Tag Archives: NCAA Basketball

College Basketball Transfer Rankings

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our very own Jeremy Powers, Mark Lyons (pictured above) is one of the big transfers to keep an eye on in 2012/2013.

By Jeremy Powers

College basketball players are on the move now more than ever. Most programs are in need of that one spark plug to help the team get over that proverbial hump. Here are the top ten college basketball transfers that will help their teams improve this season.

10. Jabari Brown (Missouri) – Brown was a highly talented recruit, which was supposed to help rebuild a Oregon program that hasn’t made it to the NCAA tournament in recent years. After two games in Eugene, the shooter from California jumped ship and will help replace Kim English and Marcus Denmon.

9. Mark Lyons (Arizona) – A former Atlantic 10 standout while at Xavier, Lyons will bring back court depth and leadership to Arizona. Lyons will be making the transition to point guard for his former coach Sean Miller. Continue reading

Conference realignment has potential to ruin mid-major hoops

Photo courtesy of thevictoryformation.com. Our very own Nick Craddock gives his thoughts on NCAA Conference Realignment.

By Nick Craddock

There are college football dudes and college basketball guys. I’m more of a college basketball guy. I suppose it’s part of my genetic makeup, like it was in my Canadian forefather, Dr. James Naismith. But now, conference realignment is becoming downright cumbersome as it seems to be forcing me to cater to college football at the cost of quality collegiate hoops from top to bottom of Division I.

I’m not naïve enough to think that the NCAA is not (at least in part) driven by making money and although I was unhappy with the first wave of conference realignment in the fall (i.e. the one where Boise State became a member of the Big East among other moves where the major conference poached teams from one another), the desire for BCS schools to ensure their BCS Conference auto-bid status, lock up lucrative bowl tie-ins, and find the best television markets and contracts was rational.

Rivalries were shattered, athletic departments’ future travel budgets soared, and conference monikers became incredibly stupid (of course, everyone knows 12 teams play in the Big Ten, but 10 teams play in the Big 12, that’s just good logic). But money was to be made so fans were supposed to embrace the change and start booking off work now for those cross-country drives to see the heated Rutgers-Boise State series in person. Continue reading

Summitt reached the summit

Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com. Pat Summitt (pictured above) is retiring after 38 years at Tennessee. She truly reached the summit of her profession.

By Josh Kramer

Summit:  The highest attainable level of achievement (courtesy of dictionary.com).

Not too many people in this world can say that they reached the summit of their chosen field.  That they could climb no higher.  That all goals and aspirations had been achieved in regards to their industry.  The same goes for sports.  Out of millions of athletes and coaches, only a handful can truly say that they reached the “summit”of their sport.

John Wooden, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part X

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kemba Walker (pictured above) was the face of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Who will be the face of the 2012 version of March Madness?

By Josh Kramer

Two and a half months later and “Throwback Saturdays” are still going strong.  Welcome to edition ten of our weekly throwback day. What was happening on March 24, 2011?  How about on March 24, 2010?  I have a gut feeling that March Madness was discussed in some facet.  Let’s take a look back and see what the major happenings were and how accurate I was with my analysis.

One year ago..

Sweet 16: Day 1 Predictions

Here is a snippet..

Connecticut vs San Diego State:  Can you say Kemba?  UConn has won 7 straight and are a perfect 10 and 0 in tournament play on the year heading into tomorrow’s showdown with a very talented and higher seeded San Diego Aztecs team.  Now I realize that most of the national media has been grilling the Big East.  I mean who wouldn’t.  The conference began the tourney with 11 teams and only 2 still remain as we begin the Sweet 16.  Let me state though, both of the teams still standing went 9 and 9 in conference play.  Name me another team that is still standing in this bracket that went 500 in conference play.  I will do one even better.  Name me a team that did not finish in the top 4 of their conference that is still alive.  But back to the topic at hand.  San Diego State is also on a hot streak of their own having won 7 consecutive games.  43, 25, and 30 sums it up for me though when looking at this matchup  (Jimmer’s point totals vs SDSU this year). Though the Aztecs play very solid defense and also have a very well-rounded scoring attack, they have failed to slow down teams with elite scorers all year.  Good luck slowing down Kemba.  At least one Big East team will find their way into the Elite Eight.  And it will be the UConn Huskies as they gut out 3 point victory behind the Kemba Show.

