Appraising the 75th Anniversary NCAA Tournament Lists From a Big East Perspective

Posted by Will Tucker on January 17th, 2013

We’ve been meaning to devote the proper attention to the lists of top players, teams and moments in NCAA Tournament history released by the NCAA last month to commemorate 75 years of March Madness. Reader Sean Revell sent us a very compelling infographic of his creation (pictured below), which distills the unceremoniously dry, sterile data tables of the NCAA press release into an engaging visual timeline.

The NCAA's lists, in more visual terms, courtesy of Sean Revell

The NCAA’s lists, in more visual terms, courtesy of Sean Revell

The image serves as a good springboard for some analysis of the lists from a Big East perspective. The league’s current members acquitted themselves well in the list of individual performances, accounting for more players (14) in the Top 75 than any other league save the ACC, which placed 16 former stars on the list. But only three Big East teams were deemed worthy of the list of Top 25 tournament teams, placing the league in the middle of the pack below the Pac-12 and ACC, with six teams apiece. Obviously, it’s impossible to please everyone with a list like this, and revisionism and presentism are unavoidable in an era where March Madness is more culturally visible and digitally accessible than ever before. But it’s worth some attempt at measured scrutiny, so here are a few thoughts on which Big East players and teams should have made the cut:

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Morning Five: 03.16.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on March 16th, 2012

  1. With how his team has performed this season we figured it would only be a matter of time before something and in the end it was the coach who made the first move. Yesterday, Rick Stansbury announced that he was stepping down as coach at Mississippi State. To those who followed the program it should not be that much of a surprise despite Stansbury’s 293-165 record in 14 seasons at the school. Despite loading up on enough talent to easily make the NCAA Tournament, Stansbury could not coax his team to play well. At the end of the season one of the team’s stars stated that he did not think that his team had the resolve to bounce back to make the NCAA Tournament. Fittingly, Stansbury’s career ended with his team playing uninspired during a home loss in the first round of the NIT.
  2. It was 23 years ago that Rumeal Robinson sank two of the biggest free throws in college basketball history to give Michigan a national championship. Since that time his life has been a little less than ideal. Most people who frequent this site are aware of his relatively uninspiring pro career and his legal troubles, but we have not seen a story that detailed his life as well as the one in the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine. You are probably going to spend most of your day looking over the carnage that is your bracket and planted on a couch watching TV, but if you are going to read one article today that isn’t directly related to the NCAA Tournament this would be an excellent one to pick.
  3. With the season nearing its conclusion (yes, we know it is awful) John Gasaway takes a look back at 12 proposed “fixes” for college basketball that he came up with in 2010 and proposes some updates. Some of the proposals have already been implemented, which John no doubt takes credit for, but some of them appear to be a long way away. Some of them are a little ridiculous (he was probably straining to get to 12 back in 2010), but there are several that we would like to see. Which ones do you think are the most reasonable to implement?
  4. Corey Schmidt, Gasaway’s colleague at Basketball Prospectus, goes with someone a little more in their site’s wheelhouse–analyzing whether or not you need a go-to player to win a national championship. After looking at the data, we are not sure that the data says a lot other than you can win it different ways. While the raw data in the post is interesting we would like to see someone provide some work with a “control” (or case control) team that did not win the championship. The data set being used is obviously too small to come to any legitimate conclusions, but it could serve as a nice starting point for someone to build on for a bigger project.
  5. If you were overwhelmed by all the action yesterday and need to catch up, we have you covered. Outside of our interview with Charles Barkley we also filed our new “Rushed Reaction” from courtside of every single game yesterday. We plan on doing the latter again today and if you are looking for more direct interaction beyond our national Twitter feed, we suggest you check out our feeds for the East, South, Midwest, and West regions. Our correspondents will be filing direct reports from all the locations within the region including pictures and answering any questions you may have.
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Morning Five: 09.09.10 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on September 9th, 2010

  1. The big news so far this week has been The New York Times reporting that Kentucky recruit Enes Kanter had received improper benefits while playing semi-professionally in Turkey and while we haven’t had the typical full Kentucky explosion we are expecting it to happen any moment now particularly when we stumble upon news like this. If you are looking for the aforementioned explosion we would recommend checking back here intermittently for when Kentucky fans finally decide to go off the deep end on Pete Thamel.
  2. We typically save this for our Recruiting Rumor Mills, but Chane Benahan‘s commitment to Rick Pitino and Louisville is notable for the fact that he is the first recruit in quite a while to turn down John Calipari and Kentucky. His reasons for turning down the Wildcats: difficulty getting playing time in Lexington and because he felt that Kentucky only offered him a scholarship because Louisville did. At the very least, Benahan’s decision appears to have convinced Louisville fans that the rivalry between the two schools is back. Of course, the folks over at KSR were quick to post this video of Chane as a back-up dancer for a song that we are sad to admit has not found its way onto our iPod yet.
  3. Twenty-one years ago Rumeal Robinson was celebrated for hitting two clutch free throws in overtime against Seton Hall in the 1989 NCAA championship game to seal the victory for Michigan. Yesterday, he was found guilty of 11 charges of various forms of fraud including attempting to sell his mother’s house without her knowledge. We’re going to guess that Rumeal won’t be a popular guy in prison where he could be for up to 30 years in addition to facing a maximum of $1 million fine per charge.
  4. The guys from Lost Letterman caught up with former USC star Harold Miner who was once billed as “Baby Jordan”. The content of the interview isn’t particularly enlightening, but we do find it interesting that Miner has been so reclusive that he had not done an interview in over a decade and makes an interview request such an ordeal. We also found the fact that Sports Illustrated selected him as the 1992 College Basketball Player of the Year over Christian Laettner and Shaquille O’Neal rather amusing. Fortunately the current crop of SI writers, whom we all like, had nothing to do with that selection.
  5. I know that many of you are not Duke/Coach K fans, but when he gets into an argument with the Russian coach (who happens to be an American citizen) about whether or not the 1972 Men’s Olympic Basketball Final was rigged I think we can all get behind Coach K on this one.
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