Season 6

200 entries (101-200 shown)

The Hoops National: February 15, 2010

Big Game Mid-American: at Akron 91, Ohio 88 (2OT) AKR - 19-7 (9-3) [RPI: 119, State: 102] OHIO - 14-12 (5-7) [RPI: 154, State: 162] Star of the Game: Chris McKnight 25 Pts (7-12 FG, 11-17 FT), 18 Reb Men's Basketball Outlasts Ohio in Double Overtime - Chris McKnight and Jimmy Conyers each po...

Call 1-800-TMPO-FRE Today!

John's guest-hosting this week while Kyle's in Vancouver. I occasionally receive email like this: I have a question regarding the comparison of players from different conferences. How can one compare, say, Freshman A from Conference USA to Freshman B from the Big 12 in terms of production, given...

My School: Butler

When Kyle proposed the series of fan essays about various schools in the Mid-Majority, I hesitated about writing about mine. It's not like Butler has been starved of column inches by the national media or TMM. Butler has almost reached a Gonzaga-esque point where some folks might prefer calling th...

The Hoops National: February 16, 2010

Big Game MEAC: South Carolina State 71, at Morgan State 68 SCST - 14-9 (9-4) [RPI: 229, State: 207] MORG - 19-8 (12-1) [RPI: 117, State: 126] Star of the Game: Jason Flagler 24 Pts (11-17 FG, 1-1 FT), 2 Stl SC State Hands Morgan State First League Loss 71-68 - South Carolina State built a twelv...

My School: SIU Edwardsville

Driving Eastward on interstate 255 from St. Louis there's large billboard with the simple phrase "Cougars rising," and each time I see it I inevitably crack a smile, because the Cougars are my work, education and my life. I'm rising too. A short 20 minute drive from that billboard lies our den; a q...

Expansion's Bad If You're Already In

John's guest-hosting this week while Kyle's in Vancouver. The NCAA is considering expanding the D-I men's basketball tournament to either 68 or 96 teams, and it is the latter scenario that has occasioned the most discussion and debate. After all, adding three more teams is less interesting and not...

The Hoops National: February 17, 2010

Big Games Missouri Valley: at Northern Iowa 70, Creighton 52 UNI - 23-3 (14-2) [RPI: 25, State: 14] CREI - 13-14 (8-8) [RPI: 132, State: 142] Star of the Game: Johnny Moran 17 Pts (6-10 FG, 2-2 FT) #24 UNI Clinches 1st-Ever MVC Regular Season Outright Championship With 70-52 Win Over Creighton ...

My School: Western Michigan

It was February 28, 1998. I was a sophomore at Western Michigan University, driving home to my parents' house in Metro Detroit for Spring Break. Four hours previous, Miami RedHawks head coach Charlie Coles had a heart attack on the University Arena court. There was 11:23 left in the first half wh...

Our School: Oakland

Entering the circle drive that filters into the campus of Oakland University during the winter semester, an observer will notice a slew of banners hanging on light posts, a familiar sight on any campus. "Coming Home," they read; a reminder of the month's Homecoming festivities. For a school without ...

Presenting the THEMMA Awards

John's guest-hosting this week while Kyle's in Vancouver. Which of course stands for the Temporary Help's Evaluation of Mid-Major Achievement. Is it presumptuous to dish out awards from the Olympian (you know, that adjective is much more situation-neutral and less confusing 99 percent of the time) ...

The Hoops National: February 18, 2010

Big Games Western Athletic: at Utah State 67, Louisiana Tech 61 USU - 21-6 (11-2) [RPI: 45, State: 32] LTU - 20-6 (8-4) [RPI: 77, State: 70] Star of the Game: Nate Bendall 11 Pts (5-8 FG, 1-1 FT), 9 Reb Aggies Collar Bulldogs, 67-61, Wednesday For 11th-Straight Win - Junior guard Pooh Williams ...

How to Win Tournament Games and Export your Coach

John's guest-hosting this week while Kyle's in Vancouver. On Tuesday I offered one free Gasaway to the first-mid-major that contacted me. I will now be providing free opponent scouting for the NCAA tournament in a robust and tempo-free way to a nameless program, or perhaps even programs if they all...

