RTC Live: Morgan State @ Louisville

Posted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2009

RTCLive

This time, we travel to Louisville where Rick Pitino and his Cardinals have a date with MEAC favorites Morgan State on Sunday, November 22. Morgan State is 3-0 and are led by their versatile senior guard Reggie Holmes (currently averaging 25.3 PPG over those three games this season) and sophomore forward Kevin Thompson (9.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG). Just about everyone is familiar with the Edgar Sosa/Samardo Samuels/Reggie Delk attack that has proven effective for the 2-0 Cards, but this is the second of three straight days with games for Louisville; they knocked off East Tennessee State on Saturday, then have the Bears to deal with on Sunday and Appalachian State on Monday, the latter two as part of the Hall Of Fame Showcase. We hope you’ll join us on Sunday afternoon as we’ll be courtside at Freedom Hall for another edition of RTC Live.

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2009-10 Conference Primers: #31: MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on October 6th, 2009

seasonpreview 09-10

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the MEAC and SWAC conferences.  Click here for all of our 2009-10 Season Preview materials.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Morgan State (22-9)
  2. North Carolina A&T (17-14)
  3. South Carolina State (16-12)
  4. Coppin State (14-13)
  5. Bethune-Cookman (14-16)
  6. Hampton (12-18)
  7. Delaware State (10-17)
  8. Norfolk State (9-19)
  9. Florida A&M (9-16)
  10. Howard (4-23)
  11. Winston-Salem State (4-26)
  12. UMES (3-27)

All-Conference Team:

  • Tavarus Alston (G) – North Carolina A&T – Should lead the MEAC in assists this season, and could be a scoring threat as well.
  • Reggie Holmes (G) – Morgan State – 3rd leading scorer and leading 3pt shooter in the MEAC in 08 will expand his role in 09.
  • Jason Flagler (F) – South Carolina State – Dynamic scorer is SC State’s best chance at post-season success.
  • Neal Pitt (F) – UMES– Tenacious rebounder and defensive force under the basket will lead conference in glass cleaning for second straight season.
  • Kevin Thompson (C) – Morgan State – Could emerge as a secondary scoring option in the low post, and will fill role as interior stopper.
  • Alexander Starling (6th Man, F) – Bethune-Cookman –Versatile forward is Bethune-Cookman’s primary scoring option.

MEAC_logo

What You Need to Know.  The MEAC is a mid-major conference that, while among the lowest rated in RPI, is among the more recognized brands in college basketball outside of power conference competition. The MEAC champion has won three first-round tournament games in the last 20 years, and has produced tough out of conference wins over quality competition in the last three years. (Morgan State defeating Maryland, Hampton defeating George Mason in 2008)

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RTC Mascot Death Match: Sweet Sixteen Matches

Posted by rtmsf on March 26th, 2009

Ok, we’re ready for the Sweet Sixteen of Mascot Death Match.  Things are starting to heat up.  Who is your favorite?  Voting will be open the next couple of days.

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Behind the Lines: NCAA Tournament Day One

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

btl-header

This edition of Behind the Lines is emanating from Las Vegas. The Obsessed With Sports crew will be enjoying the first weekend of the tournament from the sports betting capital of the world.

Thursday, March 19th

The 8 versus 9 games are very close, as they should be.

Butler (9) vs Louisiana State (8) -2.5

Behind The Line: Take a look at the over on this one–it’s at about 127. Butler has consistently been going over numbers in this area while LSU scores a lot more than other Horizon League teams.

Texas A&M (9) vs Brigham Young (8) -2

Behind The Line: Both teams have been very good as far as covering as of late. They are a combined 14-6 in their last 20 games. In this case, the spread might play a more minimal role.

Gonzaga is no stranger to being a double digit favorite.

Akron (13) vs Gonzaga (4) -12.5

Behind The Line: Gonzaga is 7-6 this season when they have been favored by double digits.

Connecticut is also familiar with large spreads.

