Sunday, December 30, 2007

Early thoughts on Week #8 of the BlogPoll

While the BlogPoll Vote is due after midnight on Monday night, this is a good time to start thinking ahead on our vote. This week Storming The Court will be herding cats (read: administering the blog poll).

First up, Pitt. Regular readers of this blog know that we pick on Pitt's scheduling, and we are not fooled by Pitt playing a tough game against Duke at MSG and picking apples in the state of Washington. Their non-conference SOS is #63 despite their "tough schedule". Their dismantling at Dayton was not something that surprised us at all. With Mike Cook out for the season and the hero of the Duke game (thank you Lavance Fields for beating the Dookies with that step-back three-pointer) out 8 to 12 weeks, we are rebooting Pitt's record and we are looking at them as a brand new team from now on. Needless to say they are not even remotely in consideration for a top 25 vote. Sorry to disappoint you Pitt fans! (Pitt was down 13 when Lavance Fields got injured, so it's not like they lost the game after Fields got injured - they were already lost).

Memphis was nowhere near as crisp against Kevin "The Dentist" O'Neill. We are waiting to see how North Carolina does against Valpo before we decide who gets the #1 spot. Carolina has lost Bobby Frasor, and we are not sure how this will affect the Tar Heels since they are so deep. If Wayne Ellington and Danny "Escalade" Green continue to make three-pointers, the TarHeels should be fine.

We already had Dayton in the top 25 the last time we vote and you can rest assured that Jon Stewart's Flyers will jump into Top 20 when we submit our vote.

The Kevin O'Neill Arizona continues to impress me, not because of their exciting run and gun style (as if!), but because they are starting to play like roaches (you can't get rid of them)! But at the same time, Kevin O'Neill is not going to be able to bring talented recruits like Lute Olson in the future, so he better enjoy it this season while he can!

We continue to hold Georgetown in high regard, and while we were surprised by Texas losing in Austin to Wisconsin, we suspected that the Torreros were the ones that showed up versus Michigan State and Wisconsin, not the ones that beat the ugly Bruins (no, not talking about Lorenzo Mata, but their style of play) in SoCal.

We are not sure what to make of Duke and UCLA and Washington State and Baylor and such. That's why these are early thoughts :)

With JP Prince and the Orange Revolution added to the Tennessee roster, we will re-evaluate our position on the Vols. Meanwhile we understand that the Zags are in transition, with new players added to the mix. Does that mean they still get in the top 25? We do not know yet!

Not sure what the Blog Poll is? More details here! You can also be added to the voting rotation if you are interested. Just let any of the participating bloggers know.

Arizona at Memphis

Injuries ruined ESPN2's marquee match-ups - the crown jewel of their sextuple-header (six games in a row), and Kevin O'Neill added insult to ...injury by slowing the game down to crawl.

Despite playing without injured Jerryd Bayless and Brett Brillllmaier, the Meercats showed poise and managed to stay in the game, partially because of turning the game into a slower and uglier experience for the Tigers who wanted to break free and run wild all over the court.

Dozier showed how his unique skills make him a valuable member of the Tigers team. And so did Taggart coming off the bench and providing offense. Even Pierre "dancing bear" Niles made a guest appearance and forced a guard to turn it over. This was a team effort and the Calipari Tigers did not let the Comeback Cats attempt a comeback on them like they did with Kansas, Illinois, Texas A&M, Virginia, and just about every game they played.

With a shorter rotation, O'Neill was forced to play players he doesn't usually play. Kirk Walters was not bad actually and while Fendi Onobun had energy and movement, he showed why he didn't play last year: very poor decisions on offense. Jordan Hill showed some almost-NBA level moves on offense against Joey "Ben Wallace" Dorsey, but it has just a handful of moves, and not enough to turn the tide.

But something for Wildcat fans to worry: Just like many coaches (eg Tubby Smith in his first year at Kentucky), Kevin O'Neill has shown this year that he can coach and get things done with a talented group of players. However, do you really think the abrasive and no-nonsense Kevin O'Neill can recruit players the caliber of Budinger, Bayless, Jennings, Iguodala, etc? Unlikely! So when you look at the future of Arizona without Lute Olson but with Kevin O'Neill, the recruiting is not going to look as pretty. He will probably have to recruit the same way Tony Bennett recruits at Wazoo. But then again Tony Bennett is doing very well at Wazoo, so perhaps one cannot complain. Except the Wildcat fans are spoiled by waves and waves of talented NBA-caliber recruits.

Tennessee vs Gonzaga

The annual "neutral site" Battle of Seattle boomeranged in the faces of the Zags. Granted the Zags are a team in transition with Heyvelt and Stephen Gray returning to the line-up and the Tennessee Vols are just starting to heat up with the addition of JP Prince and the Orange Revolution.

Pearl, an avid fish-seller at Seattle's fish-market (?), confused and exposed the "soft" Zags with his frenetic style of play. The Zags have three tough cookies (Pendo, Pargo and Chia-Pet-hair-Bouldin), but the rest of their talented players are either too young or not tough enough. Remember how the Zags got manhandled in the NCAAs by Wyoming, UCLA, Nevada, etc, etc, etc?

But the Zags found their mojo and made a furious comeback. Mark Few can hope that performances like that will be ...marked as ...few in the team's record books :)

Pargo was clearly bothered by the crazy Vols style of play, and the good news for the Zags is that the little kid (Ravioli) has graduated otherwise he would have had 20 turnovers in this game.

The good news for the Zags is that this should only be a transition period until Heytvelt returns to form and mushroom remain frozen ;-) Gonzaga's record is not that bad, although not as impressive as previous years. Nevertheless you have to give them credit for the tough schedule - they beat UConn in the land of clam chowder soup, they lost to Oklahoma in their home state, they lost to Wazoo in a close regional rivarly game, and to Bob Knight in Alaska. The losses are not bad, it's just that there isn't the high profile win in there, and it doesn't look like there's gonna be one - unless they "steal" one in ElvisVille in 2008.

So this would raise the question, how do you evaluate the Zags as an at-large team? Because I certainly value a tough but less pretty record than a record paved with cupcakes (Clemson, Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, etc).

The Vols may be finally starting to play to their pre-season potential. They looked like it for the most part of the Zags game - let's not forget this was a road game for them, in front of a pro-Zags crowd in GrungeVille.

More on this game from Zag-fan blog La Rev.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wow, this is a shocker, Kentucky loses at Rupp to San Diego!

Say what you will about Tubby, but he wouldn't be losing to San Diego and Gardner Webb at Rupp Arena. Granted this season is a shared responsibility between Billy Gillispie and the Tubby Smith era. Let's not forget that Billy Clyde Gillispie is very stubborn (his own words - remember the Acie Law story?), so he is probably locking horns with just about everyone who disagrees with him, on and off the team. Unlike Texas A&M and UTEP that were at the bottom of the pit, he is finding himself in a totally different situation right now.

Rebuilding it's one thing, losing to top 10 teams is another thing, losing to San Diego and Gardner Webb at Rupp Arena in back to back months is a disaster for a program like Kentucky.

Kentucky fans, look up the Matt Doherty 8-win season at North Carolina for inspiration and support, or perhaps the last season of Steve Lavin at UCLA. Or the last season of Mike Davis at Indiana. It looks like a season of misery is almost inevitable for every program. Kansas fans, be thankful of Ole Roy: You didn't have to go through that!

I am very surprised by this, and while this team has had its injuries and issues, I wasn't expecting such epic losses. Well that's really the issue: the losses were not epic, they were not buzzer beaters, they were "owned" by Sun Diego and Garden Webs!

So, I don't know if this is a stretch, but who are the currently available head coaches at the moment? Either from the NBA or the college level, or ones with UK ties - ones that for one reason or another are out of a job or in broadcasting and might be interested in a mid-season pickup? Because Billy Gillispie may need to ... "take a leave of absence"!

Here's a few names: Larry Brown, Nolan Richardson, Hubie Brown, ...

More on this game from A Sea of Blue and also ASoB, and wall to wall coverage at John Clay's Sidelines Repor(t). More coverage including Gillispie quotes at the Wildcats Thunder blog, and an SEC wrap-up at SEC Hoops Good/Bad/Dirty.

Live: Jimmy Dykes makes very inappropriate comment during Kentucky game!

Jimmy Dykes put his foot in his mouth once again, this time making a sexually inappropriate comment: "value the basketball like your sister at a fraternity party". Women rights groups and feminists go after him! Is up and running already? :-)

Wisconsin at Texas

A late three and a steal by senior Michael Flowers got Wisconsin a big road win in Austin, Texas, giving the Austin Torreros (oops Texas Longhorns) all they could handle and a big L. And the Wisconsin Badgets were playing without point guard Trevon Hughes!

Now this only goes to show what I was suspecting about Texas: They win in SoCal over UCLA was more of the exception than who they really are. And it showed, they couldn't beat Wisconsin at home - and Wisconsin was playing without their starting point guard.

This means that Rick Barnes has to re-evaluate his rotations, a six-man rotation playing at a break-neck style is not the ideal way to go through a tough season. Will Rick Barnes go more conventional or will he continue to play the "mad scienstist"?

Wisconsin had some embarasing losses earleir this season, but this road win at Texas is a good way to "reset" all that and start a new. This also fuels the question: Do Bo Ryan's teams have a low ceiling or did they just have bad luck so far? We blog, you decide!

The game was the start of a long marathon on ESPN2, a total of six games back to back, yes, 12+ hours of non-stop hoops! For all the games available on TV, please check our December 2007 college hoops listings. Also be sure to check our on-going January 2008 college hoops listings.

This game was supposed to have been a Dick Vitale game, but with Vitale sidelined, Jay Bilas continues to be his "designated" replacement, with Dan Shuman and Doris Burke being able to talk more :)

The Notorious Eddie Sutton

Yes, he is back! Eddie Sutton has not met a gray area he didn't like. From the boozing to the cheating and now to the "in-season firing of another coach". Class act Eddie Sutton. I guess 800 matters more than anything else, doesn't it? Class act loser!

Pictures of Eddie Sutton's first game by My Space reports that Weber State ruins Sutton's debut. Thank you Weber State! The San Francisco Dons website talks about the Sutton (CSTV site).

