College Basketball By The Tweets: Hinkle Magic, Michael Carter-Williams, Inauguration Photobomb

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 23rd, 2013


One of the saddest yet least talked about endings in college basketball is looming. The Big East, while it isn’t entirely dissolving just yet, is in its final year as the league many of us more or less grew up with. Syracuse and Pittsburgh will officially join the ACC this summer, and you probably know the marching order for the other schools exiting stage left. It’s sad… well, it’s pathetic really… and you can be sure that for the next eight weeks any human with even a peripheral association with the league will be sure to tell you how sad and pathetic this shift is.

Indeed, Kevin. I’m ticked off, too.

Roosevelt Jones’ Buzzer Beating Heroics

Best moment of the 2012-13 college basketball season?  Best moment of the 2012-13 college basketball season, as an absolutely tremendous Saturday of hoops was capped off by the latest thrilling victory from Butler, who knocked off Gonzaga with a steal and subsequent mid-range floater from Roosevelt Jones as time expired.

With the College Gameday season premiere on campus to build the game up and capture it all, I’d say ESPN execs had to be pretty satisfied with the drama that unfolded at Hinkle.

Dick Vitale, who called the game alongside the great Dan Shulman, pushed out a pretty bold statement that speaks volumes to just how amazing this game, which really ended up being a bit of a spectacle, was.

Michael Carter-Williams Meeting Lofty Expectations

Switching back to the Big East, a few weeks ago it was Ben McLemore turning NBA scouts’ heads in rapid succession, now it appears to be the Syracuse sophomore Michael Carter-Williams turn. Despite eight turnovers and 4-of-13 shooting, MCW’s end of game play-making against then top-ranked Louisville on Saturday drew fear from Cardinals fans.

Then 48 hours later, the Orange star followed up that performance, dropping 16 points – with some emphatic slams, steals and shares –  helping his team squeak past Cincinnati.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Will Privette, Dunk(s) of the Year, and Those Baylor Unis

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 16th, 2013


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.

What were arguably the two most memorable incidents to go down in college basketball the last seven days? On the court, it was certainly the game’s final four undefeated teams falling one by one over a 96-hour span. Off the court, err, on the sidelines, it was Robert Montgomery Knight revealing his age and inability to make out the difference between the shot clock and game clock during the final moments of Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt. The most underappreciated handle on all of Twitter encapsulated it beautifully.

C.J. Leslie and his friend Will Privette

To call it heartwarming would be an understatement, but whatever it is, C.J. Leslie’s Saturday afternoon was one he will never forget. First he dropped a game high 25 points as the Wolfpack upset then top-ranked Duke, which led to this photo that should be sold as a 24″ x 48″ poster at the school’s bookstore.

But even after the final horn sounded, Leslie was still being attentive on the court, ushering a senior student in a wheelchair to safety amongst the sea of red that was stomping all over the PNC Arena court.

Yes, naturally, Will Privette’s act has gone viral. The kid is one of the most sought after interviews in sports media right now, and it’s doing wonders to his social media clout.

Brandon Paul, Anthony Bennett, Jamaal Franklin. Who ya got?

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College Basketball By The Tweets: CBS Infighting, Khalif Wyatt and #BBN

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2013


It was good to hear from Kim English over the weekend. The former Missouri Tiger, perhaps a player whose on-court talents were inflated by the media due to his charming personality and usage of Twitter, is now playing in the D-League for the Detroit Pistons. But he’s still closely watching his Tigers, who escaped an upset from Bucknell due mostly to their really freakin’ good point guard.


Something tells me he’s on the fast track to being a studio analyst.

Doug Gottleib and Seth Davis Disagree on Jim Boeheim

I could elaborate, or you could just read about their exchange of tweets, courtesy of Jared Smith at Let’s all appreciate the love/hate these two share with one another.

(Uncle) Khalif Wyatt?

We hope you were watching, but understand it may have been difficult to give Temple – Kansas your undivided attention alongside the NFL Playoffs. What you missed may have been the coming out party for Khalif Wyatt, who dropped 26 on 8-of-19 shooting (and 7-of-7 from the free throw line) in a losing effort. He also turned the ball over just once

There’s no doubt that Wyatt is a legitimate point guard with a unique look and feel to his game… like Uncle Drew, without the staged playground game and hours of make-up. Old folks can appreciate style.

Now between his game against Kansas and 33 points against Syracuse, it’s fair to say that Wyatt is licensed to hang a big number on any opponent this season.

Sabatino Chen, Colorado Gets Robbed

The hottest button college basketball topic of the week was unquestionably the final seconds of the Pac-12 opener between Colorado and Arizona. You know the deal: Colorado blew an eight-point lead with under two minutes to play, and Satabtino Chen’s bank shot three-pointer as time expired as called off… but it shouldn’t have been.

Twitter went nuts. At first the shot did look too close to call, meaning it should not have been overturned to begin with. And after America watched for the 17th time, it was clear that 0.1 seconds remained on the clock and Satabino’s shot should have counted. Lost in this moment’s was Chen’s lack of accuracy from beyond the arc. Despite being a 6’4″ guard, he’s simply not a respected shooter.