The Hoops National: February 19, 2010

Big Games West Coast: at Loyola Marymount 74, Gonzaga 66 LMU - 14-13 (5-6) [RPI: 210, State: 184] GONZ - 21-5 (9-2) [RPI: 18, State: 28] Star of the Game: Drew Viney 16 Pts (5-12 FG, 4-4 FT), 10 Reb Lions Get Healthy, Beat No. 9 Gonzaga - Playing with a full line-up for the first time in nearly...

My School: Dayton

Kyle once said, "Dayton is a program that never asked for anyone's sympathy," a fact that shows exactly how the Dayton Flyers reflect the attitude of the city that has adopted them, blue-collar, hardworking and a "won't quit" attitude that always leads to great things. Our Game, college basketball...

My School: William & Mary

The College of William & Mary is known for many things across the country. Unfortunately, basketball is not one of them. Founded in 1693, this school located in the old-folks hideaway of Williamsburg, Virginia is the second oldest institution of higher learning in the United States -- second only t...

The Hoops National: February 20, 2010

Big Games BracketBusters: at Northern Iowa 71, Old Dominion 62 UNI - 24-3 (14-2) [RPI: 21, State: 12] ODU - 21-8 (13-3) [RPI: 41, State: 48] Star of the Game: Ali Farokhmanesh 23 Pts (6-10 FG, 6-6 FT) Farokhmanesh's 23-Point Second Half Pushes #24 UNI Past Old Dominion, 71-62 - CEDAR FALLS, I...

The Hoops National: February 21, 2010

Big Games BracketBusters: at Butler (HL) 70, Siena (MAAC) 53 BUTL - 25-4 (17-0) [RPI: 21, State: 12] SIE - 22-6 (15-1) [RPI: 31, State: 46] Star of the Game: Shelvin Mack 23 Pts (8-14 FG, 4-5 FT), 6 Reb Mack and Hayward lead way to Bracketbuster win on Senior Day - Shelvin Mack scored 23 point...

The Hoops National: February 22, 2010

Big Games Atlantic 14: at Duquesne 73, Dayton 71 DUQ - 15-12 (6-7) [RPI: 98, State: 118] UD - 18-8 (7-5) [RPI: 37, State: 48] Star of the Game: Eric Evans 14 Pts (6-9 FG, 2-2 FT) Dukes Down Dayton, 73-71 - Damian Saunders, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half, hit a driving layup w...

The Hoops National: February 23, 2010

Big Games Seattle 90, at San Jose State 88 - 14-14 (0-0) [RPI: 215, State: 177] SJSU - 13-13 (5-7) [RPI: 121, State: 152] Star of the Game: Aaron Broussard 9 Pts (4-8 FG) Seattle University Men's Basketball Pulls Out 90-88 Victory Over San Jose State - Senior guard Taylor Olson (Seattle, Wash....

The Hoops National: February 24, 2010

Big Games Missouri Valley: at Evansville 55, Northern Iowa 54 EVAN - 8-20 (2-15) [RPI: 275, State: 289] UNI - 24-4 (14-3) [RPI: 16, State: 15] Star of the Game: James Haarsma 12 Pts (4-4 FG, 4-5 FT), 8 Reb Total Team Effort Gives UE Win Over #22 UNI - A "total team effort" in the words of Head ...

My School: Idaho

The first time I came to the Idaho Palouse, a California kid on a college tour of the middle of nowhere, the Kibbie Dome was the first thing I saw of the University of Idaho. Driving east on Highway 8 and rounding the bend at the Washington state line, its grand, curving arch pops out of the monoton...

The Hoops National: February 25, 2010

Big Games Atlantic 14: at Temple 49, Dayton 41 TU - 23-5 (11-2) [RPI: 13, State: 21] UD - 18-9 (7-6) [RPI: 43, State: 51] Star of the Game: Lavoy Allen 9 Pts (3-8 FG, 3-5 FT), 17 Reb #18/20 Men's Basketball Tied For First In A-14 With 49-41 Win Over Dayton - PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Ramo...

