Where 2015-16 Happens: Reason #22 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 23rd, 2015

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2015-16 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 rather than 30 days from now. Over the next month you’ll get one reason per day until we reach the new season on Friday, November 13. We’ve captured what we believe were the 30 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. You can find all of this year’s released posts here.

#22 – Where Hooley High Harmony Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-132013-14 and 2014-15 preseasons.

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Where 2015-16 Happens: Reason #24 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 21st, 2015

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2015-16 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 rather than 30 days from now. Over the next month you’ll get one reason per day until we reach the new season on Friday, November 13. We’ve captured what we believe were the 30 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. You can find all of this year’s released posts here.

#24 – Where Championship Week in the Ivies Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-132013-14 and 2014-15 preseasons.

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The Eight Best Championship Week Games in Las Vegas in the Last Five Years

Posted by Andrew Murawa on March 16th, 2015

Over the past week in Las Vegas, I’ve taken in three conference tournaments at three different venues, seen as many as 10 different NCAA Tournament contenders (and that’s without even getting out to the WAC Tournament to see New Mexico State) and several wildly enjoyable college basketball games. It takes some time to pass before you can consider how an event will fit in with other events over the course of history, but all these great games got me thinking. You see, this was the sixth straight season I’ve been in Las Vegas for Championship Week. And over those years, I’ve seen some absolutely classic basketball games. So, I figured I’d put together my list of the best games I’ve seen in Las Vegas in the previous five seasons. Games like Wyoming/San Diego State in this year’s Mountain West title game, or the latest iteration of Arizona/UCLA, or several other games from this week (Gonzaga/BYU, USC/Arizona State, Stanford/Washington, among others) will doubtlessly be on this list in the future. But we need time to age and mellow the remembrances of this vintage of Vegas epics. So, for your consideration below, here are the eight best March masterpieces that Las Vegas has served up in the past five seasons.

  1. San Diego State 65, Boise State 62, March 8, 2012, Mountain West Quarterfinal. For 39 minutes and 59 seconds, the then 13-16 and eighth-place Broncos would play Mountain West Player of the Year Jamaal Franklin and his Aztecs to a draw. And then, on a three-pointer as time expired, Franklin showed everybody why he was the MW POY and why the Aztecs were the #1 seed. After getting a hand-off at the top of the key and with two guys in his face, Franklin drilled a 22-footer to send the Aztecs to the semifinals in dramatic fashion.

  1. New Mexico 72, UNLV 67, March 9, 2012, Mountain West Semifinal. The Runnin’ Rebels raced out to the first 12 points of this game. Playing on their homecourt, a place where they hadn’t lost since the previous year’s Mountain West tournament, the Rebels had to feel confident in knowing that they had never lost to the Lobos in their previous eight Mountain West tournament matchups. New Mexico took that early punch and then rode Drew Gordon and some great defense on the comeback trail, setting up a championship matchup against San Diego State.

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What’s Trending: Selection Sunday Edition

Posted by Griffin Wong on March 15th, 2015

RTC_NCAA15

What’s Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Griffin Wong (@griffwong90) is your weekly host.

The Curious Case of Murray State

Murray State, a team beloved by many mid-major apologists, went down in heartbreaking fashion to Belmont last weekend, and will discover its ultimate fate tonight. The consensus seems to be that the Racers had a great year but their résumé just isn’t quite up to snuff. That said, crazier things have happened (I’m looking at you, 2006 Air Force).

More Marshall Henderson?

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Championship Week Primer: Bid-Stealers and Teams to Watch

Posted by Henry Bushnell on March 10th, 2015

Championship Week is upon us. And while some mid-majors have already locked up their spots in the Big Dance, it’s time for the major conference tournaments to get under way. Here’s a brief look at each of those upcoming tournaments with a description of one team in each that is primed to use the postseason as the catalyst for a run and one potential bid-stealer.

