BRACKETOLOGY: Welcome to 2016-17

It’s a new year and over 300 Division I college basketball teams are dreaming of an opportunity to play in the big dance. As the college hoops team gets started here are a few notes.

Given who’s returning and who’s stepping on campus, Duke may be significantly better than everyone else. Health is a concern, but the Blue Devils may still be the best team in the country even if Harry Giles isn’t ready right away.

The Pac-12 will be really interesting. There a lots of story lines beginning with the health of Dillon Brooks at Oregon. He had surgery this summer and may not be ready for the beginning of the season (hence the reason for the 3-seed). Arizona is dealing with Ray Smith’s third ACL tear while the eligibility of Allonzo Trier is up in the air. Washington welcomes Markelle Fultz, who may be the best player in the country.

Monmouth returns 15 players from last year’s team that probably should’ve had made the NCAA tournament. The Hawks have games at South Carolina, Syracuse, Memphis and North Carolina. They’re gonna have to win two of those games.

UAB returns all five starters the reigning Conference-USA Sixth Man of the Year from a team that won 26 games last season. The Blazers fell short of the NCAA tournament after losing in the Conference-USA tournament quarterfinals to Western Kentucky. I don’t think a loss in the C-USA tournament this season will produce the same result.

Wichita St has garnered a lot of respect nationally. Much of that is due to Gregg Marshall. Its going to be quite the feat if the Shockers make it back to the NCAA tournament this season. Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker are gone and the Shockers barely went dancing with them last season.

Last Four In: Texas, NC State, Butler, Davidson

Last Four Out: BYU, Notre Dame, Colorado, SMU

EAST

1.Duke16.Lehigh Greenville, SC

8.West Virginia9.Ohio St

5.UConn12.Pittsburgh Salt Lake City

4.Creighton13.UNC-Wilmington

6.Arizona11.Chattanooga Sacramento

3.Gonzaga14.Weber St

7.Louisville10.Georgia Milwaukee

2.Wisconsin15.Belmont

WEST

1.North Carolina16.North Florida Greenville, SC

8.Georgetown9.Iowa St

5.Clemson12.Monmouth Salt Lake City

4.Purdue13.Long Beach St

6.Saint Marys11.New Mexico Sacramento

3.Oregon14.Little Rock

7.Virginia Tech10.Dayton Indianapolis

2.Xavier15.Texas A&M-CC

SOUTH

1.Kentucky16.Fairleigh Dickinson/Jackson St Orlando

8.UCLA9.Michigan

5.San Diego St12.Davidson/Butler Tulsa

4.Syracuse13.Princeton

6.California11.Illinois St Indianapolis

3.Indiana14.Valparaiso

7.Rhode Island10.Florida Buffalo

2.Villanova15.Winthrop

MIDWEST

1.Kansas16.South Carolina St/New Hampshire Tulsa

8.Maryland9.UAB

5.Washington12.NC State/Texas Orlando

4.Florida St13.Akron

6.Seton Hall11.Cincinnati Milwaukee

3.Michigan St14.Fort Wayne

7.Houston10.Oklahoma Buffalo

2.Virginia15.New Mexico St

 

Published in: on November 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

UConn’s March Magic Continues

IMG_1119

Sophomore G/F Daniel Hamilton accepts his American Athletic Conference Championship MVP trophy

 

The UConn Huskies (24-10) completed a great run through the American Athletic Conference tournament with a decisive 72-58 win over the Memphis Tigers (19-15).

The Huskies dominated the action from the start. They jumped out to a 20-7 lead with 9:26 to go in the first half and never looked back. It was an impressive performance that capped off an amazing weekend for head coach Kevin Ollie.

“It was just a great game,” Ollie said. “Guys really played hard. They deserved this championship. We did a lot of things in the off-season to create this momentum and just continue to pull each other together.”

Memphis could never get it’s footing in the first half and foul trouble by senior wing Trahson Burrell held them at bay going into the break.

The beginning second half was a different story for the Tigers, though. After the Huskies lead ballooned to 16 early in the half, the Tigers turned up the pressure and cut the lead to 40-36 by 11:43.

From there, timely three-point shooting by the Huskies helped grow the lead to as many as 17.

