Season 7

233 entries (201-233 shown)

Game 7-096: NCAA Round of 64, East Region 6/11

Hello, Xavier!! Our recently excepted friends were here in Cleveland with us, and Bally had trouble seeing over the mascot's hat from our seats in the front row corner. As the Musketeers gear up for another run, it's yet another opportunity to discuss the difference between "mid-majors" and "Basketball Schools,"...

Game 7-097: NCAA Round of 64, East Region 3/14

Thousands of Big Blue fans -- the real Big Blue -- made the trip up from Terre Haute to spend all night in Quicken Loans Arena and watch their Valley champs go down to Big Orange. And they all stayed to the very end (12:44 AM ET)... that's #TreeFever. As the action unfolds, we contemplate the bleak/uncertain/nowhere-to-go-but-up...

The NCAA Tournament Diff: Round of 32 Day 1

CLEVELAND -- From 26 at the start of the week, there are only six teams left from the Other 25 conferences. Three games of local interest today, and while we're assured of one from our side of the Line to move forward, we cannot have more than three of the four advance. It happens. In this case, it's the Atlantic...

Game 7-098: NIT Second Round

There is one National Championship. Everything else is just low-rated cable programming. Lose the wrong game at the wrong time, and you end up here -- in basketball purgatory. At the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, there is a long green curtain that separates backstage from the arena, which is a few armchairs...

The NCAA Tournament Diff: Round of 32 Day 2

This, March 20, 2011, is CAA Sunday. We're not talking about the Creative Artists Agency or the Canadian Auto Association, it's all about the Colonial Mother____ing Athetic Association. Three bids are fantastic and all, but the NCAA Tournament is about backing those bids up with NCAA Tournament victories. This...

Game 7-099: NCAA Round of 32, Southwest Region 3/11

On Saturday night, we left Cleveland and headed west to Chicago to catch back up with the VCU Rams, the first PIG team to win a Round of 64 game. And we saw them become the first PIG team to go to the Sweet Sixteen. It was an instance of a very rare type of upset: the kind where the lower-seeded team transcends...

The Gap Is Where We Live

CHICAGO -- In 1979, the NCAA expanded its men's basketball tournament from 32 to 40. One reason was to accomodate automatic bids for conferences like the Sun Belt and Southland -- fallout from the governing body's football subdivision split that "protected" mid-size schools from 76-0 gridiron poundings by the...

Redrawing the Red Line

CHICAGO -- It may be a week from now, and it may be two weeks from now, but this is certain: no matter what, the Epilogue is coming. Judging from the outlines and drafts, this season's final post will be the longest yet. There's a lot of complicated information about the future to package as a download, and getting...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 718

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 718 In this week between 32 and 16, only Butler, Richmond and VCU remain. What do they have to do to continue on and keep their lights lit? And what of all the fallen teams around Hoops Nation, what's next for them? New coaches, new players, or old patterns? Come chat about...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 719

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 719 Yee-haw! We are in San Antonio, Texas. So are VCU and Richmond. The weather is great, the Alamodome is weird, and we're ready to chat this afternoon on a special date but a regular time (4 PM ET). Come by and talk about the three remaining teams, the Butler-Wisconsin tilt...

Butler, The Way, and the Curse of Dick Bennett

SAN ANTONIO -- A single basketball play is made up of two opposing strategies hatched by two opposing coaches, ten free-agent entities of varying skill and experience levels who can choose to fall in with the chosen plan or not, hundreds of in-the-moment decision points by players and game officials, thousands...

Something Good's Going To Happen

SAN ANTONIO -- The power of a first impression comes from how forcefully it floods the vacuum of the unknown, how it fills a blank slate so completely. Before actual experience with a place and the people there, it's just another dot on a map. My first contact with Richmond, Virginia came in March of 2004, in...

What 100 Means Now

SAN ANTONIO -- In March of 2005, during the original 100 Games Project, I felt like it couldn't hurt to ask. I called up Brian McCann, the sports information director at Cleveland State, a school that was organizing an NCAA subregional at the Wolstein Center. I explained that I ran a website about college basketball...

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 720

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 720 Butler is back in the Elite Eight, there is no Curse of Dick Bennett (although he certainly wouldn't have approved of Wisconsin's performance last night), and the only thing surprising about it is a.) the lack of general public shock and b.) that this video has only been watched...

Game 7-100: NCAA Sweet 16, Southwest Semifinal #1

The distance between the Round of 32 and the Sweet Sixteen is so long, the possibilities so tantalizing. The hopes of an upstart No. 12 seed become outsized, and an Atlantic One's dreams can grow to No. 1 seed size. But when facing the top team in the region, dreams can die quickly. In San Antonio, Kansas dropped...

Game 7-101: NCAA Sweet 16, Southwest Semifinal #2

30fps There is no feeling in the world like wanting something to happen so badly that's right there in front of you but out of your direct control. There's no better feeling that seeing it actually happen, again and again. That is what having your favorite team on an NCAA Tournament run feels like. VCU goes...

