Season 5

241 entries (1-100 shown)

Epilogue, The Fifth: Who Cares Least

I. Into The Wild INDIANAPOLIS, Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport, March 25 -- One of my favorite books of the past 15 years is Into The Wild. It was a national New York Times bestseller that was made into a major motion picture (Emile Hirsch was great in it). It's the non-fictional story of a young ...

The Waiting Room for the Exit Interview

MADISON, Wisc. -- I've long felt that the word "heartbreak" doesn't do a proper job as a member of the English language. It implies shatter or malfunction, and sounds so dry. The true feeling is more of a burst -- so closely related to the challenge of capacity that joy brings, but with a method of ...

Second Round: Sunday's Games

MINNEAPOLIS -- You work in an office. It's a big office with hundreds of people. You all have hard jobs: everyone toils at their stations every day, struggling to put in efforts that will be recognized. When you get a pat on the back and a "good job," it always seems so fleeting... nobody remembers...

Respect, Resilience, Joy and Despair

MINNEAPOLIS -- Just so we're clear, we don't care about your brackets. We know you want to talk about who you "have," about how three of your eight website entries are totally and thoroughly busted, and how you'll never win that $84.50 in the office pool now. We don't want to hear about how you...

Minnesota: It's Bally Territory!

It's the NCAA Tournament, and Bally's got a front row seat! Our little orange friend got so close to the first round action that the refs almost snatched him off the press row table and put him into the game! Not that he'd complain about that! Bally has never been to the Metrodome, but he's seen i...

Second Round: Saturday's Game

[12] Western Kentucky vs. [4] Gonzaga - 8:10 pm ET South Region - Portland, OR Athletic Budgets (2008): WKU: 19,957,908 GONZ: 11,009,859 Gonzaga beat the MAC champions from Akron by 13 points, but it's a DVD that I plan on giving to anybody who thinks that scoring margin, adjusted or otherwise, ma...

NCAA First Round: Friday's Games

MINNEAPOLIS -- There's no day more exciting and more highly anticipated than First Round Thursday, and there's no 12 hours quite as difficult to get through. As soon as the games begin, the NCAA Tournament teaches a hard lesson about the perfection that's necessary to compete against enemies with mo...

Bally's Dream

Time to turn dreams into reality.

NCAA First Round: Thursday's Games

MINNEAPOLIS -- Not to get all Jean Shepherd on you, but when I started as an undergrad at the University of Oregon there were no coffee shops near campus. Then one opened up on the corner near the bookstore, and it had couches and soft music and 50 different ways to drink coffee. It was the hottest ...

Go After It, Grab It, Take It

INDIANAPOLIS -- The year 2006 wasn't really all that long ago. Sure, we're dealing with problems light years beyond those we faced back then, and anybody would trade in total world financial meltdown for another "bird flu" scare. But Nelly Furtado's "Loose" feels like it just came out yesterday, inn...

Bally's P.I.G. Party!

Let's get this out of the way: it's not the Opening Round, because that implies there's a "round." It's one game. And it's the Play-In Game, a/k/a the Notorious P.I.G., because it's for true mid-major players. And Bally... well, he's the P.I.G. P.O.P.P.A.! Bally loves going to the P.I.G. every ye...

Mid-Majority D.I.Y., Part 3: Packing

Even though I keep posting these distant dispatches, some folks are still convinced that I'm lying about all these places I go to. I'm from "the internet," and everything on the internet is a lie. Some think I'm not even a real person, that I'm a "profile" created by a 14-year-old girl who just lov...

Look Out, They're Back

DAYTON, Oh. -- Back during a time when the years had smaller numbers than they do now, I went to Drexel University, a fine, upstanding and expensive mid-major school. In my studies there, there always seemed to be fellow students who skipped out on the first eight weeks of class, then showed up for ...

