Season X

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G!O!T!N! 2/20 - Quinnipiac at Canisius

In a lot of leagues a 12-4 conference record would be enough to win you a league title, but in the marathon 20 game MAAC schedule 12-4 is only good enough for a tie for third place with four games to go. Qunnipiac and Canisius are both looking to make the final push to catch Iona (14-2) and Manhattan (13-4) and...

Cornbread, Al and Lee (Part Two)

(See Tuesday's Part One to learn how we got here.) At the end of the 1969-70 season, Marquette coach Al McGuire turned down the team's invitation to the NCAA Tournament, protesting the selection committee's choice to send the Warriors to the Midwest regional in Fort Worth, rather than the Mideast bracket in nearby...

Freeman Williams's Very Good Week

In the entire history of NCAA basketball, only one guy has scored more points than Freeman Williams. That other guy, you know: Pistol Pete Maravich, college ball's all-time leading scorer, a legend at every level of the game.  Freeman Williams, though? The name doesn't ring the kind of bells you'd expect...

Just a Great University

LORMAN, Miss. - Alcorn State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff battled in front of me, but my eyes and attention were strangely drawn to my left and the hands of Je-Kel Smith. Smith's bespectacled eyes never left the court, but yet the hands were a constant whirl of motion, Vishnu-esqe even. At every stoppage in play,...

MMBOW #14 - Chris Udofia, Denver

The great Mid-Majority fan Paul Hampson (@ThisLeadenPaul) dropped a tweet to the @midmajority this afternoon suggesting Chris Udofia as Mid-Major Baller of the Week and after some research it has been rubber stamped. Udofia becomes the 14th MMBOW for the #TMMX season. Udofia's best game of the week came on Thursday...

Shocker Legacy

CHICAGO - When Julius Caesar was involved in his prolonged campaign to defeat the previously unconquerable Gauls more than two millennia ago, the Roman press had its doubts that he could go unbeaten. Caesar ran through the first few skirmishes, was about to go head-on with Vercingetorix, and perhaps the fiercest...

Vince Lombardi to Dick Bennett

GREEN BAY, Wis. - When you play, quite literally, in the shadow of Lambeau Field, eventually everything is going to trace back to Vince Lombardi. And so, let the record show, that Lombardi's first head coaching job upon graduating from Fordham was not on the gridiron, but on the basketball court, where he led...

G!O!T!N! 2/27 - Sacramento State at Weber State

Thursday night might just be the biggest night of the season so far with big games everywhere. There is Chattanooga-Western Carolina and Elon-Wofford in the Southern Conference, the highly anticipated Vermont-Stony Brook rematch in the American East, Middle Tennessee-Louisiana Tech fighting it out for the Conference...

Relative Success

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The 10-minute 'cooling off' period after games before coaches have to meet the media works better for some than it does others. For Zach Spiker? Not so much. After a somewhat brutal 71-70 loss to Boston University Wednesday night, Spiker came in to the makeshift media room at Christl Arena...

MMBOW #15 - Jerelle Benimon - Towson

The Colonial regular season is all wrapped up and while Towson didn't win the league (Delaware did at 14-2, The Tigers finished 13-3), perhaps a Mid-Major Baller of the Week title will serve as a nice consolation prize before the conference tournament.  Senior Forward Jerrelle Benimon did his part to help...

Tournament Central - 3/5

Three more conference tournaments begin on Wednesday and the Patriot League picks up in the quarterfinals. Big SouthThe top two teams in each division take a bye so High Point and VMI from the north and Coastal Carolina and UNC Asheville from the south don't get started until Friday. Those four are the presumptive...

Goodbye Palestra

PHILADELPHIA - The basketball and time seemed to be moving at inverse proportions, a scene usually reserved for film and not real-life. About the moment that gravity started to take hold and start the ball downward, the crowd assembled began to rise, and above the shuffling and murmur of excitement, an electronic...

Tournament Central - 3/6

A-FunIt was all chalk in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Sun (although ETSU needing two overtimes to take out Lipscomb brought the drama.) Semifinals are available on ESPN3 as ETSU and USC Upstate try and stop the seemingly inevitable Florida Gulf Coast-Mercer trilogy. #4 ETSU at #1 FGCU 6:30 p.m.#3 USC Upstate...

Tournament Central - 3/7

Friday night has big shoes to fill as the A-Fun was bananas last night with Florida Gulf Coast surviving against a very game ETSU squad and Mercer needing two OT's to advance past Upstate setting up a championship rematch.  On to today: Big SouthAfter a day off it is on to the quarterfinals in the Big South....

Coming to Terms With The End

WORCESTER, Mass. - The white tape around Mackey McKnight's right hand acted as a white flag. The flimsy, glorified piece of cloth had helped support McKnight through thick and mostly thin through this - his senior season - but with one final pass that didn't quite find its mark, all McKnight could do was look...

Tournament Central - 3/8

Congrats to Harvard for earning the first NCAA Tournament bid. One more bid to give out today in the Ohio Valley. Ohio ValleyChampionship Saturday in the OVC. Belmont has only lost twice in 2014, but one of those loses was at the hands of Eastern Kentucky. As you might expect with a Rick Byrd coached team, Belmont...

Tournament Central - 3/9

Congratulations to Eastern Kentucky who came out of the gates firing and then did just enough to hold off Belmont to win the OVC crown. The Colonels return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Three more titles and bids to give away today as Championship Fortnight rolls on.  A-FunWith apologies...

