What’s Trending: Chris Walker’s Tattoos, a Sea of Golden Bears, Michael Cobbins Buggin’ Out…

Posted by Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) on February 7th, 2014

What’s Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) is your weekly host.

Chris Walker Debuts for Florida

Finally, after sitting out the Gators first 21 games of the season, the much-hyped freshman Chris Walker made his first appearance for Billy Donovan.

The highly anticipated debut left us with a definitive highlight, but it was not really related to Walker’s box score.

A Sea of Golden Bears Fans

Perhaps it is the look yellow and blue gives when a filter is applied, but there’s  an abundance of gorgeous pictures and videos that were captured from Saturday’s wild scene at Haas Pavilion following Cal’s upset of then undefeated and No. 1 Arizona. Click on the image below or here to browse through the entire feed from Instagram.

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College Basketball by the Tweets: #BBN Whining, Berkeley Celebrating, Marcus Smart Flopping, and More…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 4th, 2014

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Our latest College Basketball by the Tweets piece opens up again in Lincoln, Nebraska, where a young Cornhuskers fan is really excited to receive a headband from sophomore forward Terran Petteway following the team’s win over Indiana.

As the #BBN Turns

The so-called perfect recruiting class John Calipari brought to Lexington this season has been exposed to have a handful of imperfections. To make it worse, some of those issues may be that of the intangible kind (i.e., lack of effort, team chemistry) than pure talent. Following a rather ugly road loss to LSU last week, the #BBN whine train was chugging along quite nicely.

And then the ultimate jab from the in-state rival:

The ‘Cats did right the ship a bit over the weekend with a nice road win over Missouri, but signs point to continued road inconsistency for the rest of the regular season.

A Sea Of Yellow As No. 1 Goes Down

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What’s Trending: Missed Memphis Dunks, #BBN in Trouble, Flutie Plays the Drums

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 31st, 2014

Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) is your weekly host. 

Who should be more embarrassed: Memphis’ Joe Jackson or California’s Justin Cobbs?

Jackson tried a windmill dunk in the middle of a close game, only to get an earful from head coach Josh Pastner. Cobbs wedged the ball between the rim and glass on a a breakaway layup.


or


Our pick? Got to go with Jackson. Up five on the road against a pesky UCF club, you take any points you can get. Cobbs’ blunder actually ended up benefiting the Golden Bears, as officials called the play a jump ball, Cal retained possession and converted a three pointer a few seconds later.

Regardless, expect the Mothership to have both these plays ranked high on their weekly #SCNotTop10 countdown this evening.

Doug McDermott plays hero with a questionable no-call?

GIFs never lie, man. Click the screen grab below to see  what “Creighton Otter” of White &Blue Review is calling a “super screen” by the Bluejays’ Isaiah Zierden to free up the NPOY candidate for his game-winning shot against St. John’s.

There really is no place like home when the game is tied in the final 10 seconds.

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Nick Johnson Quietly and Efficiently Continues to Bolster His NPOY Candidacy

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 30th, 2014

Throughout this week, there was one topic being discussed in the Pac-12: What will it take to knock off the undefeated No. 1 Arizona Wildcats? It is a simple question that provided varying responses from the league’s coaches. But 21 games into their season, that question remains unanswered as the Wildcats stole a 60-57 victory over the Stanford Cardinal, avoiding an upset on the 10th anniversary of that shot, and finding yet another and different way to win. Wednesday, in the latest rendition, the approach was to lean on their star, junior guard Nick Johnson, who led all players with 16 points on a night when the rest of the team shot a dismal 14-of-41 from the field. “[Nick Johnson] is a great leader. He’s the leader of our team, both on and off the court.” said Ryan Reynolds, Arizona’s director of basketball operations. “When the game is on the line, he’s the guy we go to and he’s not afraid of the moment.”

Nick Johnson

Is Nick Johnson is the Least Known Star on a #1 Team Ever?

Earlier this week,  Arizona State coach Herb Sendek was quoted in a piece by USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach exclaiming that Johnson was the team’s best and most talented player, but point guard T.J. McConnell was the guy who “puts it all together.” That quote was representative of last night’s game. McConnell, quiet and unassuming, led the Wildcats in nearly every offensive statistic through the midway point of the second half. The Wildcats were sloppy, outmatched in the post, but the Duquense transfer held it together in the hopes that one of the team’s stars would step up and make a play to ensure victory.

Enter Johnson.