Chattanooga (16) vs Connecticut (1) -20

Behind The Line: UConn is a misleading 3-7 when they are double digit favorites. I say this because a number of their non-conference games didn’t even have lines because they weer favored by so much. Also playing a large role is the competition in the Big East, against whom the Huskies were still favored by more than 10.

According to Bodog the longest shots to win the whole shebang are Binghamton, Morehead State, Morgan State, Radford, Robert Morris and Chattanooga at 1750:1, respectively.

More from Vegas as the week progresses!

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South Region Game by Game Previews – 1st Round

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

North Carolina v. Radford (#1 v. #16)

This is probably the most interesting 1 v. 16 in the tournament. North Carolina will be heavily favored, and will probably win the game, but the Radford Highlanders are no slouch. They have four players that score in double digits, led by 7-foot-0 Artsiom Parakhouski, who is leading the team in scoring (16.3), rebounding (11.2). Matching Parakhouski with Tyler Hansbrough will be fun to watch. One analyst said the Tar Heels don’t even need to start Ty Lawson, but this is the NCAA Tournament, if he is ready to go, he will play.

The Tar Heels are more talented and deeper than Radford, so this wouldn’t be the game to hope for a monumental upset. Radford’s best win is against VMI in the Big South Conference Final, and they have been blown out by every team they have played in a major conference. I will still tune in, just to see Hansborough post up Parakhouski.

LSU v. Butler (#8 v. #9)

This game pits two teams that were under-seeded by the NCAA and as a result, will give the viewers a competitive, fast-paced game to watch. Both teams are in the middle of the tournament pack in terms of offensive and defensive efficiency but they both have great athletes and fun players to watch.

The key match-up will be on the wing where Butler’s Gordon Hayward and LSU’s Marcus Thornton will see a lot of each other. Both players can light it up offensively in a number of ways. Matt Howard and Chris Johnson should be a good one down low. Johnson has a significant height advantage, but Howard scores  a lot of points of hustle, and can be a crafty scorer in the post.

Illinois v. Western Kentucky (#5 v. #12)

Everyone’s trendy upset pick is looking even better with the news that the Illini senior point guard, and best defender, Chester Frazier, is a “long shot” to play according to coach Bruce Weber. But, the Hilltoppers are not the same team they were last year when they made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to UCLA; however, they are good.

Illinois has not played well away from home (4-6), and Portland is quite a trip from Champaign. The Illini have not shot well from the field, and they will need to get Mike Davis (11.6 pts/game, 53.2 FG%) involved early if they want to keep up. The Hilltoppers have four players between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-5 who average double digits and they will run away with this one if the Illini aren’t careful.

Gonzaga v. Akron (#4 v. #13)

I don’t think this game will be as close as many people think. The ‘Zags are one of the hottest teams in the country having won 18 out of their last 20 games, and dismantled Saint Mary’s 83-58 in the WCC Final.

The ‘Zags are in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and Akron just does not have the firepower or the athleticism to keep up with Gonzaga for 40 minutes. Akron has the advantage in depth though. The Zips can go ten deep, and defend well. If they can wear down Jeremy Pargo, they have a chance.

Arizona State v. Temple (#6 v. #11)

Anyone who thinks these teams are both one-man shows is sadly mistaken. There is absolutely no doubt the Sun Devils’ James Harden and the Owls’ Dionte Christmas can take over a game offensively, the there will be another battle to keep an eye on down low.

ASU’s Jeff Pendergraph (14.5/8.4/66.5%) and Temple’s Lavoy Allen (10.9/8.9/57.9%) will be banging on the low blocks, and crashing the glass will be extremely important for both teams. The role players will be the deciding factor in this game, and if ASU point guard Derek Glasser minimizes mistakes, and finds Harden often, ASU has the advantage over the surprising Owls.

Syracuse v. Stephen F. Austin (#3 v. #14)

The Orange enter the tournament playing some of their best basketball of the season, and despite their fatiguing run through the Big East Tournament are a heavy favorite over the Lumberjacks. Jonny Flynn and Andy Rautins have been absolutely on fire, and there is no one on the Lumberjacks roster to match up with them.