“They hit some tough threes. You’ve got to give them credit,” said Memphis head coach Josh Pastner. “[Senior guard Sterling] Gibbs hit that big three coming out of that timeout. That was a big shot.”

Senior transfers Sterling Gibbs and Shonn Miller led the Huskies with 13 points a piece. Freshman forward Dedric Lawson led the Tigers with 21.

Now UConn turns its attention to the NCAA tournament where it will be a No. 9 seed in the region and face No. 8 Colorado on Thursday in Des Moines.

“I told y’all this. I got the best coaching staff in America,” Ollie said. “They’re going to break down the tape. I’m going to be right in the war room with them.

“We’re going to probably pull a couch in there and probably pull a couple all-nighters and get ready for Colorado,” he continued. “Hopefully we can get through that one.”

Other American teams joining UConn in the tournament are Tulsa, Temple and Cincinnati.

Tulsa is headed to Dayton to play in the play in game vs. Michigan where the winner will the No. 11 seed in the East vs. Notre Dame.

Temple will join UConn in the South as the No. 10 seed where it will face off against Iowa.

Cincinnati will head west as it will be that region’s No. 9 seed against Saint Joseph’s.

Published in: on March 13, 2016 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

BRACKETOLOGY: Sunday March 13, 2016 p.m. (Welcome Saint Joseph’s, Arkansas-Little Rock, Kentucky, Michigan St, UConn)

This bracket is good for games thru 3/13

MIDWEST 1.Kansas(B12)16.Fairleigh Dickinson(NEC)/Austin Peay(OVC) St. Louis

8.Oregon St9.Gonzaga(WCC)

5.Arizona12.Yale(Ivy) Denver

4.Maryland13.Hawaii(Bwest)

6.Dayton11.Temple Providence, RI

3.Miami(FL)14.Green Bay(Horizon)

7.Texas10.Saint Joseph’s(A10) Brooklyn

2.Villanova15.Buffalo(MAC) WEST 1.Oregon(P12)16.CSU Bakersfield(WAC) Spokane, WA

8.Wichita St9.Cincinnati

5.Iowa St12.Chattanooga(SoCon) Des Moines, IA

4.Indiana13.Stony Brook(AEast)

6.Notre Dame11.Syracuse/Saint Mary’s Providence, RI

3.Kentucky(SEC)14.Iona(MAAC)

7.Iowa10.Texas Tech Raleigh

2.Virginia15.Hampton(MEAC)

SOUTH 1.Michigan St(B10)16.Florida Gulf Coast(Asun) St. Louis

8.Colorado9.Northern Iowa(MVC)

5.Baylor12.Arkansas-Little Rock(SBelt) Oklahoma City

4.Texas A&M13.South Dakota St(Summit)

6.Duke11.San Diego St/Michigan Brooklyn

3.West Virginia14. Stephen F. Austin(SLand)

7.Wisconsin10.Pittsburgh Des Moines, IA

2.Xavier 15.UNC-Asheville(BSouth) EAST 1.North Carolina(ACC)16.Southern(SWAC)/Holy Cross(Patriot) Raleigh

8.USC9.Butler

5.California12.Fresno St(MWest) Spokane

4.Purdue13.UNC-Wilmington(CAA)

6.Seton Hall(BEast)11.Monmouth Denver

3.Utah14.Middle Tennessee(CUSA)

7.Providence10.UConn(AAC) Oklahoma City

2.Oklahoma15.Weber St(BSky)

Published in: on March 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

BRACKETOLOGY: Sunday March 13, 2016 A.M. (Welcome Middle Tennesse St., CSU-Bakersfield, Stony Brook, Hampton, Southern, Seton Hall, Stephen F. Austin, Oregon, North Carolina, Fresno St, Hawaii, Weber St, Buffalo, Kansas)

This bracket is good for games thru 3/12

Last Four In: Michigan, Saint Mary’s, Syracuse, San Diego St

Last Four Out: Valparaiso, VCU, St. Bonaventure, Tulsa

MIDWEST 1.Kansas(B12)16.Fairleigh Dickinson(NEC)/Austin Peay(OVC) St. Louis

8.Oregon St9.Gonzaga(WCC)