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College Basketball by the Tweets: #WraggeBombs, South Florida Jersey Fail & More…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 28th, 2014

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Welcome back to College Basketball by the Tweets. We promise that we’re in tune with the latest social media trends and best practices, and are happy to share such sage advice to the Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball announcers, who are still in the beginning stages of understanding hashtags.

White Kid With A Flat Top Alert

This is Utah State’s Sean Harris. He’s living proof that the flat top, which has made a profound comeback since it was popular back in the 1980s, can transcend both hair and skin color.

Our only wish right now is that we could go back and time and tell former Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz to pioneer this movement.

Ethan Wragge Shoots, Does Not Dribble

It was a night were you could say with complete certainty that Creighton would have defeated any college basketball team in America, and perhaps even the Milwaukee Bucks. Against the unbeaten and then No. 4 ranked Villanova Wildcats, the Bluejays nailed 21 three pointers, nine coming from forward Ethan Wragge, who needed only six minutes to knock down his first seven.

Even more eye-popping was Wragge’s made-three-pointers-to-dribbles ratio, which isn’t even remotely close to a real statistic but something that was easy to track for the reasons noted below. Read the rest of this entry »

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The NCAA Tournament in Tweets: Saturday and Sunday

Posted by Nick Fasulo on March 25th, 2013

bythetweets

Tyrone Garland, one of the best sixth men in the country, is from Southwest Philadelphia. If you didn’t already know that, then you most certainly made the connection following his postgame interview after Garland lifted La Salle past Ole Miss into the Sweet Sixteen. The basked, he called it, was his possibly patented #SouthwestPhillyFloater, which quickly became a usable hashtag and will certainly get some run leading up to the Explorers’ upcoming match-up against Wichita State. This is something I can get on board with, unlike #layupgang.

Florida Gulf Coast, A #15 Seed, Is In The Sweet 16

So far, this is the best story of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. And unless the national championship game ends in a buzzer-beater, it is unlikely it will be topped. Representing the Atlantic Sun Conference, Florida Gulf Coast is the first #15 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. To add a bit more weight to this story, it is a school that was founded in the 1990s and only been eligible to play in this grand tournament in 2009. You cannot make this stuff up, but you can get FGCU trending on Twitter through the weekend.

Heading in to the work week, it will be very interesting to track the media coverage the school gets. Will the jokes about this being an online university continue? Will we focus on the actual talent Andy Enfield has assembled? Will we just drool over his wife Amanda?

Following the win, the most competitive pissing match was to see who could come up with the most retweeted play on words. A collection of the ones I could bear to read…

Oh… and… Tunechi. He got involved too.

Marquette Draws America’s Ire

Forget Duke. Somehow the Marquette Golden Eagles have become the team America loves to hate, after squeaking past two non-power conference teams America has grown to love over the past five years. Buzz Williams’ team advanced to its third straight Sweet Sixteen over the weekend, but it took a bit of luck and last second heroics to get past both Davidson and Butler, and nobody is forgetting that.

The Golden Eagles are the epitome of “survive and advance.” Two wins, a three-point total margin of victory, and one sloppy play after another in the game’s final minutes (save Vander Blue’s smooth left handed lay-in with seconds remaining to down the Wildcats).

Aaron Craft Goes Iso, Defeats ISU

After Aaron Craft went dagger on Iowa State, all of the following tweets were published within seven seconds of each other. I counted.

https://twitter.com/raphiellej/status/315893271698239490

https://twitter.com/DaveKrupinski/status/315893308482256897

https://twitter.com/Peter_R_Casey/status/315893413436338176

https://twitter.com/eamonnbrennan/status/315893423695597568

https://twitter.com/JonRothstein/status/315893542419591168

Game: blouses.

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College Basketball by the Tweets: NCAA Tournament Thursday/Friday

Posted by Nick Fasulo on March 23rd, 2013

bythetweets

Thanks to Kentucky’s follies, we have to open this up by paying a bit of attention to the NIT.

OK we good? Got that out of your system? We can’t let them completely hijack this post. Moving on.

Georgetown is a Joke

In a year where we were all afraid that there would be absolutely insanity, where the unpredictable would reign supreme, and your bracket would be in the toilet by Friday afternoon, we actually got something we can rely on: John Thompson III laying an egg in the NCAA Tournament.

Seriously. Vitale may be the master of the obvious, but it there are not enough ALL CAPS on your keyboard to use when talking about how bad Georgetown has been in recent NCAA Tournaments.