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey publicly supports Eddie Sutton. Sutton himself acknowledges his motivations. *cough* confesses *cough*

This is not the first time San Francisco tempted an almost-hall-of-fame coach. When Gene Keady was pushed out (oops! retired) at Purdue, the USF Dons tempted him to coach for them. Keady was very tempted but there was an intervention by former players and assistants and friends to prevent him from tarnishing his legacy.

And while Eddie Sutton has every right to make a comeback, the way he made the comeback is what is the big stinker. And given Sutton's past transgressions, this surely rules out Hall of Fame consideration for this cheater-loser.

Firing a coach mid-season is a no-no in college sports, and despite all the pressures of winning, even high-pressure BCS schools haven't fired a basketball coach in mid-season. Of all the teams to do that, a small Jesuit school in a mid-major conference. Yes, we understand USF, you want to return to the glory days of the 50s, and I'm sure you are pissed that nearby St Mary's is doing much better, and GoneZaga has become a national darling. But why not do that in the off-season?

USF took advantage of the Lute Olson leave-of-absence story to piggy-back on that and send Jessie Evans to a "leave of absence". Well this may not be bad for Jessie Evans - Arizona has an opening for an assistant at the moment!

Sutton's first game loss is covered by Utah's KSL. Sutton's announcement to return at ESPN. More on this at Storming the Court.

Eddie the Cheater-Loser Sutton has found a new assistant too: Robert McCullum.

A lot of websites and analysts are either avoiding the issue or giving Eddie Sutton a pass. At least Len Elmore called him and USF out for doing what we all know they did: They fired Jessie Evans mid-season in order to get Eddie Sutton and get into the record books and create buzz around their miserable program.

I hope USF does not win a single game with Eddie Sutton as a head coach! :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Week #7 of the Blog Poll Top 25 is published!

Week #7 of the Blog Poll top 25 has been published! Vegas Watch has done a great job in administering this week's blog poll top 25. We had fallen way behind, so we were not able to catchup and submit a vote in time. As you can see, we just caught up today with a barrage of posts.

Hot off the heels of their impressive win over the Georgetown Hoyas, the Calipari Tigers have taken over the #1 spot. That's where I would have voted them too.

At the #2 spot are the North Carolina Tar Heels. I would have been very tempted to vote Georgetown at #2, as unconventional as that may sound. Our approach to the polls is to pick the best 25 teams in our opinion, and unlike the NCAA tournament, the polls are not single elimination. We do not like the way the AP/Coaches poll predictably and blindly move teams up and down based on wins and losses.

Pitt jumped all the way to #8, partially thanks to me not voting :) This would have been the first week I would have voted for Pitt in the top 25. But there's no way I would put them in the top 10. Let's not forget they had a very good win at MSG over Duke in overtime, on a last minute miracle shot by Lavance Fields. Their win at Washington was similar, fractions of a second saved them from a loss. And their other "impressive" win was over Oklahoma State which is not exactly a good road team. So Pitt has more to prove yet. But beating the Dookies certainly makes me happy *__*

Georgetown crash-landed down to #9, which is sad, because they are a tough team to beat. Do you think Memphis would have been able to beat them this handily at a neutral site or in DC? Unlikely! Besides part of their loss was freshmen showing their age in the second half (eg Chris Wright going crazy).

Clemson managed at #24, thanks to me not voting. Because there's no way I'm gonna vote for Clemson in the top 25. They have to beat a top 25 team first. And they just lost to Ole Miss. OLE! Yes, Ole Miss is #19 in week #7 of the BlogPoll top 25.

Other teams: Huggie-Bear is at #23, and Rhode is getting some love at #22. Watch out for Jon Stewart's Flyers at #25! With the TV strike taking the Daily Show off the air, Jon Stewart is able to devote all of his time to his basketball coaching. And it shows. Don't be surprised if Dayton beats the Pitt Panthers! I know I won't :)

As expected the X-men dropped out of the top 25 after two miserable weeks. Some teams are not able to handle the spotlight, especially if they are not accustomed to!

Without my vote the USC Condoms (oops Trojans) were left out of the top 25. I have seen quite a few USC games and I am fairly convinced that there is no way there are 25 teams better than USC. No Way!

Another team that is slowly gaining my attention are the wild Providence Friars. They seem to be able to keep both teams in the game, which makes the games entertaining. And look at some of their scores! When I watched them play for the first time against South Carolina I called them an NIT team. They may still be an NIT team, but their wackiness may get them some solid wins in the Big East and force the NCAA selection cmte to give them an at-large bid. They already have a #15 RPI with a #11 SOS, and a #16/#17 out-of-conference RPI/SOS.

West coast teams dominated the "others receiving votes" category with USC, Stanford, Gonzaga, St Mary's, Oregon, and Arizona State being just outside the Top 25.

For a list of participating blogs and bloggers visit our Introduction to the BlogPoll Top 25.

Nevada at North Carolina

Yeah! We have finally caught up with "real time"! The Fazekas-less Wolfpack visited the Dean Dome with the re-arranged banners, but it wasn't the banners, the crowd or the zebras that took them out. It was a late first half Tywon Lawson epic beep-beeper effort. It was as if there were three Lawsons on the court as he was stealing, scoring, rebounding and assisting.

At the start of the game it was fairly obvious that most of the 50-50 calls were going Carolina's way. This did not deter the Wolfpack who continued to attack until the zebras started calling the fouls. Once again Carolina did not open strong, and if it wasn't for the Lawson outburst, the game might have been close throughout (eg BYU game?).

Mark Fox has an impressive (80% wins) record but part of that is scheduling and the WAC. He is clearly not playing a Mark Few type of schedule, although he is not having a dozen cupcakes eithers.

Danny Green seemed to have been taken out of rhythm as a starter, but coming off the bench did not bother Ellington who had another 20+ game. The Carolina bigs are question-marks with Cali kids, Deon Thompson and Alex Stepheson needing to deliver more. Granted there's only one ball, but I am not the only one who thinks they might be underachieving.

Despite the epic meltdown, there were two bright spots for the Wolfpacks: JaVale McGee showcased his skills and length and had an early block party in the paint. This breakout on national TV though may be bitter sweet as the NBA Siren song will probably get louder after his performance in the Dean Dome. The other good news for the Woflpack is the tough play of guard Armon Johnson. This is what the back-court doctor ordered for the Wolfpack reeling from the untimely departure of Ramon Sessions.

And on the "Bob Knight" front, Mark Fox got caught by the ESPN cameras counseling Brandon Fields "aggressively". Not quite Bob Knight, but quite close.

Texas vs Michigan State

The "neutral" NBA arena of the Detroit Pistons might as well have felt like the Roman Colliseum filled with Detroit ...Lions. Izzo State took advantage of their NBA home court and Texas's inability to hit their usual amount of shots, and exposed them for what many thought were their vulnerability.

So the big question now for the Texas Longhorns is: Are they the team that lost to Michigan State or the team that beat UCLA in SoCal? The doubters will no doubt point to the Izzo State game, others may point to them being somewhere in between. How many people think they are the team that beat UCLA in SoCal? Remember they barely won that game, UCLA made one of their patented comebacks that fell short, but to their credit, the Rick Barnes Experiment managed to withstand the Bruins onslaught.

So what about Izzo State? Izzo is now playing faster and the more fun style of play is attracting more skilled recruits to the Breslin Center (see Delvon Roe, 2008 class). Well, for one thing, Michigan State is a better team with Kalin Lucas at the point. This is something that Spartan fans may be in denial of, and coaches tend to be "loyal" to their trusty upperclassmen, instead of handing the reigns to a freshman. Unless of course the freshman happens to be Derrick Rose or OJ Mayo or Jerryd Bayless. What usually changes this? Sub-bar play and losses. Losses are one thing with coaches that tramps all other cards. If they are losing, everything is fair game (to change).

Needless to say I still think that Drew Neitzel is severely overrated. His hype is based on ...non-basketball factors (please feel free to read between the lines!)

So where do I see these two teams? Well I need to see more for both. Michigan State is not as bad as I thought, and what I need to figure out for Texas is which team are they when the shots or the run-and-gun style is not working. It's not even January 2008 after all :)

Stanford vs Texas Tech

The last remaining "official" game of the Big 12 Pac 10 Hardwood Series Challenge was played last Saturday in Dallas. There were a few more "unofficial" games in the series, but Stanford just barely won and sealed the victory for the Pac-10.

Brook Lopez is back, and that's what Stanford fans have been waiting for. As it is common with the Lopez twins, they are "friends of foul", but in the second half Brook showed his offensive skillz.

Texas Tech is really the same old story, but with a twist: Bob Knight and his prized pupil (Coach Ratcase Krapola-K) have "embraced" the zone defense. What is this world coming to? Knight wants to recruit Knight players to play the "right way" (Knight way) and there's only so much Pat Knight can do to "soften" the blow. The good news for them is that the state of Texas is loaded with talent and the Knight brand still has some appeal in Big-10 states.

Stanford's biggest issue are its guards. Anthony Goods is probably the only Pac-10 level guard in their line-up. Mitch Johnson is probably a second-string point-guard type but he has been handed the keys at Stanford. The rest of the Stanford guards are also of the second-string variety, which allows teams to focus on the Lopez twins and Lawrence Hill (if/when he plays well). With Brook Lopez back, the onus is on the guards to deliver. And if the other guards can provide some offense, Mitch Johnson is not going to be a liability. If Goods and Hill can hit outside shots and the Lopez twins dominate inside, the team can even make a Final Four run with Johnson as their point guard. In an ideal scenario that is. Most likely scenario? Sweet 16? One and done?

Florida at Ohio State

The best way to describe the game is this: Someone emptied two baskets of kittens on the basketball floor and let them run all over the place. The game was all over the place, both teams being loaded with very "green" but talented and promising players.

This was Florida's first game outside the state and it showed. After a hot start, the Gators cooled off and played like a young team playing its first hostile road game. You can't really blame them. You couldn't possibly expect this team to walk into Value City Arena and take over the game.

The biggest talent at Ohio State continues to be the coach, Thad Matta. With a loaded squad of talented freshmen and a few experienced players of seasons past, there is no doubt that Matta will turn this team into a steamroller by mid-February. Sure there are questions, for one who will be the backup point guard when the team needs one and will Diebler or someone else be able to be a consistent outside shooting threat?

