Posts Tagged ‘north carolina’

The Double Bonus: Early Season Thoughts

The Double Bonus podcast is back! In the second podcast of the 2011-12 season, Tim and John S discuss the surprises of the first few weeks of this season. Is UNC as good as we expected? Is Ohio State even better? Have our sleepers looked good so far? Who is the third best team in the ACC? How does Austin Rivers compare to Kyrie Irving? Will Herman Cain be the next president? Also, who will win today’s Kentucky-North Carolina game? All these questions and more are discussed (to no definitive conclusions, of course) in today’s podcast. (Though, due to technical difficulties, we weren’t able to add the Pacific Life theme song, which, of course, is usually the best part of NPI Comes Alive!) Click here to listen to the podcast of a lifetime.

 

If the Tournament had been 96 teams…

With a full five days between the last Regional Final and the National Semifinals, I did what any decent college basketball fan with too much spare time would do: I crafted a new bracket showing what this year’s Tournament would have looked like had it contained 96 teams. I used the approach most people are pushing for expansion, which is to include all regular-season champions of every conference in addition to postseason tournament champions.* I basically took seeding from the NIT for the added teams although I had to decide where to fit in teams that won their conference titles but would have earned an at-large NIT berth if necessary (namely Siena, Cornell, Murray State).

*Of course, using this method retroactively on this season avoids the huge, “How hard does a regular-season champion try in a postseason conference tournament if it already has its ticket punched?” question. This, to me, is one of the biggest issues with expansion: Do teams that won the regular season in a conference such as the SWAC, which has virtually no hope of an at-large berth, even compete in the conference tournament? What do they have to gain? And isn’t it better for the conference if they lose in the tournament and a second team earns a bid? And does this force the Ivy to have a conference tournament?

MIDWEST EAST SOUTH WEST
1 Kansas Kentucky Duke Syracuse
2 Ohio State West Virginia Villanova Kansas State
3 Georgetown New Mexico Baylor Pittsburgh
4 Maryland Wisconsin Purdue Vanderbilt
5 Michigan State Temple Texas A&M Butler
6 Tennessee Marquette Notre Dame Xavier
7 Oklahoma State Clemson Richmond BYU
8 UNLV Texas California Gonzaga
9 Northern Iowa Wake Forest Louisville Florida State
10 Georgia Tech Missouri Saint Mary’s Florida
11 San Diego State Washington Old Dominion Minnesota
12 Mississippi State Virginia Tech Utah State UTEP
13 Arizona State Mississippi Cornell Illinois
14 Dayton Siena Rhode Island UAB
15 Cincinnati Murray State Memphis New Mexico State
16 Connecticut Kent State South Florida Wichita State
17 North Carolina Seton Hall William & Mary Northeastern
18 NC State Nevada Texas Tech Tulsa
19 Illinois State Saint John’s Houston Wofford
20 Ohio Weber State Sam Houston State Oakland
21 Montana Coastal Carolina Troy Morgan State
22 Lehigh Lipscomb* Jackson State UC-Santa Barbara
23 Quinnipiac Stony Brook Robert Morris North Texas
24 Arkansas-Pine Bluff Winthrop East Tennessee State Vermont

Continue reading

It’s College Basketball Season!

As we draw toward the unexciting close of what can only be described as a woeful college football season, it’s high time we shifted our sights to the only flawless sport left in America: college basketball. Oh sure, the naysayers point out a deterioration in the quality of play, the untenability of the one-and-done rule, and recruiters’ blatant disregard for the rules.

But college basketball is the only sport that manages to maintain a meaningful regular season and an exciting postseason (and doesn’t kill its players, ruling out the NFL). It’s played in the loudest environments in the country and has been, for most of the last decade, the most intriguing sport to watch on an everyday basis.*

*Little-celebrated fact: Thanks to really low ratings (and, you know, its lockout), the NHL wasn’t renewed on ESPN in the middle of the decade, freeing up time every night of the week for college basketball on the Worldwide Leader.

Here are the six best storylines of the 2009-2010 season:

Continue reading