Season 4

290 entries (201-290 shown)

The Boubacar 2/14/2008 (Streak Stopper Edition)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- If you're an eagle-eyed reader, or just someone who can see things that are orange against a tan background, you have likely noticed the new Welmer-Whelliston Widget™ on the right side of the page. I can't believe the response to this since I announced it a couple weeks ago...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/14/2008: Sacred Heart at Wagner

  Sacred Heart at Wagner (Northeast) Spiro Sports Center - Staten Island, NY 7:00 PM EST We love us some NEC, and we have a fantastic game tonight between first place Sacred Heart (11-2) and second-place Wagner (10-2), two squads in a virtual loss-column heat. Both teams have already locked ...

The Mid-Majority Interview: Dolph Pulliam

In 1969, Drake achieved the Final Four with a 26-5 record. Adolphus (Dolph) Pulliam was the emotional leader of that team, and his Bulldogs lost in the national semifinals to UCLA and Lew Alcindor by a single point. After his senior season, he was drafted by multiple professional basketball and foot...

The Boubacar 2/15/2008 (Pantz Edition)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Admittedly a little nervous this morning, we were thinking of just shutting the site down and ending with this, because there's never going to be a better post here than that one. So how do we follow up the most sublime moment in Mid-Majority history? Photoshop-manipulated pictur...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/16/2008: Oral Roberts at IUPUI

  Oral Roberts at IUPUI (Summit League) IUPUI Gym - Indianapolis, IN 7:00 PM EST The sands in the regular-season hourglass are now primarily in the bottom chamber, and so there are plenty of games this weekend full of one-seed implications and general position-jockeying. We're looking forwa...

The Mid-Majority Interview: "Jasper" Joe Arnone

We've certainly certainly said this before, but we strongly believe that "Jasper" Joe Arnone, Voice of the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, is the finest arena announcer in Hoops Nation. He is to college basketball what Yankee Stadium's Bob Sheppard is to baseball, but with Vin Scully's friend...

The Boubacar 2/18/2008 (Network Edition)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Plenty of folks have the day off for the holiday today, but we have a patriotic duty to provide you with a Supersized Boubacar that takes into account all the action from the weekend that was. We'll get to that in a second, but I wanted to share with you my most recent fantastic...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/18/2008: Gonzaga at San Diego

  Gonzaga at San Diego (West Coast) Jenny Craig Pavilion - San Diego, CA 11:00 PM EST For tonight's G!O!T!N!, we go all the way out west for an ESPN2 matchup between two teams separated by a half-game (and Saint Mary's) in the West Coast Conference. We could have easily chosen URI-Xavier (ho...

The Boubacar 2/19/2008 (E.U. Edition)

DELAND, Fla. -- Last night on press row at Florida A&M in Tallahassee, my inbox full of nasty notes from Penn fans (more about that later on), I was reminded once again about the key differences between Ivy League and MEAC basketball. And there are differences, even though both conferences would...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/19/2008: North Carolina-Greensboro at Davidson

  North Carolina-Greensboro at Davidson (Southern) Belk Arena - Davidson, NC 7:00 PM EST It was an instant classic, with all the necessary ingredients. It had two great performances by two great players, a come-from-behind surge and a thrilling finish. Last Wednesday's regionally-televised S...

MMBOW #15: Shane Dansby, Belmont

The two-time Atlantic Sun champion Belmont Bruins were a bit undersold last summer, as they lost two 6-10 seniors who earned the lion's share of the team's rebounds last season. The Bruins have suffered a bit on the boards, but they're getting a lot of them from a player that last year would have s...

The State Of The Other 22, Week 14

The State of College Basketball is a brand-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 341 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of the F...

The Boubacar 2/20/2008 (Gus Edition)

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- We've been mentioning the Atlantic Sun prominently this season, what with all the early upsets and Belmont's run at a third straight title and all, but we haven't talked much about its most improved team. Stetson has never achieved the NCAA Tournament since Glenn Wilkes (552 wins...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/20/2008: California-Santa Barbara at Pacific

  California-Santa Barbara at Pacific (Big West) A.C. Spanos Center - Stockton, CA 10:00 PM EST Play ball! Off we go to the Left Coast, where the Big West race has become Revenge of the Cal States. Northridge (9-2) and Fullerton (10-3), probably more well-entrenched as baseball schools (and ...

