Where 2017-18 Happens: Reason #20 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 22nd, 2017

As RTC heads into its 11th season covering college hoops, it’s time to begin releasing our annual compendium of YouTube clips that we like to call Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball. These 30 snippets from last season’s action are completely guaranteed to make you wish the 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 10. You can find all of this year’s released posts here.

#20 – Where Magic of March Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 preseasons.

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Settle In With 68 NCAA Tournament Facts

Posted by Will Ezekowitz on March 16th, 2017

March is complicated. What follows is an attempt to make some sense of the madness and to give you solid statistical grounding in order to justify your decisions. That way, when your bracket is ruined, it will be because of bad luck rather than bad process. Here are 68 important statistical facts about the NCAA Tournament, mostly based around potential match-ups. Data has been gathered from kenpom.com, hooplens, hoop-math and ESPN.com.

The First Four Whetted Our Appetite — Now It’s Time to Get Serious (USA Today Images)

  1. Even though Maryland is the #6 seed against Xavier, the Musketeers have a better KenPom ranking and are favored to win the game.
  2. However, since point guard Edmond Sumner was injured 10 games ago, Xavier has been giving up more threes at a higher percentage. With a 3PA/FGA of 40.8, compared to the Division I average of 36.4, Maryland is heavily reliant on the three-ball.
  3. Baylor’s opponents have an assist rate of 58.2 percent, second highest in the field. SMU’s assist rate of 62.5 percent ranks sixth in the field and 10th nationally.
  4. Creighton attempts a larger proportion (34.2%) of its initial field goals in transition than any other team in the field. The Bluejays’ opponent, Rhode Island, allows opponents to shoot just 20.1 percent of their attempts in transition, the fourth lowest mark in the field.
  5. Rhode Island also allows opponents to earn just 21.3 percent of their points from three-pointers. The Bluejays tend to rely on the three, getting 32.0 percent of their points from beyond the arc.
  6. Saint Mary’s is ranked 14th on KenPom and VCU is ranked 50th, resulting in the site giving the Gaels a 71 percent chance of winning their game.
  7. West Virginia relies on forcing turnovers, but possible Second Round opponent Notre Dame has the lowest turnover rate in the country and Princeton has the 11th-lowest.
  8. Kansas and Iowa State played each other twice this season. Each team won once on the other’s home floor, and the combined score of the two games was 165-164 in favor of the Jayhawks.
  9. But Nevada could be a good match-up with Iowa State, as the Wolfpack are an above average rebounding team, while the Cyclones — with only one regular standing above 6’5” — are below average in both categories.
  10. Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado averages 4.9 offensive rebounds per game, leading the nation. Arkansas ranks 326th nationally in defensive rebounding rate.
  11. Led by Reggie Lynch, Minnesota has a block rate of 16.2 percent, third-best nationally. Middle Tennessee, though, ranks fifth in the country in avoiding blocks, at 5.8 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
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Where 2016-17 Happens: Reason #10 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on November 2nd, 2016

As RTC heads into its 10th season — Season X, if you will — covering college basketball, it’s time to begin releasing our annual compendium of YouTube clips that we like to call Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball. These 30 snippets from last season’s action are 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 11. You can find all of this year’s released posts here.

#10 – Where Aggies Comeback Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15 and 2015-16 preseasons.

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Where 2016-17 Happens: Reason #23 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 20th, 2016

As RTC heads into its 10th season — Season X, if you will — covering college basketball, it’s time to begin releasing our annual compendium of YouTube clips that we like to call Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball. These 30 snippets from last season’s action are 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 11. You can find all of this year’s released posts here.

#23 – Where The Madness of March Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15 and 2015-16 preseasons.

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68 NCAA Tournament Facts Heading Into Madness…

Posted by William Ezekowitz on March 17th, 2016

Here’s a dirty little secret about March Madness. The difference between a bad bracket and a good bracket is skill, but the difference between a good bracket and a great bracket is luck. Anyone who has won their pool has gotten lucky. A lot of these games are basically coin flips or won by buzzer-beaters, and nobody can predict that kind of thing. You just have to hope enough of those breaks go in your favor. Where you can distance yourself from your competition, though, is in the 60-40 or 55-45 games. If you can figure out which team has a slight advantage and pick enough of those teams with those slight advantages, odds are something will break your way one of these years. That is the purpose of these 68 Facts, to help isolate some favorable and unfavorable matchups going into the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully they will help your bracket — or at least help you justify your bracket to yourself, which is debatably more important anyway. Let’s get to it.