Game 7-102: NCAA Southeast Region Final

It started with a crazy idea. Since VCU and Butler were in the Elite Eight, with the sites just 550 miles away and nine hours from each other in San Antonio and New Orleans, why not go to both? After VCU's presser ended at around 12:30 am Central time on Saturday morning, we saddled up and drove all night across...

Game 7-103: NCAA Southwest Region Final

After a second overnight drive, a second reward: a second member of the Other 25 in the Final Four. Virginia Commonwealth, one of the last teams in the door with the selection committee, goes from First Four to Final Four -- giving every single school that plays in that event in the future a template of hope....

Don't Know Mind

SAN ANTONIO -- All media is local, and it's been that way since the beginning: the rumor mill, the town crier, the news bulletin printed on a hand-cranked press. The more technology is involved, the wider a message's potential reach. Distribution networks, moving pictures, automation, and any tool too expensive...

Unsung Hero

DALLAS -- A tribute: I would never be able to do this 100 Games thing without Bally, my stuffed basketball. This is his fourth season with me, his fourth NCAA Tournament, and he's got his second Final Four coming up. He's been in thousands of photos and logged tens of thousands of miles. Bally is the kind of...

The Low Point

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- On the evening of February 15, 2011, the Siegel Center at Virginia Commonwealth University was packed to capacity, but the home fans were solemn and silent. The visiting team from George Mason had jumped out to a 34-19 halftime lead. The Patriot guards had rained down three-pointers on a...

"Star Power"

Last year, around this time, we talked about the need for The Document, a comprehensive encapsulation of current glory that could be properly referenced and recalled later. It's one thing to offer a rote retelling of events, but it's more important and more difficult to be able to remember how it felt. And words...

Commonwealth

CHICAGO -- Outside the art deco-inspired and quickly-aging United Center is a statue of Michael Jordan, eternally suspended in flight above a roiling sea of overmatched defenders. Underneath, an inscription: "The Best There Ever Was, The Best There Ever Will Be." On the grey afternoon of Sunday, March 21, before...

The Beautiful

AP HARTFORD, Conn. -- I remember my first fixed game. It was five seasons ago. In the final minute of a body-bag guarantee matchup in an ACC arena, with the home team up by 14, a player on the home team broke away for a transition layup. But before he could rise to the hoop, players on the bench yelled out....

The Mid-Majority Interview: Ron5Robot

At some point around the #ALLCAPSGAME, a big shiny Robot began appearing at Butler's Horizon League contests games. A Ron5Robot! Ron5Robot is a tribute to Ronald Nored, the Bulldogs' exceedingly unselfish Secretary of Defense, whose battered legs contain surgically implanted metal rods, making No. 5 not exactly...

The Mid-Majority Interview: Chris "Pav" Crowley

By now, most TMM readers are familiar with Chris "Pavarotti" Crowley, the self-described "that VCU guy" and the Rowdiest Ram of all. He's been a mainstay at Rams basketball games, through thick and thin, with his gold shirt and ever-present horn-helmet ever since his days as a student and a team manager, (and...

The Night Before the Final Four

HOUSTON -- For the record, Jack Swiger said "Houston, we've had a problem." A present-perfect report of the recent past, not an implication of overwhelm -- as per the endlessly repeated "we have" or "we've got" misquote. Big difference between the bottom of the valley and the first steps out of it. We've all...

There's a Basketball Game Today at 6:09 PM ET

SAB HOUSTON -- For the past five months and one day, I've been very careful about making as few forward-looking statements as possible -- except when specifically hired to. This business, this "sports writing," is filthy with predictions about future events that we writers have no control over, and the best...

Game 7-104: NCAA National Semifinal

VCU from the Colonial, Butler from the Horizon League. Bulldogs and Rams. Black and gold against @ButlerBlue2. It was nothing less than the unprecedented, unbelievable Mid-Major National Championship. There are many retellings of this, and there will be more as time goes by, but we're proud to unspool the narrative...

Rebirth Of The Cool

AP HOUSTON -- In the early morning of January 20, 2009, after watching South Carolina State and Howard play a MEAC regular season game, I slept for two hours, grabbed my stuffed basketball, and made my way through the spaghetti tangle of Beltways and Metro lines to be on the Washington Mall to witness the inauguration...

This Is Tomorrow

HOUSTON -- Win or lose, this is it. Today, April 4, is the 154th and final day of The Mid-Majority's Season 7. As of this writing, the ultimate final result remains unknown. We do know two things: there is a basketball game tonight at 9:23 p.m. ET, Butler will fight hard for all of us and each of us, and the...

Epilogue, The Seventh: The Complete Circle

I. I Believe That We Will WinHOUSTON, April 5 -- When Adam Walsh was in his twenties, he climbed up the coaching ladder through the juco and small-college ranks as an assistant. All throughout, he had the following bullet point at the top of his résumé, under Career Goals: To be a Division I head...

Game 7-105: NCAA National Championship

TheNational Here's where the story ends. @midmajority Game Tweets20:52Nored Island! http://plixi.com/p/8960563620:53Star of the show. @ButlerBlue2 http://plixi.com/p/8960554120:54Hink looks angry. http://plixi.com/p/8960536020:55Credentials. http://plixi.com/p/8960524020:55This sign said VCU on Saturday. AOUEOU...

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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.