Oh yes, this was a rematch of the 2007 NCAA Final, we almost forgot to mention that. And there's good reason we almost forgot that: Because it's a rematch in name only. Sure the coaches are there (almost), and some of the players are there, but the majority of the impact players of the 2007 NCAA final from both teams have either graduated or playing professionally.

San Diego State at Arizona

We have fallen slightly behind schedule. Well not slightly, we are almost one week behind :) So we are now starting to catchup!

San Diego State was able to stay within arm's reach of Arizona for about three quarters of the game, but Arizona never really felt threatened by the Aztecs. The good news for the Aztecs is that they did that at McKale with their top scorer Lousville-transfer Lo(renzo) Wade in very early foul trouble.

The good news for Arizona fans was the return of Fendi Onobun, a player who is built for the Kevin O'Neill (KON) "Enforcer" approach. Infact he along with Jamelle Horne and three guards/wings could form a wild run and gun line-up. The problem? Kevin O'Neill is not a fan of run and gun. Not fun!

With KON being officially named Head Coach Designate, the uncertainty - at least for this season - should significantly subside. Going forward of course there's still going to be the Lute question, especially as other schools "approach" Brandon Jennings and other recruits and telling them of Kevin O'Neill horror stories, and tempting them to switch to their college.

Despite having a long bench, O'Neill's rotations are relatively tight, which makes Jordan Hill even more important - a game changer for Arizona. Can Hill make the leap from "promising big man with flashes" to a consistent all-conference performer? That may make or break Arizona's post-season-wise.

Steve Fisher has quietly almost completed a decade at SDSU, and has slowly but steadily improved their standing, although perhaps not as fast as some fans may have wanted things to improve.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Work it out! Treadmill special today only: Horizon T73 Treadmill for $650

We interrupt the holiday season with a work-it-out special! Burn the holiday fat with this $650 Horizon T73 treadmill. The special price is only good for today (Thursday December 27, 2007) and offered by Amazon. Shipping is free and the treadmill ships in the original manufacturer's packaging.

You don't have to be a basketball player to take advantage of this. We could all benefit by losing some weight or improving our cardio regiment. At least that's what the doctors and the trainers say. Who am I to disagree with them? :)

There are nine customer reviews of this treadmill at Amazon and the average rating is five stars out of five. It sells for $1000+ at other retailers in the Amazon marketplace. It has a lifetime frame warranty and a 12-year motor warranty. Labor is for one year. For more details including the user manual in PDF format, please visit the Amazon product page.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Exposing the reality of Pittsburg's non-conference record of the last few years

While Pitt has had a solid win over the Dookies, can we please stop singing the praises of their 61-3 record in November and December? While it's not easy to win that many games, the record and the impressive RPI is a factor of "who did you play" and "where did you play them". And the historical RPI/SOS numbers don't lie. They are there for everyone to see :-)

Pitt's 2008 current out of conference SOS is 120, thanks to the Duke game giving it a big boost. This year's schedule is a little bit of an upgrade, but not by a whole lot. They barely beat a weakened Washington team in Seattle. And barely is really barely. One of the little guys of Washington had a winning basket but it was fractions of a second after the buzzer showed 0:00. So this was as close of a "W" you can get as any. The home game against Oklahoma State was another "fudging the numbers" attempt. Everyone knows that OKi State does not do well on the road. Their "road" game was a few thousand inches down the road, still in Steeltown against "powerhouse" Duquesne. Everything else was winnable games at home. So let's not forget that!

But let's look at the previous years to see how Pitt has managed to assembly this "impressive" record. The numbers are the out of conference strength of schedule:

  • 2006-07: 23 non-conference Strength of Schedule (SOS). Record: 13-2
  • 2005-06: 227. Record: 11-0
  • 2004-05: 262. Record: 10-1
  • 2003-04: 234. Record: 13-0
  • 2002-03 : 226. Record: 10-1

    As you can see it's a lot easier to pile up the wins if you play cupcakes at home. It's no rocket science. And while the victory over Duke at MSG was HUGE for Pitt, and they will earn my first Top 25 vote in the next BlogPoll Top 25 blogger's poll (week #7 is next), it doesn't mean that that victory "legitimizes" all the cupcakes they beat in the non-conference the last few years. Sorry Pitt fans, the numbers don't lie :-) And you can't fudge them. They SCREAM :-)

  • Georgetown at Memphis

    Wow! That was a nice game! And how can you watch another game today after that game? It's like having a dollar store wine after you had a $500 bottle wine! Wowie!

    With Dorsey and Hibbert in foul trouble in the first half, the game was faster than most people thought it would be with both teams scoring 40+. Nice! A sea-saw battle with Georgetown taking the reigns early and the Tigers breaking free late in the first half.

    Rosie O'Derrick once again started the game showcasing his perimeter offense. Perhaps the USC triangle-and-two straightjacket was what got his perimeter game rebooted. And the Tigers are now grateful for that. Georgetown played like Georgetown for the most part, but at times in the half the crowd and the relentless Memphis pressure managed to get to them. But earlier in the game they were able to punish the Tigers with run-outs and beating them at their own game.

    The second half showed more side-effects of the pressure and the crowd on the Hoyas, and perhaps the most telling of all was a wild three pointer from almost half court by promising freshman Chris Wright. As you may recall Chris Wright got injured in the preseason and he was supposed to miss this season altogether - at least that's what we were told during the preseason. But obviously he didn't!

    Hibbert probably lost money in this game, and while Big John (John Thompson the old Hoyas coach) was calling him "Big Stiff" in an affectionate-motivational kind of way, I am more inclined to call him Mecha-Hibbert. He is more mechanical than stiff. But he can certainly be effective in the NBA with his size and passing skills. Just don't expect him to be a Shaq or a Tim Duncan, but do expect a NBA team with Hibbert in its rotation to do well in wins and losses and have NBA playoff runs. All in my opinion of course.

    Calipari was wild during the game, and I'm not talking about the technical foul. He used a 12-man rotation in the first half, and a 6-man rotation in the second half. Wow! But that may have been a blessing in disguise as the first half foul trouble on Dozier and Dorsey kept them fresh and ready for the second half. The second half was where CDR woke up and started scoring, and his performance prompted Calipari to take him out of the game at the end, so the crowd would give him some deserved props.

    And it was the six starters that won the game for Memphis, and after their very solid performance in the second half, perhaps we may see more tightening of the rotation during close or big games by Calipari.

    We even saw space-eaters Hashim Bailey and Pierre Niles for a few minutes in the first half. Well okay, that was Pierre Niles. Hashim Bailey made a mini-brief guest appearance when someone busted Pierre Niles's nose.

    This was a good game for Georgetown as it showed them that they are not invincible and showed some areas where they need to work and improve. Obviously if this was an NCAA game it would have probably been played at a neutral court, and without the crowd's influence we may have had a different outcome.

    Nevertheless it showed that their freshmen are freshmen (Chris Wright in particular), but Georgetown has a very solid and versatile rotation that can punish and grind teams but also beat them at their own game. Can they do that for 40 minutes? That may be what decides how far Georgetown goes this season. Despite their second half performance, this game has improved the value of Georgetown's basketball stock in my eyes.

    This four-game series has the additional benefit that Georgetown and Memphis will likely avoid each other until either the Final Four or the Championship game. The NCAA selection committee and its computers prefer not to have re-runs during the tourney, but don't be surprised if this game ends up being played again in April under much brighter lights!

    This was obviously a solid game of the year nominee and if you have it on DVR, be sure to save it on VHS or DVD if you are a basketball junkie! It was awesoem with capital A! It would have been even nicer if the score was closer and more like the first half, but we can't expect perfection :)

    Opinions on the game around the internet
    Now let's see what other websites and blogs are saying out this game, starting with College Hoops Journal who thinks that Memphis may be cutting down the nets in April. FanIQ has a live thread, while Hoopskills thinks this was the game of the year.

    Hoya Hoops has the boxscore of the game, while the Examiner recaps the game. Fox Sports has a recap as well. More on this at Yet another basketball blog (that's the name of the blog, not an editorial comment by the way).

    The Big Lead sings the praises of Jay Bilas in taking over for Dookie Vitale, and I would like to strongly agree with that. Infact this game was much more fun to watch without Vitale screaming and yelling at the wrong point in the game, or engaged in tireless self-promotion, and the like. But as you may have noticed, Bilas was trying to "spice it up" a bit by closing the TV timeout breaks with something "loud", including the obligatory "Rafterism".

    CSTV's Hang Time says CDR gives CPR, while WMCTV covers the game as well. Sports from Two Burns thins Georgetown falls short.

    And if you missed our preview of the game, be sure to take a look.

    And before we go, a reminder: Check the college basketball TV schedule of December 2007 be sure to visit and bookmark this blog!

    The dream of going undefeated (Sunday's Outside the Lines)

    The Sunday edition of Outside the Lines examines the dreams of having an undefeated season. They examine all sports, both professional and collegiate. They do mention of course the 1972 Miami SeaTurtles, John Wooden's 88 game winning streak with the UCLA Bruins, Bob Knight's perfect season, and this season's New England Chowders in the NFL.

    And by Bob Knight's perfect season we don't mean hunting season, where each one of his shots hit something or ...someone ;-)

    And a last minute gift idea for the rock and roll fan: Led Zeppelin Complete Studio Recordings CD Box Set for $65 and free shipping at Amazon. This special price is only good today (Saturday), so get yours now!

    Advertise here!

    Interested in advertising in this premium spot of this blog?

    This is the premium spot of this blog (top of main column) and it is available advertising. We prefer HTML ads (text, pictures or both) but also accept Javascript ads. We do not encourage Flash or heavily-animated advertising. All advertising links will be marked as "nofollow" per Google's latest guidelines. Please note that we have to approve the ads before they go live. Please no gambling, no casinos, no adult themes.

    The duration of the ad is open, and we offer pro-rated refunds at any time. For example if you purchase a three month block and at the end of the second month you decide to cancel, we will send you a refund for 1/3rd of your payment amount.

    Let us know! The email address is _ncaahoops_ *at* [gmail] _dot_ [com]. (The extra characters are to prevent spammers). Rates depend on duration, size and type of ad, and how well it relates to our content.

