Where 2011-12 Happens: Reason #22 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 13th, 2011

Another preseason preview gives us reason to roll out the 2011-12 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season 100% guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. We’ve captured the most compelling moments from the 2010-11 season, many of which will bring back the goosebumps and some of which will leave you shaking your head in frustration. For the complete list of this year’s reasons, click here. Enjoy!

#22 – Where DJ Game Winner Happens

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 seasons.

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Where 2011-12 Happens: Reason #26 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 8th, 2011

Another preseason preview gives us reason to roll out the 2011-12 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season 100% guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. We’ve captured the most compelling moments from the 2010-11 season, many of which will bring back the goosebumps and some of which will leave you shaking your head in frustration. For the complete list of this year’s reasons, click here. Enjoy!

#26 – Where Don’t Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out Happens

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 seasons.

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Analyzing the Major Conference Awards

Posted by rtmsf on March 11th, 2011

Amidst all the hullabaloo about conference tournament action this week, it might have been easy to overlook the major conference awards that were handed out earlier this week.  We thought it would be a good idea to get them all in one place and see if anything weird happened.  We’ll first list the teams from each of the BCS conferences plus the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West, and then add some quick thoughts after each one.

ACC All-Conference Team

  • Nolan Smith- Guard- Duke
  • Malcolm Delaney- Guard- Virginia Tech
  • Reggie Jackson- Guard- Boston College
  • Kyle Singler- Forward- Duke
  • Jordan Williams- Forward- Maryland

Player of the Year- Nolan Smith- Guard- Duke

Coach of the Year- Roy Williams- North Carolina

Freshman of the Year- Harrison Barnes- Forward- North Carolina

Quick Thoughts. We have no issues with these selections. It is interesting that North Carolina won the regular season title and had zero guys on the first team, although, the Heels put Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson on the conference’s second team, and Kendall Marshall on the third team (even though he didn’t start half the season).  And as much as Barnes was criticized this year for not living up to oversized expectations, he still managed to win ACC FrOY and make the second team.

Big East All-Conference Team

  • Ben Hansbrough- Guard- Notre Dame
  • Kemba Walker- Guard- Connecticut
  • Dwight Hardy- Guard- St. John’s
  • Marshon Brooks- Guard- Providence
  • Ashton Gibbs- Guard- Pittsburgh
  • Austin Freeman- Guard- Georgetown

Player of the Year- Ben Hansbrough – Guard- Notre Dame

Coach of the Year- Mike Brey- Notre Dame

Freshman of the Year- Cleveland Melvin- Forward- DePaul

Quick Thoughts.  An argument could be made that Kemba Walker should have been player of the year, but Hansbrough was the best player on a team that finished second in the conference; Connecticut finished ninth (notwithstanding his play this week thus far). An argument can also be made that Syracuse big man Rick Jackson deserved a spot on the first team, as he was an inside scoring and rebounding stalwart for the third place Orange. While Brey was probably the strongest candidate for coach of the year, it would have been reasonable to consider Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and St. John’s Steve Lavin.

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RTC Top 25: Week 9

Posted by rtmsf on January 10th, 2011

With all the ranked teams losing over the weekend, there was quite a bit of movement after the top six teams in this week’s poll.  QnD analysis after the jump…

(ed. note: we revised the original Top 25 after a data entry error surfaced)

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RTC Top 25: Week 4

Posted by rtmsf on December 6th, 2010

Not a lot of movement at the top of the polls this week as we move into the part of the schedule where schools generally lighten their loads around exams.  This poll will likely look very much the same through the holiday season.  Quick n’ dirty analysis after the jump…

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Morning Five: 06.30.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on June 29th, 2010

  1. This is around the time of the year when the felonies start.  We guess that players get out of school, start feeling the summer heat and lose their minds.  Or something.  UNLV’s Tre’Von Willis, a first team all-MWC junior guard last season, was arrested Tuesday on felony charges of domestic battery by strangulation and grand larceny.  The person Willis allegedly strangled was his 28-year old girlfriend, which begs the question whether Willis may have been watching old Chapelle episodes before the incident.  There’s been no comment from UNLV head coach Lon Kruger yet, but obviously Willis is a big part of what he is expecting to put on the floor next season.  It’ll be interesting to see how he handles this one.
  2. We figure that you’ve been on pins and needles all summer waiting for this decision, but the WAC announced yesterday that it will not expand in 2011.  What does this mean?  Well, with the loss of Boise State to the MWC after the 2010-11 season, the WAC will operate as an eight-team league for at least one year.  How quaint — an eight-team league.
  3. What, no Craigslist?  This AP report examines the secondary market for tickets to NCAA events in light of the recent Kansas scandal.  Although we didn’t know that the NCAA had embraced Razorgator as its online ticket broker, it’s nice to see folks waking up as to how many people acquire ducats to these events.
  4. So how much will Colorado have to pay for the privilege of leaving the Big 12 and moving to the Pac-10?  Probably about $10M more than they expected (had the Big 12 dissolved, as they undoubtedly thought would happen).
  5. Coach K will talk one-on-one with Alabama football head coach Nick Saban on Wednesday night on Sirius XM radio, and we’re half tempted to listen to it just to see if the irresistible force/immovable object thing is really true.  Well, that and to see if the Russian spies show up.
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Realignment Rumors: On Today’s Pac-10/Big 12 Rumblings

Posted by jstevrtc on June 3rd, 2010

Andrew Murawa is the RTC correspondent for the Pac-10 and Mountain West Conferences and an occasional contributor.