Tourney Central 3/16/2009 (Final Brackets)

Bullet Points Stephen F. Austin punched Hoops Nation's final NCAA Tournament ticket Sunday afternoon, its first appearance ever. Championship Fortnight is over, and the national postseason is just ahead. Completed brackets and scores for all 23 TMM leagues are included below. Southland Texas...

Champions of Hoops Nation

Aside from reality show winners and one-hit wonders, nothing is forgotten quite as quickly as Championship Fortnight when the NCAA Tournament brackets are released. Some of the teams we've been following all season are destined for great and lasting glory, which will be fulfilled and certified once ...

The Court and the Conference Room

CLEVELAND -- Lately I've been reading When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis, a man I'm privileged to know and lucky to share a bond of mutual respect with. It's a tremendously fantastic book by a supremely talented writer, one that documents the famous 1979 national...

Tourney Central 3/15/2009 (Day 13)

Bullet Points Seven championships were awarded on Saturday. Binghamton won its first-ever America East title; Morgan State is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever out of the MEAC. Temple repeated as Atlantic 14 champions; Akron is on the Big Bracket for the first time since 1986. Alabam...

The State of the Other 22, Final Edition 2009

The State of College Basketball is a decrepit old ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of th...

Where's Bally Going?

Bally loveslovesloves the NCAA Tournament, it's his favorite time of year! After the Play-In Game in Dayton, we'll be headed off to a first/second round pod. But where? Will it be Philly or Portland? Miami or Minneapolis? Kansas City, possibly? Boise, maybe? Greensboro is keen this time of year. Or...

Tourney Central 3/14/2009 (Day 12)

Bullet Points American won its second consecutive Patriot League championship, and is on to the NCAA Tournament once again. Dayton and Xavier, the two higher seeds, went down in the Atlantic 14 semifinals; this sets up an improbable 4/7 matchup between Temple and Duquesne. Other semifinal w...

Bally's Championship Fortnight, Part II

Bally had an exciting first week of playoff action, visiting the Atlantic Sun, Missouri Valley and Sun Belt. But was he tired after all that fun? Absolutely not! Bally can't be stopped, he's going all the way to the hoop! Here are some highlights from his stops in Texas and Ohio for the Sun Belt an...

Tourney Central 3/13/2009 (Day 11)

Bullet Points One championship to be decided this afternoon: that of the Patriot League, which has been winnowing down its field verrrry slowly since Tuesday, March 3rd. The Atlantic 14, MEAC, MAC, Big West, Southland, SWAC and WAC are down to final fours as the last weekend of Championship Fo...

Mid-Majority Chat #7

Mid-Majority Chat #7 ...

Good Night Hoops Nation: March 13

CLEVELAND -- Hundreds of seasons lie in ruins now, but there's never time to properly mourn them. Instead, mid-March is for celebrating mid-major championships and great victories, for getting golden tickets to the other side of the great gate of Selection Sunday. It's a time for Robert Morris' rede...

Tourney Central 3/12/2009 (Day 10)

Bullet Points Two more titlists after last night's action. Portland State defended its Big Sky title, and Robert Morris will return to the NCAA Tournament out of the Northeast Conference. The Southland Conference begins today with quarterfinals in Katy, Tex.. It's the last of our 23 conference...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 12

KATY, Tex. -- Quick programming note: we've run into some technical difficulties here in Texas, so that marathon chat we promised has to be postponed. Next week seems a better fit anyway, since there will be an actual 65-team bracket to talk about. We'll do a regular chat tomorrow from Cleveland at ...

Tourney Central 3/11/2009 (Day 9)

Bullet Points Congratulations to North Dakota State (Badlands/Summit), Western Kentucky (Sun Belt) and Cleveland State (Horizon League). All three have reserved space on the Big Bracket with title game victories last night. Two championships tonight: the Northeast Conference and Big Sky will d...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 11

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- With our third-to-last GMHN of Season 5, we have a very special treat for you, yes we do. The image you see over and over during Championship Fortnight is students running all willy-nilly onto the floor after their beloved teams win mid-major titles. So it's only fitting that w...

