2014 NCAA Tournament Bracketology “what ifs”


UCLA CHEERLEADERS

Selection Sunday is six days away. For college basketball nuts, you can’t spend more than 18.3 seconds on the internet without looking at someone’s bracketology (speaking of which, check out The Sports Bank’s latest bracketology.) Unless you’re one of the gifted who can think in terms of brackets, regions and at-large bids, the bracketology is only a tool for a snapshot of the current state. Those fancy looking graphics don’t take into consideration the scenarios of an early exit in the conference tournament, a miracle run to the conference tournament championship game, or even the dreaded out of the tournament team stealing the automatic bid.

The Sports Bank’s David Kay and Peter Christian have you covered. Peter is going to pose some poignant “What Ifs” to world renowned bracketologist David who will explain the repercussions of that “what if.”

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2014 NCAA Tournament Bracketology (3/10/14)


bracketology

Selection Sunday is just six days away.  Here is a projection of the 2014 NCAA Tournament Bracketology.   You will notice on the Bracket Matrix grades that The Sports Bank’s bracketology has been more accurate than ESPN’s Joe Lunardi three of the past four years.  Be sure to check back at The Sports Bank throughout the college basketball season for daily updates this week.

UPDATED: 3/10/14

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2014 Big East Tournament Preview and Predictions


big east tournament

The Big East Tournament has produced some of the most memorable games in recent college basketball history. With a new-look conference though, the 2014 Big East Tournament lacks the headliners of year’s past. Only Villanova and Creighton are NCAA Tournament locks so there are numerous teams desperate for a win in hopes of padding their resume and improving their chances of getting into the tourney. Here is a preview and my predictions for the 2014 Big East Tournament. All games will air on Fox Sports 1.

Click here for The Sports Bank’s Bracketology.

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Villanova basketball: most under the radar 28-3 team ever


villanova basketball

College basketball aficionados are not aware of how good this Villanova basketball team truly is.

At 28-3, 16-2 in the Big East (outright champs), Villanova blew Georgetown out of the building today in the season finale. The Wildcats, #6 in the nation, RPI #4, are still in play for a #1 seed, but you wouldn’t know it because no one is talking about them.

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Steve Lavin and St. John’s talking contract extension


steve-lavin-st.-john's

Steve Lavin and St. John’s are tipping off in a couple hours in a game that’s as big as any they’ve played this season. The Johnnies are at Marquette today in a contest that will keep the winner in NCAA Tournament at-large berth contention. The loser will likely have to win the Big East Tournament (or at least reach the final game) in order to go dancing.

On the eve of this crucial season finale, both Steve Lavin and the school released statements on Coach Lav’s future in Queens.

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By retaining Oliver Purnell, DePaul admits diminished expectations


Oliver Purnell

Oliver Purnell has won everywhere he’s been; except for DePaul. It’s very mysterious why that is, but after four seasons in Lincoln Park, Purnell has shown zero progress. Regress is the only movement DePaul basketball has seen under the Coach hired away from Clemson.

It’s hard to understand why there is so little local media chatter right now about Oliver Purnell not being on the hot seat, given the terrible record he’s accumulated in leading the Blue Demons these past four years. In fact, DePaul’s Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto confirmed to the Chicago Tribune last night that Oliver Purnell will return for the fifth year of his seven year deal.

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Rise and fall of the Big East is subject of new 30 for 30


big east

Big East basketball is pretty brutal in year one of its restructuring. You have “the most quiet 26-3 team ever,” as ESPN analyst Jay Bilas put it, in Villanova. They’re a Final Four contender. Creighton is really solid, and they feature the national player of the year in Doug McDermott. Then there’s five bubble teams and one average at best squad in Seton Hall.

The bottom two of the Big East, DePaul and Butler, are complete jokes. Remember two years ago when Big East basketball was the best league in the nation?

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2014 NBA Mock Draft- First Round (3/5/14)


nba draft logo

Andrew WigginsJoel Embiid, or Jabari Parker.  Who will be the first pick in the 2014 NBA Draft?  It’s an ongoing debate that will continue up to draft night on June 26th.

Here is The Sports Bank’s 2014 NBA Mock Draft where team needs and outstanding trades have been taken into account.  Click on the player’s name for an in-depth draft profile.  By the way, The Sports Bank had the most accurate NBA Mock Draft in both 2011 and 2012 along with the second most accurate mock in 2013.

So without further ado, here is our 2014 NBA mock draft.

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2014 NBA Mock Draft- Second Round (3/5/14)


nba draft logo

Here is the second round of The Sports Bank’s 2014 NBA Mock Draft where team needs and outstanding trades have NOT been taken into account with this second round.  By the way, The Sports Bank had the most accurate NBA Mock Draft in both 2011 and 2012 along with the second most accurate mock in 2013.

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St. John’s NCAA Tournament Bubble profile and analysis


st john's cheerleaders

When St. John’s fell at DePaul on January 14th, it was the turning point for both teams. With the victory, the Blue Demons became 2-3 in the Big East and looked to be flirting with mediocrity.

They have just one victory since and instead reverted back to what they’ve always been under Oliver Purnell- the laughingstock of the league. Think Illini football in the Tim Beckman era. St. John’s fell to 0-5 in league play with that defeat, but since then they’ve gone 8-3 and they’re right square on the NCAA Tournament bubble now.

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States of Illinois and Indiana to be shut out of NCAA Tournament


illinois-basketball

Illinois is a state that’s certainly synonymous with the great sport of basketball. Say that you’re from Chicago when traveling abroad, and the first thing people will say is Michael Jordan. Which replaced Al Capone. Before the 1990s, people on planet Earth first associated gangsterdom with the second city. Now it’s the Chicago Bulls.

The state of Indiana is right up there with North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas as places where hoops rules. Yes, even in this great nation where the NFL slaughters everything, roundball comes first these specific states.

Yet this March will be the first instance in my lifetime where both the Land of Lincoln and the Crossroads of America are shut out of the NCAA Tournament. I turn 36 on Thursday. It’s been 42 years since this last occurred.

indiana-hoosiers-tom-crean

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Chicago Bulls, DePaul icon Shanon Lersch on being in SI Swimsuit issue


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Shanon Lersch is one of the most iconic women in Chicago sports. The current model who also serves as DePaul Spirit Director was captain of the Chicago Bulls “Luvabulls” dance team for seven years. In 2009, leading the Luvabulls landed her a spot on the cover of the world famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

With the 50th anniversary issue hitting newsstands (do people still go to newsstands? Do newsstands still exist?) Tuesday, I asked Shanon, Miss Illinois USA 2008, about being in SI.

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