Sentimental Value: On the Notion of an ACC Regular Season Crown

Posted by Christopher Kehoe on March 14th, 2014

Since many of the ACC’s founding members sprang from what was known as the ‘Southern Conference’ in 1953, the ACC adopted many of the SoCon’s mannerisms and bylaws. The Southern Conference traditionally anointed a champion via their postseason tournament and out of that came their postseason automatic bid. Ever since the ACC formalized the wording of a similarly fateful decision in 1961, the ACC regular season title has been all but a formality. The idea behind awarding a postseason victor in a short and somewhat chaotic multi-day tournament setting was to provide a free-for-all environment that was both entertaining and unpredictable. This ACC Tournament gave lower seeded teams who had a less successful regular season a chance at making The Big Dance. And back in the day and age where these rules were first enacted, only 15 teams were awarded chances at the NCAA Tournament, making a bid all that more valuable and cherished.

Is ACC Tournament success a strong indicator of NCAA Tournament success?

Is the ACC Tournament success a strong indicator of NCAA Tournament success? Florida State parlayed a win in the tournament in 2012 into a solid showing in the Big Dance.

In a format where games are played on top of each other with little or no rest or time to prepare, less superior teams would essentially be able to pull a win out regardless of their records. But while all the other major conferences today at least recognize officially the regular season champion, why has the ACC lagged behind is perplexing to say the least. The ACC finally began paying homage to the regular season winners in 1990, and retroactively recognized the winners from 1954-1989 in that same year. But why it took them so long, and why more conferences do not go along with the Ivy League method of a regular season champion is beyond me. ESPN‘s entrance into the foray and emphasis placed on Championship Week may have something to do with it, glamorizing the end of season postseason tournaments as bubble bursting madness.

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ACC Bracket Watch: March 8 Update

Posted by Chris Kehoe on March 8th, 2014

A lot can change in the world of college hoops as it relates to the NCAA Tournament, and recently, a lot has. Since the last update we did in early February, Syracuse is no longer undefeated; Virginia is the regular season champion; and UNC has embarked on a mind-boggling winning streak. While the top tier of the ACC has become even more clear since Pittsburgh fell off the face of the Earth, most of the ACC bubble teams living in the #7-#10 seed range have largely disappointed on their way to the outside looking in — surely perennial bubbler and current ESPN personality Seth Greenberg can relate from his ACC days. But while tallies in the loss column have mounted high enough for Syracuse and Duke to be largely removed from #1 seed consideration, Virginia has quietly pushed itself into the discussion. The Cavaliers find themselves in this position thanks to its 16 conference wins and the startling point differential in which they secured them.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett must be ecstatic with the Cavaliers' most recent bracket projection (photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Virginia coach Tony Bennett must be ecstatic with the Cavaliers’ most recent bracket projection (photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

So while North Carolina and Virginia’s stocks are soaring, Syracuse and Duke have taken a hit. It remains to be seen if the ACC can land a bid outside of its top four programs, but at this juncture it seems improbable. Since the last update, Florida State and Pittsburgh have both fallen into a steep decline. Jamie Dixon’s team remains close, residing in and around most people’s ‘Last Four Out’ category, but the Seminoles are nowhere to be found. N.C. State also created some February rumblings about making a run at the bubble until the Wolfpack lost badly to Clemson and Miami in a period of two weeks. The ACC Tournament provides the sole venue for teams seeking an automatic bid, but a team running through the slate of Syracuse, UNC, Virginia and/or Duke seems rather daunting at this point.

‘Busting the Bracket’ Projected ACC Seeding*

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The RTC Podcast: Upset Weekend Edition

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2014

What a crazy weekend of college basketball. After more than enough upsets and upheavals to shake your fist at, the RTC Podcast is here to attempt to make some sense of all the early March Madness. To help us navigate through some of the morass, we asked ESPN analyst Andy Katz to join us for this week’s Rush the Take, and he was gracious enough to spend some time with us discussing the likes of Oklahoma State, the notion of talent vs. seed level, Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin, and what he’s looking forward to in terms of the bubble over the next week. It’s excellent stuff, and will more than get you ready for the week before Championship Week. Hosted by Shane Connolly, the guys also spend time talking over the miraculous ascent of Virginia, the equally miraculous descent of Kentucky, and everything in-between. Join us for a listen!