Bally's Championship Fortnight, Part I

Bally loves the excitement of March basketball as much as anyone, and he gets to travel all around the country seeing lots of games and meeting new friends! Here he is on Monday night with the South Alabama Jaguar mascot right after the team upset Arkansas-Little Rock in the Sun Belt semifinals as ...

Tourney Central 3/10/2009 (Day 8)

Bullet Points Four more champions were crowned last night, teams that will automatically continue on to the NCAA Tournament. Congratulations to Virginia Commonwealth (Colonial), Siena (Metro Atlantic), Chattanooga (SoCon) and Gonzaga (West Coast). Three autobids will be granted tonight: the Su...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 10

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- There are 248 teams in conferences below the Red Line. Only 25 or so will move on to compete for the coveted Division I title next week, have their names known by everybody, reflect in the fleeting glory that's reserved for champions. Most of our favorite teams are already packe...

Mid-Majority D.I.Y., Part 2: Travel Planning

Some are still under the impression that this is just another blog, that I'm sitting at home and ranting about mid-major basketball from my couch. That is definitely not the case. TMM Mobile HQ is very real, and has already logged over 22,000 miles and over 90 games this season. Put that in your pa...

Tourney Central 3/9/2009 (Day 7)

Bullet Points Northern Iowa has qualified for the NCAA Tournament by winning the Missouri Valley championship. Davidson was eliminated in the Southern Conference semifinals by the College of Charleston. After semifinal rounds yesterday, finals are set in seven leagues: the CAA (George Mason...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 9

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Our year is a blur of quick-cut transitions: from total silence to Midnight Madness, pre-season to regular season, games outside conferences to games inside parentheses. Standings grids give way to brackets, and before you know it, campaigns are cut short in early elimination ro...

MMBOW #17: Kevin Anderson, Richmond

With our final weekly award of the season, we celebrate the work of a young Spider who used a two-game stretch to strike a little bit of arachnophobia into the hearts of Atlantic 14 opponents heading into the league's elimination event. Kevin Anderson of Richmond is our seventeenth, and final, Mid-M...

Tourney Central 3/8/2009 (Day 6)

Bullet Points Radford (Big South), East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun) and Morehead State (Ohio Valley) have qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Cleveland State, the Horizon No. 3, eliminated No. 2 Green Bay in that conference's semis, and Illinois State upended Creighton in the Missouri Valley...

Tourney Central Extra: The Last Brackets

With the end of the regular season today, all conference tournament brackets on our side of the Red Line have been finalized. After the jump, opening brackets for the second week of Championship Fortnight: the MEAC, SWAC, Mid-American, Big West, Atlantic 14, WAC and Southland. Atlantic 12 Begins We...

Tourney Central 3/7/2009 (Day 5)

Bullet Points Cornell became the first school to punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament. For the second straight year, the Big Red claimed the Ivy League title, beating Penn 83-59. The upsets began in earnest on Friday. Ohio Valley No. 4 Morehead State took out No. 1 Tennessee-Martin. CAA No....

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/7/2009: Nevada at Boise State

Nevada at Boise State (Western Athletic) Taco Bell Arena - Boise, ID 10:15 PM EST This is it: the final regular season weekend, and the last Game! Of! The! Night! of 2008-09. Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow. So is partying, which is what the virtual G!O!T!N! camera crew will be doing in...

Tourney Central 3/6/2009 (Day 4)

Bullet Points Four-time Atlantic Sun champion Belmont barely escaped Mercer, and Big South top seed Radford fought off a strong challenge from No. 4 UNC Asheville in that league's semifinals. The Big South final on Saturday is set: VMI at Radford. The three top seeds in the Northeast Confer...

The State of the Other 22, Week 14

The State of College Basketball is a rapidly-aging ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of t...