5.Arizona12.Yale(Ivy) Denver

4.Maryland13.Hawaii(Bwest)

6.Dayton11.Temple Providence, RI

3.Miami(FL)14.Green Bay(Horizon)

7.Texas10.Saint Joseph’s Brooklyn

2.Villanova15.Buffalo(MAC) WEST 1.Oregon(P12)16.CSU Bakersfield(WAC) Spokane, WA

8.Wichita St9.Cincinnati

5.Iowa St12.Chattanooga(SoCon) Des Moines, IA

4.Indiana13.Stony Brook(AEast)

6.Notre Dame11.Syracuse/Saint Mary’s Des Moines, IA

3.Kentucky14.Iona(MAAC)

7.Iowa10.Texas Tech Raleigh

2.Virginia15.Hampton(MEAC)

SOUTH 1.Michigan St16.Florida Gulf Coast(Asun) St. Louis

8.Colorado9.Northern Iowa(MVC)

5.Baylor12.Arkansas-Little Rock Oklahoma City

4.Texas A&M13.South Dakota St(Summit)

6.Duke11.San Diego St/Michigan Brooklyn

3.Xavier14.Middle Tennessee(CUSA)

7.Wisconsin10.Pittsburgh Providence, RI

2.West Virginia 15.UNC-Asheville(BSouth) EAST 1.North Carolina(ACC)16.Southern(SWAC)/Holy Cross(Patriot) Raleigh

8.USC9.Butler

5.California12.Fresno St(MWest) Spokane

4.Purdue13.UNC-Wilmington(CAA)

6.Seton Hall(BEast)11.Monmouth Denver

3.Utah14.Stephen F. Austin(SLand)

7.Providence10.UConn Oklahoma City

2.Oklahoma15.Weber St(BSky)

Published in: on March 13, 2016 at 10:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Live From the American Conference Semifinals

In an unlikely semi-final matchup, the Memphis Tigers (19-14) cruised to a 74-54 victory over the upstart Tulane Green Wave (12-22).

It appeared that playing three games in as many days had caught up with the Green Wave. As turnovers and missed shots began to pile. To add on even more, the team has been dealing with rumors that its coach will be fired once the season ends.

“From day one since I’ve been in this program Coach Conroy always preached to keep the
outside noise out and don’t listen to what no one says and just stay together,” said senior guard Louis Dabney. “When all that was going down, we didn’t really bother to even care, because Coach Conroy always put us first.”

Memphis will now try to play spoiler for a bubble team as it has a chance to win an automatic bid by defeating UConn.

“We know we’re going to have to play a great game if we want to have an opportunity to beat them,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “But we’re excited about the challenge, and it should be a high level game with two high level teams tomorrow afternoon.”

UPDATE: 9:45 p.m.

The UConn Huskies (23-10) continue to ride the wave of emotion following their quadruple overtime win on Friday with an impressive 77-62 victory over the Temple Owls (21-11).

“It was a well-played game by our guys,” said UConn head coach Kevin Ollie. “They were focused. They were determined to get to the championship game.”

The game was decided midway through the first half when the Huskies went on a 35-11 run to turn an eight-point deficit at 14:05 into a 16-point lead at 1:44 in the first half.

Temple struggled with UConn’s size in the first half – struggling to finish around the hoop causing it to shoot 28.1 percent and being outrebounded by nine boards at the break.

The Owls were able to dwindle the Huskies lead down to six on several occasions in the second half – the last being at 9:44. However, the Huskies had an answer to every run.

Sophomore guard Daniel Hamilton and senior forward Shonn Miller both finished with 19 points for the Huskies. Senior forward Jaylen Bond led the Owls with 17.

UConn saw its NCAA tournament hopes take another step forward and it can erase all doubt with a win in the championship game. In the meantime, Temple will have 24 hours to see if its fate will be the same as last season.

