by - Published March 6, 2016 in Columns

Two NCAA Tournament bids went out on Saturday night, one expected and one not necessarily expected at the beginning of the day. And for different reasons, you can’t blame either coach if they got a little emotional.

We start with the Ohio Valley Championship game, the one certainty when the day began. UT-Martin, who has never been to the NCAA Tournament, took on Austin Peay, the school that’s been there six times and has been among the signature programs in the conference for a long time. Head coach Dave Loos, who for a long time was also the athletic directory, turned 69 on Saturday and has been doing this for a long time. He is the winningest coach in Ohio Valley Conference history, having been at Austin Peay for 26 years; the conference’s other coaches have combined to be at their schools for 33 years. He’s seen a lot, and won a lot, but this one was clearly different for him.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 25, 2016

by - Published February 25, 2016 in The Morning Dish

There is no way around saying it anymore: Greg Gard should be the next head coach at Wisconsin.

Even acknowledging that it took some time for the Badgers to find their way under him (remember, the team was 2-4 in his first six games), what Gard has done righting a previously middling team deserves serious notice, to the point where it’s hard to imagine many others could’ve done it better this year. Considering that, plus his understanding of the program and the natural transition he provides from the very highly successful Bo Ryan, from the outside view he is the best candidate to be the full-time coach of this program.

Wisconsin won again Wednesday night for the ninth time in 10 games, defeating Iowa 67-59 on the road for another big win, and one that pretty much put the team in the NCAA Tournament barring a collapse the rest of the way. The Badgers held the Hawkeyes to 14 points in the game’s final 15 minutes and limited them a highly ranked team to 32.7% shooting in its own gym, a sensational defensive performance that backs up everything UW has accomplished in the last month.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, February 12, 2016

by - Published February 12, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Temple has been one of the more schizophrenic teams in the country this year that of late has been giving us a taste of just how good it can be when right. Thus, it was only fitting that the Owls’ game against Connecticut on Thursday was a microcosm of their season.

Temple looked beat, trailing by 12 points with six minutes left in the game but finished on a 21-4 run the rest of the way, coming all the way back for a 63-58 win. The win served multiple purposes, putting the Owls in first in the American Athletic Conference, finishing a season sweep of the Huskies, and also giving them a trump card in any possible future comparisons with their league foe when NCAA selections take place next month.
… Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook: Atlantic 10, Wisconsin, Siena, Notre Dame & more

by - Published February 11, 2016 in Columns

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…
… Continue Reading

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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.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

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

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!

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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