    Friday, December 21, 2007

    Preview: Georgetown at Memphis, tomorrow's big game

    A big game tomorrow on ESPN and ESPN-HD, perhaps a preview of the Final Four or an Elite 8 matchup, the Georgetown Hoyas travel to the FedEx Forum in Memphis to square off with the Calipari Tigers.

    Of course we all know it's just a game, and unlike football, winning or losing won't make or break the season of either one of the teams. But nevertheless it's certainly fun and a nice notch to have on their NCAA selection committee bedpost.

    So the big questions, can the Calipari bigs handle Roy Hibbert? Will Calipari go to his two beef-eaters, Pierre Niles and Hashim Bailey to bruise Hibbert? Will Georgetown run? Will they try some of the Tim Floyd junk offenses? Can Memphis win in a half-court game against a tough solid well-coached team? How much impact will the home court advantage play? What impact will the early start of the game have?

    The game tips off at 3pm eastern (12pm pacific) on ESPN and ESPN-HD. For more of the many many exciting games on TV, be sure to visit and bookmark our December 2007 college hoops tv schedule.

    Long list of game previews on the net
    If you really want to get into the game, be sure to check all these previews of the big game! Let's get started: Hoops Skills blog, Rivals, SEC Talk blog, and even social bookmarking site digg has sniffed up the game.

    More previews: Go Tigers Go!, CSTV, Hoya Hoops, CSTV's Hangtime slog. A slog is not a slug. A slog is a sports blog, a term CSTV seems to love to use despite its silly sound :)

    And some more previews, The Van Buren Boys, The Bracket Board, WKRN, Rutland Herald, Yahoo Sports, and the Washington Post.

    Did you read all the previews above and want some more? Okay, fine, have it your way! Here's some more: ESPN, Yahoo News, Ball Hype, and U of M Tigers.

    Okay, I think this is a good sampling of the many previews this game is getting! There's plenty more, and I just couldn't include every single one of them. Be sure to read them all, because there will be a pop-up quiz tomorrow before tip-off ;-)

    2007-2008 College Hoops TV Guide December 2007

    Welcome to another edition of the College Basketball TV schedule! This is the December 2007 schedule. For the previous month, check the November 2007 TV schedule. Also be sure to check our January 2008 College Hoops TV schedule.

    All times mentioned here are Pacific Time
    Check your local listings for availability and air times
    Listings can be changed by the channels at the last minute, so always double-check with your local provider

    Sat December 1, 2007
  • 1am, Vermont at Florida, Fox College Sports (aka FCS)
  • 11am, North Carolina at Kentucky, ESPN2
  • 11am, Georgia Tech at Vandy, ESPN Full Court
  • 11am, Miami of Ohio at PitinoVille, ESPN Full Court
  • 12pm, SMU at UTSA (Full Court is feeling the pain of losing the Big 10 or they are showing mid majors some love?), ESPN Full Court
  • 1230pm, Hall of Fame Challenge: UConn vs Gonzaga, ESPN. Wow they put this on ESPN, and Carolina at Kentucky on the Deuce? Wake up!!!
  • 1pm, 10pm, Bowling Green at Oakland, FCS
  • 130pm, 1am, Western Kentucky at NAU, FCS
  • 230pm, Washington at Oklahoma State, ESPN2
  • 3pm, Hall of Fame Showcase, Boston College vs Providence, ESPN Classic. A live, not classic game. Wait isn't this a Big East game? Well, not anymore, but that's why perhaps it was put on Classic :)
  • 3pm, 10pm, Cincinatti at UAB, CSTV
  • 330pm, Texas Tech at Centenary, ESPN Full Court. Be careful, pellets may fly out of your tv screen during this game ;-)
  • 4pm, Seton Hall at St Mary's, Comcast Sports Net (CSNET)
  • 7pm, 12am, UCSB at LMU, FCS
  • 7pm, Nevada at Pacific, ESPN Full Court and Comcast Sports Net (CSNET)
  • 8pm, 3am, Missouri at Cal, FSN, FCS

    Sun December 2, 2007 (aka Big10 vs Pac10 Hardwood Series Challenge)
  • 630am, repeat: bowling green at oakland, FCS
  • 11am, 8pm, Kansas at USC, FSN, FCS
  • 1pm, 830pm, 430am, St Johns at Miami, FSN, FCS (not a Big East game)
  • 3pm, Texas A&M at Arizona, FSN, FCS
  • 4pm, repeat: nevada at pacific, CSNET
  • 5pm, 1am, Texas at UCLA, FSN, FCS
  • 5pm, 1230am, Oklahoma at TCU, CSTV
  • 1130pm, repeat: Paradise Jam game, FCS (maybe)
  • 12am, repeat: seton hall at st mary's, CSNET

    Don't miss a game with TiVo!

    Mon December 3, 2007
  • 630am, repeat: bowling green at oakland, FCS
  • 10am, repeat: texas a&m at arizona, FCS
  • 2pm, repeat: kansas at usc, FCS
  • 230pm, repeat: seton hall at st mary's, CSNET
  • 6pm, Wofford at Wisconsin, ESPN2
  • 12am, Classic: 1995 UNC at Duke, ESPN Classic
  • 3am, repeat: long beach state at washington, FCS
  • ESPN Full Court has home games for Florida and Arkansas

    Tue December 4, 2007
  • 430am, repeat: St Johns at Miami, FCS
  • 5am, repeat: kansas at usc, FCS
  • 10am, Jimmy V Tribute classic: 1987 ACC Final: NC vs NC State, ESPN Classic
  • 12pm, Jimmy V Tribute classic: 1983 ACC Final: NC State vs Virginia, ESPN Classic
  • 2pm, Jimmy V Tribute classic: 1983 NCAA Final: Houston vs NC State, ESPN Classic
  • 2pm, repeat: texas at ucla, FCS
  • 4pm, Jimmy V Classic: Kansas State vs Notre Dame, with Dick Vitale, ESPN
  • 4pm, North Carolina at Penn, ESPN2 (it was ugly last year)
  • 6pm, New Mexico vs New Mexico State, ESPN Full Court
  • 630pm, Jimmy V Classic: Memphis vs USC, with Dick Vitale, ESPN
  • 930pm, repeat: Paradise Jam, semifinal #1: Winthrop vs Georgia Tech, FCS
  • 12am, repeat: P-Jam semifinal #2: Baylor vs Notre Dame, FCS

    Wedn December 5, 2007
  • 730am, repeat: pepperdine at nau, FCS
  • 3pm, repeat: iowa state at oregon state, FCS (big12 pac10 hardwood series game)
  • 4pm, Georgetown vs Alabama, ESPN (Georgetown wins by 30?) (SEC/Big East challenge)
  • 430pm, Syracuse at Virgina, ESPN2 SHOCKER! Jim Boeheim plays a true road game!!!
  • 530pm, UNLV at NAU, FCS
  • 630pm, West Virginia vs Auburn, ESPN2 (SEC Big East challenge)
  • 12am, repeat: Texas A&M at Arizona, FCS
  • ESPN Full Court has home games for Florida, Kansas, Texas, Oki State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech, along with the in-state rivarly Iowa vs Northern Iowa.

    Thur December 6, 2007
  • 530am, repeat: st johns at miami, FCS
  • 9am, 630pm, repeat: UNLV at NAU, FCS
  • 4pm, Providence vs South Carolina, in Philly, ESPN2 (SEC Big East challenge aka invitational)
  • 6pm, High School Hoops: Campbell Hall (California) at St Edward of Ohio, ESPN2. Features J'Rue Holiday, Delvon Roe, Tom Pritchard. Preview at Recruiting Wars.
  • 630pm, LSU at Villanova, ESPN2 (Big East SEC challenge)
  • 3am, repe-a-t: long beach state at washington, FCS
  • ESPN Full Court: Home games for UConn, and a mid-major battle between Wisconsin Milwaukee at Illinois Chicago (thank you Big Ten Network say the mid-majors)

    Fri December 7, 2007
  • 5am, repeat: texas at ucla, FCS
  • 7am, repeat: kansas at usc, FCS
  • 9am, repeat: missouri at cal, FCS
  • Shock: NO LIVE GAMES!

    *** If you find these comprehensive TV listings helpful, you can encourage us to continue with them by making your purchases through our blog. ***

    Sat December 8, 2007
  • 9am, Arizona at Illinois, ESPN. A new era rivarly!
  • 9am, St Francis of NY at Wagner, FCS
  • 1030am, SFA at Oklahoma, ESPN Full Court
  • 11am, debut of CBS coverage, Michigan at Duke, CBS
  • 11am, DePaul at Kansas, ESPN. It looks like Bill Self likes it when Jerry Weinwright beats him at Allen Fieldhouse ;-)
  • 11am, Dayton at Louisville, ESPN2. Pitino wants to avenge last season's loss on CSTV
  • 11am, WAke Forest at Georgia, ESPN Full Court
  • 12pm, John Wooden Classic SDSU vs St Marys, CSNET
  • 12pm, 9pm, 3am, Pitt at Washington, FSN, FCS
  • 1pm, Kentucky at Indiana, CBS
  • 1pm, Purdue at Missouri, ESPN2
  • 1pm, Michigan State at BYU, Versus and BYU-TV
  • 230pm, John Wooden Classic: Davidson vs UCLA, WGN
  • 3pm, Marquette at Wisconsin, ESPN2
  • 3pm, Utah at Oregon, ESPN Full Court
  • 3pm, 11pm, 3am, Northern Colorado vs Colorado, FCS
  • 4pm, 1am, W. Ky vs E. Ky, FCS
  • 4pm, Duquesne at West Virginia, ESPN Full Court. Huggins alert!
  • 4pm, Rhode at Syracuse, ESPN Full Court. I smell an upset brewing!
  • 5pm, 1am, 5am, Cal State Northridge at Gonzaga, FCS. After being a brief exile to ESPNU, Gonzaga returns to FSN/FCS
  • 5pm, 9pm, Texas at Rice, CSTV
  • 5pm, repeat: 2007 High School Powerade JamFest, ESPN2
  • 5pm, UTEP at New Mexico State, ESPN Full Court
  • 5pm, East TN State at Oklahoma State, ESPN Full Court
  • 5pm, Wisc Milw at Loy Chi, ESPN Full Court
  • Even more ESPN Full Courts games, not all are listed here.