My School: Ohio

Traveling into Athens, OH from the west along Route 33 -- or from any direction for that matter -- is a bleak drive. It's a town set in the middle of nowhere, founded with big dreams of becoming a gateway into the Northwest Territory. The trip in takes you through a series of towns that inspire id...

My Journey

Iowa is a word that makes me want to jump in my car and drive far, far away. Iowa is the guilt trip that makes me miss home and asks when I am going to get some common sense and put all this traveling behind me. It's a place that shifts between some of the worst weather any right-minded person cou...

The Hoops National: February 26, 2010

Big Games Ohio Valley: at Morehead State 70, Murray State 65 MORE - 20-9 (14-3) [RPI: 98, State: 102] MURR - 26-4 (16-1) [RPI: 73, State: 57] Star of the Game: Kenneth Faried 15 Pts (7-10 FG, 1-3 FT), 11 Reb Hill's Clutch Three-Pointer Lifts Eagles to 70-65 Win Over Murray State Morehead State...

The Hoops National: February 27, 2010

Big Games Ivy League: at Cornell 50, Princeton 47 CORN - 24-4 (10-1) [RPI: 48, State: 52] PRIN - 16-8 (7-3) [RPI: 161, State: 120] Star of the Game: Jeff Foote 19 Pts (6-7 FG, 7-8 FT) Men's Basketball Tops Princeton, 50-47 - Cornell fought off a feisty Princeton team to claim its fourth stra...

The Hoops National: February 28, 2010

Big Games Colonial: at Old Dominion 73, Virginia Commonwealth 70 ODU - 23-8 (15-3) [RPI: 42, State: 42] VCU - 20-8 (11-7) [RPI: 62, State: 49] Star of the Game: Frank Hassell 17 Pts (8-9 FG, 1-3 FT), 6 Reb REGULAR SEASON CAA CHAMPS: ODU Ends Perfect Home Season With Win Over VCU - Gerald Lee scor...

Every Hello is a Hello

SEATTLE -- Think of the most memorable, most exciting, most overwhelmingly intense moment you've experienced in the past month. Now imagine that kind of occurrence three, four or five times a day. For 16 consecutive days! This is what going to the Olympics is like. If you've been to the Games, you ...

The Hoops National: March 1, 2010

Big Games Atlantic 14: at Xavier 78, Richmond 76 (2OT) XU - 21-7 (12-2) [RPI: 18, State: 18] RICH - 22-7 (11-3) [RPI: 26, State: 36] Star of the Game: Jamel McLean 9 Pts (2-3 FG, 5-6 FT), 13 Reb Men's Basketball Takes No. 23/24 Richmond to OT2, Pulls Out 78-76 Win - Led by sophomore Terrell Holl...

The Hoops National: March 2, 2010

NOTE: The Hoops National will only cover regular-season games for the remainder of the week. Big Games Western Athletic: at Utah State 76, Fresno State 39 USU - 24-6 (13-2) [RPI: 33, State: 32] FRES - 14-17 (6-9) [RPI: 199, State: 191] Star of the Game: Tai Wesley 21 Pts (10-13 FG, 1-2 FT), 7 Reb...

Sympathy for the Content Monster

VANCOUVER, Feb. 24 -- I'm writing to you from the diiiiistant past. Wooooo-ooooo-oo. By the time you read this, the flame will be out, the [CENSORED - ed.] will be over, conference tourney time will have begun; I'll be a jello glob with re-entry syndrome and a fried immune system, telling everybod...

The Hoops National: March 3, 2010

NOTE: The Hoops National will only cover regular-season games for the remainder of the week. Games of Note at Gonzaga 78, Cal State Bakersfield 59 GONZ - 25-5 (12-2) [RPI: 30, State: 33] CSB - 7-22 (0-0) [RPI: 321, State: 295] Star of the Game: Matt Bouldin 15 Pts (5-11 FG, 3-3 FT), 6 Reb No. 1...

