Author Craig Caswell

30 entries

I Can't Hate Toledo

Hi, I'm Craig, and I'm an addict. I've spent the last two years trainspotting college basketball. I spent every red cent and waking moment of my collegiate money and time last year on ...

Tonight! One Night Only

Welcome to Dayton. Situated in southwestern Ohio approximately an hour north of Cincinnati, Dayton is known primarily as a city of inventors and innovators. James Ritty, a local saloonkeeper, invented the cash register here in 1879. Charles F. Kettering invented the electric car starter here in 1911. Both of their...

Big Wins and Bigger Revelations

I'm not sure if Michigan State realizes the importance of this series. For the Spartans, playing Bowling Green likely means teeing off against an overmatched MAC squad, and we did nothing to alter that perception last year after taking a six-point deficit into halftime and leaving the Breslin Center with a 35-point...

It May Be Cliche But ... It's The Little Things

Too often, sports are said to be about the little things. Coaches accurately yet tiredly point to the little things as the difference between victory and defeat on any given night. If w...

On Collective Emotion And Uncertain Outcomes

I get around quite a bit for the average college basketball fan. Last year, I managed to attend a solid 31 Division I games and this year I've already been to 21. In three years of travels, I've seen about a fifth of the teams in D-I. Despite this fact, I'd only ever seen one team from west of Iowa play before...

The Cost Of Swagger

I had forgotten how loud UD Arena can get. The atmosphere here is incomparable. My first-ever college basketball game was at this very place in 2002. Two things that I remember clearly from that game have not changed in the slightest in the past nine years. First, the place is loud. At multiple points in Wednesday's...

The Human Triumph

I enjoy watching college basketball not just for the event itself, but also for its allegorical relationship to everyday life. The human triumphs within each game are thrilling. Not only is the last second buzzer beater fantastic, but it adds an exciting dimension when it gives a kid confidence in his ability...

It's For The Kids

I'm going to be honest: I'm kind of a crotchety old man when it comes to my sporting events. I m a diva when it comes to seat location: as close to center court as possible, be it in the upper or ...

The (Near) Upset of the Millennium

With about a minute remaining in the unexpected clash of titans that was Towson and Virginia, with the Tigers down only four in a game where they held a lead as large as eight(!), college basketball sage and personal nerd hero Ken Pomeroy tweeted the following: "Not an exaggeration to say that Towson over UVa...

Resilience in TempoFest 2011

As someone coming from a non-military family, I was a bit in awe when my girlfriend and I arrived at VMI on New Year's Eve. To call the Virginia Military Institute your nontraditional college would be a bit of an understatement. Cadets stay in prison-style barracks instead of posh student housing. They sleep on...

On Skyrim & Self-Contained Worlds

So I've been playing a lot of Skyrim lately. For the uninitiated, Skyrim is a video game that allows the player to take the role of an adventurer who becomes the savior of the virtu...

Then And Now Mark I -- A-10 Rumpus

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once every so often, I get so excited about something that I tend to bite off a bit more than I can chew. It has become readily apparent to me that my most recent something involves my sacred duty as a Mid-Majority correspondent. Finding the tenets of this website to be in line with my personal...

Blurring the Line

I haven't been a member of a sports team since fifth grade basketball. Being born into a family of diminutive stature and still smaller athletic talent isn't really conducive to lifelong organized sport. In high school, the realization dawned on me that one of my sports goals was to make a career of sports and...

I Could've Kissed The Ticket Girl

Loyola Marymount is difficult to get to from Long Beach, Calif. I should rephrase that. If you re a tourist from the Midwest who has to rely on the miracle of public transportation...

No Distractions

"This team has a chance to do something special. No distractions. I mean it guys. Don't let your girlfriend, don't let your dad who loves you be a distraction these next two weeks." Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson said [pretty close to] these words at practice on Friday, February 24th, the day before a...

Field Trip Energy

On a day featuring aircraft carriers, Germany, new Brooklyn arenas, and 15 of the AP Top 25, college basketball threw open the gym doors right here in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I arrived at the Convocation Center at 11:45am Eastern Standard Time, primed and ready for the official start to the 2012-13 season. Yesterday,...

