- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger41 mins ago
Before America's infatuation with March Madness fully blossomed, former Michigan coach Bill Frieder remembers a simpler Selection Sunday.
A member of the selection committee would call the athletic directors of every NCAA tournament team to inform them their school made the field and provide details on their site and draw. Announcer Dick Enberg would often hastily reveal the four No. 1 seeds at the end of NBC's final regular season broadcast the Sunday before the NCAA tournament began, but the most of the public didn't see the entire bracket until it appeared in the newspaper the following morning.
"There wasn't the same commotion and you certainly didn't have Bracketology or anything like that," Frieder said with a chuckle. "You would just wait until that day, you'd get a phone call and then it would get published the next morning by the Associated Press or something. It was just kind of a routine thing back then. Like going home and checking a score."
- Yahoo! Sports Staff at The Dagger1 hr ago
There is no debate as to who is the prohibitive favorite heading into the 2014 NCAA Tournament, at least that's what Yahoo Sports Brad Evans thinks. And no, it's not the team that likely has two top-five picks in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Florida started the season ranked No. 10, but will likely enter the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. Their only two losses during the regular season came against ranked teams (No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 12 Connecticut) by a combined seven points.
Since losing to UConn on Dec. 2, the Gators rattled off 23 straight wins to finish the regular season, which includes victories over Kansas, Memphis and Kentucky twice.
That makes Florida the favorite heading into the tournament.
[Related: Check out Brad's Bracket Big Board here]
As for 34-0 Wichita State, the first team to enter the tournament undefeated since UNLV in 1991, don't sleep on them. Yes, the Shockers' schedule was softer than a down pillow, but they have improved from last season in every facet of the game, and last year they went to the Final Four.
A Florida-Wichita State final would not be shocking.
- The Dagger2 hrs ago
Who will be this year's Florida Gulf Coast? You know, the Cinderella team that will shred your bracket?
Well Delaware won't be a 15 seed, as FGCU was a year ago, but the Fightin' Hens will pose a threat in the tournament thanks to a guard trio that Yahoo Sports' Brad Evans calls the best in the country.
Delaware may treat defense like Bieber does a mop bucket – they've given up at least 64 points in every game this season – but they can also light up the scoreboard – they have five players who average double figures. Given the right matchup, that is an opponent that plays lose on the defensive end, and the Fightin' Joe Bidens could be playing into the second week of the NCAA Tournament.
[Related: Check out Brad's Bracket Big Board here]
And do not overlook North Dakota State or Harvard.
NDSU's Taylor Braun can stroke it from 3-point range and as a team the Bison shoot better than 50 percent from the field. Harvard is back in the tournament again, and remember this is a team that last year sent 3-seed New Mexico packing in the first round.
More coverage of the 2014 NCAA Tournament:
- Brad Evans at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog2 hrs ago
Still recuperating from your midweek bar crawl? Are you nostril deep in term paper research? Have no fear, fellow bracketeers. As a companion to the Bracket Big Board, the I.D. is here to highlight all the college hardwood action from the week that was and preview the most pivotal matchups of the weekend. Unlike McLovin’s Hawaiian driver's license, there's nothing fake about this I.D. …
Any college basketball coach will tell you the number of chapters his or her team pens over the course of one season would rival any voluminous work by Leo Tolstoy. Wild twists and turns are as predictable as they are unexpected. From the very first tip in November until the last buzzer in March, every person invested, from rabid alums to sideline mascots, has a seat on an emotional rollercoaster filled with thrills, chills and stomach-churning spills.
Just ask those who hitched their wagon to Nebraska.
- The Dagger9 hrs ago
LAS VEGAS --- As his assistant coaches stamped their feet, winced or screamed in frustration whenever Stanford made a miscue Wednedsay night, Johnny Dawkins remained mostly calm.
Not even after forward John Gage mistakenly thought he had a teammate in the corner and swung the ball into the first row of seats did Dawkins allow a hint of a grimace to wash over his face.
Dawkins' composure was remarkable considering what was at stake for him during Stanford's 74-63 Pac-12 tournament victory over Washington State. Questions about Dawkins' job security surely would have arisen with a loss considering his streak of five straight seasons without an NCAA bid, the Cardinal's tenuous position on the bubble and the high bar athletic director Bernard Muir set for the program this season.
- The Dagger11 hrs ago
Georgetown hasn’t missed the NCAA tournament since 2009 but that streak is dead after the Hoyas lost to DePaul 60-56 for the first time since 1994 Wednesday night in the Big East tournament.
It’s the second straight season Georgetown’s season has ended in a massive heap of disappointment. Last year the Hoyas were victimized by Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the NCAA tournament in one of the rare wins by a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed.
But at least that loss came in the tournament.
The Hoyas just weren’t nearly the same team this season even though four starters from last season’s NCAA tournament game were back and started against DePaul on Wednesday. Markel Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera combined for combined for 38 points. Seven other Hoyas combined for 18.
Georgtown did beat some good opponents this season such as Creighton, Michigan State, VCU and Kansas State which makes performances like Wednesday’s outing all the more confounding. It also lost twice to Seton Hall and once to Northeastern doing serious damage to its RPI.
- The Dagger14 hrs ago
Already squarely on the bubble after its WCC title game loss Tuesday night, BYU received some injury news Wednesday that may make their NCAA tournament hopes even more tenuous.
An MRI confirmed that the right knee injury all-conference guard Kyle Collinsworth suffered Tuesday night was indeed an ACL tear. Collinsworth, BYU's second-leading scorer and leader in rebounds and assists, will not be available for the postseason.
What will be interesting now is whether the selection committee will assess BYU differently because it won't have Collinsworth. There is precedent for the committee lowering the seeding of a team because of a key injury, a la Kenyon Martin and Cincinnati in 2000, but it's unclear what would happen if the team in question is in line to receive one of the final at-large bids.
Wofford senior Aerris Smith gives amazing post-game interview after winning Southern Conference tournamentThe Dagger16 hrs ago
Wofford senior forward Aerris Smith, plagued by knee problems, averaged just 8.8 minutes per game this season for the Terriers after averaging close to 25 minutes as a junior. Smith played just 14 minutes in the Southern Conference tournament, but ten of those came when Smith gutted it out and pulled down four rebounds in the conference championship game Monday night, a56-53 victory over Western Carolina.
After clinching a ticket to the NCAA Tournament, Smith was interviewed on Wofford’s radio station and as he spoke about winning the conference title, emotions just poured out.
Smith was a freshman who saw limited minutes on the Wofford team that made the tournament in 2011, so to get back to the Big Dance, especially after his injury issues, means the world to him.
Smith detailed his early morning workouts in the swimming pool to keep his cardio up while keeping the weight off his knees.
- The Dagger18 hrs ago
With Selection Sunday just four days away, the NCAA selection committee is already putting in the preliminary work to formulate this year’s tournament bracket and the official March Madness Twitter account has been tweeting out some cool behind the scenes look at the selection process.
Hoops fans have gotten a glimpse of the selection room at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis and the members of the committee who build the bracket.
The selection committee even took the time to pose for an awesome selfie resembling the Oscars selfie from Ellen DeGeneres that has been retweeted over three million times.
- The Dagger20 hrs ago
Adidas unveiled a number of new uniform designs for several schools last week just in time for March Madness. The jerseys for UCLA, Cincinnati, Louisville, Wisconsin and others were given redesigns, and one of the more notable new designs was a sleeved look for Baylor with “Sic’Em Bears” on the front.
Unfortunately for the Bears, who face off with TCU Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, the NCAA ruled that the team is not allowed to wear the uniforms because only a team name or mascot can be on the front of a jersey.