March is Here (USA Today Images)

March is Here (USA Today Images)

  1. California is 18-0 at home and 5-10 on the road or at neutral sites.
  1. Providence’s Kris Dunn hasn’t looked like himself lately, scoring single-figures in three of his last six games, after having just two such outputs in his first 25 games.
  1. Kentucky has the lowest defensive assist percentage in the country. Indiana gets assists on an above-average proportion of its field goals.
  1. Of Dayton’s seven losses, five have come when one of the Flyers’ three best players, Charles Cooke, Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard, was not playing. All three are healthy and eligible for the NCAA Tournament.
  1. Cal State Bakersfield’s 25th-most efficient defense is anchored by the 16th-best steal rate in the nation. Oklahoma surrenders steals at a rate that is 300th-best in the country.
  1. Iowa had the nation’s fifth-best offense through 22 games. In the last nine games, accompanied with a record of 3-6, the Hawkeyes were at the D-I average.

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Where 2015-16 Happens: Reason #2 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on November 12th, 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.

#2 – Where March Magic 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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A Column of Enchantment: I am Miserable So You Will Be Too

Posted by Joseph Nardone on March 19th, 2015

A Column of Enchantment has been a fun and weird thing since it debuted a few months ago on Rush the Court. When Randy and I discussed the idea of it — a barely about college basketball college basketball column — he got what I was trying to pitch. The basic premise of it was that there were no real actual premise or structure to it. That being said, I have often relied upon the touching of three major topics after I meet you with the opening paragraph. In that particular structure we have compared Kentucky to Lobsters battling Unicorns, talked about Christian Slater being awesome and often talked about my man-crush on Fred Hoiberg. Other times I don’t even actually cover college basketball. I’ll talk about Dancing With The Stars and mask the absurdity of doing so by adding a few college hoops figures to the cast. Then there’s the time I wrote a fictional Steve Lavin story and, well, people seemed to enjoy it. Basically, the easiest way to describe this column: utter poop-show of sometimes awesomeness.

Much like this North Florida band member Wednesday evening, this week's Column of Enchantment is going through sort of a crisis. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Much like this North Florida band member Wednesday evening, this week’s Column of Enchantment is going through sort of a crisis. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

All in all, A Column of Enchantment has been about fun, bad jokes, even worse analogies, often not talking about college basketball and mostly the idea that it is okay to not be a college basketball writer who takes himself too seriously. There are enough of those types of college basketbloggers in the world — not to mention those who are void of personality or seem to have no earthly idea what they are talking about. There are good ones too. That is certainly worth mentioning. In my less than humble opinion I think that the college basketball media world is packed with the best group of any of the groups of sports writing out there. Regardless, I just wanted A Column of Enchantment to help break up your day as well as mine, bring a smile to the dozen of you guys who read (and enjoy) this and even poke fun at myself.

Yet here I am. A miserable fellow. Things have been tough on your good ole pal Joe lately. That’s not something you care to hear about, I know — and honestly, I really don’t give a fudge. Other sports writers scribble their thoughts for money, fame, validation or other tangible reasons. I put mine on the laptop because I like feeling creative and it has always been a way to relieve stress. Even if it means I don’t add anything extra to the discourse that is the sport. That’s probably not fair — and is a certainly a horrible way to go writing about sports — but that’s my style. If you are like some of the people who have somehow found my email address (when I didn’t have it publicly listed) and decided to email me to tell me you like my stuff but think I am a bit too kooky, you can go to the other site where I write on the topic of college hoops more seriously. But for now you’re here at RTC, reading A Column of Enchantment, so you are going to listen me whine a bit. Stop reading now if you don’t want to deal with it. With that being said, though, I’ll still try to manage to hurl in some bad jokes for you too because I’m most certainly a man of the people.

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March Madness is here. Like, for real here. It is my favorite time of the year and probably yours too. I mean, there’s nothing like a little unpaid labor making millions upon millions of dollars for universities who do everything in their power to keep those without it from having some. Those unpaid laborers are also playing some single-game elimination hoops for our entertainment. Since we have long ago been able to compartmentalize those facts, which has allowed us to enjoy said Tournament without guilt, we should all be incredibly happy. Expect, um, I am not.

