2014 NCAA Tournament Bracketology (3/10/14)


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


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.


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Butler honoring real life team that inspired “Hoosiers” at next home game

hinkle fieldhouse-hoosiers

The 1988 film “Hoosiers” is the greatest basketball movie of all time. The protagonists of the film, fictional Hickory High, were based on true events known as the 1954 Milan Miracle. There was a real life team from a tiny Indiana town which upset one of the state’s biggest powerhouses. Obviously, Gene Hackman and company took some artistic license with the story, but that’s fine. Butler’s home court, the Hinkle Fieldhouse was as much of a star in the film as Hackman.

And on Sunday, some real life Hoosiers are being honored. Not Indiana Hoosiers, but the real thing.

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2015 NBA Mock Draft (2/6/14)

nba draft logo

Here is The Sports Bank’s extremely premature 2015 NBA Mock Draft where team needs and outstanding trades have NOT 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.

Click here for The Sports Bank’s 2014 NBA Mock Draft.

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2014 NBA Mock Draft-First Round (2/5/14)

nba draft logo

Andrew Wiggins, Joel 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. [Read more...]

Can Brad Stevens turn the Boston Celtics around?

brad stevens butler

This summer we learned why Brad Stevens chose to remain at Butler and turn down all those big school college basketball jobs. He was holding out for something better; and here’s his meteoric rise to the NBA. Challenges abound. Both the program he leaves and the program he takes over are in transition.

The Butler Bulldogs took a tremendous hit, they’ll take a while to recover from the Butler Bulldogs departure, and will not likely be the same again. And you saw on NBA Draft night, the Boston Celtics traded away their whole team. The body language of Bill Simmons said it all. Hard to be an unbiased journalist when that happens. So it’s a big transition for both Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics.

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2013 Big East basketball season preview (FS1, Madness edition)

marquette cheerleaders

The Big East Basketball conference is not what it once was. But it is college basketball only now, no college football. So it is unique and interesting in that sense. Big East basketball features one team ranked in the coaches poll, #17 Marquette. Georgetown and Creighton will be competitive though.

Then you have Coach Lav and St. John’s, who could be a factor. Villanova will be a tough out in the league. The you have a drop off to Providence, Xavier, Butler, Seton Hall and DePaul. That’s how our expert David Kmiecik has the Big East basketball hierarchy shaping up.

Fox Sports 1 signed a big deal to acquire the new television rights to the new league. And last night they held a two hour special launching the 2013-14 season of Big East basketball. Which live look-ins from all ten campuses.

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#58 Butler Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111

butler bulldog cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

For the second straight season, the Butler Bulldogs have a new home; moving from the Horizon League to Atlantic 10 and now to the Big East.  This time, Butler must do so without head coach Brad Stevens who surprisingly bolted this summer to the Boston Celtics.  Former Bulldog player and assistant Brandon Miller now assumes the top dog role and faces the challenge of replacing some key contributors from a year ago.

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Butler Bulldogs live mascot passes away


The Butler Bulldogs live mascot Blue II, the male English bulldog who served as Butler University’s live mascot from 2004-2013, died on Saturday, Aug. 31, due to complications from congestive heart failure. He was 9 years old.

Blue II, (pictured above) trained his puppy protégé.  Blue III, or “Trip,” who made his debut during the Bracketbusters game at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

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Butler replaces Brad Stevens with Brandon Miller. WHO???


Does the defection of Brad Stevens to the Boston Celtics spell the end of Butler basketball being relevant? Well, maybe, but not right away. Stevens’ replacement, Brandon Miller has the opportunity to work with all the players Stevens recruited. At least for now.

You can’t blame Stevens for taking the big money and the bright lights of the NBA. Unfortunately for Butler, it happened so late in the cycle that they couldn’t find a suitable replacement. The coaching carousel is well done for this offseason. College basketball practice begins is less than three months. Therefore Brandon Miller has to be the guy to follow the lead of Thad Matta, Brad Stevens and that guy who was great at Butler but was gawd awful at Iowa.

So who is Brandon Miller?

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Boston Celtics poach Brad Stevens from Butler


Brad Stevens, now former head coach at Butler University, today announced his acceptance of the head coaching job with the Boston Celtics. All those premier college basketball programs that heavily recruited Brad Stevens since the 2010 National Title game came up short. None of those high-majors could land Brad Stevens. Now the Boston Celtics have.
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