More Fireworks in the Nation’s Capital? NCAA Selects Washington, D.C. as Last 2013 Regional Host

Posted by EJacoby on May 17th, 2012

The 2013 NCAA Tournament will be a milestone, marking the 75th all-time ‘Big Dance’ since Oregon won the first one in 1939. A lot has changed over the years, and it’s much harder to win the Tournament in its current 68-team format than it was for the Ducks in a total field of just eight schools then. In “a concerted effort to include cities with a rich history to help mark the milestone,” according to the new VP of NCAA Championships, Mark Lewis, the committee selected Washington, D.C. as the final host of the 2013 Regionals. The nation’s capital joins previously selected Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Arlington, Texas, as the four regional locations, with Atlanta hosting next year’s Final Four. The Verizon Center in DC has played host to several classic tournament games in recent history, and the NCAA hopes to recreate that magic next year.

George Mason Provided Fireworks in Washington, D.C. in 2006 (Washington Post)

“In the end, we think celebrating 75 years of one of the country’s favorite sporting events in our nation’s capital and a great basketball city is fitting,” said Lewis, whose committee’s decision came down to Syracuse, Brooklyn, Madison Square Garden (Manhattan), and the District of Columbia. It would have seemed fitting for MSG, the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” to have won on this criteria of rich history, but the arena faced scheduling conflicts with its priority tenants, the Knicks (NBA) and Rangers (NHL). The Verizon Center, while not nearly as historic a venue, is a more frequently-used arena for college games, serving as the primary home court for Georgetown and hosting a number of other games such as the BB&T Classic. The Hoyas will be the official host of this site and as such will be unable to play in that venue during next season’s Tourney.

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RTC’s 2012 Pac-12 Tournament Preview

Posted by Connor Pelton on March 7th, 2012

The 2012 Pac-12 Championship is upon us. Whether you like to watch mediocre basketball or are looking for a possible team to make a run all the way from Los Angeles to the Final Four, here is your guide.

2012 Pac-12 Tournament Schedule – March 7-10 – Los Angeles (All Times Pacific)

While the Pac-12 may be in a down year, this is going to be one of the most competitive conference tournaments of Championship Week. Any of the top seven seeds are capable of winning it, and with the exception of Washington and California, no team is locked into the NCAA Tournament. Every team outside of the top four will be playing for their NCAA lives, which could make the first day of the tournament surprisingly entertaining. In reality though, only the top seven seeds have a realistic shot at taking the Pac-12’s automatic bid. To make a run through a conference tournament, especially when you need to win four games in four days, you need three or more really solid players. UCLA has Lazeric Jones, Travis and David Wear, and Joshua Smith, Colorado has Carlon Brown, Andre Roberson, Austin Dufault, and Spencer Dinwiddie, and Stanford has Chasson Brown, Josh Owens, and Aaron Bright. Those groups of players can lead their teams through the tournament, but the rest of the field behind them has only one or two solid players they can count on.

Three and four seeds Oregon and Arizona are the two teams that can still play their way into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large. While a lot of things can still shake out around the nation, the Wildcats and Ducks will likely have to advance to the championship in order to have a chance. Arizona’s going to have the tougher road to the championship as they will likely have to face a hot UCLA team in the quarterfinals, and most likely top-seeded Washington in the semis. However, the tougher the game is, the more of an impression the Wildcats will be able to make on the selection committee. And that’s a good thing, considering they need to push their way past teams like NC State, Miami (Florida), and Iona before Sunday.

Jorge Gutierrez, California

Tony Wroten May Be Flashier, But Jorge Gutierrez Is The Best Player In The Pac-12 - For Now

Favorite: California.  Their loss last Sunday against Stanford not withstanding, this is a talented and deep Golden Bear team that has the easiest path to a championship out of the top four seeds. They will most likely face the Cardinal again in the quarterfinals, but there is no way they lose to them twice in a row, especially with NCAA Tournament seeeding on the line. I’ll even take them over top-seeded Washington after the Bears went up to Seattle and beat the Huskies back in January.