Tourney Central 3/3/2010 (Day 2)

Bullet Points Ten of 12 higher seeds won on the first evening of Championship Fortnight. The Big South semifinals will feature the four top teams in that league, and seeds Nos. 3 through 5 are through to the Horizon League second round. In the OVC quarterfinals, No. 6 Tennessee Tech upset No. 3 Aus...

Championship Fortnight: The Musical

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- It's 2010, and the future is now. We have androids and robots that do our bidding, we use magic phones, and all the kids are having droid sex on "virtual AOL." Everything either flies, glows, or has a touch screen. But there's one machine from the old-school that has not been ou...

Tourney Central 3/4/2010 (Day 3)

Bullet Points Day 2 saw the first major upset of this year's conference tourneys, as Atlantic Sun No. 8 Kennesaw State beat No. 1 Lipscomb. Kurtis Woods hit a layup with 10.8 seconds left to seal a 72-69 win for the Owls. It was Kennesaw's first game as a postseason-eligible team, and the first No....

The Hoops National: March 4, 2010

NOTE: The Hoops National will only cover regular-season games for the remainder of the week. Big Games Atlantic 14: Temple 57, at Saint Louis 51 TU - 25-5 (13-2) [RPI: 19, State: 19] SLU - 19-10 (10-5) [RPI: 87, State: 80] Star of the Game: Lavoy Allen 18 Pts (9-12 FG, 0-1 FT), 14 Reb #16/20 Tem...

Site of the Day!

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- In 1995, when the internet only had 200 sites on it, there was Mirsky's Worst of the Web. Every day, a mysterious dude named Mirsky would post a link to a badly designed or horribly conceived site, and make snarky fun of the design and content. Most webmasters had nightmares abo...

The Hoops National: March 5, 2010

NOTE: The Hoops National will only cover regular-season games for the remainder of the week. Big Games Atlantic 14: at Richmond 60, Dayton 56 RICH - 23-7 (12-3) [RPI: 30, State: 32] UD - 19-10 (8-7) [RPI: 41, State: 51] Star of the Game: Kevin Anderson 22 Pts (6-14 FG, 9-10 FT) Spiders Finish 14...

Tourney Central 3/5/2010 (Day 4)

Bullet Points The first championship game matchup is set. In the Big South, Coastal Carolina will host No. 3 Winthrop on Saturday. The Eagles upset defending champions Radford 61-46 on Coastal's home floor. Both lower seeds won in the two Atlantic Sun quarterfinals played on Thursday. No. 5 East Te...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 614

The Return of Mid-Majority Chat Block You can't spell "Championship Fortnight" without "chat." Things get started at 2 PM ET. ...

Tourney Central 3/6/2010 (Day 5)

Bullet Points Two more finals are set. All four of the top seeds are out at the Atlantic Sun, leaving No. 5 East Tennessee State and No. 6 Mercer to fight for the title. In the OVC, top two seeds Murray State and Morehead State will stage a showdown in Nashville tonight. In the 22 games on Friday, ...

The Hoops National: March 6, 2010

NOTE: The Hoops National will only cover regular-season games for the remainder of the week. Big Games Ivy League: Cornell 95, at Brown 76 CORN - 26-4 (12-1) [RPI: 46, State: 50] BRWN - 11-19 (5-8) [RPI: 250, State: 281] Star of the Game: Jon Jaques 20 Pts (7-9 FG), 7 Reb Men's Hoops Claims Thir...

The Hoops National: March 7, 2010

This is the final Hoops National of the 2009-10 season. Big Games Atlantic 14: at Massachusetts 69, Rhode Island 67 MASS - 11-19 (5-11) [RPI: 200, State: 205] URI - 21-8 (9-7) [RPI: 30, State: 48] Star of the Game: Ricky Harris 28 Pts (10-21 FG, 6-11 FT), 7 Reb UMass Into A-14s With 69-67 Win O...

Tourney Central 3/7/2010 (Day 6)

Bullet Points A mighty congratulations to the first three conference tourney winners. Winthrop is the Big South representative for the ninth time in 12 seasons. East Tennessee State repeated in the Atlantic Sun, out of a No. 5 seed. And dangerous Murray State won the championship of the Ohio 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 seven leagues starting up during the second week of Championship Fortnight: the MEAC, SWAC, Big West, Great West, Atlantic 14, WAC an...