Tourney Central 3/5/2009 (Day 3)

Bullet Points Three of four top seeds moved on in the Patriot League, including No. 1 American. Atlantic Sun No. 2 East Tennessee State advanced. Two small upsets occurred in last night's action. Patriot No. 6 Colgate upended No. 3 Navy on its own floor, and No. 9 Florida International squeake...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 5

NASHVILLE -- You might recall that there was a marathon chat announced to be held Friday (tomorrow) from the Valley quarterfinals. Due to a number of factors, that's being postponed. Instead, we'll try for a 12-hour chat next Thursday, and do a regular chat at 3:00 EST tomorrow that will overlap wit...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/5/2009: Dayton at Xavier

Dayton at Xavier (Atlantic 14) Cintas Center - Cincinnati, OH 9:00 PM EST In a conference with a geographical footprint so big you can see it from space, tonight you can boil everything down to four letters: XU and UD. Or just X and D, if you think the University identifier isn't necessary. There...

Tourney Central 3/4/2009 (Day 2)

Bullet Points Championship Fortnight is under way, as the top seeds won in the Big South and Ohio Valley. The first minor upset occurred in the Horizon League, where No. 7 Illinois-Chicago outhooped No. 6 Youngstown State. Both finished the conference slate at 7-11 and were separated by tiebre...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 4

NASHVILLE -- They're the greatest two weeks in Hoops Nation, these. Conference teams are racked up in brackets according to regular-season performance, we determine a championship for each league on the court, and the ultimate winner gets to go all the way to March Madness, the kind on CBS. League t...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/4/2009: Saint Louis at Duquesne

Saint Louis at Duquesne (Atlantic 14) A.J. Palumbo Center - Pittsburgh, PA 7:00 PM EST Last year's A-14 geosuperleague standings presented a big problem, you might remember: you had teams with high noncon content like Dayton and Rhode Island finding their .500 league records were good for one-way ...

Tourney Central 3/3/2009 (Day 1)

Bullet Points Here we go again: it's Championship Fortnight. Three leagues kick off with campus-site first rounds: the Horizon League, Ohio Valley, and Big South. There are 12 games on tap this evening. On Tap Tonight Big South Radford will begin its quest for its first championship since 19...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 3

HOUSTON -- Think of it this way: this is the only time when team rankings are based in reality. It's all posturing and conjecture in November, it's a popularity contest every Monday afternoon, and it's not necessary to hash over the imperfection of a convoluted process that will take place in downto...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/3/2009: Weber State at Montana State

Weber State at Montana State (Big Sky) Brick Breeden Fieldhouse - Bozeman, MT 9:05 PM EST One of the first conference games we attended this season was between Northern Colorado and Idaho State, an early Big Sky test for both. Since then, there hasn't been much mention here of the only league to b...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: March 2

INDIANAPOLIS -- Every day we get just a little more physically vulnerable, every day another step closer to the inevitable finish line of life. The positive trade-off is that whether we've cheated the reaper by strengthening our bodies or not, our minds are always increasing in power. Every day, we ...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/2/2009: Boise State at New Mexico State

Boise State at New Mexico State (Western Athletic) Pan American Center - Las Cruces, NM 9:00 PM EST Every year, there's one undisputed apex of Championship Fortnight, that one title game that ESPNU chops up into a 90-minute clip show and Hoops Nation remembers forever. In 2005, it was Ohio's come-...

MMBOW #16: Adnan Hodzic, Lipscomb

Our first conference tourney will be the Atlantic Sun event in Nashville, a league we took you behind the scenes for last year. This year's seen a fantastic race between three strong teams: three-time champs Belmont, revenge-minded Jacksonville, and an ETSU squad that hasn't quite made it over the t...

Mid-Majority D.I.Y., Part 1: Scheduling

Those datelines you see on this site's posts aren't just a collection of random cities we like, or an indication where we are on our fantasy trip in our dreams, or where the magic teevee is taking us that evening. The city in all-caps is actually where we are, this is not done from home. Getting to ...

The Ballyville.Com Postseason Tournament

Bally wants to take teams No. 130 to 161 on the longest summer road trip since the And 1 Mixtape tour. ...