BYU vs Florida:  On paper, this game appears to favor the Cougars.  They put up over 80 points a game.  They have the edge on the boards.  And I could go on.  But not so fast.  BYU has not been the same since the dismissal of starting center Brandon Davies for breaking University rules.  Well this will be the first NCAA Tournament game where this vacancy in the paint really hurts.  It will also be the first game in the tournament where BYU plays a team seeded higher than 11th.  The Gators are very deep and talented, and will be the loan SEC team to nab a spot in the Elite Eight.  The Jimmer Show has to end at some point.  Plus Bobby Knight laid out how you stop Jimmer on SportsCenter.  You better believe that Florida Coach Billy Donovan took notes on what the legend said.  I am going to stick with my original pick in this one as well. Gators by 2 in a thriller (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 3-19-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Marian Gaborik (pictured above) has led the Rangers to the top record in the Eastern Conference.

By Josh Kramer

Contrary to popular belief, College Basketball is not the only thing going on in the world these days.  Though it may seem that way at times, plenty of other things are going on in the sporting world as well.  The “Peyton Manning Sweepstakes” continue to heat up.  NBA basketball treks on with the “Trade Deadline” in the rearview and Dwight Howard’s version of “Gossip Girl” on hold for at least another year.  Last week was totally awesome baby with a capital A, but this week is sure to be great in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Sid “the kid” Crosby is back in the flesh.  New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh are running the show in the Eastern Conference, while the West has turned into St. Louis and Vancouver’s playground.  We are nearing the end of the regular season, with right around 10 games to play.  It is hard to believe, but I know all of you remember how exciting the NHL playoffs were last year when Game 7’s became almost a given.  This week my attention is focused on a matchup at Madison Square Garden tonight.

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers:  Who can remember the last time these two bitter rivals were relevant?  We may have to reach back to the prime of Patrick Ewing’s career.  We are living in the now though.  And though New Jersey is not a top-tier team, they still are capable of making noise in the postseason.  The Rangers on the other hand are looking to bring back some Mark Messier type of memories.  Perhaps Marian Gaborik can help make this a reality?  Both of these rivals are coming off of a loss.  Something that has been a rarity for the Rangers this year.  Don’t get used to it though.  Not only are the Rangers one of the NHL’s best teams, they also are one of the best at home.  Tonight, they will defend their home ice. Continue reading

Wittry’s March Madness Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our guest blogger Andrew Wittry, John Calipari (pictured above) will be a happy man on the night of April 2nd as he finally gets the monkey off his back and brings home a national championship.

By Andrew Wittry

Andrew Wittry is a senior at St. Xavier High School who literally eats and sleeps sports.  He is looking forward to college and avidly pursuing a career in sports journalism.  Andrew has an already well- established blog called Sports.Eat.Sleep.Repeat., where he posts new content regarding both professional and collegiate sports a few times each week.

Which month would you give up to have more March? While Buffalo Wild Wings jokingly uses this phrase in their recent March Madness advertising campaign, in all seriousness, I would willingly give up a few days of each month to be able to have more of the NCAA Tournament.

After coming home on from practice the other night and looking at the bracket, I could not have been more pleased with the field. When the biggest complaint about a team being left out is Drexel, a team out of the Colonial Athletic Association, who did win nineteen of its final twenty games, but did not have a single quality win out of conference, the committee did an excellent job.  Though Drexel’s amazing late season surge in which they reeled off 19 wins in their last 20 games was highly impressive. I was very excited about how well the local teams fared as Xavier’s run in the A-10 Tournament earned the team a 10 seed and Cincinnati claimed a six spot.  UC’s six was due in large part to giving #2 Syracuse its second loss of the season.

Here are my initial reactions from Selection Sunday:

Is Kentucky’s road to the Final Four too tough? Continue reading

March Madness 2012 Preview

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The Road to the Final Four begins tonight in Dayton. Here is a guide to help with your bracket.

By Josh Kramer

For the first time in a very long time, there will be no “Food for Thought” today (Tuesday).  A higher being has taken charge.  And that would be none other than March Madness.  Sure there are other things going on in sports, but what else do you really want to talk about?  Sorry Peyton.  You will be taking a back seat today.

The brackets are finally set.  And as usual, Joe Lunardi did a wonderful job with Bracketology, correctly guessing 67 of the 68 teams in the field.  The guy is unbelievable. But enough speculation.  Let’s talk about the actual tournament bracket.

South Region:  The Region of Prestige

Overall Analysis

-Many are proclaiming this the best region in the field.  I do not agree (I think the East is).  But without question, it is not short on “prestigious” programs such as Kentucky, Connecticut, Indiana, and Duke. In addition, three of last year’s Final Four participants reside in the South (Kentucky, Connecticut, and VCU).  But let’s be entirely realistic.  This region starts and ends with the Big Blue Nation.  If Kentucky comes to play, they won’t lose.

Winner

-Kentucky

Sleeper

-Connecticut

Upset Alert

-Xavier over Notre Dame

Fun Facts

-The Connecticut Huskies are praying that history does not repeat itself. Each time UConn has won the title under Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004) the following year has resulted in a second round exit from the tourney (would be third round this year).

