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2013-14 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published May 22, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
atlantic10

Admit it: you thought the Atlantic 10 was never going to match the success it had in 2012-13, especially with one of its signature programs (Xavier) and a newcomer that gave it a big boost in that historic year (Butler), plus another one on the rise (Charlotte), off to another conference.

Don’t worry. You were hardly alone. And now that the Atlantic 10 has outdone itself, you can give the conference credit and now look at it in a different light going forward.

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Atlantic 10 Championship numbers and a few thoughts

by - Published March 18, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

A year ago big things were expected of Saint Joseph’s and they did not deliver. This year, the expectations were tempered a bit and the Hawks responded in a memorable manner.

Saint Joseph’s defeated VCU 65-61 to capture the Atlantic 10 Title at the Barclays Center on Sunday. For the second straight year, VCU is the tournament runner-up. Last March the Rams were defeated by Saint Louis in the conference championship.

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Final eight minutes of havoc secures a VCU win

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
atlantic10

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – It’s Rams and Hawks in the Atlantic 10 championship.

VCU was set to appear in its second consecutive A-10 title game after defeating George Washington 74-55 in the semifinals at Barclays Center. For the Rams, a 21-8 spurt over the final eight minutes transformed a two-possession lead into a rout.

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Atlantic 10 Tournament: Notes, quotes and thoughts

by - Published March 18, 2013 in Columns
author_floriani

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Ladies first. The first championship game of the tournament was Saturday evening following the men’s semifinals at the Barclays Center. Saint Joseph’s edged Fordham 47-46 in a thriller.  About 4,400 attended, the largest for an A-10 women’s title game, but the enthusiasm and excitement generated by the respective followers made the crowd seem three times as large.

Sophomore guard Natasha Cloud paced Saint Joseph’s with 15 points, 6 rebounds earning the tournament MOP. Marah Strickland, Fordham’s graduate student forward, in her last year of eligibility, led all scorers with 16 points adding 7 rebounds.

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Barclays to MSG: A long (and enjoyable) day’s journey

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
author_floriani

Two main venues, two great tournaments, just miles apart. A day filled with some very good basketball and interesting stories. Why not ? It is March Madness….

11:30 AM – Riding the subway to Brooklyn. The  preceding train ride from New Jersey to Penn Station was spent talking with a Cincinnati fan. The train has fans wearing gear from Pitt, Syracuse (most prominent) and of course, Cincinnati. The Bearcats, our new found basketball friend admits, have a tough assignment facing Georgetown at noon. Overall he is satisfied with the way things are going with Cincinatti but would like to see a little more inside play on offense. For now the Big East can wait. It’s onto the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10. It is difficult typing on a moving train.

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Making shots a key reason VCU is back in the win column

by - Published January 31, 2013 in Columns
vcu

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – The keys to VCU snapping a two-game losing streak were a couple of simple ones: make shots and hang in when the game gets tough.  The former is one they struggled to do in the two losses, and while an unexpected issue showed up, offensive rebounding helped overcome that as well.

VCU beat Rhode Island 70-64 on Wednesday night in large part because of 48.1 percent shooting and 17 offensive rebounds.  They had just a slight 18-15 edge in second-chance points on the evening, but that helped cover up for giving the ball away 19 times, tying a season high and a total head coach Shaka Smart described as “way too many turnovers.”  It also helped them overcome another tough night from long range, as they were just 2-11 on the evening.

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George Mason and VCU leaving the CAA would make no sense

by - Published March 27, 2012 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Earlier in March, there was rumor going around that the Atlantic 10 might look into luring big-time Colonial Athletic Association schools like George Mason and VCU, and another couple of schools were mentioned as well. No one felt it had any legs, but as we near the end of March, that has gained traction. With CBSSports.com reporting that George Mason, VCU and Butler of the Horizon League are indeed having conversations about it, CAA commissioner Tom Yeager had to address it, just as the CAA schools did.

The question one has to ask, though, is something else: why would George Mason and VCU leave the CAA for the Atlantic 10?

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VCU grows into CAA champions

by - Published March 6, 2012 in Columns
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RICHMOND, Va. – VCU won’t have any questions about whether or not they belong in the NCAA Tournament this season. Capturing the Colonial Athletic Association championship with a 59-56 win over Drexel leaves no doubt, and it’s also an indication of how the team has grown over the course of the season.

“We started this season 3-3, we weren’t playing terrific basketball, we weren’t considered an NCAA Tournament-caliber team in November,” reflected head coach Shaka Smart.

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Harvard’s path to the elusive NCAA Tournament bid just got tougher

by - Published February 26, 2012 in Columns, Full Court Sprints
hoopguy-orange

Harvard is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious institution of higher learning. Many of the brightest young people grow up dreaming of attending the school, unless you’re like me and dreamed of going to MIT (or Cal Tech) because of engineering. The university has produced a number of high achievers in just about every field imaginable.

On the hardwood, it’s been a different story. Harvard has had seasons of 20 or more wins, and they’ve been to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and NIT the past two seasons. But they have yet to get to the holy grail of college basketball, the NCAA Tournament. That has eluded them, including last year when they went to a one-game playoff against Princeton and lost on a buzzer-beating jumper in New Haven. And after Saturday night, they might be on a path to such a game once more, as Penn came to Lavietes Pavilion and stunned Harvard 55-54 on Senior Night.

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VCU shows their growth and potential in win at Old Dominion

by - Published February 12, 2012 in Columns
vcu

NORFOLK, Va. – Saturday’s 68-64 win at arch-rival Old Dominion says a lot about VCU. It was symbolic in how they made it through some early struggles, they got great leadership from their only senior, and he had support along the way as they continued to find ways to win. All along, this continues to be a team that is growing while they are tied atop the Colonial Athletic Association.

Early on, Saturday’s game was all Old Dominion, as the Monarchs put a lot of pressure on VCU and built a 26-14 lead more than halfway through the first half. The Monarchs were clearly better, as VCU then had some self-inflicted bad possessions with reckless driving into the lane and settling for jumpers. But a 10-0 run got VCU back in it, and Old Dominion was only up by three at the break.

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Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

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