Tourney Central 3/8/2010 (Day 7)

Bullet Points All hail Northern Iowa, repeat winners of the Missouri Valley Conference's Arch Madness. The top-seeded Panthers put on a strong second-half burst to defeat No. 2 Wichita State, 67-52. Four of Sunday's semifinals set up Monday championship games. The Colonial title comes down to a m...

Fortnight Memories

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- This is the last week we'll all be together, before the 23 Champions of Hoops Nation (and a few others) move on to the fourth and final round -- leaving everyone else to figure out what comes next. It's a bittersweet final few days, full of joy and anguish, ultimate wins and ter...

Tourney Central 3/9/2010 (Day 8)

Bullet Points A might victory whoop! for our four newest Hoops Nation champions. Old Dominion dropped William & Mary in the Colonial, to return to the Dance after three years away. Siena won the Metro Atlantic for the third straight year, but the Saints needed overtime to fight off brave Fairfield....

Who's Next?

Mid-Majority protocol dictates that we take a look back at some of the teams that outpaced modest expectations to put together solid seasons, despite not taking it to the big stage of the Big Dance. It's a leading indicator of sorts, a distant warning to current champions that there will be teams to...

Tourney Central 3/10/2010 (Day 9)

Bullet Points Three champions were crowned on Tuesday night. Please give it up for: Butler of the Horizon League, which crushed Wright State in that league's title game; the Sun Belt's North Texas, which has now split the last four championships with Western Kentucky; and Oakland, long-suffering G'...

TMM's Second Annual Floor-Storming Symposium

One makes for a one-off, but two constitutes a tradition. It's now unthinkable to end Season 6 without having our friends from Storming The Floor over during Championship Fortnight, to discuss one of the most hallowed of all college basketball rituals: the taking of the court. Our First Annual Flo...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 615

The Mid-Majority Chat Block: Championship Fortnight Edition How ya doin'? Did your team win, did it lose? Come join in a special mid-week chat on Wednesday at 2 PM ET to discuss all the weird wonders that encompass Championship Fortnight. ...

Tourney Central 3/11/2010 (Day 10)

Bullet Points Upsets! Congratulations to our unexpected champions from last night, as Robert Morris repeated in a sticky NEC final at top-seeded Quinnipiac, and Montana engineered a comeback for the Championship Fortnight ages in the Big Sky. The No. 4-seeded Grizzlies were down by 20 at halftime t...

Love vs. the Loophole

CLEVELAND -- Just as you don't need to put lipstick on the P.I.G., Championship Fortnight doesn't need any pretty dressing. It's compelling competition that sells itself. March basketball is elimination basketball, and we need to get 31 from 347 before we whittle 65 down to a single champion. It...

Tourney Central 3/12/2010 (Day 11)

Bullet Points There were no bids awarded on Thursday. Instead, many of the late leagues held quarterfinal rounds, setting up semifinals for today. The Southland and WAC put forward their top four seeds, but MEAC No. 5 Hampton snuck past No. 4 Hampton. The SWAC's bracket now has a 2-3-5-8 setup; Tex...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 616

The Mid-Majority Chat Block; Championship Fortnight Edition OK, we had some technical difficulties, but let's try this again. I can haz Championship Fortnight Chat Block? ...

The Weak Ones Fall, The Strong Carry On

CLEVELAND -- It was February 19, 2009, 11:49 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, during our nine-hour BracketBusters marathon chat. We have a lot of people sign in with names that aren't theirs, but we hadn't had any multi-platinum rock stars show up before. [Comment From Tom Petty] Two questions. 1) Wh...

Tourney Central 3/13/2010 (Day 12)

Bullet Points In the Patriot League, your champions are the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. The former Engineers defeated their cross-valley rival Lafayette with a strong second-half burst, and will go to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time. Higher seeds were 12-4 on Friday. The No. 3 over No. 2 upset w...

