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The Morning Dish – Monday, November 30, 2015

by - Published November 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Last year, Tom Izzo’s team made a surprise run in the month of March. It was the most unlikely of Final Fours for a coach who has been to a few in his time – in fact, until a year earlier, every four-year player for him made it to at least one Final Four, a remarkable fact. If Michigan State is one of the last four teams this season, there’s no reason to be surprised. The Spartans just closed out a great month of November.

Michigan State beat Providence 77-64 to take home the Wooden Legacy Classic title, pulling away late in what was a tight game throughout. A team that has been led by Denzel Valentine got a nice game from Bryn Forbes and Devonta Davis to support the star senior, who was good but not as stellar as he’s been – and that’s okay. Valentine might win Player of the Year if the award were given out right now, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be other-worldly every night out – just most of them.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 28, 2015

by - Published November 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish

When the current ACC configuration came into being, there were lofty expectations. Indeed, the idea was that it would be out of this world. It would have a firing squad of elite programs – Duke and North Carolina joined by the likes of Louisville and Syracuse – along with many programs just a notch below them. The more recent Big East – the one that one year sent 11 of its 16 teams to the NCAA Tournament – would have nothing on this ACC.

But those expectations were slow to materialize. The conference’s first two years with this look has produced good, not great results. There have been unforgettable games, like both of the Duke-Syracuse games in the first year, and the talent has been undeniable. Still, the ACC hasn’t looked like the clear class of college basketball. The Big 12 and Big Ten have shined more brightly thus far.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 27, 2015

by - Published November 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Here’s hoping all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, fellowship and football. And perhaps even some basketball.

Thanksgiving Day traditionally hasn’t been a hotbed for college basketball, but in recent years the sport has had an increasing presence on the day, with the continued proliferation of exempted tournaments. (And that’s not an all bad thing, considering the lackluster quality of the NFL games yesterday…)

Perhaps starting that trend, ESPN and Disney have staged a pair of your-name-here events over the holidays for nearly 10 years now, including the AdvoCare Invitational (nee: Old Spice Classic, Orlando Classic) in Orlando and the Wooden Legacy (formerly: Anaheim Classic, 76 Classic, DirecTV Classic) in southern California. Both have ebbed and flowed in their quality, but this year the Orlando event in particular is as good as any preseason eight-team tourney.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 22, 2015

by - Published November 22, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Missouri Valley Conference almost had a perfect day – almost. Still, it had a taste of history to lead what was a pretty good day.

Seven Valley teams were in action on Saturday, and six of them won. The seventh – Drake – led UMKC by four at the half, but UMKC opened the second half on an 8-1 run to take the lead, then Drake led again before a 17-6 run put the Kangaroos ahead to stay in a 79-73 win in Kansas City.

That would be the only blemish of any sort on the day.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 18, 2015

by - Published November 18, 2015 in The Morning Dish

You can go a long time in this college basketball season and not have a better day than Tuesday provided.

It’s true that you certainly won’t find a longer day. But beyond the novelty of the Tip-Off Marathon, Tuesday was loaded with power matchups, revivals of rivalries, All-Americans at their very best, and just plain good games that were worthy of the national platforms they were provided, even if played at times that were the furthest thing from prime time.

The Champions Classic is an event Billy Packer would love, the ultimate in TV matchmaking. The first game saw the two biggest brand names in the sport right now, and we found out Kentucky’s freshmen mixed with returnees are better than Duke’s frosh and veterans in mid-November. The Wildcats were led by the old(er)-Tyler Ulis with 18 points-and the new-Jamal Murray with 16) and simply outplayed the Blue Devils in a 74-63 win.

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

by - Published November 11, 2015 in Columns

We continue our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, 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. We started on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, and today we move into January:

Jan. 1: UCLA at Washington. The Pac-12 stakes its claim to New Year’s Day with several intriguing matchups. Freshmen will be playing a lot for the Huskies, making this an even trickier opener for the Bruins. Honorable mention: Utah at Stanford

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

by - Published November 10, 2015 in Columns

Continuing our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, our ultimate dream road trip, if you will.

We started on Monday with November, and today we continue with December:

Dec. 1: Maryland at North Carolina. We’re not one to get into the hypefest aspect of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but this is a pretty easy pick. No. 1 and No. 3 in the AP preseason poll, former ACC rivals, etc. One of the best games of the year. This should be fun, and will only reinforce how much we think the Terrapins really should still be an ACC school. Honorable mention: Villanova at St. Joseph’s

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2015-16 CBB Preview Questions: A different game, or is it?

by - Published November 3, 2015 in Columns

College basketball’s Chicken Little phase has passed. The sky was allegedly falling, the sport was dubbed by some as “unwatchable,” in a crisis and two steps shy of oblivion, so this year we will have a game much different from the one we are used to.

Or maybe not.

Despite guarding a sport whose postseason ratings round-for-round continued to dominate those of the NBA, the NCAA basketball rules committee was coaxed by some loud but influential voices among coaches and media to make a host of alterations this summer, and those changes undoubtedly are the biggest overarching story entering the 2015-16 season.

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2014-15 Missouri Valley Post-Mortem

by - Published July 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Once again, the Missouri Valley Conference is on the comeback. Not that it ever really leaves.

For more than 100 years, few conferences have rolled with the punches better than the MVC. The Valley continues to claw out a spot just outside the top tier conferences in college basketball, and it did so again in 2014-15 with a noticeably improved product that again proved the league has a niche in the sport.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Final Review: A solid tourney by historical standards

by - Published April 13, 2015 in Columns

Collectively, the 2015 NCAA Tournament was a roller coaster. There was the high of the first few days before the tourney slipped into mediocrity in its middle rounds, only to rise back up again for a big finish at the end, worthy of all the history of such a splendid event.

It is the truth that three of the very best games of this year’s tourney came from the regional finals onward. Kentucky against Notre Dame, Wisconsin against Kentucky and Duke against Wisconsin were all competitive and terrific theater down to the wire. And also very high in the TV ratings, it might be noted, much as those who would prefer you to believe the sport is a steaming disaster would rather you not know that.

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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
Poll Results:
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.