The Boubacar 2/21/2008 (Marathon Edition)

JACKSONVILLE -- Lots and lots to get to today with a full slate of red-hot mid-major action, but first I wanted to pimp n' plug tomorrow's Gigantic BracketBusters Marathon Chat on ESPN.com. There are always hundreds of people who don't get their questions attended to during the regular Wednesday dea...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/21/2008: South Alabama at Western Kentucky

  South Alabama at Western Kentucky (Sun Belt) E.A. Diddle Arena - Bowling Green, KY 8:00 PM EST If you're a league that hasn't earned an at-large invite to the NCAA Tournament since 1994, there are a few scenarios you can try to get back to two-bid status. The best and easiest is to offer a...

The Boubacar 2/22/2008 (Chat Edition)

CHARLOTTE -- Just a reminder from myself, Bally and Dunk'n Dolphin that there will be a Marathon BracketBusters Chat today at ESPN.com starting at 12 noon Eastern. I'll also likely be talking about that huge South Alabama win at Western Kentucky, and the Stephen F. Austin blowout of Sam Houston t...

The Boubacar 2/23/2008 (BracketBusters Edition)

CHARLOTTE -- That was fun. Yesterday, we proved conclusively that you can talk about mid-major basketball for six hours and that the topic will attract a couple thousand questions, not the six or seven most people would expect. There were a lot of awesome questions about everything from hoops to the...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/23/2008: Drake at Butler

  Drake at Butler Hinkle Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, IN (ESPN BracketBusters) 5:00 PM EST If you've been reading along this year, this game needs no introduction. It's the two best chances we here at the mid-major level have for deep NCAA runs, No. 1 (Drake) and No. 2 (Butler) in our . They a...

The Mid-Majority Interview: Artis Gilmore

Most basketball fans know the 7-2, 240-lb. "A-Train" as one of the greatest centers ever to play the game, a 12-time All-Star who played five seasons in the American Basketball Association before pounding the paint for 11 seasons for the Bulls and Spurs. Artis Gilmore scored a total of 15,579 points...

The Boubacar 2/25/2008 (U Edition)

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Sometimes I just have to pinch myself (even though dreams can be complicated enough that I wouldn't wake up if I did). Three years ago, I was just another computer programmer with a college basketball blog, and the next thing I know I'm talking over BracketBusters highlights wit...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/25/2008: San Diego at Saint Mary's

  San Diego at Saint Mary's (West Coast) McKeon Pavilion - Moraga, CA 10:00 PM EST Considering that SMC's disappointing eight-point loss in the late-night BracketBuster battle with Kent State ended at around 11 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, this is a pretty quick 44-hour turnaround. That's ...

MMBOW #16: Marqus Blakely, Vermont

There were a lot of great performances over BracketBuster weekend -- Alex Franklin's monster 30-and-18 for Siena in a blowout at Boise State, Kent State Golden Flash Al Fisher's 28 points in a big win at Saint Mary's, Josh Young's 25 points and clutch 8-for-8 free throwing for Drake in their nationa...

The Boubacar 2/26/2008 (Legal Edition)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- We're all just getting over the thrills of BracketBuster weekend, but there's plenty to get to as the regular season winds down to its electrifying conclusion. Just 19 days until Selection Sunday... Saint Mary's. In last night's G!O!T!N!, the Gaels proved that yes, they can ...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/26/2008: Southern Illinois at Bradley

  Southern Illinois at Bradley (Missouri Valley) Carver Arena - Peoria, IL 7:00 PM EST Drake's Des Moines miracle notwithstanding, it's been a tough year for the 101-year-old Valley. Five new coaches, half the returning starters lost, and a lack of the signature nonconference wins that marke...

The State Of The Other 22, Week 15

The State of College Basketball is a brand-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 341 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of the F...

The Boubacar 2/27/2008 (Numbers Edition)

RICHMOND, Va. -- We don't do a lot of Mid-Major Mailbag action around here anymore (we get plenty interactive enough with the chats, you know). But there's something about the combination of assisted research and the last slow Wednesday of the season that makes us want to break out the blockquote ta...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/27/2008: American at Navy

  American at Navy (Patriot League) Alumni Hall - Annapolis, MD 7:00 PM EST Perhaps it has something to do with the Presidential race or something, but the balance of power in the Patriot League has definitely tilted towards America's capitol region. The champions of recent years, Bucknell a...

The Boubacar 2/28/2008 (Senior Night Edition)

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- One of the great traditions in college basketball is Senior Night, the last home game of the regular season. All outgoing seniors, no matter if they were four-year starters with awards and all-league selections, or guys who played the parts of opposing players on the practi...