AAC

SMU is Flying Under the Radar Somewhat (USA Today Images)

SMU is Somewhat Flying Under the Radar (USA Today Images)

  • Team to Watch: SMU – This one might seem obvious as SMU is the top seed and the best team in the conference. But such is the state of the AAC that the Mustangs are really the only team with a shot to make some noise in March. Temple is an NCAA Tournament team but isn’t anything special, and the same could be said for Cincinnati and Tulsa, if either cracks the field of 68.
  • Potential Bid-Stealer: UConn – Hey, we’ve certainly seen the Huskies get hot before. There haven’t been many indications that Kevin Ollie’s team can put together a run, but its draw is favorable — SMU is on the opposite side of the bracket — so a Sunday date with the Mustangs with an NCAA Tournament bid on the line is a distinct possibility.

ACC

  • Team to Watch: North Carolina – The Tar Heels have amazingly lost six of their last 10 games en route to a fifth-place finish in the ACC. But since an ugly loss to NC State a couple weeks ago, they’ve looked decent and are capable of exploding at any time. North Carolina has elite athleticism and a guard in Marcus Paige who is one of college basketball’s best when he’s locked in. The Heels — playing in front of the always-friendly Greensboro crowd — should be favored against Louisville in the quarterfinals before meeting a Virginia team that could still be at less than full strength.
  • Potential Bid-Stealer: Miami – Miami isn’t a bid-stealer, per se, because the Hurricanes don’t have to win the ACC Tournament to earn entry into the Dance. They probably only need two victories but they’ve been given an intriguing road as the #6 seed. Provided the Hurricanes win their Wednesday game against Wake Forest or Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and then potentially Duke await. Miami has already gone toe-to-toe with both this year in their buildings, and even beat Duke at Cameron. If Jim Larranaga’s team were to pull off those two upsets, anything could happen in the championship game.

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Circle of March, Vol. IX

Posted by rtmsf on March 14th, 2013

We managed to miss yesterday’s update so consider today a two-fer on the Circle of March. Most of the major conference tournaments are in full swing now, and the last few — the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big Ten and a handful of others — start today. The numbers going into Thursday’s action: We started with 310 teams nine days ago; we’re now down to 160 remaining, which means not only are we roughly halfway home, but a nice, round 150 teams have been eliminated from contention. Over the next four days, of course, we’ll say goodbye to another 92.

WedThurs14

Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.12-13.13)

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Circle of March, Vol. V

Posted by rtmsf on March 9th, 2013

Friday was a really active day on the Circle, as 19 more teams bid adieu to the 2012-13 season. We’re now down to 259 teams still alive for the 2013 national championship. And guess what — on Saturday we’ll crown our first automatic bid winner, out of the OVC. The Madness is here…

circleofmarch8.5

Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.07.13)

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Circle of March, Vol. III

Posted by rtmsf on March 7th, 2013

After two days of conference tournament action, we have now hit the under-300 mark. With 13 official eliminations on Wednesday, the CoM now sits at a robust 290 teams still alive for the 2013 national championship. The list of teams gone from yesterday is after the jump, but things will really start heating up through this weekend. The Valley gets under way tonight, followed by a ridiculous amount of mid-major action Friday and Saturday (including the OVC championship game).

circleofmarch6

Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.06.13)

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Circle of March, Vol. II

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2013

We dropped the Circle of March from 310 teams to 303 on Tuesday, as the Big South and Horizon League Tournaments both got under way with seven games between them. The list of yesterday’s eliminated teams is underneath the CoM, but suffice it to say that you are unlikely to miss any of them. Today we’ll have five more league tourneys get under way — the Atlantic Sun, the NEC, the OVC, the Patriot League, and the WCC — which means a good number of logos will drop off the Circle in the next 24 hours. Check back Thursday to see how it looks!

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.05.13)

*Note that with the exception of the Ivy League, which has no postseason tournament, we will remove non-qualifiers for their conference tournaments at the end of the conference’s regular season.

  • Radford
  • UNC-Asheville
  • Presbyterian
  • Coastal Carolina
  • Loyola (IL)
  • Cleveland State
  • Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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