Season in Review: The Best of RTCPosted by rtmsf on April 13th, 2011
It’s been a great season here at RTC, our Year the Fourth covering this great sport, and before we pack up the boxes and head to our summer hideaways in the Hamptons, Aspen and Santa Barbara, respectively, we wanted to share a little bit of our “best of” for the 2010-11 season.
Some RTC Season Highlights
- Vegas Odds: Remember This? Prior to the season, you could have gotten Connecticut at 60:1 odds. Schools like Seton Hall (50:1), Mississsippi State (50:1), even Baylor (18:1) were considered better bets. By the Christmas season, the Huskies had risen to 25:1 to win it all, and by the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, they were at 18:1. If any UConn fan kept putting money down on Jim Calhoun’s team from start of the season to its finish, he would have had an excellent return on his investment two Monday nights ago.
- Keion Bell at Midnight Madness. The highlight of October’s preseason was quite clearly this dunk from Pepperdine’s Keion Bell.
- Our Hoops BCS Ratings. Around the New Year, we did a mid-season BCS analysis of college basketball, finding that Duke and Kansas would play for the national title at that point. Would that have been better than UConn-Butler? Not for us to decide.
- Jacob Pullen’s Mouth. As K-State suffered a huge mid-season swoon, Jacob Pullen found time to call out the fans on Twitter and announce that he would not play in the NIT if K-State was invited to that tourney. He had the last laugh, though, as K-State found its mojo and managed to push back into the NCAAs and play two games before bowing out to Wisconsin.
- Best/Worst Coaching Jobs. Also at around the start of conference season, Zach Hayes took a look at the best and worst coaching jobs of the season thus far. It’s interesting now to see how some rose (Roy Williams, Frank Martin) while others fell (Seth Greenberg, Randy Bennett) the rest of the way.
- Groundhog Day Rankings. This was an interesting analysis we did on February 2 taking a look at how the rankings then were at predicting March success. The results: 75% percent of the top 16 received top four seeds, but only seven of the 16 got to the Sweets, and UConn (#6) and Kentucky (#11) were the Final Four representatives.
- That Jimmer Kid Caused Quite a Stir. When he wasn’t causing too much havoc to attend class, he was apparently leading a cult or inspiring headline comparisons to players setting records for hitting halfcourt shots (meet Eric Valentin).
- Perfect College Basketball Player. Zach Hayes also wrote a column where he constructed the so-called “perfect” player out of this year’s existing crop. Pretty awesome read.
- The Evolution of Our Circle of March. From 320+ teams down to two last Monday night.
Through our network of correspondents from coast to coast, we were able to cover a grand total of 295 games at 82 different venues this year. We saw every single NCAA Tournament team at least once, and 78 other schools just for kicks. We witnessed the Final Four quartet of Connecticut, Butler, Kentucky and VCU a total of 56 times, and we sat courtside at every one of UConn’s unprecedented 14-0 neutral site victories this season — from Maui to New York, then Washington to Anaheim, ultimately culminating in Houston. Perhaps most proudly, we managed to send someone to each of the fourteen NCAA Tournament sites this year, an accomplishment we hope is merely the first in a long line of such successes.
We put together a short video encompassing some of the photos we took along the way. See you on the road next season!
Special thanks are due to the following RTC Live correspondents: Joe Dzuback, Brian Goodman, Kellen Carpenter, Collin Sherwin, Danny Spewak, Rob Dauster, Drew Murawa, Eli Linton, David Ely, Frank Barrows, Greg Waddell, Jonathan Lintner, Jason Prziborowski, John Templon, JL Weill, Kenny Ocker, Kevin Doyle, Kraig Williams, Matt Patton, Matt Poindexter, Brian Otskey, Owen Kemp, Patrick Marshall, Jared Quillen, Steve Coulter, Tae Andrews, Travis Miller, Trevor Chipman, Michael Vernetti, Walker Carey, Zach Hayes, and Dave Zeitlin.
Some of Our Columnists’ Best
Drew Murawa spent the better part of two months releasing his In Their Words series, a detailed mash-up of interviews taken from coaches, SIDs, assistants and others at the mid-major level of college basketball.
Kellen Carpenter’s Behind the Numbers column each week asked us to challenge our conventional thinking by postulating that the metrics sometimes tell a different story than the mainstream viewpoint, as in this stellar piece analyzing the influence of alpha dogs on college basketball.
It’s a Love/Hate Relationship by Jesse Baumgartner delved into five things each week that he loved and hated, and from the response on these columns, many of you agreed with his sometimes controversial positions!
We don’t want to forget some of our other regular columnists: Zach Hayes with his superb Ten Tuesday Scribbles musing about the week’s top analytical trends within the game; David Ely’s The Week That Was, comprehensively reviewing the entire sport from top to bottom in his typically humorous style; and, Kevin Doyle’s The Other 26 column, meticulously keeping tabs on the leagues that comprise over 80% of the sport but receive about 10% of the attention.
Closing Things Out
- In Case You Were In a Coma. Let’s say you missed the entire season or just recently awakened to the sport. Here were the top 15 storylines from the 2010-11 year, which is almost the same as seeing it all live.
- What About Next Year? Well, here’s our Way Too Early Top 25 for the 2011-12 season, which is already somewhat outdated becaue it didn’t take into account quite a few players returning and/or leaving. But it’s a start. We’ll have another version as soon as the draft entry deadline passes.
- Brian Goodman for his yeoman’s work all season editing all of the conference correspondent submissions.
- Brian Otskey for his nightly work authoring the Set Your Tivo series.
- Walker Carey for his daily research keeping the editing team apprised of the goings-on in the sport.
- Zach Hayes and Drew Murawa for their timely and excellent posts on any- and everything needed.
We’d also like to recognize each of our conference correspondents as well, the guys who provide the foundation at the conference level for what we try to do at the national level. A hefty thanks to every one of these fellas… Howard Hochman (Ivy), Matthew McKillip (America East), Ryan ZumMallen (Big West), Alex Varone (MAC), Eli Linton (Summit), Ray Floriani (MAAC & NEC), Mark Bryant (Big South), Kevin Doyle (Patriot), Bucky Dent (Atlantic Sun), Danny Spewak (Sun Belt), Patrick Marshall (MVC), Nick Camarotta (CAA), Steve Coulter (CUSA), Owen Kemp (Big 12), Clark Williams (SoCon), Rob Dauster (Big East), Matt Patton (ACC), John Templon (Big Ten), Drew Murawa (Mountain West & Pac-10), Jared Quillen (SEC), Jimmy Lemke (Horizon), Joe Dzuback (Atlantic 10), Sam Wasson (WAC), Michael Vernetti (WCC).