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Wichita State stars hope to repeat their act at the next level

by - Published June 3, 2016 in Columns

When the history book is written on Wichita State basketball, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker will occupy a prominent place. They are the biggest reasons the Shockers have just had an amazing four-year stretch that began with a Final Four appearance, featured an undefeated regular season and ended with an impressive NCAA Tournament win before they bowed out in the next round.

Now, it’s on to the next act. And that next act has nothing certain about it – certainly nothing as certain as the place they will occupy in their alma mater’s basketball history book.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 MVC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 2, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The end of the 2015-16 season marked the end of an era in the Missouri Valley Conference, and that’s saying something.

History is not made easily in the 109-year old MVC, the second-oldest NCAA Division I conference in the country and a place where names like Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Wes Unseld and Ed McCauley grace the list of former stars. Yet there’s no doubt that Wichita State’s backcourt of Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet-plus hard-nosed teammate Evan Wessel-will forever be mentioned among the all-time greats in the venerable conference.
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2016 NCAA Tournament first week review: ups and downs-in every way

by - Published March 22, 2016 in Columns

What to make of the first weekend of the 2016 NCAA Tournament?

If there is one thing we from those four days (six including the play-in games) that can come close to being a fair generalization, it is that this year’s tourney has no one-size-fits-all quality to it. Maybe the only conclusion one can come to is there is no conclusion.

Indeed, there were big game-winning shots. (Providence’s Rodney Bullock, Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson, Saint Joseph’s Deandre Bembry, Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig) There were terrific team performances. (Indiana on Thursday, almost every winning team on Saturday) Friday was a whole lot of fun. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 20, 2016

by - Published March 20, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Defense wins championships and all that and yadda yadda, but Saturday at the NCAA Tournament was a showcase of offenses unquestionably ruling the day.

The start of the second round of this year’s tourney had some competitive games but very little in the way of down-to-the-wire finishes, which is to say it was rather ho-hum, almost a mild disappointment by the lofty standards set by an incredible Friday. What the winning teams had in common, though, was that their offensive execution ranged from very good to blindingly hot, and-no matter what they did on defense, even as a lot of it was good-it is the No. 1 reason all eight teams advanced. … Continue Reading

Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis – March 18, 2016

by - Published March 19, 2016 in Columns

Welcome to the latest edition of Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis. Here, we look into the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which was quite a couple of days of basketball.

Ted spent the first two days in Providence and Brooklyn, so he saw his share of great games, from Yale knocking off Baylor to Wichita State’s great defense, all the way up to Iowa winning on a buzzer-beater and Stephen F. Austin winning another NCAA Tournament game. We also talk about the larger subject of the double-digit seeds winning, as Friday was quite a day for that.

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NCAA selection committee must learn from Vanderbilt mistake

by - Published March 16, 2016 in Columns

The last we saw of Vanderbilt this season is bound to leave a sour taste in the mouths of not just its fans, but virtually everyone who follows college basketball and expected so much of the Commodores this year.

Just the same, it should also leave NCAA Tournament selection committee members with a serious case of bitter beer face, too.

Vanderbilt’s 70-50 loss to Wichita State in a play-in game in Dayton (the “First Four”, you’ll be reminded) was not quite as ugly as the final score indicated, but it was close. The Commodores never led in the second half, fell behind by 11 points but crawled back within two, only to finish the game on the wrong end of a 20-2 run over the final 7 1/2 minutes. The meltdown was punctuated with three minutes left when coach Kevin Stallings picked up a technical foul, and Vandy finished the season with a 19-14 record well below expectations when the season began.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 16, 2016

by - Published March 16, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The NCAA Tournament’s First Four started the tourney Tuesday with a whimper, and it ended the night with a whimper as well.

In nearly 30 years of following this event, it’s hard to remember many first games of the NCAA tourney that have been as one-sided as this year’s. In a battle of 16 seeds, Florida Gulf Coast jumped on Fairleigh Dickinson from the start and hammered the young Knights 96-65, seeming to pick up on the vibes from its last NCAAs appearance in 2013 when it advanced to the Sweet 16 as a 15 seed.

The Eagles dominated in about every way imaginable, but especially inside. FGCU shot 59.6%, scored 44 points in the paint and outrebounded senior-less FDU 52-33. It was a clinical domination by a team that is playing its best right now and will have the size and athleticism to at least make North Carolina sweat a little in its next game if the Tar Heels aren’t on their game. … Continue Reading

One last look at the big bubble

by - Published March 14, 2016 in Columns

This year, the NCAA Tournament bubble seemed as big as it’s ever been, and also with as little separation from one team to the next as ever. College basketball had a lot of even-ness this season, and it was especially manifest when looking at teams that were hardly locks for the NCAA Tournament. You could make compelling cases for numerous teams compared to others, and as is so often the case, the final bracket showed a gulf in the perception between those on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee and those not on it – the latter camp featuring the media and the general public.

It is precisely this even-ness that should ensure a great three weeks to come. In light of how close so many of these teams are, a lot of games will be called “upsets” that won’t really be upsets. It is in that spirit that I hope that term does not get used very liberally.

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Selection Sunday morning: One projection of the NCAA Tournament field

by - Published March 13, 2016 in Columns

Virtually every season as the NCAA Tournament nears, the talk of bracket projections revolves around that season having a “soft bubble,” often as soft as many remember.

It’s often as much of an exaggeration as it is incorrect-you can’t have a soft bubble every year-but this year it’s also not true. This is a season where there are more NCAA-worthy teams than there are spots. Or at least, that’s likely the way it will end up. … Continue Reading

Final Arch Madness Notes: Washpun adds to UNI tradition of big shots

by - Published March 9, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Maurice Newby. Ben Jacobson (the player, not the coach). Ali Farokhmanesh. Wes Washpun.

A growing history of memorable buzzer-beating shots is building at Northern Iowa. Not coincidentally, so is a record of postseason success.

Washpun’s stepback 17-footer hit the back of the rim, went straight up and rattled in to give the Panthers a 56-54 win over Evansville in the 40th annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and the 26th edition of the event as Arch Madness. Northern Iowa won its second consecutive MVC tourney title, its fourth in the last eight years and its fifth overall, once again establishing the purple and gold as the team to beat when this conference gathers at the end of the season in St. Louis. … 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.