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A Column of Enchantment: Madness is Here and it’s Enchanting

Posted by Joseph Nardone on March 12th, 2015

Did you guys notice that the insides of our skulls, otherwise known as our craniums, are acting weird? Don’t panic. This isn’t a new disease or anything. It has been going on for a bit over a week, seems to only come along during this part of the calendar year, and it inevitably results in people who had a lighter diagnosis of this same illness when the college basketball season was young now having a full-blown case of the Madness. Nevertheless, you are sick. You have the sickies. It is like a combination of SARS and a urinary tract infection. Luckily for you, though, there are cures. Multiple fixes of this gosh slam abomination of mild-altering yucks. All you need to do is watch the basketball on the picture-box or, for you hip kids, stream games on your laptop or mobile cellular and non-cellular devices. Man, it’s the future! Doc Brown would be so proud.

Are you ready?

Are You Ready?

However, some of you people are so far from help that there is no cure. You have spent your entire October until now just watching men hit other men because of a football or something and using any time that is not related to violence watching your relationship with your lover significantly crumble under the watchful eyes of Robert Kirkman. I mean, the new Walking Dead spin-off will certainly not help your marriage. Well, unless you and your loved one use it as a preparatory tool for the impending zombie invasion — and trust me, it is near.

Wait. Time out. Something about basketball and disease. Oh, yeah, that’s right. You’re going to die. Not like right now or anything, but pretty soon in the grand scheme of things. I don’t know how old you are because I lack the ability to see you through my laptop (or do I?). Let’s just say for the sake of round numbers you are 20. That means, unless tragedy strikes you early, you have a good 50 to 70 years left on this planet. That’s unless the FDA approves my patent pending drink called “drink,” which will allow you to live until you are 450 years old (we just started the testing on unicorns phase and I must say that they haven’t died yet). Dying is not fun. I don’t know from experience, but not a single dead person has come to me, tweeted at me or emailed me to tell me otherwise. I guess there is a small chance that being dead is so much fun that they are too busy giving Jesus H. Christ the business to be readily available for some hot takes on Twitter. Really, who knows. Not me. Certainly not you because you are not me. Only the dead people and their god(s) know. And you know what? F-them for not sharing the details. Read the rest of this entry »

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Circle of March: Vol. I

Posted by rtmsf on March 2nd, 2015

Welcome to the fourth annual Circle of March.

If you’ve been around with us for a while, you already know the premise behind this series; and if you’re not familiar with it, thanks for checking in! What we try to do with this series is to celebrate that March is now here and it’s time for postseason basketball to envelop our bodies and souls for the next five weeks until the sport crowns a new champion. As of today — the first Monday of Championship Fortnight — 333 of the nation’s 351 Division I men’s programs are eligible to win the 2015 National Championship. Those schools can be found somewhere on the below circle. Eighteen other schools are ineligible for the NCAA Tournament because they have low APR scores, are on a self-imposed probation, or are still transitioning into Division I. We have already removed those names and wish each of them the best of luck in making it onto the CoM in future seasons. Because we want every eligible team to get at least one day of run on the Circle, though, we have chosen not to formally remove any of the other already-eliminated schools until Tuesday’s Vol. II edition ahead of the start of conference tournament games. Bubble teams also won’t be removed until they’re officially disregarded by the NCAA Selection Committee in two weeks. It just seems nicer this way.

In previous years you might recall we added a game component to Volume I of the CoM (scroll through the last three Circles of March here). This year’s version is no different and so we’ve once again added a crossword puzzle element to it. See if you can locate the 10 names of coaches and players hidden within the Circle likely to make some noise in March (note: make sure to click on the image for a larger and clearer view). The first 15 people who tweet at us (@rushthecourt) or e-mail us (rushthecourt@yahoo.com) with the 10 correct hidden words will receive a free RTC t-shirt. For a bonus challenge, there are also four groupings of schools surreptitiously clustered in areas of the CoM that refer to the following: 1) the unbeaten national champions; 2) the schools currently riding a streak of two or more consecutive automatic bids; 3) the national champions with 10 or more losses; 4) the __________ (see if you can figure out the fourth cluster — it relates to NCAA Tournament appearances and Final Fours). Have fun!

Here is the 2015 Circle of March. Welcome to March Madness.

2015_CircleofMarch_1

Maybe next year for this group.

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Where 2014-15 Happens: Reason #27 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 19th, 2014

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2014-15 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 November 14. 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. For all of this year’s released posts, click here

#27 – Where AND ONE!! Happens.

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-13 and 2013-14 preseasons.

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