Where 2013-14 Happens: Reason #6 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on November 6th, 2013

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Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2013-14 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season completely guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. For the next three weeks, you’ll get two hits of excitement each weekday. We’ve captured what we believe were the most compelling moments from last season, some of which will bring back goosebumps and others of which will leave you shaking your head in astonishment. To see the entire released series so far, click here.

#6 – Where First Time Ever Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-12, and 2012-13 preseasons.

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Syracuse At #1 — Get Used to It, the Orange is Likely to be There a While…

Posted by rtmsf on December 19th, 2011

Matt Poindexter is an RTC correspondent. He filed this report after the Syracuse win at NC State Saturday night.

“We’re talking about a team that could be playing on Monday night in April.”

North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried had just watched the top-ranked Syracuse Orange run away from his Wolfpack, winning 88-72 in Raleigh. The Orange, though, only looked like a national title contender for about twenty minutes on Saturday. Halfway through the first half, NC State — a team in the bottom half of the ACC that will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament — led by seven. By halftime, the Orange were up by fourteen, and at one point had peeled off a blistering 23-0 run in the RBC Center. The second half was a similar affair: a 17-3 Wolfpack blast in the first five minutes, and NC State within a possession with eight minutes to play. But when Gottfried’s best weapon, CJ Leslie, went to the locker room with cramps, Jim Boeheim’s deep bench overwhelmed the Wolfpack’s less-talented substitutes. The Orange won the game to keep its top ranking, but did so in an oddly uneven manner.

Syracuse's Schedule Shapes Up Very Nicely For Boeheim This Season

During Syracuse’s 23-0 run, Basketball Prospectus author John Gasaway tweeted, “If you yelled at me for saying Syracuse will be No. 1 for a while please turn on ESPN2.” When polls came out last Monday with the Orange on top, the feeling that Syracuse was first only by default was prevalent, especially given that Ohio State’s loss at Kansas came without the aid of its superstar big man, Jared Sullinger. More illuminating than a ten-minute stretch against an NIT-caliber team, though, is a look at Syracuse’s upcoming schedule. The Orange have eleven home games and nine road games left before the Big East Tournament starts, and there is a reasonable chance the Orange can make it to Madison Square Garden in March with a goose egg in the loss column.

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UNC: #1 With a Bullet

Posted by rtmsf on June 16th, 2008

With the announcement that the Carolina threesome of Tywon Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green are all returning to Chapel Hill next season, we can already hear the incoherent rantings of one Richard Vitale bouncing around in our heads.

Vitale Already Wearing His Favorite Color for 08-09

  • Let me tell you something… I wasn’t supposed to say this, but let me tell you a little secret, Mike… Roy Williams told me this morning that he thinks this North Carolina team could be his best team yet! He thinks that their inside-outside play with Lawson and Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington on the wing, super sixth man Danny Green off the bench and the arrival of diaper dandies Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller, this team could be SPECIAL. Ohhh… what a wealth of talent Roy Williams has at his disposal!
  • In all my years of doing games for ESPN, I have never seen as much talent on one team as I see out here right now! This North Carolina team could be one of the best teams EVER, Mike. EVER. And we know what kind of talent has walked around this campus before us – the Jordans, the Vince Carters, the James Worthys… ohhhhhhhhhhhh…
  • Let me tell you something Dan… This North Carolina team has a chance… now, I’m only saying a chance, but Roy Williams’ team has a shot to go undefeated and become the first team since The General did it at Indiana back in 1976 to cut the nets down without a blemish on their record. This team is that good!
  • Ohhhhh… all the Tylers! Hansbrough, Lawson and Zeller – the three Ts on their way to another ACC championship and the Final Four, baby!!!
  • Look at this place; LOOK at this place! The Carolina fans are going wacky cheering for their Tar Heels, the #1 team in America, baby! They love their Tar Heels!!!

Prepare yourselves. ESPN will put UNC on the tube for approximately 98% of their games next year, and Dickie V. will call approximately 98% of those. (ed. note – he will likely miss the annual clash between UNC and Pembroke St.) We must ready ourselves for the hyperbole and the incessant gushing, because there is nobody on the 2008-09 horizon who can pretend to match up with the Heels on paper.


We’ll See a Lot of Even More of This Guy Next Year

Looking at the final AP Top 25 poll (pre-NCAA Tourney), who else could rise up to challenge the Heels next year? The two finalists, Memphis (CDR and Rose) and Kansas (Arthur, Chalmers, Rush), have completely imploded with defections. Ben Howland’s UCLA squad has a sick incoming class, but the losses of Russell Westbrook, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and especially Kevin Love will be difficult to replace (even with Darren Collison returning). Tennessee, Louisville, UConn, Davidson, Purdue and Gonzaga should all be pretty good, but none of them should even be mentioned in the same breath with Carolina in returning talent and experience. UNC should be the #1 team in everyone’s preseason poll, and probably the unanimous choice in the AP poll. We’re not 100% sure of this, but we don’t think a team has ever been a unanimous preseason #1 in the history of the AP poll (in 2003-04, UConn got all but three #1 votes, and the 1993-94 UNC squad got all but four). That should change next season unless Hansbrough and company break their necks in one of those frat house pool dives they enjoy.

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