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Pac-12 Morning Five: 11.01.11 Edition

Posted by Connor Pelton on November 1st, 2011

  1. We start in Los Angeles, where Baxter Holmes takes a look at Shabazz Muhammad’s unofficial visit to USC over the weekend. Muhammad attended the Stanford-USC football game Saturday night and also went to Sunday’s “Salute to Troy” basketball luncheon at the Galen Center. The article also features many quotes from Muhammad’s dad, Ron Holmes, who played wing for the Trojans from 1981-85. “He really enjoyed himself,” said Holmes, but also added, “Sometimes he’ll like one school more than another, sometimes that changes constantly.” This does sound like wishful thinking on the parts of USC and Holmes, but it certainly isn’t a bad thing for the Trojans. If SC were to land Muhammad, the Trojans would be stacked in 2012. Both Maurice Jones and Jio Fontan would return at the guard position and center Dewayne Dedmon is back as well. Add Muhammad to that mix and you have a team that could easily compete for the Pac-12 title. For additional reading, make sure to stay tuned as Drew Murawa will highlight Muhammad’s status with Pac-12 schools later today.
  2. It seems as if every site/blogger on the web has college basketball previews going up right now, and to be honest, the Pac-12 ones just aren’t very good. However, Fox News’ (who knew?) look at the Pac-12 is surprisingly thorough and is a must read if you are looking for a quick capsule on any Pac-12 team. They have California winning the Pac-12 regular season championship, but they are picking Washington to win the conference tournament. With Washington’s depth they are a good pick to win the Pac-12 Tourney, but I doubt they finish fourth in the regular season as they are predicting.
  3. While Muhammad is waiting until the spring to announce his decision, Bishop Gorman (NV) teammate Rosco Allen decided to end the suspense regarding his commitment. Allen announced that he was going to Stanford and intends to sign on Nov. 9. The Cardinal beat out UNLV and North Carolina for the 6’9″ forward who is also great in the classroom. Allen will most likely back up current Stanford forwards Anthony Brown and Dwight Powell next year.
  4. In more commitment news, St. Mark’s (MA) center Kaleb Tarczewski verbally committed to Arizona over Kansas yesterday. Many people thought that Tarczewski would be a lock to go to KU, but Sean Miller and the Arizona staff kept after him. “I had great programs and great coaches recruiting me.” “It just felt right at Arizona,” Tarczewski said. I’m guessing weather played a factor as well. Would you rather go to Lawrence or Tucson after living in Massachusetts all your life? The only current center that will be on Arizona’s roster next season is junior Kyryl Natyazhko, so Tarczewski will be battling him for the starting spot next fall.
  5. If you’d like to see a list of all Pac-12 commitments so far, Percy Allen has one put together. Allen also ranks each team, has a small breakdown of their class so far, and recaps a crazy recruiting week in the Pac-12. He has Arizona ranked #1 in the conference right now after the Wildcats have pulled in three ESPN five stars, including Findlay Prep (NV) star Brandon Ashley. Says Allen, This class is loaded with three players in the top 10 on ESPN’s list. Coach Sean Miller is rebuilding a dynasty in the desert.”
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Pac-12 Media Day Recap: Part One

Posted by Connor Pelton on October 31st, 2011

The Pac-12 Basketball Media Day took place Friday in Los Angeles. Here is part one of our coverage, where we will take a look at the top three quotes from each of the six northern schools.  Tomorrow morning we’ll cover the southern schools.

Washington (full transcript available here)

  • Coach Lorenzo Romar on the importance of playing schools like Duke and Marquette in nonconference play: “I think as we’ve seen over the last several years, our conference usually is evaluated based on our nonconference schedule in terms of a national perception. Sometimes an opinion is formed in the preseason, and then sometimes the nation doesn’t look back to see what teams are doing. So, again, we’re faced with it. There are a number of teams in our conference that have high profile, non-conference games. I think it’s important that we do well in those games.”
  • Coach Romar on Seattle Pacific-Arizona: “My thoughts are that in an exhibition game, it’s a time to experiment. It’s a time to teach. It’s a time to learn. I am very fortunate. We’re fortunate that we didn’t have an exhibition game last night, trust me. The way I see it from a coach’s perspective is I’m sure they got a lot out of it. Seattle Pacific went in there and obviously gave them a great ballgame and challenged them. That they have some new players as well. Some young players. That gives them a perspective of what level you have to be at at this level. So a game like that can do a lot more good for a team than if they were to play someone and blow them out by 50 or 60 and give them a false sense of who they were.”