The Future Is Wide Open

When somebody pretending to be Tom Petty asked a question 49 minutes into our eight-hour marathon BracketBusters chat, it seemed at the time like any other funny non-sequitur we've encountered in four-plus years of doing those things. But then the Heartbreakers references kept flying for the next s...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 27

INDIANAPOLIS -- Though nobody has time to read them anymore, and the economy's so bad that folks are burning them for heat, writers aren't really considered "writers" until there's a stack of dead tree scrapings covered with their scribblings available for general purchase. Especially since writing ...

Mid-Majority Chat #5

Mid-Majority Chat #5 ...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/28/2009: North Dakota State at Oral Roberts

North Dakota State at Oral Roberts (Badlands) Mabee Center - Tulsa, OK Saturday, 8:05 PM EST It's the plot of just about every Bruceploitation fight flick ever made: a young, promising, upstart kung-fu fighter rises through the ranks, gaining respect and love on the streets when he gains a small v...

The State of the Other 22, Week 13

The State of College Basketball is a relatively new ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of ...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 26

ATHENS, Ohio -- As was noted in this kind piece by the newspaper I spent my college career wishing I could work for, next week marks the beginning of what we're really here for, what this is really all about. The conference tourneys mark the third of the four seasons within a season in college baske...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/26/2009: Maryland-Baltimore County at Binghamton

Maryland-Baltimore County at Binghamton (America East) Mid-Majority Events Center - Vestal, NY 7:05 PM EST We strongly suggest that you tune in for the Morehead-Murray matchup on ESPNU tonight if you haven't seen either strong OVC contender. But here in the calm before this weekend's storm of cru...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 25

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Still trying to figure out what all this means. So you're saying that if I had just auctioned off a crate full of Ballys last month, we wouldn't have had to do that whole bailout thing? But seriously, it's amazing to see that we've touched off the hottest plushie trend since Pea...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/25/2009: Dayton at Rhode Island

Dayton at Rhode Island (Atlantic 10) Ryan Center - Kingston, RI 7:00 PM EST While the titans of college basketball sportswriting are off drooling over Kansas, or boo-hooing over Pittsburgh, or whatever they do up there, they're missing out on the big fun of the high-stakes race at the top of the A...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 24

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- In the late stages of a Sunday flight from Raleigh to Nashville, after the announcement about portable electronic devices, I did what most people in need of an info-fix do: page through the Sky Mall catalog. It's only in those 20 minutes at the end when full-size Lord of the Rings...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/24/2009: Northern Iowa at Illinois State

Northern Iowa at Illinois State (Missouri Valley) Redbird Arena - Normal, IL 8:05 PM EST And so we approach the end of one of the most strange, random, Bizarro MVC regular seasons in memory. Hopefully next year at this time, we'll be discussing two, three and four bid possibilities -- or rather, t...

Bally Gras (and Other Delights)

In honor of Fat Tuesday, here's Bally with a king cake on a recent Louisiana trip to Northwestern State. The plastic baby is usually hidden in the cake somewhere, and whomever gets the piece containing it is the king and has to buy the cake for the next party as proof of his (or her) ultimate Mardi...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 23

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- BracketBusters VII is safely in the history books now. It was more fulfilling than a Dave & Buster's appetizer (six chips do not qualify as "nachos"), and fell somewhere between Buster the crash-test dummy and Buster Bluth on the entertainment scale. Longtime readers will r...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/23/2009: Tennessee-Martin at Murray State

Tennessee-Martin at Murray State (Ohio Valley) Regional Special Event Center - Murray, KY 8:30 PM EST With BracketBusters complete, it's time to make the mad dash towards the first tourneys. In just a little over a week, a number of smaller conferences will begin elimination procedures; one of the...

MMBOW #15: Gordon Hayward, Butler

Slumdog Millionaire (a film we saw in Indianapolis hours after penning this paper plane), was easy enough to predict as a Best Picture winner, although others of these supposed lead-pipe locks would have lost you your mortgage money. And so it is with predicting the machinations of another academy. ...