The Lumberjacks are an interesting case. They are in the top 20 in defensive efficiency, but are 242nd in offensive efficiency. They beat Drake in December, but they also lost by 16 to Arkansas and 14 to Texas Tech, and neither one of those teams are as good as the ‘Cuse. The Lumberjacks will rotate in a lot of guys, and they only stand a chance if Syracuse isn’t fresh and comes out slow.

Clemson v. Michigan (#7 v. #10)

Both teams and their coaches come into the game with something to prove. The Tigers have to prove they are for real this year, and that they can make noise in the tournament, and the Wolverines need to prove their system works outside of the plodding Big Ten.

The game will feature two of the more athletic combo forwards in Clemson’s Trevor Booker and Michigan’s DeShawn Sims. It will be interesting to see if the two guard one another. But, the Wolverine offense goes as Manny Harris goes, but he is inconsistent as he has nine games with single-digit point totals. If Clemson’s KC Rivers can frustrate Harris, the Wolverines will have a tough time offensively.

Oklahoma v. Morgan State (#2 v. #15)

On paper, the Sooners have a clear advantage in every facet of the game, but the Bears have beaten both DePaul and Maryland, and played close games with Mississippi and St. Mary’s. The problem is, they don’t have anyone who can guard Blake Griffin, or Willie Warren.

Oklahoma has been struggling late and if ever there was a time to strike for Todd Bozeman’s club, now is the time. But they might not have enough weapons to keep up with the Sooners, and Griffin will get to have his way on the low blocks.

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NCAA Preview: Morgan State Bears

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Morgan State University (#15, South, Kansas City pod)

vs. Oklahoma (#2)
Thur. 3/19 at about 9:40 pm

Vegas Line:  +16

General Profile
Location:
Baltimore, MD
Conference:
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, automatic bid
Coach:
Todd Bozeman, Overall Record: 58-40
08-09 Record:
23-11 (14-3)
Last 12 Games:
11-1, won 5.
Best Win:
66-65, University of Maryland, 1-7-09
Worst Loss:
63-58, Florida A&M University, 1-17-09
Off. Efficiency Rating:
99.3 (210th)
Def. Efficiency Rating:
97.4 (92nd)

Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s):
Reggie Holmes, 16.9 ppg, 37.3 3pt%
Unsung Hero:
Kevin Thompson, 8.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg
Potential NBA Draft Pick(s):
None
Key Injuries:
No significant injuries.
Depth:
20.4% mins. (336th nationally)
Achilles Heel:
Poor Free Throw Shooting.  Only 66 percent as a team.
Will Make a Deep Run if…:
They stretch the Oklahoma defense and shoot well from three-point range
Will Make an Early Exit if…:
Blake Griffin takes more than seven shots.

NCAA History
Last Year Invited: First Bid in School History
Streak:
n/a
Best NCAA Finish:
n/a
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present):
n/a

Other
Six Degrees to Detroit:
Todd Bozeman once coached Jason Kidd, who had several epic battles against the Detroit Pistons as a member of the New Jersey Nets.
Distance to First Round Site:
963 Miles
School’s Claim to Fame:
Coached by former Cal Bear coach Todd Bozeman, who was banned from NCAA competition for eight years for improper payments to players.
School Wishes It Could Forget:
N/A
Prediction:
Morgan St. will shoot and defend well in the first half, but jitters will enable Oklahoma to pull away late.
Major RTC stories:
27 Down, 38 To Go

Preview written by: JC of HBCUSportsblog.com.

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27 Down, 38 To Go…

Posted by rtmsf on March 14th, 2009

There are twelve automatic bids today, so we’ll be updating these as the day moves forward…

#16 – Binghamton (23-8, 16-3 Am East).  Binghamton took care of business today against upstart UMBC to win their eleventh in a row and earn the school’s first ever NCAA bid.  Reggie Fuller had 19/10 and alleged non-POY DJ Rivera added 16/5 in the RTC home win.  We had more coverage on today’s BGTD.

Projected Seed: #16

Something to Remember: Binghamton is um, size-challenged.  Their tallest starter is the 6’6 Fuller.  And have you heard that Tony Kornheiser has an affinity for this school for some reason?  Yeah, we hadn’t either.