We’re going to be dropping podcasts/podblasts like crazy over the next five weeks of action, so make sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes so that you’ll get all of the episodes immediately downloaded to your listening device.

  • 0:00-7:39 – Virginia Sits Alone Atop the ACC
  • 7:39-9:38 – Upsets Abound This Weekend
  • 9:38-14:11 – Kentucky’s Season Spirals Downwards
  • 14:11-16:43 – Least Concerning Upsets
  • 16:43-20:43 – Most Encouraging Win
  • 20:43-28:16 – Rush The Take With ESPN’s Andy Katz
  • 28:16-31:58 – Future of Rushing the Court
  • 31:58-35:15 – Ranking New Mexico
  • 35:15-45:13 – Week Preview
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What’s Trending: Chris Walker’s Tattoos, a Sea of Golden Bears, Michael Cobbins Buggin’ Out…

Posted by Nick Fasulo (@nickfasuloSBN) on February 7th, 2014

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

Chris Walker Debuts for Florida

Finally, after sitting out the Gators first 21 games of the season, the much-hyped freshman Chris Walker made his first appearance for Billy Donovan.

The highly anticipated debut left us with a definitive highlight, but it was not really related to Walker’s box score.

A Sea of Golden Bears Fans

Perhaps it is the look yellow and blue gives when a filter is applied, but there’s  an abundance of gorgeous pictures and videos that were captured from Saturday’s wild scene at Haas Pavilion following Cal’s upset of then undefeated and No. 1 Arizona. Click on the image below or here to browse through the entire feed from Instagram.

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Where’s the Next RTC in the Pac-12?

Posted by Andrew Murawa (@AMurawa) on January 21st, 2014

Rushing the court: a rite of passage for college basketball fans; an endearing hallmark of the sport; the name of a pretty darn good college basketball blog. Last week’s “controversial” rushing of the court by Indiana fans after their win over Wisconsin got me thinking: What would it take for each of the schools in the Pac-12 to break out a good old-fashioned RTC this season? Now, there are some people who have come up with all the rules for when RTCing is allowable. We’ve even posted our own general guidelines around here in the past. But my own personal recommendation for court rushing (and a good, if dangerous, motto to live your life by): If it feels good, do it. So, if Washington State, say, wants to rush the court for a ho-hum mid-January win over Oregon State, for instance — hey, more power to ya. But RTCing anytime something marginally good happens ruins the specialness of it. So, what follows would be the most likely scenarios for possible court rushings in the Pac-12.

After Washington State Upset Gonzaga in 2006, Cougar Fans Filled The Court (Kody Whiteaker, AP Photo)

After Washington State Upset Gonzaga in 2006, Cougar Fans Filled The Court (Kody Whiteaker, AP Photo)

First, we’re going to group a bunch of schools together. What do Stanford, California, Arizona State, Utah, Colorado, Oregon State and Oregon have in common? Those are the seven remaining road games on Arizona’s schedule. These guys are all easy. If they beat #1 Arizona (even if the ranking changes) at home this year in just about any way – blowout, last-second buzzer-beater, or game getting called after the first possession with the home team up a hoop – you can expect to see an exodus of students from the stands out onto the court. And it will be good. And really, each of those schools has a fighting chance against the Wildcats and you have to figure at some point the ‘Cats will get caught. Maybe even twice. So, the expectation is that there is at least one RTC in the Pac in our near-future.

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ACC Basketball Twitter Must-Follows: Part I

Posted by Chris Kehoe on November 4th, 2013

In today’s increasingly technological world, so much of the daily breaking news and interaction happens over social media sites. Fans can interact with players, analysts and writers to voice their opinions and visa versa. ACC basketball is no different and has a large presence on Twitter. In the first of a three-segment series on some of the most insightful and entertaining ACC basketball accounts on Twitter, we take a deeper look at the conference-wide accounts that provide a wide breadth of knowledge across the ACC. The subsequent two parts will break down team-specific Twitter handles that are also worth a follow. These are some accounts worth checking out:

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Conference-Wide Twitter Follows