BracketBusters Saturday 2009

So here we are again, it's late February and it's time for Mid-Major Christmas... BracketBusters VII, brought to you locally by Flying J Travel Plazas and Ballito's Powdered Horchata. Here's a handy clip-n'-save list of all Saturday's televised games, with links to handy print-n'-collect Basketball ...

Livin' It Up at the Hotel Ballyfornia

Bally definitely has a West Coast Bias, and this week we knocked once again on that golden door. We visited San Jose State on Tuesday. Spartan fans, get on your feet! No trip to the middle of the Golden State is complete without a side trip to Gilroy, a town that actually smells like garlic. The...

The State of the Other 22, Week 12

The State of College Basketball is a somewhat new ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of th...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 19

MORAGA, Cal. -- I've come to avidly dislike "bracketology" in all its forms, I don't make any bones or excuses about that. I can't stand bubble watching or seed projecting. I respect Joe Lunardi for combining computer power and over-the-top braggadocio to single-handedly ignite a cottage industry, a...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/19/2009: Troy at Florida International

Troy at Florida International (Sun Belt) Golden Panther Arena - Miami, FL 8:05 PM EST With mid-majordom's top Sweet 16 aspirants like Saint Mary's, Davidson, Butler and Utah State taking recent losses and struggling through February, the number of double-digit win streaks on this side of the Red L...

BracketBusters Marathon Chat

BracketBusters Marathon Chat ...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 18

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Cal. -- Morning really is a relative concept, isn't it? It's always morning somewhere, or 5 p.m., or the night time (a/k/a "the right time"). And it just might be Morning in America all over again, depending on what economic time zone you're in. I write this to you as the a.m. hours...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/18/2009: Drexel at George Mason

Drexel at George Mason (Colonial) Patriot Center - Fairfax, VA 7:05 PM EST Leagues at our level generally prefer their parity limited, and to put their best team forward. But the Colonial race, once a three-team race with a round-robin that decided momentary supremacy, is now a deathcore mosh pit....

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 17

SAN JOSE -- Hundreds of votes have been counted, and Lester Hudson now has a nickname. (Figures it would be the one with the cool poem attached to it.) In this space, all future references to Tennessee-Martin's future NBA star will include "Done Ruthless," which is a fantastic anagram of his name, o...

MMBOW #14: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

If you've been watching the Big South standings (and if you haven't, please write us a 2,000-word essay why not), you may be wondering what this "Radford" is, why it's won 13 of 15 league games, and how you can get some for yourself. The Highlanders are on a seven-game streak and now lead the BSC by...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/17/2009: Evansville at Creighton

Evansville at Creighton (Missouri Valley) Qwest Center - Omaha, NE 8:05 PM EST The Bizarro Valley race is, and I think we can all agree on this, mercifully about to end. There are only three regular-season games to go, and then we can get to the important business of sticking all these teams into ...

Give Lester Hudson a Nickname

On Saturday, I drove down from St. Louis to see Tennessee-Martin play Tennessee Tech. It was no six-hour journey, and things weren't too much different from the last time I came down, but I definitely encountered a Ben From Cincinnati Effect there at the Elam Center. The staff told me that his gues...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/16/2009: College of Charleston at Appalachian State

College of Charleston at Appalachian State (Southern) Holmes Center - Boone, NC 7:30 PM EST We're out here on the far edge of the country on this sorta-holiday, driving past exits full of Spanish-named roads and listening to smooth jazz in a rented Chevy Aveo. While we figure out what time it real...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/14/2009: Quinnipiac at Robert Morris

Quinnipiac at Robert Morris (Northeast) Charles L. Sewall Center - Moon Township, PA Saturday, 7:00 PM EST The Northeast Conference has always been a favorite, and it's one of the key collectives that deepened my love for mid-major college basketball. Big metropolitan areas, tiny schools, and high...