Additionally, props to those who simply felt sorry for Chen, as he’s now college basketball Armando Galarraga, the former Detroit Tigers pitcher who was wrongly deined a perfect game due to a botched bang-bang play at first base a few summers ago. Not only is this a big bummer for the Buffs, it’s a huge bummer for Chen, who could develop a bit of a cult hero status in Boulder for a few years to come.

#BBN Gets Richer

Keeping up with the (Matt) Joneses is going to be nearly impossible next college basketball season. That’s right, John Calipari has pretty much put together a perfect 2013 recruiting class following the latest signing of center Dakari Johnson, with an Andrew Wiggins or Julius Randle likely to follow.

Naturally, the smug responses came in droves… and they probably still are if you follow the hashtag #BBN.

Oh yeah, and this dude will be in Lexington in 2014.

I hate you, sometimes, Kentucky. I hate you.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Kentucky/Louisville, Nick Johnson and Two Freshman Phenoms…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 2nd, 2013


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.

Full disclosure: I grew up a grossly obnoxious Duke basketball fan. UNC was evil, but a necessary evil, making up one half of what I believed to be the greatest rivalry in all of sports. But as of late,  I can confidently say that the happiness felt from the hate of that lighter shade of blue has been usurped by another in-state rivalry. The build-up to Kentucky and Louisville’s annual late December battle was popcorn-making worthy. Twitter was abuzz all week, with profanity laced rants 140 characters at a time being hurled back and forth between the 80-mile stretch of I-64.

Never stop this hatred ever, guys. We’re all better for it.

More on Kentucky – Louisville

Per the usual, the build up was full of jabs that make this rivalry great.

Louisville fans secured home court for their team, as there was no Sea of Blue present at the Yum! Center.

Kentucky was down early, clueless against Louisville’s full court press, but foul trouble for the Cardinals and the emergence of Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein in the second half kept the game interesting.

But in the end, the experience of Rick Pitino’s club prevailed. A freakishly fast-paced game left everyone involved exhausted.

Nick Johnson To The Rescue

Perhaps the most exciting game of the holiday break was the finals of the Diamond Head Classic, where Arizona slipped past San Diego State, due in large part to a game-saving block by the Wildcats’ Nick Johnson. A 6’3″ guard, these are the types of plays a taller frontcourt player is supposed to make, meaning Sean Miller has a special athlete in his rotation.

Johnson’s block drew such oohs and aahs that fans started drawing comparisons with that play and another game saving swat by a former Wildcat, Derrick Williams.

My pick? Gotta go with Johnson. He’s no imposing big man, but a perimeter player who used his incredible hops to turn and make a play without even thinking.

Ben McLemore & Anthony Bennett:Two Stars In The Making

If you’ve seen Kansas and UNLV play this season, then you’ve probably noticed two freshman who have established themselves as clear-cut pros. Over the last 10 days, if you saw Ben McLemore drop 22 with ease on Ohio State, and Anthony Bennett show his versatility against North Carolina, you told yourself multiple times that these may be two of the best young basketball players in the country, regardless of level.

As part of a freshman class that few were psyched about following the litany of spring All-American games, the Jayhawks and Rebels seem to have the two most obvious one-and-done players as we enter the new year. McLemore, who is drawing comparisons to Dwayne Wade, seems to get less attention on Twitter because he makes it look so easy. He scores from anywhre on the floor, but doesn’t necessarily incite hashtag-inducing plays.

Conversely, Bennett has established himself as a must-see-TV player. He blows people away with his ability to create his own shot despite his girth, and his game compels people watching to immediately turn to social media…

Tony Parker Wanted To Be Home For Christmas

The curse of the overweight, overhyped Bruins big man continues. Just a few weeks after sophomore Josh Smith left the UCLA school and program, freshman Tony Parker aired, albeit cryptically, some grievances about his feelings about his first year in Westwood.

Parker soon defended his tweets, saying he was just a homesick college kid unable to be back in his native Atlanta for the holidays… which, let’s be honest, is completely understandable. Parker has not had an impact this season, getting only eight minutes of run a game. He finished with two points in just three minutes played Friday night in UCLA’s thrilling overtime victory over Missouri, meaning on the court he’s still got a ways to go to meet his potential and expectations.

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College Basketball by the Tweets: Catholicism in Sports, the Butler Does It Again…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on December 18th, 2012


Fresh off a lesson in efficiency from the Michigan Wolverines, a young and confident West Virginia Mountaineer couldn’t help but offer his two cents on Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Eron Harris, to his credit, had a respectable night, finishing with 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting. But his team was shallacked 81-66 on national television, while the duo of Burke and Hardaway at the Barclays Center confirmed to many that they may be the most dangerous backcourt in the country. Defining “amazing” in this instance is certainly open to interpretation, but John Beilein has a special tandem to work with, while Bob Huggins has a team in need of a reality check. Oh, to be a freshman in college once again.