Game! Of! The! Night! 2/28/2008: Wright State at Butler

  Wright State at Butler (Horizon League) Hinkle Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, IN 9:00 PM EST With the way the Horizon League race has shaped up, this could simply be the second of three dogfights between the Bulldogs and the Raiders (who are canines, you know). With a win at home here, Butler ...

Even as Bally Left Florida...

The picture above is not of our travelin' hoops buddy. This is Bally's distant cousin Orangey, who retired to Fort Myers a few years back, let himself go, and took a job at a tourist-trap fruit stand near the Minnesota Twins' spring-training camp. What a sell-out. Here are some other snapshots of ...

The Boubacar 2/29/2008 (Clincher Edition)

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- Last night was a great evening for regular-season champions, all of which have now clinched at least a spot in the National Invitation Tournament. In addition to five crownings last night, Belmont took a share of the Atlantic Sun title with an 11-point win over Campbell. We ha...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/1/2008: North Carolina-Asheville at Winthrop

  North Carolina-Asheville at Winthrop (Big South) Winthrop Coliseum - Rock Hill, SC 7:00 PM EST Nine teams and fourteen conference games make for a lot of floating variables; it's mathematically unlikely that a league title could come down to any single game, especially the last one of the ...

The Boubacar 3/3/2008 (Big Red Edition)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- The calendar does not deceive you, it's been March for two-plus days now and we haven't seen one conference tournament game. We'll take care of that tomorrow (the Big South, OVC and Horizon get underway), but this in-between day gives us a chance to catch our collective breath and...

MMBOW #17: Arizona Reid, High Point

The really good players are the ones who can lift their teams up when it counts, who deliver in the clutch, who take it upon themselves to lift their team out of a funk. And the very funky-haired Arizona Reid of High Point is our seventeenth Mid-Majority Baller Of The Week. Mr. Reid, who was named ...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/3/2008: North Carolina A&T; at Hampton

  North Carolina A&T at Hampton (MEAC) Convocation Center - Hampton, VA 8:00 PM EST Morgan State has pretty much run away with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference race, clinching the No. 1 seed last week and winning a 39-36 American-style football game at defending regular-season titlist...

Tourney Central 3/4/2008 (Day 1)

Bullet Points Championship Week, which is technically 13 days long, begins tonight. You can call it Championship Fortnight if you prefer. The OVC and Big South will hold campus-site quarterfinals, while the Horizon League will stage four low-seed qualifiers for this weekend's rounds at regular-seas...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/4/2008: Miami (Oh.) at Kent State

  Miami (Oh.) at Kent State (Mid-American) Memorial Athletics Center - Kent, OH 7:00 PM EST Kent State (23-6, 11-3) was the biggest winner of the whole BracketBuster VI thing, earning a late-night victory out at nationally-ranked Saint Mary's and inspiring talk of the first two-bid Mid-Ameri...

The Boubacar 3/4/2008 (Two-Bid Edition)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- M is for March, and madness, and mania, and magic; any etymologist knows they all came from the same source, Ma-, a Anglo-Saxon derivative meaning "super-awesome." M is also for Mid-major. It's our time, and this is our year. With so many struggling power-conference teams trying t...

Tourney Central 3/5/2008 (Day 2)

Bullet Points The first two upsets of Championship Fortnight occurred yesterday. The OVC's No. 6 Tennessee State won at No. 3 Morehead State, while Horizon No. 8 Loyola (Ill.) shocked No. 5 Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Big South's four top seeds won to set up Thursday's semifinals. OVC No. 4 Tenness...

The Boubacar 3/5/2008 (March Magic Edition)

NASHVILLE -- Our day-long drive down from our Rhode Island home down to Music City was like the 2007-08 season in intricately-styled microcosm. There were a lot of miles driven (about a thousand), hours upon hours of XM radio (we like the new "Thriller" channel) and spotty cell reception just about ...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/5/2008: La Salle at Massachusetts

  La Salle at Massachusetts (Atlantic 10) Mullins Center - Amherst, MA 7:30 PM EST Perhaps the most frequently asked question (that's "FAQ," for all you kids who've never been on the internet before) posed to me recently goes something like this. What's wrong with the Atlantic 10 14? How hav...

The State Of The Other 22, Week 16

The State of College Basketball is a brand-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 341 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of the F...

Tourney Central 3/6/2008 (Day 3)

Bullet Points All four Patriot League quarters were decided by three points or less, and the round featured two upsets as No. 7 Bucknell and No. 5 Army advanced. Bucknell beat No. 2 Navy 87-86 on a John Griffin 40-foot buzzer-beater in triple overtime. In the Sun Belt, the campus-site first roun...