-A number one overall seed has been revealed each of the past eight years.  The top seed has only reached the Final Four three times. The only number one overall seed during this year eight year stretch to win the title was Florida in 2007.  Kentucky is praying that they can accomplish what their SEC rival did five years ago. Continue reading

One of the good guys

Photo courtesy of http://www.mlive.com. Though Charlie Coles (pictured above) is retiring, he will always be remembered in a positive light in Oxford.

By Josh Kramer

Despite the absence of an NBA team since 1972, the Cincinnati Tri-State area has been known to have some pretty good basketball over the years.  And though some unfortunate events occurred on December 10, 2011 that has mired the national perception of Cincinnati hoops, there is still plenty of good going on in the Tri-State basketball scene.  Not to mention the Bearcats are tourney bound, while Xavier currently is sitting firmly on the bubble.

Often though, due to the many great collegiate basketball programs in the area, there is one team that gets overlooked.  And I guess it makes sense considering both Cincinnati and Xavier are just a jump and skip away, Kentucky is just a little over an hour south, and Ohio State is just a couple of hours north.  But yes, even after the great “Wally World” left the hallowed grounds of Oxford in the spring of 1999, Redhawks basketball continued on.

Over the past 16 years, there has been one mainstay in terms of Miami (OH) basketball.  And that would of course be their beloved Head Basketball Coach, Charlie Coles.  And despite just three tournament appearances in 16 years, Coles is a major winner.  He now has the most wins in Miami history and the most victories in Mid-American Conference play of any coach.  Charlie Coles is one of those guys though that has gotten to the point where the numbers do not matter.  Which is a definite rarity in this day and age. It is not about wins and losses anymore when you are talking about a person that possesses the character of Charlie Coles.  Coles had other priorities such as graduating his players and helping young men mature into respectable grown men.  If and when his players made mistakes, which was a rarity, he punished them accordingly.  Coles always kept his nose clean.  Gave credit to others.  And was a true ambassador of the collegiate game.  He was a guy much like the man who currently runs the show at Cameron Indoor.  A guy who did it the right way. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 3-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Roger Federer (left) seems to be back to his old ways after defeating Andy Murray (right) to win his second consecutive title. It should be fun to see if the former number one player can continue his hot streak in Indian Wells.

By Josh Kramer

Hoops, hoops, and more hoops.  You thought this week was great in terms of College Basketball and the NBA?  Just wait.  This week was just an appetizer to the main course.  In addition, more scandal came out in the sporting world this for a change (bounty hunting).  Last week was fun.  But this week has the makings of being any better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The NHL’s Eastern Conference has turned into a three-team race.  Go figure that two of the teams are from Boston and New York.  What would professional sports be without the good old Boston/New York hate-fest?  Yesterday, was a treat as we got to witness the Rangers flex their Eastern Conference leading muscles to a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.  I have a feeling that there is a seven-game series in store between these teams in the near future.  As always, here is my matchup of the week.

Florida Panthers at Pittsburgh Penguins:  Two of the East’s finest go to battle at the CONSOL Energy Center.  Pittsburgh’s electric offense led by Evgeni Malkin welcomes into town a Panthers team that just flat-out knows how to win.  If you asked me why Florida has been so successful this season, I couldn’t tell you.  They just have won game at an impressive rate.  Lately though, Pittsburgh has played much better hockey than the Panthers.  I expect this to continue.  Look for the Penguins to handle business at home, where they have been very tough to beat this year. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-16-2012

Photo courtesy of latimesblogs.latimes.com. Kobe Bryant (pictured above) has shown no signs of aging after putting up 40+ points for a fourth consecutive game on Saturday. Can he lead the Lakers to a victory in Miami on Thursday?

By Josh Kramer

The clock finally struck midnight on “Tebow Time,” or at least for the time being, and the globe is still spinning.  “Lob City” staked their claim to Los Angeles.  And the 49ers won against an outstanding Saints team in a game that will go down as one of the all-time greats.  The past week, or even the past day for that matter, was classic.  This week should be pretty fun in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Pitchers and catchers start reporting in 33 days (February 18th for a lot of teams).  MLB baseball is just around the corner.  And the Yankees finally broke their silence on Friday in a big way.  Who else is already very excited for the 2012 baseball season?  Keep an eye this week on what happens with marquee available players such as Prince Fielder, Rick Ankiel, and many more.  Will your favorite team pick up the piece they need to make a deep run in October?

4.  Kobe Bryant has now put up 40 or more points four straight games.  So much for the 33-year-old wearing now.  Any chance he will eclipse his nine-straight games of 40 or more points back in 2002/2003? Continue reading