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#17 – Memphis (31-3, 19-0 CUSA). 25 straight wins in a row.  61 CUSA wins in row.  Memphis just keeps on truckin’, with another stellar defensive performance in holding Tulsa to 26% from the field and 2-14 from three.  This was also the 135th win for the Tiger senior class, who is focused on getting to #141, according to Coach Calipari.  Robert Dozier had 18/14 and Tyreke Evans had 18/5/6 in the same-old, same-old for Memphis.

Projected Seed: #2

STR:  We’re going to be a little contrarian here, but we’re not buying that Memphis is a national title contender this year.  Are they better than anticipated?  Absolutely.  Are they on the same level as UConn, Pitt, Louisville, UNC, etc.?  No freakin’ way.  Their defense is outstanding, statistically the very best in the land.  And CUSA is a better league than people tend to think it is.  But the fact of the matter here is that Memphis is playing with house money right now.  They were beaten by Georgetown, Xavier and Syracuse in the pre-conference slate.  Tennessee took them down to the last possession.  They rolled up Gonzaga in their building, but the Zags wilted in the face of their athletic defenders.  Memphis is a very good team – but they’re not going back to the F4.  Remember that you heard it here first.

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Make Your Case: Maryland Terrapins

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

makecase

As part of our ongoing quest to provide you with the best college basketball coverage in the nation, we have enlisted the help of some of the finest team-specific bloggers on the planet to help us. With the NCAA Selection Show coming up on March 15th there are still several teams on the proverbial “bubble”. We figured it might be interesting to see what kind of nonpartisan arguments these bloggers could make for their team deserving a spot in the NCAA tournament. We welcome any discussion of their arguments and praise or criticism of their reasoning in the comment section. If your team is on the “bubble” and you would like to submit something, please contact us at rushthecourt@gmail.com.

Marylandsubmitted by “bbroman” at Testudo Times.

Maryland lost last night to Wake Forest in a game that very well could have clinched their NCAA tourney bid. But they’re not done yet, not at all. Our mantra as Maryland fans all year has been 8-8 in conference, plus one in the ACC tourney, and they’re in the NCAAs. Right now, Maryland stands at 7-8 with one game left. Luckily, it’s against Virginia, the worst team in the ACC.

Maryland should get to “8-8 + 1″. They’re better than Virginia and better than NC State, who they’d likely play in the first round of the ACC tourney. They’ve already played against both and won both games. If they close out the way they’re supposed to, I can’t envision them getting left out.

There’s plenty of blemishes on their resume, of course: a loss to lowly Morgan State, a mid-50s RPI, a 41-point drubbing to Duke, a bad road record. But for every negative, there’s a positive that’s just as big. Two huge wins over top 10 teams Michigan St. and UNC, one of which was out-of-conference; a mid-20s strength of schedule; a solid record down the stretch; and of course, the biggest one: a .500 record in the toughest conference in basketball (that’s right Big East, I went there).

In the conference they play in, with the big wins they have, and a good strength of schedule, I can’t see the committee turning them away, provided they get to “8-8 + 1″. If they end up 7-9 in the ACC, there’s almost no chance. If they get to 8-8 and don’t get the win in the tournament, I wouldn’t hold my breath. But with two more wins, it should be a happy Sunday for all the Maryland fans out there.

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Checking in on the… SWAC & MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 27th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences. With the end of the regular season imminent, both conference wrap-ups are below this week.

SWAC Wrap-Up

And so it is nearly finished. A final act for the SWAC conference that is low on team talent, but with a few programs that have a legitimate shot of scoring more than 29 points against the number one seed in the national tournament.

Alabama State paces the conference, and is poised to eclipse 19 wins for the second-consecutive season. On their heels is Jackson State, with just two conference losses on the year and one courtesy of Alabama State.

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 20th, 2009

JC at HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the MEAC and SWAC Conferences.

A rebirth in hoops nation is taking place. You can see it in the hearts of mid-major loyalists everywhere, championing the chance for little schools to draw and keep the attention of the college basketball conscience.