Tourney Central 3/14/2010 (Day 13)

Bullet Points Seven championships were decided on the penultimate day of Championship Fortnight. All hail Vermont, back in the Dance for the first time since 2005 (Season 1) and also for the first time in the Mike Lonergan era. Congratulations to Morgan State; the Bears navigated the always-difficu...

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Bracket

Happy Selection Sunday, the day when Christmas morning comes at 6 pm. ...

Champions of Hoops Nation 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- We pause to repect the accomplishments of Utah State, Richmond and Xavier. Heck, even Gonzaga. And even though we don't draw the line between power conferences and "none of the above" the same way as the people on TV, there were some other schools that don't play in the Premier Leagu...

STOP. Don't Fill It Out.

INDIANAPOLIS -- I see you printing out that CBS blank bracket at work, starting to fill it out in pencil. (You like Murray State's chances for the upset, I see.) I noticed that you'd opened a Fantasy account at ESPN,com, getting ready to fill out 10 different contingency entries. (But you're defin...

Mid-Majority Tournament Chat Block No. 2

Tournament Chat Block No. 2 Due to unpopular demand, we are holding one-hour Chat Blocks every day this week. Here's the schedule (all times EDT): Monday at 3 pm, Tuesday at 2 pm, Wednesday at 1 pm, Thursday and Friday at 5 pm. And don't forget about our bracket contest! ...

Too Big Yo

You've heard the old story before. A bunch of crazy college kids record a silly rap on someone's laptop, one of them just so happens to be a star player for a NCAA Tournament-bound mid-major team, and they upload it to YouTube. Then, some fans find it. Then it goes national, yadda yadda yadda, and t...

P.I.G. Party 2010

DAYTON, Ohio -- Just the word "playoffs" tightens heart muscles, bates breaths, causes sleepless and nervous palpitations. Fans can't wait for the fun to begin. In the professional ranks of American-Style Football, "wild card weekend" is the start of a month of lost weekends. ALDS and NLCS and con...

Mid-Majority Tournament Chat Block No. 3

Tournament Chat Block No. 3 Due to unpopular demand, we are holding one-hour Chat Blocks every day this week. Here's the schedule (all times EDT): Monday at 3 pm, Tuesday at 2 pm, Wednesday at 1 pm, Thursday and Friday at 5 pm. And don't forget about our bracket contest! ...

A Day for Dreaming

It's the Wednesday before the Thursday of the Tournament, a day for hopes and dreams and wishes. Today, we're all still believing that the impossible will become possible. Every time we play the games in our heads, those teen seeds from one-bid leagues always seem to find a way to pull out wins in t...

Mid-Majority Tournament Chat Block No. 4

Tournament Chat Block No. 4 Due to unpopular demand, we are holding one-hour Chat Blocks every day this week. Here's the schedule (all times EDT): Monday at 3 pm, Tuesday at 2 pm, Wednesday at 1 pm, Thursday at 5 pm and Friday at 5 pm. Thursday's Chat Block will be at 6 pm EDT because of the spill...

The Diff: Round One, Day One

We do this every year around this time, and here again are the differences in athletic and basketball budgets between the teams in today's mid-versus-notso games. Our Red Line that separates those above and us here below is based on average athletic budgets, and teams in the Upper 8 beat the Other 2...

Emotional Geography

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- I have a bobblehead doll of Bryce Drew releasing The Shot that beat Ole Miss in 1998, and a picture on my wall of Northwestern State's Jermaine Wallace uncorking the three-pointer that eliminated Iowa in 2006. I'll admit that I have to think for a minute to remember the names o...

The Diff: Round One, Day Two

As is annual NCAA tradition, we're displaying the overall athletic and men's basketball budget numbers in the mid-vs.-major games. Just like money can buy you a better car or house, it can also buy you a better basketball team. Having large resources allows a program to keep its coaches, recruit a 1...

The First Annual As-You-Go Bracket Contest

An upset-filled day of unexpected joys can be ruined, or at least diminished, by busted brackets. Oh boo hoo, I'm so sad because I picked Georgetown to go to the Elite Eight. All of these problems can be eliminated if they take my advice and don't fill one out at all. When one watches the NCAA Tourn...