    Sunday December 9, 2007
  • 7am, repeat: texas at ucla, FCS
  • 9am, repeat: missouri at california-berkeley, FCS
  • 11am, California at Kansas State, FSN, FCS
  • 12pm, Rutgers at Nebraska, ESPN Full Court
  • 2pm, repeat: paradise jam final, baylor vs winthrop, FCS
  • 230pm, 830pm, George Washington at Virginia Tech, FSN, FCS. Transfer Winton Wytherspoon returns to his former campus (ACC Sunday Night Hoops)
  • 430pm, Boston College at Maryland, FSN, FCS. Actual ACC Sunday Night Hoops. The ACC conference season tips off on December 9!
  • 530pm, 1am, Cal Poly SLO at NAU, FCS
  • 730pm, 3am, repeat: Pitt at Washington, FCS
  • 1am, repeat: northern colorado at colorado, FCS
  • 3am, 5am, repeat: CSN at Gonzaga, FCS

    Buy & Sell Baseball Tickets on!

    Monday December 10, 2007
  • 5am, repeat: kansas at usc, FCS (maybe)
  • 7am, repeat: texas at ucla, FCS
  • 9am, repeat: missouri at california-berkeley, FCS
  • 930am, 1am, repeat: boston college at maryland, FCS
  • 12am, Classic: 1994 California at Arizona, ESPN Classic
  • 1am, repeat: Cal Poly SLO at NAU
  • Shock! No LIVE GAMES???

    Tuesday December 11, 2007
  • 5am, repeat: unlv at nau, FCS
  • 4pm, E-60: OJ Mayo is featured, ESPN
  • 11pm, repeat, GW at Virginia Tech, FCS
  • Shock! No LIVE GAMES???

    Wedn December 12, 2007
  • 530am, repeat, GW at Virginia Tech, FCS
  • 4pm, Cincy at Xavier, ESPN2.
  • 5pm, Vandy at DePaul, ESPN Classic (live game)
  • 5pm, Wisconsin at Wisc Milwaukee, ESPN Full Court
  • 630pm, repeat: W.Ky at NAU, FCS
  • 1am, repeat, W. Ky at E. Ky, FCS
  • 3am, repeat, Cal Poly SLO at NAU, FCS

    Thur December 13, 2007
  • 5am, repeat: CSN at Gonzaga, FCS
  • 630am, repeat: BC at Maryland, FCS
  • 730am, repeat: Kansas at USC, FCS
  • 5pm, Miami at Mississippi State, ESPN Full Court
  • 6pm, High School Basketball: Oak Hill Academy vs St Benedict (NJ), ESPN. On-going game preview at Recruiting Wars

    Fri December 14, 2007
  • 1030am, 8pm, repeat: pitt at washington, FCS
  • 230pm, repeat: kansas at USC, FCS
  • 730pm, repeat: Cal SLO at NAU, FCS
  • 930pm, repeat: CSN at Gonzaga, FCS

    Relive your favorite 2007 NCAA Tournament games
  • Every 2007 NCAA College Basketball game is on DVD!, produced by NCAA On-Demand.

    Sat December 15, 2007
  • 830am, 3pm, ACC Basketball Preview, FCS (Fox College Sports)
  • 9am, Oklahoma State at Pitt, ESPN
  • 11am, UAB at Kentucky, ESPN (new coaches for both teams since the classic NCAA game)
  • 11am, Oregon at Nebraska, ESPN Full Court
  • 11am, 830pm, Colorado State at North Dakota State, Fox College Sports
  • 11am, CS-Sac at Marquette, ESPN Full Court Cupcakes
  • 12pm, Arkansas at Oklahoma, ESPN2
  • 12pm, GA So at Florida, ESPN Full Court
  • 1230pm, Soul of a Champion: Bob Knight, Versus
  • 1230pm, Wooden Tradition: Louisville vs Purdue, CBS
  • 1pm, Texas Tech at New Mexico, Bob Knight vs Steve Alford, Versus
  • 1pm, 1am, 3am, Xavier at Arizona State, FCS
  • 1pm, 1am, repeat: boston college at maryland, FCS
  • 2pm, Ohio at Kansas, ESPN2
  • 3pm, Portland at Washington, FCS
  • 3pm, Texas State at Texas, ESPN Full Court
  • 3pm, Coors Classic: Auburn vs Southern, you have to be drunk to watch this game, so they picked the right sponsor ;-) ESPN Full Court
  • 4pm, Memphis at Middle TN State, ESPN2
  • 5pm, 11pm, Idaho State at UCLA, FCS
  • 5pm, McNeese State at Missouri, ESPN Full Court. Donuts for the students, cupcakes for Mike Anderson
  • 5pm, Coors Classic: Mississippi State vs South Alabama, ESPN Full Court
  • 7pm, 3am, repeat: gw at va tech, FCS

    Sun December 16, 2007
  • 11am, Quinnipiac Pollsters at UConn, ESPN Full Cupcake Court
  • 12pm, 1am, Fresno State at Arizona, FSN, FCS
  • 5pm, North Carolina at Rutgers, ESPN2

    Mon December 17, 2007
  • 730am, repeat: fresno state at arizona, FCS
  • 930am, repeat: xavier at arizona state, FCS
  • 2pm, repeat: texas tech at new mexico, Versus
  • 4pm, Albany at Duke, ESPN2. Go Albany!!!
  • 5pm, 1130pm, Northern Colorado at Gonzaga, FCS
  • 5pm, 1130pm, Northern Colorado at Oregon State, FCS, Huh?
  • 5pm, Three cupcake games on ESPN Full Court featuring Missouri, Marquette and Alabama
  • 7pm, 10pm, Navy at San Diego State, CSTV
  • 1130pm, repeat, northern colorada at colorada, fcs
  • 12am, CLASSIC: 1986 Maryland at North Carolina, ESPN Classic

    Tue December 18, 2007
  • 9am, 9pm, 1am, repeat: Navy at San Diego State, CSTV
  • 130pm, 11pm, repeat: fresno state at arizona, FCS
  • 330pm, Oral "scandalous" Roberts at Texas, ESPN Full court
  • 4pm, Kansas at Georgia Tech, ESPN
  • 4pm, Marshall at Louisville, ESPN Full Court. Can Pitino win?
  • 5pm, 430am, North Carolina Central at Western Kentucky, FCS
  • 6pm, Kentucky at Houston, ESPN2
  • 730pm, 1am, Portland State at Washington, FCS. Apple cupcakes?
  • 11pm, Latin America Hoops: Defensor Sporting vs Boca Junior, on Fox Sports Espagnol (FSE)

    Wedn December 19, 2007
  • 5am, 5pm, 1130pm, repeat: northern colorado at gonzaga, fcs
  • 6am, repeat: navy at san diego state, CSTV
  • 730apm, 430pm, repeat: portland state at washington, fcs
  • 930am, 630pm, repeat: idaho state at ucla, fcs
  • 1130am, 5am, repeat: fresno state at arizona, fcs
  • 4pm, Memphis at Cincinnati, ESPN2
  • 430pm, Baylor at South Carolina, ESPN Full Court
  • 6pm, repeat, north carolina central at western kentucky, FCS
  • 7pm, 1030pm, Arizona at UNLV, CSTV
  • 730pm, Santa Clara at Stanford, FSN, FCS

    Thur December 20, 2007
  • 530am, repeat: northern colorado at gonzaga, fcs
  • 930am, repeat, north carolina central at western kentucky, FCS
  • 1230pm, repeat: portland state at washington, fcs
  • 230pm, repeat: idaho state at ucla, fcs
  • 4pm, Aeropostale classic: Duke vs Pitt, MSG, ESPN
  • 4pm, O'Reilly Classic: Oral "scandalous" Roberts vs Oklahoma State, ESPN2
  • 430p, repeat: fresno state at arizona, fcs
  • 6pm, High School Tournament of Champions Final, Fox College Sports. Teams unknown at the moment
  • 630pm, O'Reilly Classic: Gonzaga vs Oklahoma, ESPN2
  • 7pm, Utah Valley State vs Utah State, ESPN Full Court
  • 730pm, Cougar Classic: Citadel at Washington State, FCS
  • 12am, CLASSIC from 1993: Indiana at Penn State, ESPN Classic

    Fri December 21, 2007
  • 4pm, repeat: north carolina central at western kentucky, FCS
  • 4pm, repeat: cougar classic: citadel at washington state, FCS
  • 5pm, Mississippi State at Texas A&M Corpus Cristi, ESPN Full Court
  • 530pm, Coppin State at Marqutte, ESPN Full Court
  • 1030pm, repeat: portland state at washington, fcs

    Don't miss a game with TiVo!

    Sat December 22, 2007
  • 9am, GEORGETOWN at MEMPHIS, ESPN, with Jay Bilas, Doris Burke and Dan Shuman
  • 10am, Miami of Ohio slugfest at Kansas, ESPN Full Court
  • 10am, Maine at UConn, winner gets a bowl of clam chowder, ESPN Full Court
  • 10am, Tenn Tech at Kentucky, ESPN Full Court
  • 10am, Classic: 1988, BYU vs Hawaii, BYU-TV
  • 11am, UCLA at Michigan, poor CBS stuck with those Michigan contracts
  • 11am, Tennessee at Xavier, ESPN. Could be an awesome game!
  • 11am, Nevada at Northern Iowa, CSNET, ESPN FullCourt. An early bracket buster?
  • 11am, New Mexico State at Louisville, ESPN Full court
  • 11am, Alabama A&M at Auburn, ESPN Full court
  • 12pm, 10pm, 5am, Western Kentucky at Southern Illinois, FCS. The first one to 40 wins.
  • 12pm, 1130pm, San Diego State at Arizona, FCS
  • 12pm, Charleston at South Carolina, ESPN Full court
  • 12pm, Texas Arlington at Oklahoma, ESPN Full Court
  • 12pm, Oregon State at LSU, ESPN Full Court. Wow a Pac-10 team on the ESPN family of networks!
  • 1pm, FLORIDA at OHIO STATE, CBS. Not as exciting as last year, but still!
  • 1pm, West Virginia at Canisius, ESPN Full Court. Bob Huggins visits John Beilein's previous job
  • 130pm, Stanford at Texas Tech, ESPN2. The Big 12 Pac 10 Hardwood Series Challenge is back with this last "official" game in the series. With Fran Frachilla and Ron Franklin.
  • 3pm, 11pm, Utah at California Berkeley, CSNET
  • 3pm, North Texas at Denver, FCS
  • 3pm, 930pm, CS-Northridge at Washington, FCS. Is there any west coast mid-major that didn't play Washington this season? (not that they don't need those games)
  • 330pm, TEXAS at Michigan State, ESPN2
  • 530pm, Illinois at Missouri, ESPN2, with Steve Lavin
  • 530pm, 5am, repeat: cougar classic: citadel at washington state, FCS
  • 6pm, Tennessee State at Vandy, ESPN Full court