The Boubacar 3/6/2008 (Dromedary Edition)

NASHVILLE -- There's a little Fighting Camel in all of us -- that piece of our soul that's tragically misunderstood, a little out of place. It's the part of you that's told you'll never make it, never achieve your dreams. Silly camel, you aren't supposed to fight for or win anything... you're suppos...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/6/2008: Xavier at Saint Joseph's

  Xavier at Saint Joseph's (Atlantic 10) Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse - Philadelphia, PA 9:00 PM EST Xavier (25-4, 13-1) comes into tonight's G!O!T!N! on an 11-game win streak, has an RPI of six, and is the only team in the entire Atlantic 14 that could leave for a 10-day all-expenses-paid vac...

The Mid-Majority Interview: Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson isn't the kind of talent you often find at the mid-major level. Heck, there aren't that many players in the power conferences like him. He's a 6-11 specimen who can shoot mid-range jumpers just as well as he can lay it in, and can muscle his way to any rebound, anywhere. Entering this...

Tourney Central 3/7/2008 (Day 4)

Bullet Points There was an upset in the Atlantic Sun quarters, as No. 6 Gardner-Webb routed No. 3 Stetson. The Big South final is set: UNC Asheville and Winthrop, the league's top two seeds. The game will be played Saturday. In the MVC first round, No. 8 Indiana State and No. 7 Missouri State adva...

The Boubacar 3/7/2008 (Fun in the A-Sun Edition)

NASHVILLE -- There is nothing in the world more fun that this fortnight, this extended Championship Week. Days full of games, wave after wave of cheerleaders, pep bands, student sections and players' moms. Every two hours new ones come along come, a blurry time-smear of orange, red, green, blue, gol...

Game! Of! The! Night! 3/9/2008: Kent State at Akron

  Kent State at Akron (Mid-American) James A. Rhodes Arena - Akron, OH 7:00 PM EST So it's come to this. The final G!O!T!N! of the year, the last contest our virtual crew will travel to on the last day of the regular season. Everything's pretty much been settled as far as the MAC race goes (...

Tourney Central 3/8/2008 (Day 5)

Bullet Points Today, three autobids to the NCAA Tournament will be awarded! The Big South, Ohio Valley and Atlantic Sun will crown champions. The No. 6 was a lucky number yesterday -- surprising Tennessee State moved to the finals of the OVC, Northern Iowa upset No. 3 Southern Illinois in the MVC, ...

Tourney Central 3/9/2008 (Day 6)

Bullet Points Three autobids were given out yesterday. All hail mighty Winthrop of the Big South, Austin Peay of the Ohio Valley Conference, and the Atlantic Sun's Belmont. All are off to the Big Dance! One final today -- the championship of the Missouri Valley Conference. Drake and Illinois State...

Tourney Central Extra: The Last Brackets

With the end of the regular season today, all conference tournament brackets in the mid-major (and A-14) domain have been finalized. After the jump, opening brackets for this week's events: the MEAC, SWAC, Mid-American, Big West, Atlantic 14, WAC and Southland. Mid-Eastern Begins Tuesday in Raleig...

Tourney Central 3/10/2008 (Day 7)

Bullet Points All hail Drake, double-champions of the Missouri Valley Conference. Not only did the Bulldogs capture their first MVC tourney ever, it was the first time in 10 years the regular season champs survived Arch Madness. Four finals tonight: we'll have autobids delivered in the Colonial, Me...

The Boubacar 3/10/2008 (Fifth-To-Last Edition)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Yes indeed, the regular season is over. Everybody's into their conference tournaments now, and four are over already. And since The Boubacar is a regular-season thing, we'll be winding down this particular portion of the entertainment this week. But first and foremost, I wanted to l...

Tourney Central 3/11/2008 (Day 8)

Bullet Points Scissors and ladders were indeed used last night, as four mid-major champions ascended to thrones. Davidson streaked to a third consecutive title in the SoCon, George Mason survived the Colonial tourney, Siena is the double-champ in the MAAC, and San Diego stole the WCC title from Gon...

The Boubacar 3/11/2008 (Court-Storming Edition)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The thing that people don't get from television is how hot it is inside a court-storming. I mean, it's sweltering and blistering (and a little humid) in there with all the body heat and kinetic energy. Oh, and loud too. Inside a court-storming, you'll find a sound that can never be...