UW Fans Are Hyped About the Arrival of Local Hero Wroten

  • Coach Romar on freshman point guard Tony Wroten, Jr.: “Tony Wroten, I can almost guarantee you, not a hundred percent, but I can — I’m willing to say that people will be surprised at Tony Wroten, and I’m not talking about the level of player he is, he’s an exceptional basketball player. But when they see how he will get on the floor and dive for a ball. How they can see that playing defense and things like that are really some of the intangible things that are important to him. When people see that, I think people have a different impression of what they thought he was going to be like. I think he’s been labeled somewhat of a show boat, show man, and that’s all he cares about. I think if you’re a Husky fan, people will be pleasantly surprised but that’s not totally him. He has fun. He enjoys the game. But at the same time, he’s a really tough competitor. So he’s done well.

Thoughts: Wroten, Jr., sounds even better than originally advertised, which is still pretty great. Definitely has the potential to be the next Isaiah Thomas or Brandon Roy for the Huskies.

Washington State (full transcript available here)

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Who’s Got Next? Illegal Benefits, Kentucky Spotlight, Shabazz Muhammad and More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 27th, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Introduction

Well, if you haven’t learned yet after the Kevin Ware situation or the Tony Wroten, Jr., drama, the world of college basketball recruiting is nothing without another scandal to fill headlines. It’s also nothing without a big-time commitment happening soon after a de-commitment and the recruiting world certainly can’t live without more news about top five prospects and the rippling affect of other commitments. If you haven’t been able to tell yet, a lot happened in just the past few days in the recruiting world… and we haven’t even started previewing one of the most significant AAU events that will happen all summer.

What They’re Saying

Rodney Purvis tweeted about Ryan Harrow's transfer.

  • Junior Rodney Purvis (#6) on Ryan Harrow’s transfer to Kentucky: “Harrow’s decision doesn’t change my outlook on UK at all. Unless coach tells me otherwise!”
  • Junior Kyle Anderson (#22) on Harrow transferring to the Wildcats: “Ryan Harrow not going to St. John’s keeps them on my list.”
  • Mauricio Ducuara, the head of a basketball foundation in Bogotá, on Hanner Mosquera-Perea (#23) receiving illegal benefits: “People with whom I have spoken said he has received lots of gifts [and] things. If you knew how Hanner grew up the people don’t even have shoes. Hanner came home at Christmas with iPods, iPhones, [Bose] headphones digital cameras. Things that for a kid are impossible.”
  • Baylor assistant coach Mark Morefield : “I guarantee u if he (Perea) does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it.”
  • Junior Justin Anderson (#45) on why he committed to Virginia: “The Cavaliers were always my second choice behind Maryland. Also, my family lives in Virginia. After the departure of Coach [Gary] Williams and Coach [Robert] Ehsan, it just feels like the right fit.”
  • Junior Archie Goodwin (#19) on other top prospects’ effect on his recruitment: “My friends that are top players are: Rasheed Sulaimon; Shabazz Muhammad; Isaiah AustinRicardo Ledo… [and] Rodney Purvis. When it comes to colleges, we’ll talk about what the coaches told us and see if anything was said different by each other. We’ll compare them that way, but I don’t think it’ll make us decide then and there what we’re gonna do with that school.”
  • Omar Calhoun Sr., junior Omar Calhoun Jr.’s father, on Jim Calhoun potentially retiring: “We believe in UConn and it’s still going to be UConn. We still feel like Coach Calhoun is still going to have a major part still in the development in the program even if he’s not the head coach.”
  • Junior Ricardo Ledo (#9) on the current state of his recruitment: “I don’t have a list, it’s not down to four, I am wide open.”
  • Sophomore Isaiah Lewis on Kentucky and his list: “I really like Kentucky a lot. I think I can play at UK under Coach [John] Calipari and the rest of the coaching staff. I think they can do a great job of coaching me up and getting me to the next level; but I also like other schools, like UConn, Arizona, Kansas, West Virginia, Florida and Florida State right now.”