    Sun December 23, 2007
  • 7am, repeat: CS-Northridge at Washington, FCS.
  • 9am, 9pm, repeat: San Diego State at Arizona, FCS
  • 230pm, repeat: utah at california, CSNET
  • 230pm, 11pm, ACC Sunday Night Hoops: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest, FSN, FCS
  • 430pm, 1am, 430am, Cincinnati at NC State, FSN, FCS

    Mon December 24, 2007
  • 630am, 830pm, repeat: virginia tech at wake forest, FCS
  • 11am, repeat: san diego state at arizona, FCS
  • 1pm, repeat: cal state northridge at washington, fcs
  • 3pm, repeat: cougar classic, citadel at washington state, fcs
  • 6pm, repeat: western kentucky at southern illinois, fcs
  • 9pm, repeat: nevada at northern iowa, CSNET
  • 1030pm, repeat: cincy at nc state, FCS
  • 12am, CLASSIC from 1989: LSU at Kentucky, Jan 14, ESPN Classic

    Tue December 25, 2007 - Merry XMas!
  • 3am to 5am, Pistol Pete Diaries, Fox College Sports
  • 5am, Who's #1: Greatest college basketball players, ESPN Classic
  • 7am, repeat: Paradise Jam, semifinal #2, baylor vs notre dame, FCS
  • 930pm, 2005 Summer University Games, Men's Basketball Final, Fox College Sports (FCS) (90 minutes long)

    Wedn December 26, 2007
  • 3am, 1230am, repeat: virginia tech at wake forest, fcs
  • 4am, repeat: cal state northridge at washington, fcs
  • 4pm, Morehead State at Louisville, ESPN Full Court
  • 6pm, 5am, repeat: western kentucky at southern illinois, fcs
  • 1030pm, repeat: cincy at nc state, FCS
  • 3am, san diego state at arizona, FCS

    Thur December 27, 2007
  • 5am, 730am, repeat: cal state northridge at washington, fcs
  • 7am, midnight, repeat: cincy at nc state, FCS
  • 9am, repeat: virginia tech at wake forest, fcs
  • 4pm, Nevada at North Carolina, ESPN2
  • 12am, CLASSIC: 1996 Big East conference tournament final: UConn vs Georgetown, ESPN Classic

    Fri December 28, 2007
  • 3am, 930pm, repeat: cal state northridge at washington, fcs
  • 4am, repeat: western kentucky at southern illinois, fcs
  • 5am, repeat: fresno state at arizona, fcs
  • 1130am, High School Basketball: T-Mobile Invitational, Centennial (Ga.) vs. Lone Peak (Utah), on Versus
  • 230pm, High School Basketball: T-Mobile Invitational, La Cueva (N.M.) vs. St. Anthony (N.J), Versus
  • 230pm, repeat: san diego state at arizona, fcs
  • 330pm, Aeropostale: Hofstra vs Virginia Tech, FoxCollegeSports (FCS)
  • 5pm, 9pm, 1am, 530am, UConn at UCF, CSTV
  • 530pm, Aeropostale: Marist vs St Johns, FCS

    Sat December 29, 2007
  • 530am, Who's #1? Greatest College basketball players, ESPN Classic
  • 745am, 340pm, 1015pm, Heart of the Game, documentary (Filmmaker Ward Serrill profiles Bill Resler, a university professor who coaches a girls basketball team at a Washington state high school), Starz Cinema
  • 830am, repeat: marist vs stjohns, fcs
  • 9am, Wisconsin at Texas, ESPN2
  • 1030am, aeropostale game from MSG, FCS
  • 11am, San Diego at Kentucky, ESPN2
  • 11am, NW State at Texas Tech, ESPN Full Court
  • 11am, Savvanah State at Marquette, ESPN Full Cupcake Court
  • 11am, Manhattan at Rutgers, ESPN Full Court
  • 1130am, High school hoops: T-Mobile Invitational, 3rd place, Versus
  • 12pm, Iona at Louisville, eSPN FullCourt
  • 12pm, Washington at LSU, ESPN Full court
  • 1230pm, aeropostale game from MSG, FCS
  • 1pm, Tennessee at Gonzaga, ESPN2
  • 1pm, Winthrop at Miami, Fox College Sports (FCS)
  • 2pm, Fresno State at Stanford, now with Brook Lopez, FSN, ESPN Full Court
  • 230pm, 9pm, repeat: fresno state at arizona, fcs
  • 230pm, High school hoops: T-Mobile Invitational, 1st place, Versus
  • 3pm, Oklahoma at West Virginia, ESPN2
  • 3pm, George Washington at Alabama, ESPN Full Court
  • 330pm, Temple at Florida, Fox College Sports, ESPN Full Court
  • 430pm, 11pm, UC Davis at UCLA, FCS
  • 5pm, Pitt at Dayton, ESPN2
  • 5pm, Yale at Kansas, ESPN Full Court
  • 530pm, 1230am, Westerny Kentucky at Troy, FCS
  • 6pm, BYU at Boise State, BYU-TV
  • 9pm, repeat: uconn at central florida, CSTV
  • 1030pm, Aeropostale 3rd place, FCS
  • 3am, repeat: cal state northridge at washington, fcs

    Sun December 30, 2007
  • 5am, 9pm, repeat: san diego state at arizona, fcs
  • 630am, 9pm, repeat: uconn at central florida, CSTV
  • 10am, repeat: uc davis at ucla, fcs
  • 1030am, Missouri at Mississippi State, ESPN Full Court
  • 1pm, CLASSIC from 1990: NCAA Regional, Georgia Tech vs Michigan State, ESPN Classic
  • 230pm, repeat: fresno state at arizona, fcs
  • 230pm, 1am, ACC Sunday Night Hoops: Florida State at Georgia Tech, FSN, FCS
  • 430pm, Valpo at North Carolina, FSN, FCS
  • 430pm, repeat: cal state northridge at washington, fcs
  • 7pm, repeat: Washington at LSU, FCS
  • 7pm, Montana State at Oregon State, FCS

    Mon December 31, 2007
  • 9am, Florida International at Kentucky, ESPN Full Court
  • 1130am, repeat: fresno state at stanford, FCS
  • 12pm, Alcorn State at New Mexico State, ESPN Full Court
  • 3pm, idaho state at washington, fcs. Is there a west-coast cupcake they didn't play?
  • 5pm, Utah at Gonzaga, Fox College Sports (FCS)
  • 7pm, 1130pm, repeat: montana state at oregon state, fcs

    Direct from the Source
  • FSN and Fox College Sports tv listings.
  • Big Ten Network tv listings.
  • CBS Sports, the whole season until Selection Sunday 2008 which is Sunday, March 16, 2007. Billy (anti-Vitale but with a Coke habit) Packer and Jim Nantz continue to be the lead duo of announcers.
  • ESPN TV, and ESPN Program Guide.
  • CSTV.
  • TiVo.
  • Comcast.

    Time-shift your favorite games with...
    The Philips DVDR3575H/37 DVD Recorder with Hard Drive. Read more on this topic.

    High School Basketball TV Schedule

    The ESPN family of networks will bring us 15 high school hoops games this season. Details in this printer-friendly edition of ESPN High School. Some of the upcoming stars that will be spotlighted include Tyreke Evans, Samardo Samuels, J'Rue Holiday, Delvon Roe, Brandon Jennings, Lance Stephenson, Dexter Strickland, and lots more!

  • Gonzaga vs Oklahoma

    NBA scouts, meet, Longer Longer. Bob Cousy pre-season selection committee, meet Jeremy Pargo. A game that was offensively-challenged in the first half became an entertaining see-saw battle in the second half. Infact the game had a soccer score at the first TV timeout (2-2). Four plus minutes of hoops and just 2 points for each team! Ouch!

    The Sooners showed a lot of promise with the way they were able to push back after a run by the Zags, and earlier in the game the Zags did the same when the Sooners made a run.

    Jeremy Pargo had an impressive run in the second half when he scored 11 consecutive points, but this may have damned his team's chances of a win as he continued shooting but not making the shots. But you can't complain about Pargo, he scored a career high 28 points, and a lot of them were critical buckets when the rest of the Zags were not able to make plays or score.

    And to think that the preseason Bob Cousy selection committee did not have Jeremy Pargo as one of the 40 nominees! Really, there are 40 point guards better than Pargo? Where? In the NBA? Maybe, but certainly not in the NCAA!

    This was a transitional game for the Zags. Josh "shroom" Heytvelt made his return to the court after ShroomGate and an injury, true freshman Stephen Gray played his second game, and tough cookie Matt Bouldin was coming back after an injury. With so many comings and goings there was expected to be some tumblings. But this is the short term. In the long term, this gives Few a 10+ man rotation, with a lot of versatility. The only weak point is backup point guard - if Pargo ever leaves the game - and there a combination of Bouldin and Gray will probably do for the few milliseconds Pargo is off the floor.

    The first half the Zags played good defense as neither Ammo nor lil kiddie Raivio was on the court. But in the second half the defense was ...GoneZaga. This team certainly has a toughness boost as Pargo, Bouldin and do-it-all Pendo are definitely of the tough cookie variety. The only member of the "Moody Blues" appears to be "lowered expectations" Micah Downs.

    If you had any questions whether Jeff Capel was a Dookie, just look at his hair. It looks like a blend between Coach K's head and the Duke logo! A total Dookie!

    But the Sooners look very promising as of that game, with a four-pack of solid forwards, the Griffin Bros, Longar "I got offensive moves NBA scouts" Longar and Keith "Moose" Clark. The guards may be an issue but as long as Austin Johnson keeps making threes, things will be good.