Following the loss, many Syracuse fans shared a beer, and then a huge, breathless belly laugh.

But on the other side of the upset, Florida Gulf Coast University, which has only been eligible for the NCAA Tournament for four years, and was founded in 1991 (think about that, very bizarre) celebrated while Twitter played jokes on their “famous alum” and a made up mission statement.

The Eagles received a lot of low blows last night. We won’t share those here. They won; the Hoyas lost, thus the joke is on the underachieving, established basketball program.

Marshall Henderson Wins a Tournament Game

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The Final Big East Tourney As We Know It: Reflections and Thank Yous

Posted by Nick Fasulo on March 17th, 2013

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent. He has been at the Big East Tournament this week taking in all of the action. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Austin Croshere. That name evokes the first true memory I have of Big East basketball.  I’m not even making this up for effect.

It was 1995. My family had finally taken the plunge and signed up for, that’s right, cable television. I was young. Third or fourth grade, and nearly all of my college basketball consumption to date was through March Madness on CBS. I really liked Duke, but I also really didn’t know any better. Then when the number of available channels on my family’s living room television ballooned from five to 55, I became exposed to a whole new world. Most importantly for the development of my nascent mind: Championship Week.

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Louisville, Your 2013 Big East Champions

In that year’s Big East Tournament, Austin Croshere was a sophomore role player at Providence College. The Friars were the defending champions, but had lost key players from a season before and limped into Madison Square Garden with a 7-11 conference record. In the Friars’ quarterfinal game against Syracuse, the first sporting event broadcast on cable in my home, Croshere produced an unforgettable performance. He scored a career-high 28 points – 18 of those in the game’s final 10 minutes – and led the Friars to a dramatic upset overtime victory. The New York Post‘s Howard Blatt called Croshere “an outrageous force” in his game recap. It was truly mesmerizing theater, and something you couldn’t have watched on channels 6, 8 or 13.

On its proverbial headstone, the now old Big East Conference should have an epitaph that is something along the lines of “Never be the same again.” For me, its existence began with Austin Croshere, and ended with Montrezl Harrell. Live, right in front of me. A moment in time where I actually believe I was in the center of the universe.

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Fans and Players Alike Reflect on the Final Big East Episode of Hoyas-Orange

Posted by Nick Fasulo on March 15th, 2013

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent. He has been at the Big East Tournament this week taking in all of the action. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

Following their narrow second round victory over Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon, Jim Boeheim was asked if it was fitting that Syracuse was going to have to go through Georgetown in their last go-around of the Big East Tournament. “I don’t know,” Boeheim said. “That’s for you guys to figure out.” The expected curt response was almost like a challenge to the entire press room: You all know the answer, but who will spin that yarn the most eloquently?

syracuse fans

Syracuse Fans Ready For Their Last Big East Tournament

Since 1979, at the league’s inception of seven teams, Syracuse and Georgetown have faced each other 90 times, including 14 in the Big East Tournament. Friday night, in the most fitting location, the final face-off for the foreseeable future went down. Syracuse won 58-55 in overtime, a classic match-up that may not carry much meaning in a week, but will mean everything for eternity. But that merely touches on the story, as you could draw a parallel that the Orange ostensibly accomplished what really needed to be accomplished on their trip to New York City: Beat someone you hate, then go proverbially take down the 1980 Finnish National Hockey team.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Bill Self Dancing, Michael Carter-Williams losing, #NCAAOscars

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 27th, 2013

bythetweets

Remember back in the fall when North Carolina State was the trendy pick to contend for a Final Four berth? Following a Sweet Sixteen appearance, C.J. Leslie was coming back to lead a team with a solid point guard and top flight freshman class. Everything was coming up roses in Raleigh. Then the Wolfpack even seemed to meet expectations, too, opening the season 14-2, including a win over then No. 1 and undefeated Duke. But on Saturday Mark Gottfried’s team lost to its rival North Carolina, a team who was supposed to be trending down this season. They’re now 8-6 in ACC play and have the look of a team whose fangs have been blunted, becoming the latest casualty to the rigors of conference play.

Sometimes, you gotta peel back the onion before assuming a team is solid on paper.

Bill Self and the Tremendously Fast Cycle of Twitter

Last week Kansas took on Kansas State. The highlight? That would be Bill Self dancing. Or shuffling. Or Harlem Shaking. Or intuitively doing something to spark a flurry of social media activity. The response is a perfect case study in how sports GIFs and memes are digested at a rapid pace. Take a look:

Here was the immediate reaction.