Inevitabilities In The Preseason NIT

Neutral site games might work for schools with enormous alumni and fan bases like Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan State, but the draw tends to evaporate when you move below the Red Line. Exempt event subregionals are often a massive pity party for schools that all got thrashed by a major conference opponent. "Oh,...

Exactly As Scripted

I love coming to Ann Arbor, but I can't stand parking in it. Crisler Arena, home of the Michigan Wolverines basketball team, is located right next to Michigan Stadium, the largest stadium in the world. On football game day, you can stuff your car across the street from the Big House on the campus golf course for...

Proud To Be A Tree

I arrived in Terre Haute under the inky blackness of November night. Having spent 14 of my previous 24 hours driving and 5 of those 24 inside the University of Michigan's Crisler Center, it seemed fitting to round out my day at a basketball arena after a long journey. Visiting schools for the first time is always...

Billy Graham Has The Best Seat In The House

I'm notorious for remaining silent during games I attend by myself, but as I approached this particular gentleman I felt compelled to talk to him. Thirty minutes until game time and with literal thousands of empty seats in the arena, I found my seat directly next to his. How could I possibly avoid socializing?...

They Aren't Very Good

"They aren't very good, you know." "I'm sorry? " "Eastern Kentucky. They aren't very good." The man repeated himself slowly and returned to pecking away at the hotel computer. He was right. The Colonels entered the Comfort Suites Invitational ranked 289th in the Pomeroys. In fact, the tournament participants...

Bonus Coverage

My favorite part of NFL Sundays happens when the scheduled game ends. Greg Gumbel appears on screen and informs the viewing audience too poor to afford Sunday Ticket (like me) that CBS is about to take you to a magical place known as "bonus coverage". Without delay, we are all whisked away to five free minutes...

TMM (The Mighty Midwest)

You can tell a lot about a college sports fan by the perspective they hold on conference realignment. As with many bad situations, a person usually falls into one of three camps: OPTIMISTIC The conference realignment optimist thinks keeping track of the constant shuffling is a headache, but is excited about...

The Turning Point

Living in basketball-crazed Dayton, Ohio has some significant perks, not the least of which is a steady stream of hoops to enjoy between sub-Red Line schools Dayton and Wright State. For the most part, Dayton is below the Red Line in name only, which has both benefits and drawbacks. One of my favorite parts...

Always Fun To Be Close To The Court And Stuff

Basketball in southeastern Michigan is a rich and diversified affair. A fan can enjoy small or large school basketball featuring teams from the Big Ten, Horizon, MAC, and Summit League, all of which call the area home. Frequently, I enjoy this hoops cornucopia with my eleven-year-old half-brother Aaron, an...

The Chair

Every winter I tell my girlfriend Jaclyn to pick a road trip destination, and I'll pick the accompanying basketball games. This winter trip is my basketball rejuvenation of sorts, providing a welcome relief from my usual Midwestern haunts. Last year we witnessed games at Richmond, Virginia, and VMI. This year's...

Thanks For Coming To Martin

Calling the University of Tennessee at Martin "off the beaten path" is being a bit generous. The next D-I university "within a two-hour drive in any direction" of Martin is Murray State, still over an hour away. Going to Martin means going purposefully, as Pierce Greenberg did in #TMM8, and as my girlfriend...

Haiku Recap

There are games to write about in breathless prose and there are games to write about in a series of haikus. As the prescient reader will have already guessed, this is the latter: Tennessee State U Western Nashville, Tennessee Twelfth month, twenty-first Arriving early Sitting in the car reading King's...

University of Massachusetts, Please

The road to Oxford, Ohio has many different routes, none of which are ideal. Each path is more or less equidistant from my residence in Dayton, but the time varies wildly. Instead of a rigorous plan of action, the GPS acts as more of a guide, illuminating a potential path that will be entirely rewritten by an...

Peers and Seers

Predictions are an integral part of any sport, but seem to be even more present in the world of college basketball. Every single season culminates in a billion-dollar monthlong prediction party, and the extended offseason of about thirty weeks affords more than enough time for amateur and professional seers alike...

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One Beautiful Season

1BS weaved the history of mid-major college basketball together with stories from the 2009-10 season, culminating in Butler's epic run to the National Championship game. Now it's available as a free download: PDF in the original 592-page book layout with all photos and graphics, or ePub format for electronic reading devices.