Tourney Central 3/12/2008 (Day 9)

Bullet Points Three more automatic bids were awarded last night. Full 100 percent congratulations to Butler, double-champions of the Horizon League, as well as Oral Roberts, three-time titlists of the Mid-Con cum Summit cum Badlands Conference. Western Kentucky is back in the Dance from the Sun B...

The Boubacar 3/12/2008 (Lost Seasons Edition)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- As we promised earlier this week, we're going to take one last look at some seasons that may not have resulted in a Dance card or a lot of national headlines, but were breakthroughs or returns to form. Here, then, are eight teams that few saw coming... in alphabetical order. ...

Tourney Central 3/13/2008 (Day 10)

Bullet Points Make way on the big bracket for two more mid-major champions: Mount Saint Mary's, surprise winners of the NEC out of a No. 4 seed, and Portland State, double-champions of the Big Sky. There were three exciting finishes in the Atlantic 14, with La Salle, Dayton and Charlotte pulling ou...

The Boubacar 3/13/2008 (Awards Edition)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- I don't know if I'm ripping the cover off some secret clandestine something, or exposing some horrible underbelly of The Business here. But one of the best things about Championship Fortnight is the media gifts. Yes, many conferences bestow presents upon us ink- and pixel-sta...

A Brief History of the Number 100

It was a special number once, an emotional milestone, an achievement of a lifetime. Four years ago in this space, I attended exactly one hundred college basketball games in a single season and wrote something faintly humorous about each one. It was a journey that culminated in a loss. Because it alw...

Tourney Central 3/14/2008 (Day 11)

Bullet Points No autobids given out on Thursday, but high seeds fell like falling things. Texas-Arlington showed No. 2 Lamar the door in the Southland quarterfinals. In the Atlantic 14, No. 6 Charlotte defeated No. 3 UMass, and there was a six-over-three in the SWAC, as Arkansas-Pine Bluff dumped A...

The Boubacar 3/14/2008 (The Final Edition)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- It's fitting that we're here in Jersey -- just as there were 86 episodes of The Sopranos, there were exactly that many daily weekday posts this year. This right here is the final edition of the season -- this 86th Boubacar, too, was "Made in America." Not that this is the end...

Tourney Central 3/15/2008 (Day 12)

Bullet Points Bow down before the altar of American, poxy fules. The Eagles are going dancing out of the Patriot League for the first time in school history. Today will see the crowning glory in seven conferences. The America East, Atlantic 14, MAC, SWAC, MEAC, WAC and Big West will all have champi...

Tourney Central 3/16/2008 (Day 13)

Bullet Points The autobid picture is nearly complete, as seven champions were named on Saturday. Kent State and UMBC followed up their regular-season trophies with tourney rings, in the MAC and America East respectively. In a low-seed shocker, No. 7 Coppin State upset No. 1 Morgan State in the MEA...

Tourney Central (Completed Brackets)

Bullet Points In the final final in mid-majordom, Texas-Arlington emerged as surprise Southland champs. All hail! We had 78 entries into our "guess-the-play-in-matchup" contest on Saturday, and not a single correct answer. The correct pairing, as we all know now, is Coppin State (MEAC) against Moun...

Taking What Doesn't Belong To Us

I can't think of anything that captures the essence of modern corporate America better than Selection Sunday. Four and a half months of sweat and blood spilled by on-court workers is distilled into numbers and charts, spreadsheets and presentations. Merits are debated by people in suits in a locked ...

Why You Shouldn't Enter Your Office Pool

I remember my first March Madness office pool. The year was 1992, I was about to leave my teenage years behind. I had just nabbed my first real actual journalism job, working for out-of-state tuition as a junior copy editor at a farming magazine in Oregon. I recall that the whole bracket thing was a...

NCAA Money Matters: First Round

We had quite a few mail inquiries and chat questions yesterday about the chat that was published in my weekly blog for the Worldwide Leader. For those of you who are ESPN OutSiders, I listed the top five largest financial disparities in both overall athletic expenses and men's basketball budgets. Pe...

The State Of The Other 22, Final Edition 2008

The State of College Basketball is a brand-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 341 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of the F...

Bally's Exclusive Backstage All-Access NCAA Pass!

Well, here we are in Birmingham. I'm watching practices, asking dumb questions in press conferences, eating all the Cheetos at the media buffet spread, and waiting for the upsets to start happening on TV. While I'm doing Real Serious Work, Bally is living it up VIP style at the Big Dance. Follow a...