    But we learned more from this game, for instance, Fran Frachilla has an iPod, and he has Toby Keith songs on his iPod - according to Fran of course. The iPod was not made available for an independent entity to verify whether Frannie was just trying to please the home crowd. Toby Keith was right there watching the game :-)

    More on this game at La Rev, Zagaholic, Ball Hype, News Channel 8, and AOL fan house.

    For more TV games, be sure to check the December 2007 college hoops tv sked here at NCAA Hoops Today. Not to be confused with our beer blog, NCAA Hops Today ;-)

    One funny thing we forgot to mention: At one point the TV cameras caught Mark Few looking miserable and sleepy on the bench. As soon as Few noticed he was on camera, he jumped up and started making (or faking) hand signals and hollering at his players down the court. I think he was faking it to save face :-)

    Pitt vs Duke

    Move over over-rated Pitt big men (yes, you Aaron Gray and Levon Kendall), here comes a really effective big man, the new Big Baby, DeJuan Blair, or DJ Blair. And he sure was mixing it up on the court last night, getting close to a 20-20 in points and rebounds. And a big thank you to DJ Blair for being instrumental in defeating the Dookies! Thank you DJ Blair!

    As I had predicted in my game preview earlier (master of the obvious prediction), Duke "won the zebra game", as they got the majority of the calls, but perhaps not as many as they usually do. But that did not phase the Pitt Panthers who made a comeback after they got punched in the mouth by the Dookies.

    The game was supposed to be a high scoring affair because both teams are allegedly playing fast this season, but instead it was a high-stakes wrestling match, interrupted by basketball moments. Mike Cook can attest to that as he had what looked like a serious knee injury.

    LaVance Fields won the game in overtime with a step-back three in the face of the Dookies, and that couldn't make fans of Pitt and anti-fans of Duke any happier! Thank you LaVance Fields!

    More on this game from Pitt Blather, Pitt Rivals, CSTV's Slogville (CSTV uses the term "slogs" to describe "sports blogs").

    Even more coverage by 850 the Buzz (a blog that uses a radio format?), the News Leader, Pitt Live, College Hoops Journal, and Sportsocracy.

    Be sure to plan your weekend of college hoops using our December TV Guide!

    Speaking of TV, the game was called by Jay Bilas, standing in for Dick Vitale. It looks like Bilas will also do the Georgetown at Memphis game as well. More on this in the random college hoops thoughts post.

    Random College Hoops Airballs

  • Is Jay Bilas taking over the Dick Vitale announcing spots until Vitale returns or is ESPN going to do it by committee? Bilas just did the Pitt vs Duke game and he is going to do the Georgetown at Memphis game, along side Dan Shuman and the underrated Doris Burke.

  • NCAA Selection committee chairman Tom O'Connor appeared for an extended in-game interview on CBS during the Wooden Tradition game on CBS Sports, between Louisville and Purdue. While "please retire" Lundquist was handing him assists, Billy "Fudge" Packer was trying to get something out of him, but just like a politician on the campaign trail, Tom O'Connor, the George Mason athletic director, managed to avoid answering any questions of substance. Packer did manage to get him to mention Gardner Webb though. But that was a "master of the obvious" type of a revelation.

  • Did you notice that Pitino's rosters in Louisville look impressive in the spring, but when the season starts the roster is nowhere near as long as the preseason? Some of that had to do with early entries to the NBA draft way back when high school seniors were allowed to crash David Stern's millionaire's party, but it's not just the NBA, it's also a wave of injuries. It seems like PitinoVille is one of those schools that keep having injured players year in and year out. Is it bad luck, or does it have to do with the conditioning programs or the facilities or the trainers? UCLA is another team that always seems to look like a MASH unit.

  • Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Pitt vs Duke, previewing the big game tonite at MSG

    Just two hours before tip-off of a big game to be played at MSG on ESPN tonight. The Dookies are playing injured, as their #1 Bestest cheerleader, Dookie Vitale is on the injured reserve with a vocal chord injury. How can the Dookies adopt and play without Vitale? Watch tonight and find out!

    Previews of the game from the Pitt perspective: Pitt Blather, Pitt Rivals, Pittsburgh live, Bill White.

    Some previews of the game from the Duke perspective: , ACC Basketball blog.

    And some more previews at Us vs Them, Doubt about it, blog hype, Vegas Watch.

    Also, CNN SI interviews Pitt's Sam Young and the Charlotte Observer (link via Blog Hype via the ACC Basketball Blog) discusses Duke's D'Antoni D'AntDookie offense.

    For all the upcoming tv listings, be sure to check our college hoops TV schedule.

    My prediction: Duke wins in overtime while getting 70% of the 50-50 calls. Normally this would be considered unfair, but given that Duke normally gets 80% of the 50-50 calls, Hank Nichols sings the praises of his officials for "fair and balanced officiating" ;-)

    My Preference: Pitt beats the Dookies by 20. DJ Blair has a triple double with 24 points, 22 rebounds and 11 blocks. Taylor King goes 0 of 8 from the three point line, Greg Paulus has 12 turnovers, Coach K gets caught by the cameramen mouthing filthy obscenities at the zebras, Kyle Singler gets in early foul trouble, and Jon Scheyer cries on the bench because he got benched for not playing good defense. Just about the only Dookie I do not dislike is De Marcus Nelson. Nelson, there is still time, the spring semester has not started, there is still time to transfer out of Coach K's SmugNest!

    ESPN Full Court gets stingy with its freet previews

    From what I recall from previous years, ESPN Full Court used to have more free previews and it would also selectively "unlock" some days or some games as teasers for fans to watch, enjoy, want more, and subscribe.

    This year it seems they have gone stingy with their free promos and previews, as I have not run into any of them so far. Granted we are only one month into the season, but give us some freebies! We are pay a gazillion dollars per month just to get digital cable, so give some freebies baby! ;-)

    Arizona at UNLV

    This was an intensely ugly game. Oops! I should say it was intense but ugly. The scoreboard? That would have been the halftime score if Tark's UNLV was playing Lute Olson's run and gun Wildcats. But instead this game was defensive Lon Kruger squaring off defensive Kevin "Enforcer" O'Neill, and we were shocked to actually see one team score more than 50. Which is (sadly) what took to win the game.

    On the plus side, Seth Davis fans will be thrilled that he will be the half-time show analyst on CSTV college basketball games this season. During this game he was joined by studio anchor/host Adam Zucker of CSTV in the Fieldhouse in New York City.

    As expected, Jordan Hill had a big game against the UNLV smalls, getting a career high 19 rebounds, and 16 points or so. And the Arizona Meercats needed them all, as Chase "Over-Rated" Budinger was off once again, and Bayless spent more time in this game being a freshman than usual.

    Meanwhile Nic "Hoops" Wise showed once again lots of onions and was the second most important player in getting the Cats the "W".

    UNLV on the other hand, needs players, they need to sign a few free agents, but of course they can't, so they have to play small ball. Kruger seems to love getting power-guards, you know the 6'1" to 6'3" 200+ pounders, but can't seem to be able to get any big men.

    And while he can deliver results and have a very solid team on the court, it's just not the same when you have the UNLV Running Rebels being the UNLV Grinding Slugfesters. Sorry UNLV fans, but the truth hurts!

    More on this game at CSTV, UNLV Rebels, Ball Hype, Xs and Os Coaching Better Basketball blog, and Rebel Nation.

    Don't miss Duke vs Pitt and the Zags tripping out to Oklahoma tonight! More details in our college hoops tv guide.

    Memphis at Cincinatti

    One time a big Conference USA rivalry, this game was reduced to an ugly and choppy affair where the bottom team of the Big East was hosting a Top 5 team. Calipari apparently decided he would win the game only with three pointers in the first half and it worked as long as the threes were falling.

    Once again Memphis showed why I have so questions about them being a top team. This of course depends on how you perceive these games. Were they able to win despite playing bad, thus they are a really great team, or is this their true self and they are going to struggle winning close half-court games? We blog, you decide!

    Cincy of course had its share of injuries but the feisty Mick Cronin (who wore an anti-GQ outfit that screamed against his red head (yes we are pseudo-analysts)) did not let his team fall behind, although they were never a "serious" threat of winning the game.

    The good news for Tigers fans is that Derrick O'Rosie was raining threes, a welcome development for his game, both at the college level and in the eyes of the scouts. Just like Kevin Love, Rose (and the analysts) are discovering that it's a different game when you are not playing against the kiddies any more, but you have to face players that may be stronger, faster, taller, and older.

    The Tigers big men were having foul trouble and frustrations which caused Calipari to go 11-deep and bust out not only Jeff Robinson but Pierre Niles as well. He is probably going to need his space-eaters to body-up Roy Hibbert on Saturday.

    However the most effective line-up in this game was when Calipari went to a three point guard line-up, oh the luxury to be able to do that, most coaches will tell you. Rose and Kemp are big enough that they can cover most wings, and this line-up was able to significantly cut down on turnovers. Don't be surprised if they make another appearance if Georgetown causes them too many turnovers.

    Meanwhile the Laurinburg group looked as if they were "on strike" in support of the television writers. CDR was a non-factor on offense, Dorsey had another "Oden" game, Dozier was off, and Antonio Anderson's saving grace was hitting a few threes (he lit up Cincy two years ago).

    Cincy can look forward to fighting teams off for the #16 spot in the Big East. It's gonna get uglier before it gets better for Cincy, and perhaps they should strongly consider going back to Conference USA. There, they would have been a top-tier team, instead of having to scrap and claw just to make the Big East tourney.

    More on this game from MySpace (yes, they have sports), Commercial Appeal, Zanesville Times Recorder, and on Memphis and Conference USA by the RealSportsBloggers.

    Don't miss Pitt vs Duke tonight from MSG, and the O'Reilly Auto Parts Classic double header from Oklahoma. More details in our giant college hoops tv listings

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Week #6 of the Blog Poll Top 25 is published!

    Week #6 of the Blog Poll top 25 has been published! Be sure check out the total vote, along with details on how each blog-voter voted. All the details in this Google Doc.

    Spoiler Alert: This sentence will reveal who is #1! The #1 in this week's BlogPoll is ... North Carolina with Memphis at #2, Texas a clear #3, Kansas a clear #4, the Dookies a clear #5 (I voted them #1, please Pitt beat them!!!)!

    #6, #7 and #8 are nearby in terms of votes, Washington State, Georgetown and UCLA, the slugfest trio! (just kidding or am I?)