Followed by the delayed reaction, which in Internet time is like 20 seconds after the event occured.

Then, if it is worthy, @Bubbaprog hops into action.

Followed by a someone asking for something more.

And suddenly, the wish is granted, thanks to a random dude with the right resources and the right level of initiative.

Seriously. This took all of 27 minutes to unfold. The Internet has evolved so prolifically that its current state is analogous to passing against a defense rather than trying to dribble through. It’s so much faster and effective.

#NCAAOscars

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College Basketball by the Tweets: The Harlem Shake, Bob Knight and Alan Crabbe…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 20th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

So this Harlem Shake viral phenomenon. You’ve heard of it. I shouldn’t have to explain it. Heck, there’s a chance you’ve made one or been forced to watch your co-workers’ rendition in the last seven days. Anyway… from the Soulja Boy Superman to the Dougie to Gangnam Style, college basketball always has a say in the direction and popularity of dance crazes. So with the latest flash in the pan fad reaching its apex over the weekend, naturally it pervaded DI to NAIA gyms and arenas over the weekend. Like, literally.

Based on my observations, Colin is not exaggerating.

Mike Montgomery Shoves Alan Crabbe

In sports today, almost any altercation, whether physical or verbal, is going to spark conversation on Twitter. Drama moves the needle, and the latest occurrence of that was Saturday when Cal head coach Mike Montgomery shoved his star player, Alan Crabbe. Video shows nothing too aggressive, but a love jolt enough to upset Crabbe and cause a bit of short-lived dissent among the team. Some quickly compared the act to that of Morehead State’s Sean Woods, who verbally abused a player earlier this season The difference is that Sean Woods humiliated his player because of how personal Morehead’s game against Kentucky was. Woods is a former Wildcats star whose jersey hangs in the Rupp Arena rafters, now coaching against his alma mater and trying to squeeze as much out of his players as he could. But only for his own good. Montgomery was passionate and truly trying to motivate, unfortunately displaying that passion in a not-so-ideal manner. Many people saw it the same way.

So I think we can agree that the action was understandable. We can give Montgomery a pass. But what he said in his postgame press conference probably didn’t award him a get-out-of-jail free card, thus leading to the undisclosed punishment.

Oh yeah, and, Montgomery’s act sort of worked, as Crabbe led the Golden Bears’ comeback against the Trojans, and also this…

Assuming Montgomery has spoken to Crabbe privately about this, I’ll tip my cap to the heady coach.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Cameron Crazy Chants, Notre Dame, Nerlens Noel, and Nate Wolters

Posted by Nick Fasulo on February 13th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

When NC State beat Duke in Raleigh back in January, fans rushed the court, C.J Leslie was deemed a hero, and we were all supposed to think it was an ACC power-shifting victory for the Wolfpack. Then Mark Gottfried’s club took a return trip to Durham, and were beaten decisively, restoring reality and balance to the top of the league. Following the game, this was the scene at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Yes that’s right, just another day in the office for the Blue Devils

A Faux Chant About Tyler Lewis’s Grandmother

There’s nothing worse than a baseless rumor that lives and dies on Twitter… but when one occurs in the college basketball world, we have to at least trace its arc. Following said loss to Duke last week, NC State Wolfpack fans, or alumni, or beat writers, or maybe just Blue Devil haters, started something nasty declaring that the Cameron Crazies started a chant about Tyler Lewis’s grandmother, who passed away just days before. Totally awful, right? Absolutely, but ultimately something totally awful that likely never actually happened. The seeds were planted after it got in front of a former Wolfpack star with a bit of clout and a few thousand followers.

Within minutes many had immediately jumped at how horrible it sounded, while some took a second to think that it was probably not true.

Checking their timelines, and neither seem confident enough to deliver an earnest and clear response. So from there, all the Dookie fans got defensive, and rightfully so, and pretty quickly it was clear that this was a Twitter troll with a very short life span.

And finally.

Sigh. Oh and, by the way. Rodney Purvis checked Twitter, saw what was going on, posted his thoughts completely based on hearsay, looked like a clown, then deleted his tweet. All in the span of 45 seconds.

Let’s face it, NC State was just bitter. This did not happen or it would have had legs in the general media over the following days.  The Cameron Crazies have hurled some not-so-flattering chants at opponents over the years, but rarely have they leapt over the line like this.

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