Mid-Majority Tournament Chat Block No. 5

Tournament Chat Block No. 5 Due to unpopular demand, we are holding one-hour Chat Blocks every day this week. Here's the schedule (all times EDT): Monday at 3 pm, Tuesday at 2 pm, Wednesday at 1 pm, Thursday at 6 pm and Friday at 5 pm. ...

Little Picture

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- In the big picture, the really big picture, it doesn't mean much at all. It's a basketball show. This is entertainment for rich people, a diversion for any remaining members of the American middle class with disposable time. The performers are judged on whether their effort ple...

The Diff: Round Two, Day One

"Cinderella" is such a dumb metaphor for all of this. For one thing, this isn't women's basketball; where I come from, calling a dude a lady will get you into a knife fight. Also, none of our teams get to ride a magical McDonald's All American to the Dance who turns into a pumpkin at midnight. I thi...

Idols

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- What strange psychology is this? The nation at large usually loves a Goliath. America seeks out the commanding and the dominant, places them in high matrices of "best ever" and "all time," all the while ignoring the struggles of the anonymous and faceless David Does below. Unti...

The Diff: Round Two, Day Two

Now, we would have preferrrred that the NCAA powers-that-is would have spread the first round upsets more equitably between Thursday and Friday. That would have made for an emotional rollercoaster of far simpler convexity, no? But it shook down like this, and we had six dogs, cats and dudes in the f...

Northern Iowa, Pride of the Valley

In a lot of ways, Northern Iowa feels like the Missouri Valley's far outpost, all the way up there at the tip of the conference. There's no sizable metropolitan area or skyline, like the western points of Omaha and Wichita, and Cedar Falls doesn't jump up on you on the highway -- you have to choose ...

Cornell: Mystery, New York

The passage of time is what usually grants college basketball its mystique and aura; witness memory fades and history takes over. Players become larger than life, coaches change into infallible titans of the mind, and single contests transcend the game itself. The words, and the numbers, never fit...

Butler: Continuum

It always ends in a loss; that is cold fact. Back in 2008, on a warm Sunday afternoon in Birmingham, Alabama, Butler's season came to a close in the NCAA Tournament's Round of 32. That squad's terminal drop came in overtime, to a Tennessee team it was superior to, on borderline calls and bad break...

As-You-Go Bracket Contest: Sweet 16

HOUSTON -- We're heading into the second weekend. Are there any people left still playing that office pool bracket stuff anymore? I think everybody's entries are busted, because I haven't heard people talking about it for days. But for our nine brave As-You-Goers, their brackets are totally, 100 per...

Xavier: It's a Basketball School, Dammit

What's a mid-major? What isn't? Have you had enough of this crap? Yeah, we have too, since Season 3 or so. It's an impossible discussion to have, especially when one-third of the people in the debate think it's a snapshot measure of basketball quality, another third insist it's about intangibles l...

The Diff: Sweet 16, Day 1

The now-famous "TMM 5" have basked in basketball glory for three days now. Tonight three of them will face another rigorous test each, at higher stakes, under hotter lights. Nervous times. And Butler, Xavier and Cornell have the same disadvantage going in as they had in the first two tests: financia...

Saint Mary's: The Beautiful Game

Down 68-65 with 1:16 left in regulation of a second round NCAA game at Providence's Dunkin' Donuts Center, Villanova called time out. We'll never really know exactly what was drawn up in that huddle, but what emerged was a play that only a team full of McDonald's All-Americans could ever execute. ...

The Diff: Sweet 16, Day 2

Last night, Butler overcame a $5 million gap in men's basketball budgets and eliminated Syracuse. Seriously, why spend all that extra money if it's not going to help you win? Tonight here in Houston, Saint Mary's will go up against another BCS school, attempting to keep its beautiful game going for ...

There's a Basketball Game Today at 4:30 PM ET

HOUSTON -- Bally and I won't be there in Salt Lake City today. We're still in Texas, in the expansive and quiet Reliant Stadium media room. There are so many moving logistical chutes and ladders with something like this, and there simply wasn't enough time to change course. I can't tell you how mu...

