2016-2017 Way Too Early Preseason Top 25

Two seasons ago I had Wisconsin and Duke 1-2 in my way too early preseason top 25. Last year I pegged North Carolina as the No. 2 team, but Villanova as the No. 11 team, so clearly I have some work to do this year to redeem myself. It is very college basketball that the […]

Jim Boeheim’s gift to Roy Williams

On Selection Sunday, Jim Boeheim received a gift from the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He made very good use of it, leading the Syracuse Orange to the 2016 Final Four this weekend in Houston. Boeheim also turned his own gift into a present for the very coach he’ll face in Saturday’s second national […]

In the 2016 NCAA Tournament garden, here’s where the seeds landed

The Final Four is set, with seeds 2, 2, 10 and 1 headed for Houston. The paths of the various regions offer cause for an update of seeding histories in the Big Dance. Consider this a trip through the NCAA tournament garden over time… The West Region once again featured a 2 seed in the […]

South Region Notebook

The South Region witnessed a ferocious Elite Eight game on Saturday, as Villanova subdued Kansas in a street fight to make the second Final Four of the Jay Wright era. Instant reaction at partner site The Comeback can be found here. An on-site report by Michael Grant of The Comeback can be found here. Those two pieces […]

Sweet 16 notebook: Thursday’s winning teams

On a night devoid of Sweet 16 drama, four teams cruised into the Elite Eight. None of them had to face excruciating endgame pressure. None of them had to contemplate their NCAA tournament mortality in the final few minutes of regulation. The fact that four teams stand on relatively equal footing in terms of the […]

The Big 12 and the Pac-12: understanding March misery

The Big 12 is struggling in March again… and Big 12 fans are already sick and tired of commentators pointing it out. The fatigue (like the disappointment at the source of it) is more than understandable from fans. Moreover, plenty of commentators can’t stand it when other commentators bring up the conference-strength debate in basketball […]

The annual reminder: These are not always the “ones” you’ve been waiting for

Human beings can always use a timely reminder about anything from relationships to job applications to family obligations, anything under the sun. This includes the NCAA tournament. The bubble race is its own separate drama — plenty has been written about that, and plenty will continue to be in the lead-up to Selection Sunday. However, […]

Anger amid the madness: 5 stupid things about March in college basketball

The Madness of March is delightful… but not 100 percent of the time. This is a great month, but precisely because it’s the one month when every American sports fan really cares about college basketball, March is a good time to study the landscape. This is when it’s important to reveal (or magnify) the excesses […]

Roy Williams finishes first in the ACC, and for many, it means nothing

Roy Williams’s resplendent Hall of Fame career runs through some of the central veins of college basketball history. The sometimes-painful irony of that fact is that it’s all too close to the path carved out by his most famous predecessor and mentor, the late Dean Smith. Williams and North Carolina won another regular season ACC […]

It’s not easy to have it all in college basketball

It’s March, which means college basketball’s finish line exists in plain sight. One month from now, we’ll be previewing the Final Four and trying to make sense of all the events which led up to it. In the present tense, power-conference teams are fighting for championships and seeding slots in their upcoming league tournaments. The […]

College basketball conference championships: lonely, unloved, forgotten

Imagine a world in which your college basketball-loving friends said the following things: “I remember when Florida won the 2011 SEC regular season championship! So what if the Gators blew a lead against Butler in the Elite Eight that year? What a rich accomplishment that was after a few comparatively uninspiring seasons.” “North Carolina finishing […]

Feb 23, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Denzel Valentine (45) speeds past Ohio State Buckeyes center Daniel Giddens (4) during the second half at Value City Arena. The Spartans won 81-62. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State’s season of decline offers a reminder about high-level durability

The Ohio State Buckeyes — without Jae’Sean Tate — were no match for the Michigan State Spartans on Tuesday night. The loss was significant in itself, but the surrounding details made it that much tougher to absorb. First, the Buckeyes took the court knowing that Tate, one of their core players, would miss the rest […]

Texas Tech’s Devon Thomas is hoisted in the crowd after Texas Tech defeated Oklahoma 65-63 in an NCAA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson) ORG XMIT: TXBT108

Texas Tech wins a classic mid-February bubble game

Wednesday night’s game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Oklahoma Sooners wasn’t a classic in the sense of being the best basketball you’ve ever seen. This was not a remarkable showcase of hoops at the highest level, with Buddy Hield struggling (he’s human, ya know) and Texas Tech making only 10 of 17 […]

24 hours of craziness define life in the Big 12… and college hoops in 2016

The Texas Longhorns are going to be in the NCAA tournament, so they’re not a particularly weak team within the larger world of college basketball. Yet, the Horns started a 24-hour sequence in which the nuttiness of both the Big 12 and all of college basketball this season was perfectly encapsulated. Monday and Tuesday were […]