Catholic Seven Speak Up

All of a sudden, the infrequently used sports chant “We’ve Got God” has taken on a whole new meaning. The seven Catholic-affiliated schools from the Big East, more commonly known as the seven Big East schools that don’t have a Division I football program, finally used the one bit of leverage they had — a connection with a higher power —  as a way out of a decaying conference.

The Catholic Seven will likely add a few more programs that are aligned both religiously and academically, effectively bringing to an end one of the great leagues a basketball hoophead has ever seen. As someone who literally grew up on the Big East, this certainly evokes emotion. Not really the thought of a future with no Big East, but the pause this news gives to remember all those nights you stayed up watching Big East basketball.

And, yea, bro, sucks to be stuck with that…

Down Goes Indiana

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College Basketball By The Tweets: UCLA, Texas Are Bad, Victor Oladipo is Good…

Posted by Nick Fasulo on December 11th, 2012

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.

We are now one month in to the college basketball season. What does that mean? It’s probably fair to start making definitive “this team is good, this team is bad” statements… only more eloquently. This week, Twitter was rife with negativity, as the reality of some team’s deficiencies were confirmed in week four.

Texas is Bad, Jaded

Take Texas for example. Sure, the absence of Myck Kybongo is killing this team, but offensively the Longhorns are an absolute mess, and simply plopping an above-average sophomore point guard into the rotation isn’t going to just fix everything. It’s even put the Worldwide Leader in a tenuous situation!

UCLA is Bad Too, And Texas Is Still Bad!

Following that drubbing against Georgetown, the Longhorns were unfortunately back on national television. They could not hide, playing against an equally disappointing UCLA team in Reliant Stadium. Two high-level programs failing miserably to meet preseason expectations makes for an empty football stadium.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, a moist basketball court on an aircraft carrier, or crickets.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Louisville Leaves, Josh Smith Quits, Rick Majerus Passes…

Posted by rtmsf on December 4th, 2012

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 you’re a member of the loudest and polarizing fan base in college basketball, you have no choice but to accept ridicule from trolls high and low when things start to go sour. Kentucky, the defending national champion, is off to a bad start. Everybody knows this, and everybody wants everybody else to know this, too. To Twitter we go. Following Saturday’s loss to Baylor, the first L the Wildcats took in Rupp Arena in 55 games, our favorite social media platform has been a hub of negative sentiments pointed directly at Big Blue Nation (#BBN). The activity has become so pervasive and toxic that Wildcat players are one by one shutting the doors on their account until further notice.


My thought: This will either destroy or galvanize this young group of kids.

Louisville Leaves The Big East

Just 80 miles west of Lexington, the mood is bittersweet. On one hand, the Cardinals are without the services of their frontcourt anchor Gorgui Dieng for 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist. On the other, the school is the latest to ditch the Big East for the ACC, an addition to a short list of moves based more on basketball than football, and one that could serve as the tipping point in terms of a movement towards four (and not six) super-conferences.

Seriously, is there a better rivalry in all of sports? Love the passive-aggressiveness here…

Josh Smith Leaves UCLA

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College Basketball By the Tweets: Feast Week Edition

Posted by rtmsf on November 28th, 2012

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.

I’ve always felt that the overall excitement level of college basketball is, more than any other sport, contingent on how relevant its bluebloods are. Even if you love to hate them, if Duke were to disappear from the Top 25 for a season, it would stink. With the renaissance of Indiana now almost fully developed, I think we can all rest easy that one of the game’s great programs is back where it belongs, and it’s for the betterment of the sport.

#108Shots | #0Assists

In a week that is designed to allow fans to sit back and start to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of their favorite Division I teams, it was a puny sophomore guard playing for Division III Grinnell College garnering the most attention And sides were taken as polarizing as our country’s two primary political parties.

First, naturally, as the news trickled, the response was positive shock and awe.

But then the story went mainstream, as Taylor was talking with morning TV shows and being praised for his record-breaking feat. Meanwhile, true sports fans grumbled, pointing out the gimmicky style of Grinnell and how there was obvious disregard for real basketball being played in an effort for Taylor to hurl up enough shots to get his name into the record books.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Champions Classic, #FREE Shabazz & UNC Cheating

Posted by rtmsf on November 19th, 2012

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.

Aside from a great night of hoops at the Champions Classic, week two of the college basketball season was fairly tame, as hungry fans await the always entertaining Feast Week. There’s been a of talk lately about how college basketball is an eroding sport, but don’t tell that to Tim Brando, who was giving his undivided attention to the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.

And Brando couldn’t be any more spot on, as the now annual event did not disappoint last Tuesday. Michigan State snuck past Kansas due to great late game execution on offense, while Duke’s experience was too much for Kentucky’s youth. A fantastic four hours of hoops.

Calipari, Duke & Flopping

The incident that sparked the most witty tweets this week? That would unquestionably be John Calipari‘s public indictment of Duke’s uncanny ability to flop around the basket. Cal dropped the zinger to Andy Katz while heading into the locker room at half time, when the Wildcats trailed the Blue Devils by two.

The tweets came in droves…

Never one to back down, Coach K did not shy away from offering a response to Calipari during his post-game press conference.

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