That sound you just heard may have been the proverbial first domino creaking a little. Today, Orangebloods.com columnist Chip Brown reported that, in advance of the Pac-10 meetings which begin this weekend in San Francisco, the Pac-10 is set to invite six Big 12 schools to join in the creation of the first superconference of the new era of college sports. Brown reports that Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech will be the schools invited, leaving Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska behind. All this comes on the heels of the Big 12 meetings, wrapping up on Friday, which opened with a plea by commissioner Dan Beebe for a united front among member institutions and a commitment to the conference. Obviously, this rumor has huge ramifications for the Big 12 and the Pac-10, but the ripple effect of such a move would be felt across the college sports landscape. We’ll take a look here at the specifics of this rumor and how this rumor could affect other conferences around the country.

Why is this man smiling? Beebe has his work cut out for him. (AP/Mike Fuentes)

The Pac-16. Or Big 16. Or the Great New Superconference

According to the Brown article, which cites multiple unnamed sources, the new conference would be divided into two eight-team divisions with the six Big 12 schools joining Arizona and Arizona State in an Eastern or Inland Division and Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State forming the Western or Coastal Division. Then, with the aid of Fox Sports Net, already an operating partner with the Big Ten Network and television partner with both the Pac-10 and Big 12 conferences, the league would create its own cable network akin to the BTN. Perhaps coupled with new television contracts with ABC/ESPN, Fox, CBS, Turner or any other bidders, the projected revenues of the new conference (which would encompass seven of the top 20 television markets in the country) could rival those of the SEC or even the Big Ten.

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Big East: We Won’t Sit Idly By and Wait For the Big Ten Pillagers

Posted by rtmsf on May 28th, 2010

Andrew Murawa is the RTC correspondent for the Mountain West and Pac-10 conferences and an occasional contributor.

There was plenty of news that came out of this week’s Big East spring meetings: elimination of the double-bye in the Big East basketball tournament and the approved use of high-definition monitors for football replays (consider me amazed that this wasn’t the norm already), but there was also the underlying issue of the looming Big Ten expansion and how that will affect the Big East.

The most interesting line of the week came from rookie Big East commissioner John Marinatto, who said he is playing the Bud Fox to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany’s Gordon Gekko (two characters from the 1987 movie Wall Street). “I feel like I’m Bud Fox and he’s Gordon Gekko,” Marinatto said. “He’s always honest and helpful with me. He’s brilliant and creative — just like Gordon Gekko — he knew all the corners to cut. He understands the landscape.” While the quote comes across as mostly complimentary towards Delany, it also underlines the fact that this is a high-stakes business situation, and begs the question as to whether greed is indeed good for the NCAA and its conferences.

Greed is Good?

But, despite Marinatto’s respect for his sparring partner here, he also made it clear that with all that is at stake for the Big East, they are not just sitting idly by and waiting to see what the Big Ten is going to do.  When the Big East lost Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC in 2004 and 2005, the Big East was able to respond by adding all-sport schools Cincinnati, Louisville and South Florida and basketball-only schools DePaul and Marquette to create a new and improved version of the conference, one that morphed into arguably the best basketball conference in the country. But with the Big Ten rumored to be interested in current Big East schools like Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse (amongst others), once again they are on the defensive. “I look at this situation as another threat certainly,” Marinatto said. “It would be irresponsible not to be concerned about it. We’re trying to position ourselves as best we can. In my mind, you always play out what it is you might do, but we certainly can’t do that in a public forum.”

Fortunately, we, and others, can do that in a public forum. The New York Post has reported that representatives from the Big East have already had discussions with Atlantic 10 schools like Dayton, Duquesne, St. Joseph’s and Xavier about possibly joining up in the event of the Big East losing teams to the Big Ten. There has been speculation elsewhere about schools like Buffalo, Central Florida and East Carolina as all-sport replacements in case of the potential loss of, for instance, Pitt and Syracuse. And there is even continued talk about the Big East laying down an ultimatum to Notre Dame: join us in football or leave us in the rest of your sports. The thinking here is that even if Notre Dame decides to leave and is left without a home for its non-football sports, it would be more apt to join up with the Big Ten, perhaps saving schools like Syracuse and Pitt from its elongated reach.

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RTC Daily Bracketbusters: Monday-Thursday

Posted by nvr1983 on February 21st, 2010

Even though ESPN likes to hype up its Bracketbuster day the fact is that the last few weeks of the season act like an elimination tournament with teams moving in and out of the NCAA Tournament while other teams move up and down on a daily basis. While each and every game could theoretically have an impact on the Bubble and NCAA seeding there are a few games that matter more than the others which we will feature over the next two weeks leading up to the conference tournaments. We will feature these in two posts per week. The first will be a post released on Sunday night for games from Monday through Thursday and the second will be a post released on Thursday night for games from Friday through Sunday.