“It’s not in our hands,” said junior guard Josh Brown. “We pray that our name is called”

Published in: on March 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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BRACKETOLOGY Saturday March 12, 2016

This bracket is good for games thru 3/11

Last Four In: Valparaiso, Michigan, Saint Mary’s, Syracuse

Last Four Out: VCU, St. Bonaventure, Tulsa, South Carolina

MIDWEST

1.Kansas16.Fairleigh Dickinson(NEC)/Austin Peay(OVC) St. Louis

8.Wichita St9.Cincinnati

5.Dayton12.Arkansas Little-Rock Denver

4.Arizona13.UNC-Wilmington(CAA)

6.Providence11.Monmouth Brooklyn

3.Miami-FL14.Stony Brook

7.Seton Hall10.Pittsburgh Providence

2.West Virginia15.Green Bay(Horizon)

WEST

1.North Carolina16.Hampton Raleigh 8.Colorado9.Butler

5.Baylor12.Saint Mary’s/Michigan Oklahoma City

4.Maryland13.Stephen F. Austin

6.Notre Dame11.Saint Joseph’s Providence

3.Kentucky14.Iona(MAAC)

7.Wisconsin10.Texas Tech Spokane, WA

2.Oregon15.UNC-Asheville(BSouth)

EAST

1.Villanova16.Florida Gulf Coast(Asun)Brooklyn

8.San Diego St9.Gonzaga(WCC)

5.California12.Yale(Ivy) Spokane

4.Texas A&M13.Akron​

6.Purdue11.Syracuse/Valparaiso Des Moines, IA

3.Xavier14.Middle Tennessee

7.Texas10.Oregon St Des Moines, IA

2.Michigan St15.Weber St

SOUTH

1.Virginia16.Jackson St/Holy Cross(Patriot) Raleigh

8.USC9.Temple

5.Iowa St12.Chattanooga(SoCon) St. Louis

4.Indiana13.South Dakota St(Summit)

6.Duke11.UConn Denver

3.Utah14.Hawaii

7.Iowa10.Northern Iowa(MVC) Oklahoma City

2.Oklahoma15.New Mexico St

 

Published in: on March 12, 2016 at 9:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Live from the American Conference Tournament Quarterfinals

For the second year in a row, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane wilted under the pressure of the bubble as it fell to the Memphis Tigers 89-67.

Freshman forward Dedric Lawson scored 22 points and grabbed 12 boards. Senior guard Ricky Tarrant, Jr. and senior guard Trashon Burrell added 21 and 19 points respectively.

Tulsa was outsworked from the tip as Memphis seemed to be the more motivated team. Memphis out-rebounded Tulsa 43-35 and forced 13 turnovers.

Now, the American is a conference bubble teams around the country will be watching as the late semifinal will feature two teams that need an automatic bid to make the Big Dance.

Tune in tomorrow as the blog will be back live from the Amway Center for semifinal Saturday. Tulsa, meanwhile, will be on a flight back to Oklahoma pondering whether or not it will make the tournament.

UPDATE 12:20 a.m.

The upstart No. 10-seed Tulane Green Wave outscored the No. 2 seed Houston Cougars by 11 in the second half and pulled off the biggest upset of the day in Orlando with a 72-69 win.

With nine seconds left in the game, sophomore guard Cameron Reynolds knocked down a three to put the Green Wave up 70-69. On the ensuing Houston possession freshman guard Galen Robinson, Jr. turned the ball over.

Robinson’s turnover was indicative of a sloppy game for the Cougars as they allowed the Green Wave to stick around in the second half despite taking a eight-point lead into the break.

By the 13-minute mark, and despite the lead getting up to nine, the motivated Green Wave tied the game.

The victory was made all the more astonishing by the fact that reports came out during the game had Tulane head coach Ed Conroy being fired as soon as the season was over.

“I had two guys behind the bench put their phones up and say ‘hey coach, you’re gone,'” Conroy said. “That was fun when you’re trying to come back from an eight-point deficit.”

Houston’s faint at-large hopes are now certainly destroyed with a loss to a team, who’s RPI is below 230.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.

In arguably the best game in the three-year history of the American Athletic Conference, the UConn Huskies (22-10) outlasted the Cincinnati Bearcats (22-10) in quadruple overtime 104-97.

The high drama came at the end of the third overtime. After Cincinnati junior guard Kevin Johnson broke a 95-95 tie with a three-pointer with .8 seconds left, UConn freshman guard Jalen Adams banked in a three from halfcourt to force a fourth overtime.