    Much further away in terms of votes is Michigan State at #9, with Marquette rounding up the Top 10. Check the Google doc mentioned above for the complete top 25.

    The last team in was BYU and the last team out was Villanova. Apparently people are holding the "phantom Mickey Mouse call" loss to NC State in the Disney made-for-thanksgiving-TV tourney against the Nova Wildcats. I am not!

    For wall to wall coverage on the BlogPoll Top 25, and a list of participating bloggers, check the left-hand column of this blog, or click on the "blogpoll" tag/label at the end of this post.

    Today on Outside the Lines: The Green Monster (Danny Ainge's new Boston Celtics)

    Today's centerpiece of ESPN's Outside the Lines features the "Green Monster", Danny Ainge's "new" Boston Celtics "dynasty". Outside the Lines airs at 3pm eastern (12pm pacific) on ESPN today.

    Here is how ESPN describes the centerpiece in their OTL promo email:

    So far in this young NBA season, Danny Ainge appears to be a genius. The Boston Celtics are 20-2 and are dominating the league. The additions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen this off-season along with Celtics favorite Paul Pierce have given Boston a 1-2-3 superstar punch that Boston hasn't seen since the Bird, McHale and Parrish era. However, some critics say that the Celtics haven't proven anything yet with an easy early-season schedule. Wednesday night should be a good indicator as the Celtic's face off with the always tough Detroit Pistons. Today on Outside the Lines, we examine what the Boston Celtics have done so far and what they are capable of doing.

    Kentucky at Houston

    Turnaround Tom is one of the last few remaining "mad scientists" of the game. His "scramble" style of play was "modernized" by attaching the "Phoenix Suns offense" tag to it, and his specialty in re-recruiting continues to pay off with the likes of Dior Dowell and Marcus Cousin (who did not play in this game).

    This was another disappointing game for Kentucky, considering the high level of expectations, but the silver lining was that Jodie Meeks came back with guns ablazing (he picked up from where Darth Vaden left off in their previous game), and the team continued to fight and chip away even when everyone knew what the outcome of the game was.

    They were playing without Patrick Patterson who had a "last minute" injury because according to the ESPN crew he was fine in practice. Without Patterson to patrol the paint, the crazy Cougars had their way on the offensive glass, running and gunning Penders style.

    Patterson's absence was an opportunity for the seven footer Carter to get some PT, but the style of play of Houston was not a good match for a seven footer. Carter, who considered transferring, may want to considering "Division 2" if he really wants to play (Ouch!). The new NCAA ads say "I chose Division 2", so it can't be that bad :)

    Crawford added another bad mark to his under-achieving career with a "coward's foul" on an opponent's breakaway dunk. I think the NCAA needs to punish players beyond just a technical for fouls that endanger a player's career. Those types of fouls are just wrong, and the excuses used by players and coaches are just plain LAME! NCAA, do your job!

    Meanwhile Tom Penders probably has to have a roll coll before each practice, that's the only way he can keep track with his ever-changing roster. With Lanny Smith healthy so far (knock on wood for his sake), the team looks like it may have the breakout year Tom Penders was hoping two years ago. They certainly have lots of players to mix into the rotation. I was impressed by Toney's rebounding ability but then again, there was no Patrick Patterson to patrol the paint.

    More on this game at the following websites and blogs:

  • A Sea of Blue
  • John Clay's Sidelines Report
  • Jerry Tipton
  • The Sporting News
  • The Three Pointer Blog
  • Cats Pause (Rivals)
  • SEC The Good the Bad and the Dirty

    Don't miss any TV games! Visit and Bookmark our College Hoops TV Guide of December 2007, updated on an on-going basis!

  • Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Dick Vitale on the injured reserve!

    Dookie Vitale is on the injured reserve! Dickie V had successful surgery to remove ulcers from his vocal chords and will be sidelined from broadcasting games until February 2008. This according to ESPN News.

    Vitale will continue to cover college hoops online, on his website and at the ESPN website. But he won't be doing any games until February 2008.

    While we all wish Dickie V a speedy and full recovery, one cannot help but wonder: Who will ESPN pick to do Vitale's games? Will ESPN go after an outside analyst for the spotlight games, "promote" one of their current analysts in the "star analyst" role, or "rotate" their existing analysts in those slots?

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Live-blogging my Week #6 BlogPoll Top 25 vote

    My vote for week #6 of the BlogPoll top 25 is going to be wacky, but in a good way. When I vote in the blog polls, I do not use the same approach used by the AP and Coaches polls, which causes some teams to be ranked/unraked despite "conventional wisdom" which really is just "programming" from following the way the AP/Coaches poll "moves" when teams win or lose regardless of how they played, who they played, and the circumstances of the game.

    Let's not forget that the Top 25 is not a single-elimination vote like the NCAA tourney, but an "overall picture" type of ranking with a blend of past, present and future mixed in.

    One more thing, I will be "honoring" the RPI by voting the #1 team in the RPI at #25 or higher each week. This week the Miami Hurricanes are the #1 team in the RPI (, so I will add them to my top 25. Where? Read on to find out!

    I'm saying all that because my #1 is *gasp* the hated Duke Pukedevils. While both North Carolina and Memphis are loaded with talent, the "truthiness" component of my vote feels that there's something missing from each team. Duke on the other hand has the extra benefit of getting 80-20 of the calls, and they have a more "basketball-friendly" style of play this year after Coach RatCase K "stole" from his assistants. D'Antoni's offense and Boeheim's defense!

    Because of the UNC/Memphis "uncertainty", I am ranking Georgetown at #2. Georgetown is not going to dazzle and razzle but they are going to knockout a team out when the game is on the line.

    With UNC and Memphis at #3 and #4, Texas, UCLA, Kansas, and Washington State are ranked #5 through #8.

    The under-appreciated Butler Bulldogs are at #9, with the Indiana Phone Cheaters at #10. Marquette's power-trio of guards is also flying under the radar a little bit, given their impact, but they are getting #11 from me, which is one spot above the "Clyde do you miss us?" Texas A&M Aggies.

    I reluctantly vote Izzo State at #13, and at #14, the Arizona Meercats! Yes, the Kevin O'Neill the Enforcer is starting to "toughen up" the team, with Bayless and Wise emerging as "tough cookies". The team has enough pure talent to be a top 10 team, but they are not there yet. The #14 might be a little bit generous, but I couldn't find anywhere else to put at #14 :-)

    From here on, it's really a toss-up, if I voted one hour earlier, I would have come up with a different list :-) So here we go, into the hat they go, and out of the hat they come in this order: USC, Villanova, West Virginia, Vandy, and Xavier. Why Xavier? They looked average at best against Cincy and they got "owned" by Herb Sendek. Well, I have good excuses for both losses: Cincy was an emotional intracity rivarly, and Sendek was Sean Miller's former mentor/head coach. As you may recall, Sean Miller also got beat by former co-coach Charles Coles. Since they taught him everything he knows (ha!), they were able to beat him. So goes the theory anyways :)

    More A-10 love as Rhode, Dayton and UMass are ranked next. Yes, UMass!

    #1 RPI team Miami of Florida sits in at #23!

    Now there's two spots left, and about 30 teams that I could make a case for. So, who gets in then? Well, let me throw the darts ;-) Based on "gut feeling", the Zags get #24 and the Donuts get #25!

    Others receiving consideration, in no particular order: St Mary's, Louisville, Oregon, Arkansas, BYU, Cal, George Mason, UAB, Wright State, Miami of Ohio, and Syracuse.

    So who is left out that may surprise some?

  • Tennessee: Look at who they played and how they played. Enough said!
  • Pitt and Clemson: Because of "past performance" by these two programs and coaches, they have to beat a top 25 team before I put them in the Top 25. Pitt, make my day and beat the Dookies on Thursday :-)

  • Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Injury report: Eric Devedorf out for the season

    Sad news for Syracuse fans as Eric Devendorf is out for the season. This is a big blow for the Orange but the silver lining is that it would throw the "FlynnStones" even more into the fire and force them to mature more quickly.

    More coverage on this at the Daily Orange, Orange Basketball blog, Cuse Country, and Orange Hoops.

    North Carolina at Rutgers

    "THE TARHEELS WERE AS GOOD AS WE THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE!", Denny Green would have said if he was the Rutgers college basketball coach.

    The game was exactly as Denny Green's "trademark" phrase suggests, with Tywon Lawson getting a new career high with 26 (or so) including a healthy number of three-pointers made. Tyler Hansbrough hit his head on a camera man's knee and left the game with a few minutes left, and Rutgers saw a glimmer of hope, but that was quickly squashed by the rest of the Tar Heels - something that perhaps can make the Carolina fans feel less uneasy - at least they didn't have a Georgetown meltdown without Hansbro.

    Convincing players to come off the bench became easier for Roy Williams (and other coaches to a lesser extend) after #3 NBA Draft pick Marvelous Marvin Williams came off the bench of the 2005 NCAA college basketball national championship team. And that's perhaps the role that Danny Green (no relation to the trademark/football coach) could play in this season's squad if it hopes for a national championship.

    Ole Roy was not happy with a 9-man rotation so he mixxed in a little bit of William Graves and Copeland. Some people (read: Doug Gottleib) have a problem with that, I do not. If you have the players, play them! If you can mix it up and win, just do it!

    There was once again an awkward offensive moment where Q. Thomas, Ginyard and Stephenson were on the floor at the same time. But this time it was quickly corrected as they made a quick substitution to add more offense to the line-up.

    Rutgers on the other hand is on a long and winding rebuilding road. But the good news is that they have the right man for the job, Mr Jersey Fred Hill. He already brought in (read: kept in-state) a touted guard in Corey Chandler, with more talent in the pipeline. His current roster has a relatively low ceiling, especially playing in the 16-team Big East team, however the bottom of the Big East is "competitive" the wrong way at the moment, so they do have a chance of ...making the Big East tourney this year (last year only 12 make it in).

    Meanwhile JR Inman has probably learned his lesson the hard way as his "statements" were empty, both scoreboard-wise and personal statline-wise. Win some games first JR Inman, and then run your mouth :-)

    More on this game from the Tar Hell Times and Ball Hype. Meanwhile the Basketball Predictions blog projects North Carolina as their overall #1 in their latest Bracketology projections as of today (12/16/07).

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