#8 West Virginia at UConn at 7 PM on ESPN on Monday – The Mountaineers will need a miracle to get a #1 seed, but this is a “must-win” if UConn wants to get into the NCAA Tournament. After this game the Huskies do not have another opponent that would impress the Selection Committee until they begin the Big East Tournament. Despite the fact that their “ceiling” is probably a #2 seed this game is also very important for the Mountaineers who need to be careful here because they finish with a tricky stretch with this game being following by games at home against Cincinnati and Georgetown then a trip to Villanova before the Big East Tournament. If the Mountaineers do not finish strong (at least 2-2) they could be looking at a #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Ebanks is the X-factor for West Virginia

#22 Texas A&M at #24 Baylor at 9 PM on ESPNU on Wednesday – This is one game that does not feature a bubble team since both of these teams are in the NCAA Tournament, but this game does have big seeding implications. Right now these teams are competing for the #3 spot in the Big 12 behind Kansas and Kansas State. Both of these teams could fall anywhere from a #5 seed to a #8 seed and the difference for both could well be this game. Texas A&M has been playing well lately with only one loss this month (by 5 to Kansas). Up until Saturday when they lost in Stillwater, Baylor had not lost since they traveled to College Station. Now the Bears welcome the Aggies to Waco hoping to return the favor as inhospitable hosts. Both teams have favorable schedules down the stretch (read: no Kansas or Kansas State) so the winner of this has the inside track along with Texas for that coveted #3 seed in the Big 12 Tournament to avoid Kansas in the semifinals and get a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Oklahoma State at #21 Texas at 9 PM on ESPN2 on Wednesday – The Cowboys picked up a big win on Saturday against Baylor, which should put them on the inside of the Bubble, but they are entering a difficult 3-game stretch: at Texas, home against Kansas, and at Texas A&M. Winning 2 of 3 should ensure that the Cowboys get in to the NCAA Tournament, but if they lose all 3 games (not an unreasonable proposition) they will be sweating it out on Selection Sunday. As for the Longhorns, we are not sure what to say about them at this point. Outside of UNC there has not been a more disappointing team in the nation–the Tar Heels have a safe lead in this category–yet we know that they are the one underachieving team that nobody wants to see in the pod when the brackets come out. Right now people have them in the #5-6 range, but they have a 4 very winnable games to finish the regular season (at Texas A&M and Baylor will be challenging as both teams took the Longhorns to OT in Austin earlier this year, but the Longhorns should expect to win those games). If they can get their act together, this team could get back to a #3-4 seed given their 3 wins (and counting) against the RPI top 25. If they don’t they could slip down to the #8-9 range, which could make for a very interesting 2nd round match-up in the NCAA Tournament for a #1 seed.

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Checking in on… the Mountain West

Posted by rtmsf on December 11th, 2009


Andrew Murawa is the RTC correspondent for the Mountain West Conference.

Standings (as of 12/10)

  1. New Mexico      9-0
  2. UNLV     7-0         
  3. BYU        7-1
  4. San Diego State    7-2         
  5. Air Force      5-2         
  6. Colorado State     6-3
  7. Utah     5-4         
  8. TCU      5-4
  9. Wyoming   4-4         


Team of the Week. Utah – I’m not sure why, but I’m just fascinated with this team. There’s no real point guard here, but there are several different guys that can handle a little and make an amazing play, only to follow it up by turning it over on consecutive possessions. Their most athletically-gifted player (junior Carlon Brown) can do a ton of useful things, but unfortunately, shooting from the outside consistently is not one of them. They have a 7’3 monster in the middle in sophomore David Foster, and can run out a starting five that goes 6’4, 6’5, 6’7, 6’10, 7’3, and yet they get outrebounded by Idaho State. They can go through a whole game with only a handful of assists one night, then have senior guard Luka Drca run the offense like a dream the next. And here we are, almost a month into the season, and I still have no idea what to expect from this team. Head coach Jim Boylen could pull an Izzo and get this team together to compete for a conference title. Or more likely, they mix in a handful of wins over teams like BYU, New Mexico and UNLV with sleepy losses to Air Force, Wyoming and Colorado State on the way to a middle-of-the-pack finish. Either way, give credit to the Utes for pulling it together long enough to string together a couple wins this week, including a strong performance against slumping Michigan on Wednesday night.

Player of the Week. Roman Martinez, Sr, New Mexico – Three times we’ve caught up with the MWC, and three times a Lobo has taken home these honors. Martinez gets the nod this week after Darrington Hobson’s previous two wins, following a week in which nets from Albuquerque to San Diego have cowered in fear under Martinez’s gaze. In two games, Martinez knocked down 13 three pointers (on just 17 attempts) and racked up an average of 23.5 points a game.  Throw in eight rebounds and five steals against New Mexico State, and a couple more wins for his undefeated team and things are looking up down in The Pit.

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