As-You-Go Bracket Contest: Elite 8

HOUSTON -- Living weekend to weekend is certainly exciting, but "going Sharpie" on the calendar is preferable. The life of Season 6 has been extended, thanks to Butler; we're going to have some extra time together, you and I. We have nine beautiful breathing-room days to celebrate and wrap up our bu...

The Way Back Home

HOUSTON -- We will speak of invisible architecture later. We will fully consider the way that stories are constructed for public consumption in this new and strange century. But in any era, past or present or future, every satisfying path must end at home. Just as the dominant seventh must resolv...

The Document

Downtown Vancouver, February 2010 MINNEAPOLIS -- I've been thinking a lot about the Kent State team from 2002, the one that went to the Elite Eight, during these last couple of days. No specific reason, really, because I've been too busy straining to remember the particulars. This all happened eig...

Final Four Chat Block No. 2

Final Four Chat Block No. 2 Bally and I are headed to the big Butler pep rally at noon on the square today! We'll bring back plenty of sights and sounds for you. There will also be another Chat Block at 3 p.m. EDT live from our headquarters here in Hoops Nation's capital city Indianapolis, so stop ...

As-You-Go Bracket Contest: Final Vote

This is it. Now it's up to you. Our remaining seven As-You-Go Bracketeers have done their work, now you must pass judgment. At the bottom of this post is a voting mechanism, and the winner will receive a most-expenses paid trip to Indianapolis this summer (estimated cash value: $650). It's all on th...

Pep Rally!

INDIANAPOLIS -- The sky above was blue, the concrete below was grey, and Butler fans streamed into Monument Circle to celebrate their team's return home to play in the Final Four. Bally and I headed downtown to see what all the fuss was about! The players and coaches weren't there (they were in cl...

The Too Big Yo Symposium

INDIANAPOLIS -- Gordon "G-Time" Hayward has officially gone platinum. The "Too Big Yo" smac rap surfaced on YouTube two weeks ago, was taken down quickly when the track went national, and then the rescued audio was posted here on this site. We've made attempts to offload some of the traffic to other...

Final Four Chat Block No. 3

Final Four Chat Block No. 3 This is the last Chat Block. Why? Because we're shutting down the site forever! We're out of money! Everything must go! Alright, Fooly-wooly Day, whatever. It's just amazing that TMM is still operational on April 1st. With the guaranteed finish coming within the week, we...

This Is Our Town

INDIANAPOLIS -- Here at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport, there's magic in the air. Mid-Majority headquarters, usually empty on account of the airport moving away two years ago, has turned into a bonafide basketball mecca. The median height has shot up past the 6-foot mark, and the number of ...

The Day Before the Final Four

INDIANAPOLIS -- Day broke over Indianapolis with a hazy grey so light it could have been mistaken for silver. The streets, still relatively lazy and quiet on Thursday, exploded in a thousand team colors as basketball people took over downtown -- a slow-motion floor storming of citywide proportions...

#thanksdawgs

: INDIANAPOLIS -- At this point, the random logic of the heart is far ahead of the reasoning of raw numbers. Of course a little private school with non-scholarship football can beat a mammoth sports machine that spends almost as much on men's basketball ($9 million) as it does on all sports ($11 m...

Storming The Bubble

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's even uglier up close. I mean, the architecture of it isn't offensive; its tall flat surfaces of impossibly smooth brickface appear as out of a three-dimensional CAD drawing, a simulation come to life. But Lucas Oil Stadium (or "Sports Bubble Stadium," if you prefer) is repulsi...

There's A Basketball Game Tonight at 9:21 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- At this point, there really isn't anything that hasn't been said. You know 1 Samuel 17:49, and you've heard the one about brick walls, and you know everything that's at stake tonight. Nothing less than the National Flippin' Championship, and one of our own is playing for it. All of...

Epilogue, The Sixth: We Never Change

INDIANAPOLIS, April 5 -- One hour after the end of the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, I re-entered the United States via the Peace Bridge border crossing. I was shaking and crying. As I made my way down Interstate 5 in Washington State, I made an emotional pact with myself that I...

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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.