Mock Selection 2009

Thursday, 1:05 PM -- I don't know what made me think this, but I went to the Hyatt Regency first and looked for anything that said "Mock Selection." There was an NCAA Life Skills conference on the second and third floor, so I asked somebody at the ballroom reception where it was. "Who are you, and ...

Mid-Majority Chat #3

Mid-Majority Chat #3 ...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 12

INDIANAPOLIS -- Well, here we are. Today is Mock Selection III, and I still have no idea what I did to deserve an invitation -- or why I've been listed as representing Basketball State all along. It's a real thrill, even though we've had to detour from our regularly scheduled travel and will be goin...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/12/2009: Temple vs. Saint Joseph's

Temple vs. Saint Joseph's (Atlantic 10) The Palestra - Philadelphia, PA 7:00 PM EST It's super-exciting in the grand old Atlantic 14 this week, no? Those who tuned into ESPN Classic last night looking for a rerun of the Cheap Seats Superdogs/Superjocks episode were treated to a thrilling ballgame ...

The State of the Other 22, Week 11

The State of College Basketball is a kinda-new ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of the F...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 11

LITTLE ROCK -- Just one more day until that whole Mock Selection thing, and we're still chewing over this wonderful binder full of information. After decades of hearing this or that from NCAA representatives every March, it's nice to see this stuff printed in black and white. From a 7,000-foot persp...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/11/2009: Long Beach State at California-Riverside

Long Beach State at California-Riverside (Big West) UCR Rec Center - Riverside, CA 11:00 PM EST Don't worry, we'll be doing plenty of breakdown of Dayton-Xavier tomorrow (or you can get a very fine BBSU-aided preview here). But one league we haven't talked about too much this season is the Big Wes...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 10

NATCHITOCHES, La. -- Tomorrow I'll drive the four hours back up to Little Rock, jump on a jetliner and return to the hub-and-spoke center of Hoops Nation, the city of Indianapolis. On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., I'll walk into the Hyatt Regency with 19 other journalists and engage in the third annual NC...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 9

BATON ROUGE -- When the ax started falling in the SEC last month with midseason firings, the thought around here was that it was kinda cute. Four such severances in four years seemed like another indication that the pressures of BCS basketball were getting to be more in line with those of the pros, ...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/9/2009: Stetson at East Tennessee State

Stetson at East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun) Memorial Center - Johnson City, TN 7:00 PM EST The Atlantic Sun is providing many of these mid-major hot-shot conferences a clinic on how to organize its standings. You want three teams up top with gaudy records, a strong .500 midsection, and a couple...

MMBOW #13: Lester Hudson, Tennessee-Martin

Sure, we have our favorites. There are players who we enjoy watching endlessly, the mid-major stars who have stood in this space for the past five years and have gone on to great and lucrative levels. The next one in that class could be the 6-2 senior guard from a little school in the Tennessee back...

America's Most Boring Interstate™

Charles Kuralt once said, "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." While we consider each Flying J a roadside attraction unto itself, the wise old sage of America's roads had a point. Last Tuesday, we asked you to nominate...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/7/2009: Presbyterian at Radford

Presbyterian at Radford (Big South) D.N. Dedmon Center - Radford, VA Saturday, 7:00 PM EST There are some fascinating contests that will shape league races on Saturday, mostly games that pit a runaway leader with a team that may or may not be capable of knocking them down a half-peg -- most specif...

The State of the Other 22, Week 10

The State of College Basketball is a gracefully-aging ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three o...

Mid-Majority Chat #2

Mid-Majority Chat #2 ...

Good Morning Hoops Nation: February 5

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Let's get this out of the way first: when the first place team loses to the last place team, it's definitely not good for the league profile. And when the overwhelming preseason favorite takes one in the collective stomach from a team that long ago unanimously passed a team rule b...

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The Woods

Once you give over your entire identity to a sport, the lines that separate the game and real life start to disappear. Welcome to The Woods, a new 22-essay anthology from TMM's Season 16.