March 20, 2015 |
KENTUCKY opened as 32-point favorites against Hampton. Vegas Vic has them at 34. By the time the game starts tonight (9:40, CBS), the line could be 35. It's Vic's highest spread total since Duke was a 34-point favorite against Alabama State in 2004 and covered it with a 96-61 win. Yep. The Dookies were laying 34 and won by 35. In the SEC semifinals this year, Kentucky was favored by 24 1/2 over Auburn and won by 24 (91-67). In the conference title game, the Wildcats beat Florida by 25. They were 13 1/2-point favorites.
March 6, 2015 |
TWO MORE conference playoffs start tonight, including the Missouri Valley, which has two ranked teams at the start of its conference tournament for only the second time in league history. Bubble teams everywhere are rooting for Wichita State or Northern Iowa to win the MVC. If someone else from the league wins, it will steal a bid from the at-large pool. Isn't this fun? MAAC At Albany, N.Y. FIRST ROUND/Today 8-Siena vs. 9-Niagara, 5 7-Saint Peter's vs. 10-Fairfield, 7:30 6-Quinnipiac vs. 11-Marist, 10 QUARTERFINALS/Saturday Iona vs. Siena/Niagara, 12 Monmouth vs. Canisius, 2:30 Rider vs. Saint Peter's/Fairfield, 5:30 Manhattan vs. Quinnipiac/Marist, 8 SEMIFINALS/Sunday Times: 4:30 & 7 p.m. CHAMPIONSHIP/Monday Semifinal winners, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
February 26, 2015 |
Shortly after leaving the December funeral for Nate Fox, a player he coached at the University of Maine who was tragically shot and killed, La Salle coach John Giannini had a revelation. "As I went to the viewing, the only thing I could think of was how lucky I was to coach a player like Nate," Giannini said of Fox, who played professionally for 12 years overseas after playing for Giannini. "And then, as I went to my car in the parking lot, the only thing I could think about was how lucky I am to coach guys like D.J., Jerrell, and Steve.
October 22, 2014 |
Rollie Massimino will be back coaching at the Pavilion in a couple of weeks. Nine days after that - Nov. 13, to be precise - he will turn 80 years old. The man who coached Villanova for 19 years, and during that one marvelous, mystical April Fool's evening in 1985, has not slowed down and has no plans of retiring even as he continues a battle against cancer. "I went to visit [former Florida State football coach] Bobby Bowden a few years ago and he was up on top of the tower coaching," Massimino said.
April 8, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - I liked four teams when this NCAA Tournament began - Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan State and Florida. Kentucky has beaten two of them, Connecticut the other two. Now, what? The seeds stopped mattering when the games started. Add these seeds up and you get 15. Watch and analyze the 10 games UK and UConn have played in this tournament and you get the teams that have performed the best now playing for the championship. I have been in the building for each of UConn's five wins.
March 25, 2014 |
THE NCAA Tournament Selection Committee had consecutive very bad Sundays. The group of well-meaning men and one woman simply did not understand how to put a balanced bracket together. They spent all their time rewarding teams for November and December performance rather than lining up teams on how they were likely to play in late March and April. The group is in desperate need of an oddsmaker and somebody who really understands the game, preferably both. I thought there were six teams with enough talent and firepower to beat Wichita State in this tournament.
March 11, 2014 |
Fred VanVleet scored 22 points, and No. 2 Wichita State remained the nation's lone unbeaten after defeating Indiana State, 83-69, in St. Louis on Sunday in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament final. Wichita State (34-0) matched the NCAA record for victories to start the season held by UNLV in 1990-91 after going 18-0 in the conference regular season. Manny Arop and Justin Gant had 18 points apiece for second-seeded Indiana State (23-10). Maryland 75, Virginia 69 - The host Terrapins (17-14, 9-9)
March 6, 2014 |
IF YOU DON'T think Wichita State can get back to the Final Four, you either a) have not watched the Shockers play, or b) don't know much about basketball. I find the whole debate about Wichita silly. If going unbeaten in the regular season was easy, it would have been done more than twice in the last 23 seasons. I think Wichita is going to be 36-0 when they play in the Sweet 16. It is pretty clear nobody in the Missouri Valley can beat them so the Shockers are going to win "Arch Madness" in Saint Louis.
March 5, 2014 |
Villanova moved up to No. 6 in the Associated Press college basketball poll, while Florida, Wichita State, and Arizona remained the top three teams for the second straight week. Villanova (26-3, 14-2) posted victories over Butler and Marquette last week while No. 5 Kansas and No. 7 Louisville both lost and fell to Nos. 8 and 11, respectively. Wichita State (31-0), the first team since St. Joseph's in 2004 to enter its conference tournament undefeated, was No. 1 on 14 ballots, while Arizona (27-2)
March 2, 2014 |
It has been 23 years since a team reached 30-0, something No. 2 Wichita State did when it became the first Division I basketball team to reach 30 wins in the regular season when it defeated Bradley, 69-49, earlier this week. The Shockers, at this point - despite a weak schedule that features just one good win against St. Louis - have nothing to prove to their detractors who think they should not be a top seed in the NCAA tournament. The Shockers have one more regular-season game against Missouri State this weekend, and nobody in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament likely represents more than a speed bump on the way to entering March Madness undefeated.