“It’s something that just happened,” Adams said. “Early in the year, me and (sophomore wing Daniel Hamilton) used to see who could make the most halfcourt shots. I guess it’s paying off.”

The Huskies trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but fought back to take a seven-point lead with 3:36 remaining in the second half. However the Bearcats clawed their way back into the game to force overtime at 62-62

From there, the game became a slugfest with neither team leading by more than four in any of the first three overtime periods.

In the fourth overtime, UConn grabbed a five-point lead at 100-95, Cincinnati was able to cut it to three on a tip-in by senior forward Octavius Ellis with 25 seconds left. From there UConn was able to salt the game away from the free-throw line.

For UConn, they have a 3 p.m. tilt tomorrow with Temple. Cincinnati, on the other hand, is left to wonder about its NCAA tournament fate. It’s a fate that head coach Mick Cronin says should already be decided.

“I don’t even know why anyone would ask us the question, based on what we’ve accomplished this year versus the rest of the field,” Cronin said. “I understand that our conference doesn’t get as much respect by the people on TV a lot as some other people.”

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.

In the first game of the day here in Orlando, Temple (21-10) pulled away in the second half en route to a 79-62 win over South Florida (8-25).

The Owls were paced by senior guard Jaylen Bond’s 17 points and 8 rebounds. His fellow senior and backcourt mate, Quenton DeCosey added 14 points and 8 rebounds while sophomore forward Obi Enechionyia chipped in 13 and 5.

Meanwhile, the Bulls were led by junior forward Chris Perry who dropped 19 points and grabbed 8 boards. Freshman guard Jahmal McMurray added 16 points.

This blog believes the Owls are in, but they certainly saved themselves from a more nerve wracking weekend by taking care of business versus the Bulls – especially with this being the day that will make or break bubble teams around the country.

Despite that, the Owls say after last year’s disappointment their only focus is the automatic bid.

“Having that feeling from last year, we all remember it. We all remember how it felt,” Enechionyia said. “That’s something we all want to experience – getting to the tournament. Getting to play late in the season.

“Having that feeling in our minds and remembering that. I think its motivated all of us,” he continued

BRACKETOLOGY: Friday March 11, 2016

This bracket is good for games thru 3/10

Last Four In: Saint Marys, Syracuse, Saint Josephs, Monmouth

Last Four Out: Michigan, VCU, South Carolina, Ohio St

NCAA Tournament

MIDWEST
1.Kansas16.Fairleigh Dickinson(NEC)/Austin Peay(OVC) St. Louis
8.Seton Hall9.San Diego St
5.Dayton12.Arkansas Little-Rock Denver
4.Arizona13.UNC-Wilmington(CAA)
6.Providence11.Pittsburgh Brooklyn
3.Miami-FL14.Stephen F. Austin
7.Texas10.St. Bonaventure St. Louis
2.Xavier15.Green Bay(Horizon)
WEST
1.North Carolina16.Hampton Raleigh
8.Colorado9.Butler
5.Baylor12.Saint Joseph’s/Syracuse Oklahoma City
4.Maryland13.Stony Brook
6.Notre Dame11.Tulsa Providence
3.Kentucky14.Iona(MAAC)
7.Wisconsin10.Texas Tech Spokane, WA
2.Oregon15.UNC-Asheville(BSouth)
EAST
1.Villanova16.Texas Southern Brooklyn
8.Cincinnati9.Gonzaga(WCC)
5.California12.Yale(Ivy) Spokane
4.Texas A&M13.Akron​
6.Purdue11.Monmouth/Saint Marys Providence
3.West Virginia14.Middle Tennessee
7.Wichita St10.Oregon St Des Moines, IA
2.Michigan St15.Weber St
SOUTH
1.Virginia16.Florida Gulf Coast(ASun)/Holy Cross(Patriot) Raleigh
8.USC9.Temple
5.Iowa St12.Chattanooga(SoCon) Denver
4.Utah13.South Dakota St(Summit)
6.Duke11.UConn Des Moines, IA
3.Indiana14.Hawaii
7.Iowa10.Northern Iowa(MVC) Oklahoma City
2.Oklahoma15.New Mexico St

Published in: on March 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

BRACKETOLOGY: Thursday March 10, 2016 (Welcome Holy Cross)