What Shabazz Muhammad is Saying

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Who Says the South Only Cares About Football?

Posted by rtmsf on September 21st, 2009

The NCAA is starting to scare us a little bit with the news today that the Final Four will be held in warm-weather venues from 2011-13.  Surely they don’t expect us to stay in our rooms during the interminable wait from F4 Saturday night to Monday night’s championship.  Don’t they know that basketball is a cold-weather sport?  That you should see your breath as you huddle outside the arena waiting to get inside, where the scents of metallic air ducts mix with wet clothing and hot dogs in an olfactory orgy of late winter sensations?    Where’s my Minneapolis, my Detroit, my St. Louis?  No, now we’ll actually be forced to enjoy some early April outdoor air in three fun cities where 70s and 80s (before the oppresssive summer humidity hits) are common that time of year.  This means that you, the readers of this site, will pay for our folly.  We’re not happy with you, NCAA. 

The 2010 Final Four is in Indianapolis, IN.  Here’s the list for the next four years…  make your travel plans now.

Which Venue Will You Attend?  (photo credit: NCAA.org)
Which Venue Will You Attend? (photo credit: NCAA.org)

2010 NCAA Tournament

  • F4 – Indianapolis, IN
  • Regionals - Syracuse, NY (East); Houston, TX (South); St. Louis, MO (Midwest); Salt Lake City, UT (West).
  • Sub-Regionals – Providence, RI; Buffalo, NY; Jacksonville, FL; New Orleans, LA; Oklahoma City, OK; Milwaukee, WI; San Jose, CA; Spokane, WA.

2011 NCAA Tournament

  • F4 – Houston, TX
  • Regionals - Newark, NJ (East); New Orleans, LA (South); San Antonio, TX (Southwest); Anaheim, CA (West).
  • Sub-Regionals – Tulsa, OK; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Tampa, FL; Tucson, AZ; Washington, DC.

2012 NCAA Tournament

  • F4 – New Orleans, LA
  • Regionals - Boston, MA (East); Atlanta, GA (South); St. Louis, MO (Midwest); Phoenix, AZ (West).
  • Sub-Regionals – Albuquerque, NM; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; Omaha, NE; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR.

2013 NCAA Tournament

  • F4 – Atlanta, GA
  • Regionals - TBD (East); Arlington, TX (South); Indianapolis, IN (Midwest); Los Angeles, CA (West).
  • Sub-Regionals – Dayton, OH; Auburn Hills, MI; Lexington, KY; Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Austin, TX; Kansas City, MO; Philadelphia, PA.

A few quick reflections on the next four years of March Madness venues:

  • ACC fans who bellow from the mountaintops that Duke and UNC always “get to play at home” in the first two rounds (we’re also guilty of this) and/or the regionals won’t have much to complain about the next four Tourneys.  There are two subregional sites (Charlotte in 2011; Greensboro in 2012) within the friendly confines of North Carolina, but a grand total of zero regionals and certainly not a F4. 
  • On the flip side, the West Regional looks EXTREMELY friendly to a certain blue/gold team from SoCal, with locations in Anaheim in 2011 (34 miles), Phoenix in 2012 (368 miles) and downtown LA in 2013 (11 miles).  Egads. 
  • We can’t recall the last time an NCAA Tournament game was in Louisville, and we always wondered why Freedom Hall stopped doing it.  Good to see the River City back on the list with its planned new 22k-seat arena. 
  • What’s with the NCAA renaming a region the “Southwest” Regional for one year only (San Antonio: 2011)?  Regardless of that, you can’t tell us that Rick Barnes hasn’t already circled the Tulsa/San Antonio/Houston pathway in his Iphone calendar as something to shoot for. 
  • Newark (2011 East Regional), really?  Looks like Cory Booker’s doing better than we thought there. 
  • Other than that, mostly the usual suspects.  We all know that it doesn’t really matter where the games are played – they’ll be exciting regardless.
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