There is no better example of this than in the MEAC, whose champion will likely present the best chance for a historically black college to advance in the national tournament. So let’s call this a born day for the underdog, and check out the week that was in the MEAC.

THIS WEEK

With little less than a month to go before the MEAC basketball tournament begins, two teams are picking up where the left off in 2008. Morgan State and Coppin State have emerged as two of the favorites in the latter part of the season, with Morgan having paced the conference for much of the season, while Coppin has mounted its annual late season flurry of conference wins.

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Weekly Bracketology – 02.09.09

Posted by zhayes9 on February 8th, 2009

A few notes:

  • As you’ll notice, I included a comment about each and every team in the bracket. I’ll be doing this in each of my final four brackets (2/16, 2/23, 3/2 and 3/7) as we head towards Selection Sunday.
  • Expect a Bubble Watch post from me on Thursday updating the current bubble picture, a feature that will run very similar to ESPN’s weekly bubble watch.
  • As always, any questions/comments/complaints about this week’s bracket, feel free to comment.

Automatic Bids: Boston University, Xavier, North Carolina, East Tennessee State, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Weber State, VMI, Michigan State, Long Beach State, Northeastern, Memphis, Butler, Princeton, Siena, Buffalo, Morgan State, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, Robert Morris, Morehead State, UCLA, Holy Cross, LSU, Davidson, Sam Houston State, Alabama State, North Dakota State, Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Utah State

Last Four In: Arizona, Miami, Nebraska, Michigan
Last Four Out: Wisconsin, BYU, UNLV, Kansas State
Next Four Out: Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Providence, Penn State
Also Considered: Georgetown, Texas A&M, Baylor, Creighton, Maryland, Saint Mary’s, Northwestern, Tulsa

020809-bracketology

1 Seeds

  • Connecticut- The #1 overall seed and #1 team in the polls, Connecticut boasts 6 wins against the top 50 and still has two contests against Pittsburgh remaining on the schedule.
  • Oklahoma- The Sooners have the most wins vs. the top 100 (15) of any team, but only 1 of those victories has come vs. the top 25. They’re the #2 overall seed.
  • North Carolina- The projected ACC champion has continued to win while Duke and Wake Forest slipped up multiple times. The showdown with Duke on Wednesday is for a #1 seed.
  • Pittsburgh- Despite two conference losses, Pitt garners the final #1 seed due to their #2 RPI, 4 wins vs. the top 25 and a much stronger non-conference resume than Louisville.

2 Seeds

  • Duke- Despite the throttling by Clemson, Duke still owns the top overall RPI and have 7 wins against the RPI top 50. They can reclaim the ACC automatic bid this week.
  • Louisville- A sexy 9-1 Big East record and 4 wins vs. the RPI top 25 keep Louisville a comfortable 2. They should watch out for pesky Notre Dame this week.
  • Michigan State- The projected Big Ten champion has stayed the same all season- Michigan State. A 7 RPI, 6 SOS and comfortable lead over Ohio State and Illinois means they should stay there.
  • Marquette- The final #2 seed goes to the fourth Big East team in the field already- Marquette. They slipped in Tampa but still 9-1 and 20 wins overall is enough to grab the honor.

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Checking in on the… MEAC

Posted by rtmsf on February 6th, 2009

JC of HBCUSportsBlog is the RTC correspondent for the SWAC and MEAC Conferences.

The big news in college sports this week was national signing day for high school football players. But basketball is king in the MEAC, so we look back on the obvious, the shocking and the downright ugly in this week’s wrap-up.

THIS WEEK – And here come the Coppin State Eagles. Again. Last year’s team ripped off eight of their last nine regular season contests heading in to the MEAC tournament, and you know the rest. They’ve won four in a row and five of their last seven after a murderous 2-13 start. Maybe there is something to taking so many out-of-conference beatings.

While the Eagles are rising, the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats are falling. The Wildcats were tops in the conference at the outset of conference play, but have lost their last three games at home, the last two to conference bottom feeders Delaware State and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Here’s what’s in between.

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