Sh*tballed and Shortchanged

BIRMINGHAM -- On mornings like this, after days like that, I'm envious of people who can simply move on with their brackets and think about the next round's matchups. For those of us who cover the mid-major schools, we'll be reliving this day over and over again for the next year. The true underdo...

Twelve, Thirteen

...

St. Awesome

O Saints, you screaming yellow zonkers of a team. We've had our rough spots, y'all and I -- there's ancient history and we did have to report what we saw last month. But we've never hesitated to say nice things about you, we've ranked you, and then we stormed your court. And now we celebrate your fi...

NCAA Money Matters: Second Round

Back by popular demand, it's another chart of who's got money and who doesn't. Basing your prognostications on athletic budgets isn't a perfect method -- you would have gone 24-8 in the first round, which seems about average for all those suffering from Tampa Madness (you would have had WKU over Dra...

Dave and Busters

O Wildcats, dispatchers of Zags, plain-sight stealers of ACC-level recruits! You play a fair game, you play a square game, and you win in everything! Davidson's red and black machine won its 23rd game in a row, but its first at the NCAA tournament since 1969, when ol' Lefty Driesell paced the Wildca...

Two Through

Two brave, fighting groups of men... two long dormant small-college basketball legacies reborn... two tourney champions turned Sweet survivors. The Sun Belt and the SoCon, two leagues the general public can't tell apart from each other, are sending representatives to the NCAA Regionals. Hoo-zah! ...

Gotcha, Steve

If you've been reading this site with any sort of regularity this year, you know about my Face Off with one Mr. Steve Welmer, the most-travelled official in Division I. And all the e-mails have been really great, people are really getting into it. This is one part Amazing Race, another part Cannonba...

The Travelogue, Chapter 17

Birmingham This month has its place in the weather calendar, a rock-solid role. March thaw helps keep April showers warm, and as long as everything happens in the right order, May flowers won't be DOA. March basketball, however, is as unpredictable as global warming. You don't know who's going to...

The Travelogue, Chapter 18

Bowling Green At 2:45 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, the message came in, with a time stamp that indicated it had been left an hour earlier. "The plane leaves around 3 p.m.," the sports information director said. "We'll see you down there at the airport." I'd have received the call on time if I...

Hilltopper Fever

Bowling Green has been painted Big Red ever since the home team clinched its first Sweet 16 berth in 15 years last weekend. After the jump, more pictures of the scene in B.G. as Western Kentucky University prepares for Thursday's No. 12 vs. No. 1 matchup against UCLA. In front of the arena that be...

NCAA Money Matters: The Sweet 16

There are 16 teams left to fight over the National Championship, each with just four more wins to go to achieve the ultimate prize. Strangely enough, they spent widely disparate amounts of money to get here. As my new friend TuckyBill likes to say, "mid-major" is just another name for "more bang fo...

Bally's Massive Midwest Regional All-Accesstravaganza!

One of the great things about the day before an NCAA subregional, regional or Final Four is that the public can come and watch the teams practice for free! This is enormous Ford Field in Detroit, which is normally used for American-style football. The stadium will have 72,000 available seats for t...

Elite Cats!

...

Detroit Shock

DETROIT -- The alarm clock went off this morning, like it normally does... but we're still trying to figure out when, exactly, we fell asleep. Around 6 p.m. yesterday? That timeframe makes more sense than what we were hallucinating about. Davidson? A No. 10 seed? Slaughtering the Big Ten champs in B...

More Than "Just Balls": The Legend of the Ralph Marlin Tie

When ESPN.com brought me on in the summer of 2005, my good friend Sarah bought me a Ralph Marlin "Just Balls" tie. It was one of those nice timely things that good friends do -- they buy you things having to do with what you're celebrating just as you're celebrating them. Little did I know that it w...

There's a Basketball Game Today at 5 PM ET

We received a lot of messages in response to the query as to whether or not I should wear the "Just Balls" tie to the game today. With a 2-to-1 split in favor of donning autographed neckgear, the votes against stuck out and haunted my sleep. Several people brought up the possibility of a double-reve...

Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Thank you, Davidson players, coaches, staff, students and fans. It was a ride that was both sweet and elite. We'll close Season 4 with an epilogue on Tuesday. ...

Fearlessness and Failure (Epilogue, The Fourth)

Seriously, what's the big deal about fearlessness? It's made out to be this incredible and rare trait that only a select few possess. People forget that it's our natural, default state of being. We enter the world too naive to fear anything; over time, we develop a profile of all that scares us. Som...

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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.