  • @ACCSports covers both ACC basketball and football; also located on accsports.com.
  • @ShaneRyanHere a staff writer at ESPN.com’s Grantland; also the editor of Tobacco Road Blues.
  • @lebrownlow Lauren Brownlow is a freelance writer for Fox Sports Carolina covering the Triangle and ACC sports.
  • @thedevilwolf Ben Swain is a co-host of the Walk-Ons podcast and is good for frequent sarcasm and a chuckle.
  • @bretstrelow ACC basketball reporter for the Fayetteville Observer is also a voter for the AP Top 25 Poll.
  • @accmbb The official Twitter account for ACC Men’s Basketball.
  • @DavidTeelatDP an ACC reporter for the Daily Press.
  • @rtcACC Independent voice of college basketball. Pretty much the best site ever.
  • @CBSSportsACC CBS’ ACC coverage, as told by Sean Bielawski and Shawn Krest.
  • @stephenschramm Schramm also writes for the Fayetteville Observer (like Strelow) and covers ACC basketball.
  • @joeovies Ovies is a Triangle radio talk show host for ESPN’s The Fan in Raleigh, with a good track record and insight on ACC sports.
  • @AGoldFan the other half of the Raleigh’s The Fan talk show, Adam Gold is another valid contributor to the ACC sports scene.
  • @CaultonTudor Tudor covers the ACC for Raleigh’s WRAL news.

Feel free to follow these members of the Rush the Court ACC family as well: @rise_and_fire@kellenlc@bradjenk@prohibitivefav.

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Where 2013-14 Happens: Reason #23 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 24th, 2013

seasonpreview-1

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2013-14 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. For the next three weeks, you’ll get two hits of excitement each weekday. We’ve captured what we believe were the 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. To see the entire released series so far, click here.

#23 – Where David vs. Goliath Still Happens.


We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-12, and 2012-13 preseasons.

 

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Where 2013-14 Happens: Reason #28 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 22nd, 2013

seasonpreview-1

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2013-14 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. For the next three weeks, you’ll get two hits of excitement each weekday. We’ve captured what we believe were the 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. To see the entire released series so far, click here.

#28 – Where Rush the Wheelchair Happens.


We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-12, and 2012-13 preseasons.

 

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Five More Additions to ESPN’s College Basketball Bucket List

Posted by BHayes on August 26th, 2013

Bennet Hayes is an RTC columnist. He can be reached @HoopsTraveler.

Last week ESPN released a “college bucket list”: a compilation of must-see stops in the world of college athletics. Naturally, the bulk of the list consisted of requisite college football and basketball experiences. The hoops portion contains visits to a number of storied hardwoods — Cameron Indoor, Allen Fieldhouse, and Rupp Arena, among others. We certainly can’t find any issue with any of ESPN’s 10 listed selections, but to round out the list, we can think of a few more pilgrimages that college basketball fans simply have to make in their lifetimes. Consider these five the appetizers to go along with the entrees that ESPN already listed.

Vegas in March is Like Nothing Else

Vegas in March is Like Nothing Else

Spend the First Weekend Of NCAA Tournament At a Vegas Sports Book (Las Vegas, NV) – It’s a marriage made in heaven: the most exciting, frenzied weekend of American sport paired with a manic city loaded with the most prime of sports viewing stations – a Las Vegas sports book. It may sound strange, but gambling is entirely optional for this Vegas trip. No place better captures the emotional pendulum of the NCAA Tournament’s first weekend than a packed sports book, and every college hoops fan – even those not inclined to wagering money on the games – should take in March’s first dose of Madness from Sin City at least once.

Attend a Game at the Kennel (Spokane, WA) – The Cinderella phenomenon has long been a crucial piece of college basketball lore, and no program is more synonymous with the role than the Gonzaga Bulldogs. As “mid-major” schools like Butler, Creighton, and VCU continue to cultivate programs that look built to last, it’s important to remember that it was the Zags who first drafted the blueprint. They are “America’s Team” to some but Spokane’s team to all, and the rabid support of their school and city has quickly made the Kennel one of the most feared home courts in all the land. Don’t be fooled — if you make the trip out to Eastern Washington you will not find the tradition of a Kentucky or a Kansas waiting there for you. But what you will find is a city, a program, and a team that, in the most populist of senses, embodies what college basketball is all about.