This bracket is for games thru 3/9

Last Four In: Syracuse, Saint Josephs, UConn, Monmouth

Last Four Out: Michigan, Saint Mary’s, VCU, South Carolina

MIDWEST

1.Kansas16.Fairleigh Dickinson(NEC)/Austin Peay(OVC) St. Louis

8.Butler9.San Diego St

5.Iowa12.Arkansas Little-Rock Denver

4.Arizona13.UNC-Wilmington(CAA)

6.Wisconsin11 Northern Iowa(MVC)  Brooklyn

3.Miami-FL14.Stephen F. Austin

7.Baylor10.St. Bonaventure St. Louis

2.Xavier15.Green Bay(Horizon)

WEST

1.North Carolina16.Hampton Raleigh

8.Colorado9.Seton Hall

5.Texas12.Saint Joseph’s/Syracuse Oklahoma City

4.Maryland13.Stony Brook

6.Dayton11.UConn/Monmouth Providence

3.Kentucky14.Iona(MAAC)

7.Providence10.Temple Spokane, WA

2.Oregon15.UNC-Asheville(BSouth)

EAST

1.Villanova16.Texas Southern Brooklyn

8.Cincinnati9.Gonzaga(WCC)

5.California12.Yale(Ivy) Spokane

4.Duke13.Akron

6.Purdue11.Tulsa Providence

3.West Virginia14.UAB

7.Wichita St10.Oregon St Des Moines, IA

2.Michigan St15.Weber St

SOUTH

1.Virginia16.Florida Gulf Coast(ASun)/Holy Cross(Patriot) Raleigh

8.USC9.Texas Tech

5.Iowa St12.Chattanooga(SoCon) Denver

4.Utah13.South Dakota St(Summit)

6.Texas A&M11.Pittsburgh Des Moines, IA

3.Indiana14.Hawaii

7.Notre Dame10.Vanderbilt Oklahoma City

2.Oklahoma15.New Mexico St

Published in: on March 10, 2016 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  

BRACKETOLOGY: Wednesday March 9, 2016 (Welcome Fairleigh Dickinson, Green Bay, South Dakota St, Gonzaga)

This bracket is good for games thru 3/8

Last Four In: Pittsburgh, St. Joseph’s, UConn, Monmouth

Last Four Out: Michigan, Saint Mary’s, Florida St, VCU

 

MIDWEST

1.Kansas16.Texas Southern/Fairleigh Dickinson(NEC) St. Louis

8.Butler9.USC

5.Iowa12.Arkansas Little-Rock Denver

4.Arizona13.UNC-Wilmington(CAA)

6.Wisconsin11 Northern Iowa(MVC)  Brooklyn

3.Miami-FL14.Stephen F. Austin

7.Baylor10.St. Bonaventure St. Louis

2.Xavier15.Green Bay(Horizon)

WEST

1.North Carolina16.Hampton Raleigh

8.Colorado9.San Diego St

5.Texas12.Saint Joseph’s/Pittsburgh Oklahoma City

4.Maryland13.Stony Brook

6.Dayton11.UConn/Monmouth Providence

3.Kentucky14.Iona(MAAC)

7.Providence10.Temple Spokane, WA

2.Oregon15.UNC-Asheville(BSouth)

EAST

1.Villanova16.Lehigh Brooklyn

8.Cincinnati9.Gonzaga(WCC)

5.California12.Yale(Ivy) Spokane

4.Duke13.Akron

6.Purdue11.Tulsa Providence

3.West Virginia14.UAB

7.Wichita St10.Oregon St Des Moines, IA

2.Michigan St15.Weber St

SOUTH

1.Virginia16.Florida Gulf Coast(ASun)/Austin Peay(OVC) Raleigh

8.Texas Tech9.Seton Hall

5.Iowa St12.Chattanooga(SoCon) Denver

4.Utah13.South Dakota St(Summit)

6.Texas A&M11.Syracuse Des Moines, IA

3.Indiana14.Hawaii

7.Notre Dame10.Vanderbilt Oklahoma City

2.Oklahoma15.New Mexico St

Published in: on March 9, 2016 at 5:59 am  Comments (1)