The Place To Be

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will blot out the pain." - Joseph Campbell NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Back when potential colleges were trying to ascertain whether I was worthy to spend a small fortune to grace the presence of its classrooms two decades...

Tournament Central - 3/10

Shout out to Coastal Carolina for their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1995 and Mercer for getting revenge on FGCU and getting to the dance for the first time since 1985. Also congrats to Wichita State, 34-0 in the regular season is pretty cool too, I guess. Two more bids go out on Monday night. CAAIn keeping...

Tournament Central - 3/11

Monday night saw three more teams crowned champions. Congrats are in order for Delaware, Manhattan and Wofford. Hearts go out to Iona, Western Carolina and especially William & Mary who were so tantalizingly close to a first ever NCAA Tournament bid only to have the Blue Hens steal it away in the final moments....

Tournament Central - 3/12

So much for the home court advantage. Congrats are in order to Milwaukee and Mount St. Mary's who both won two straight road games to claim their titles. Also get ready for another case of #BisonFever coming to you next week.  Take a deep breath as there is only one title game tonight and a bunch of very...

Organic MAAC Rivalry

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Organic has become another of the growing list of overused buzzwords in our society, particularly in a world where organic America chickens eat imported feed from China, and you can eat organic pancakes for breakfast. It's also extremely difficult to make anything related to major college...

Thirty-Four Shining Moments

Maryland-Baltimore County, 2008: Joining Division I in 1986, the Retrievers were more peripatetic than most: they played as an independent, then in the ECC, the Big South and the Northeast before entering America East in 2003. Five years later, James Madison transfer Ray Barbosa and his former high school...

Tournament Central - 3/13

Nobody loved you in the preseason American, but I guess that's why we play out the season anyway. Great job and congratulations. No championships tonight as the big networks are too busy airing the early rounds of the bloated power conferences. ATLANTIC 12George Mason got bounced by Fordham in the opening opening...

Deja Vu All Over

'Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.'                                                        -...

Tournament Central - 3/14

Tons of semi-finals today to set up championship Saturday. Get ready Atlantic 8Some juicy games in Brooklyn today including the renewal of the Richmond rivalry a few hours north. UMass and George Washington as a night cap doesn't suck either. Games are all on NBCSports if you are looking for some daytime hoops....

Tournament Central - 3/15

CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY Y'ALL Conference USA #2 Tulsa vs. #1 Louisiana Tech - 11:30 - CBS American EastThe semi-finals in this tournament felt like a month ago, but it is finally time for the finals. The Scooby-Doos are looking for their second-straight tournament bid and fourth since 2006. Stony Brook has never...

Tournament Central - 3/16

Many congratulations from a busy Saturday. Happy for all of our friends in Albany, Tulsa, NC Central, Weber State, Stephen F. Austin, Cal Poly, Western Michigan, Texas Southern and New Mexico State.  Just two champions today before selection Sunday.  Sun BeltGames like this are a lot of fun because...

Fighting Elephants, Real and Imagined

"You go on. You set one foot in front or the other, and if a thin voice cries out somewhere behind you, you pretend not to hear and keep going." - Geraldine Brooks STONY BROOK, N.Y. - Steve Pikiell was the epitome of calm Saturday morning/afternoon as his Stony Brook...

Atlantic One to The One

"I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it." - Morpheus BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Under cover of darkness Thursday night, some 340 years or so after the British did the same, the Atlantic Coast Conference...

Final NCAA Preview, Presented by Petty

DAYTON, Ohio - You've read the previews. You've seen everyone's predictions. You've seen 65 hours of coverage breaking down matchups, 64 of which were likely completely useless to you. It's likely with our time on this planet coming to a rapid close that our maniacal experiment toward complete clairvoyance is...

Picking and Choosing Outrage

"Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while; Till we can clear these ambiguities." - Prince, Romeo and Juliet DAYTON, Ohio - It's about a length of the court walk downhill from the University of Dayton Arena hospitality room to the court. And, if you're there for...

Peaks and Valleys

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The actual thrill of the roller coaster only lasts maybe 10 seconds, and that's if you're on one of those state-of-the-art, reach-to-the-sky models in the massive amusement park you had to drive two hours to get to, and wait in line another 90 minutes for once you got there. But you deal with...

Amor Fati, Dayton

"People insist on calling it luck." - Mike McDermott, Rounders BUFFALO, N.Y. - Back in the olden times, before the Ice Age of 2014 froze all the lakes and killed off all the North American large mammals, the Mastodons of IPFW wandered into Dayton, Ohio for the season opener on Nov....

A Brief History of Flight

It had to be Dayton. A joyous start to our first NCAA tournament gave way to a brutal, wrenching weekend of mid-major losses. The magnificent Shockers were upset in a championship-level struggle; the first round victors from the Atlantic Sun and the Southland and the Summit and the Ivy couldn't quite maintain...

The End

'Obviously, you don't know much about adventures.'                                                         -...

Epilogue, The Tenth: Finisterre

Thinking over the last decade, two key dates come to mind. August 23, 2004: a dry, mild Monday evening after a hot afternoon. I'm sitting outside Wellington Station, the MBTA Orange Line stop in Medford, just north of Boston.

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David & Goliath: A Love Story

A new underdog book about disadvantage, survival, justice and probabilities by Kyle Whelliston, coming late 2019 Q2.