Author John Willmott

22 entries

Sea(hawks) Change

The last time UNC-Wilmington and Maryland met on the floor, the stakes were much higher. The Seahawks, an 11 seed in the 2003 NCAA Tournament, were drawn against the Terrapins, who were defending their national title from the year prior. Led by All-Everything guard Brett Blizzard, and a perfect 8-for-8 performance...

Lights, Camera, Action

Sometimes it's all about the little steps for a program. Take American's home opener tonight at Bender Arena, which was the first of six games to be picked up this year by the local Comcast SportsNet affiliate. The game was part of, effectively, American's first multi-game television contract with a single network....

Post-Thanksgiving Blues

I've never been a fan of the game immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, assuming it's played on campus. Yeah, I enjoy having the sports diversion as I'm still digesting the ungodly amounts of turkey, stuffing and potatoes from the night before, but it always feels like you're getting half of the experience....

Nothing Gold (and Black) Can Stay

It saddens me a bit to see UMBC's basketball program going through its current state of affairs. You see, the Retrievers hold a special place in my mid-major heart. In a lot of ways, they're the team responsible for me caring anything at all about small-college basketball outside of the three weeks in March...

Restoring the Roar

You can't walk around the Towson University campus without finding a sign, a shirt, or something else asking you to "Restore the Roar." It's part of the athletic department's effort to ignite interest in athletics at a school where athletic success has generally been hard to come by. The renewed investment has...

When It Rains, It Pours

To do this recap appropriately, I feel I should start with something of a confession. I am, first and foremost, a fan of a team that sits firmly above the red line, the Maryland...

The Long Road to Redemption

When you're the Howard Bison, opportunities for large-scale success don't exactly come around all that often. That's why it has to be absolutely maddening that the Bison squandered the opportunity they had in their laps this afternoon at the Verizon Center against (really) big brother Georgetown. You see, in...

Hoops on a Shoestring

The start of my trip tonight to Burr Gymnasium threw me for a bit of a loop. My first stop upon arriving at a new venue is, predictably, to head to the box office to pick up my ticket. There was just one problem -- I couldn't find one. After wandering around outside in the cold for about 10 minutes, I went...

The Ballad of Isiah Thomas

If there's a more inappropriate coaching fit in college basketball -- hell, maybe all of college sports -- than Isiah Thomas at Florida International, I'd love for somebody to mention it. I don't believe for a second that it exists. It's been a long, strange road for Isiah, who turned a legendary professional...

Blurring the Line

Taking in a George Washington Colonials game at the Smith Center is nothing like I remember it. Part of that is obvious. Back in February of 2008, George Washington announced a $43 million upgrade to the Smith Center, and Thursday night's game against Bradley was my first chance to see everything that had been...

Justice

Anybody who's had season tickets to any sports team has had to deal with That Guy. You know who I'm talking about. He's the fan who's in or near your section and is doing everything he can to be as vocal as possible, usually for the worse. Every call that's ever gone against That Guy's team is a result of refs...

My Mid-Major Pilgrimage

Despite living in the greater DC area, until today, I had never bothered to attend a George Mason Patriots home basketball game. It's not terribly surprising why not; my subscription to the theory that owning a car in DC is somewhat unnecessary kinda limits my travel possibilities. Most all of the District's...

For an Old Friend

If you had made me guess which of my friends would have been most likely to join me for a game during the 800 Games Project, my died-in-the-wool Ohio State Buckeye fan of a co-worker probably would have been very low on my list of guesses. But there I was on Saturday, sitting in the stands at Bender Arena with...

Service at the Cathedral

For the longest time, I had never managed seen a game at the hallowed Palestra, the Cathedral of College Basketball. It's always been a matter of finding the right situation to see a game -- Philadelphia is just far enough outside of my home base in Washington, D.C. that I can't just make a quick trip up without...

Not-So-Creamy Tripleheader Center

There wasn't much time for me to lick my wounds from Maryland's loss to Temple earlier in the day at the Palestra. I made a stop at Abner's in University City for a cheesesteak, then headed over for the second game of my Philly tripleheader at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, home of the Drexel Dragons. This...

My Second First Trip to the Palestra

I think that the way I can best describe my Saturday at the Palestra is to say this: Seeing Maryland and Temple in the morning was my first time seeing a game at the Palestra. Seeing Penn ...

Game Four of the Tripleheader

After seeing three college basketball games in one day and consuming three cheesesteaks, a roast pork sandwich and countless one-dollar hot dogs in a 24-hour span, and sane or reasonable human being would have gone home and relaxed, detoxed and perhaps eaten a salad or something. Luckily for you, fair reader,...

Just As We All Expected

Even starting in the preseason, Iona's gotten the lion's share of the attention in the MAAC. The Gaels were picked to win the MAAC title this year, and that was even before learning that they'd be able to add Momo Jones to the roster this year, thanks to a hardship waiver granted by the NCAA after Jones transferred...

Stranger in a Familiar Land

The last time I made a trip to Burr Gymnasium, I pointed out how much of a spartan experience taking in a Howard basketball game was. No tickets, no in-game entertainment, no frills. Fast-forward almost exactly two months later, and the experience could not have been any more different. The key difference,...

My Personal Hell

Last week, before taking in Howard's game against Bethune-Cookman, I had tweeted that I was taking in the "most lovingly disorganized sporting event there is." If you've been following along with some of the other recaps that have come out of Howard home games, you probably have some idea of what I'm talking...

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

"Lately it occurs to meWhat a long, strange trip it's been."-The Grateful Dead, "Truckin'"If a conference tournament is being played at campus sites, and games aren't close to sold out, doesn't ...

The Importance of it All

The prevailing opinion is that the NIT just doesn't matter, existing in some sort of strange basketball purgatory. Everybody knows this. ESPN certainly knew this. The Worldwide Leader ended up joining the NIT semifinals already in progress, opting to show the bitter end of a meaningless spring training baseball...

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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.