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College Basketball By The Tweets: Will Privette, Dunk(s) of the Year, and Those Baylor Unis

Posted by Nick Fasulo on January 16th, 2013

bythetweets

Nick Fasulo is an RTC correspondent who writes the column College Basketball By the Tweets, a look at the world of college hoops through the prism of everyone’s favorite social media platform. You can find him on Twitter @nickfasuloSBN.

What were arguably the two most memorable incidents to go down in college basketball the last seven days? On the court, it was certainly the game’s final four undefeated teams falling one by one over a 96-hour span. Off the court, err, on the sidelines, it was Robert Montgomery Knight revealing his age and inability to make out the difference between the shot clock and game clock during the final moments of Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt. The most underappreciated handle on all of Twitter encapsulated it beautifully.

C.J. Leslie and his friend Will Privette

To call it heartwarming would be an understatement, but whatever it is, C.J. Leslie’s Saturday afternoon was one he will never forget. First he dropped a game high 25 points as the Wolfpack upset then top-ranked Duke, which led to this photo that should be sold as a 24″ x 48″ poster at the school’s bookstore.

But even after the final horn sounded, Leslie was still being attentive on the court, ushering a senior student in a wheelchair to safety amongst the sea of red that was stomping all over the PNC Arena court.

Yes, naturally, Will Privette’s act has gone viral. The kid is one of the most sought after interviews in sports media right now, and it’s doing wonders to his social media clout.

Brandon Paul, Anthony Bennett, Jamaal Franklin. Who ya got?

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Where 2012-13 Happens: Reason #12 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 28th, 2012

And away we go, headfirst into another season heralded by our 2012-13 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 here what we believe were the most compelling moments from last season, some of which will bring back the goosebumps and others of which will leave you shaking your head. Enjoy!

#12 – Where Shades of Tark the Shark Happens

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 seasons.

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Washington Week: Q&A With UW Dawg Pound’s Ben Knibbe

Posted by Connor Pelton on July 15th, 2012

As we go to wind down our coverage of the Washington basketball program, we head back to Ben Knibbe of UW Dawg Pound for his perspective on the Huskies. Here’s our conversation on the immediate future for Lorenzo Romar and Washington.

RTC: Washington loses Tony Wroten, Jr., and Terrence Ross at the guard spot. Will the role there be filled “by committee”, with C.J. Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy leading the charge, or something else?

BK: While the losses of two NBA lottery talents in Wroten and Ross will sting, the Huskies have the depth to survive the loss. The production of two such talents can rarely be reloaded with the ease John Calipari displays at Kentucky. Coach Lorenzo Romar almost always is deep at the guard position, and this coming season will be no different. Ross’ outside shooting will be replaced by the return of senior guard Scott Suggs. Suggs redshirted last season after suffering a foot injury before the season started, and while he could have returned partway through the season, he decided to redshirt and play in this upcoming season. Suggs also has the ability to handle the point guard position in a pinch. Wroten may have been a major talent, but he frustrated many Husky fans, myself included, with his constant boneheaded mistakes, ball dominance and complete and utter lack of a jump shot. His slashing ability will be replaced by redshirt freshman Andrew Andrews. Andrews impressed in practice, and is considered a talent that just has to be put on the floor.

There will also be the maturation of a healthy Gaddy and Wilcox. Gaddy was never completely confident with his knee following tearing his ACL in practice his sophomore season; Wilcox was not only limited in practice after suffering a stress fracture in his femur, he was relegated to 50 jump shots per day as his entire practice. I may be in the minority on this, but the growth and healing process or Suggs, Gaddy, and Wilcox, combined with the addition of Andrews and junior college transfer Mark McLaughlin (more on him later), will more than replace the losses of Wroten and Ross.

Senior Scott Suggs Returns From A Right Foot Injury To Bolster An NBA Draft-Depleted Husky Roster (credit: Drew McKenzie)

RTC: Did you think Washington deserved to be in the NCAA Tournament last season, or did losing the final two games before Selection Sunday seal their fate?

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