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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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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DePaul Basketball: time for serious re-evaluation at all levels


At the 2013-14 DePaul basketball pre-season luncheon, DPU Coach Oliver Purnell boldly said that the very realistic goal for this year was making the NCAA Tournament. When I tweeted that, it was met by condescending laughter from the Twitterverse. But hey, it’s September and there’s nothing wrong with a Coach wanting to be optimistic.

Then DePaul basketball radio announcer Zach Zaidman said the same exact thing at the same luncheon, and this time I really had to laugh. Zaidman is supposed to be a journalist, dealing in facts, not drinking his employer’s Kool-Aid. Now I have to question the validity of Zaidman’s Chicago Bears reports after hearing him say something so ludicrous.

Speaking of dealing with facts, this program has shown zero progress in the four years under Purnell. Time to re-evaluate his job, and that of his boss too.

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


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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Your DePaul, Cleveland Melvin News Update


DePaul Senior Cleveland Melvin went out in the worst possible way. He was the Big East rookie of the year as a freshman, and had a decent shot of finishing up second to Mark Acguirre as DPU’s second leading scorer. Instead he’s kicked out of school and off the team? Maybe he left by his own accord? We still don’t know. DePaul’s communications about Cleveland Melvin were, quoting Fletch

“we’re in a bit of grey area. How grey? Charcoal.”


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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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What is the best case scenario for DePaul basketball?

Billy Garrett Jr.

DePaul basketball has entered a dry spell, winless in their last five, including a 71-59 loss to Georgetown Monday night. Oliver Purnell, the head coach, stressed his team needs to begin focusing on their next opponent, the Creighton Blue Jays.

“We have got to look at that as an opportunity to do something special in the midst of a tough spell here,” Purnell said. [Read more...]

Should DePaul Cut Ties With Oliver Purnell?

Oliver Purnell

The DePaul Blue Demons have an overall record of 10-11 and are 2-6 in Big East play. The slight improvement fans saw, after wins against Butler and St. John’s, has diminished. Has head coach Oliver Purnell’s opportunity at DePaul slammed shut?

The former Clemson coach has had some positives while with the Blue Demons. Recruiting Billy Garrett Jr. might have been because his father is an assistant coach, but he did bring in Tommy Hamilton IV and R.J Curington this season. [Read more...]

AUDIO: Analyzing today’s DePaul, Big East basketball action


DePaul lost a Big East basketball game on the road tonight by an 86-69 score at Seton Hall. I predicted 82-69 pirates on the local sports talk radio show “The Lineup” with Eli Hershkovich and Tom Bostwick on Radio DePaul: DePaul’s radio station. You can hear the audio of all three of discussing Big East basketball after the jump.

Brandon Young led DePaul with 23 points as the Blue Demons dropped their third straight. Down three starters to an illness (Billy Garrett Jr.), injury (Charles McKinney) and suspension (Cleveland Melvin, we’re still trying to find out what he did, the specific infraction has not been linked yet), the Blue Demons struggled versus Seton Hall’s Fuquan Edwin.

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Star frosh Billy Garrett Jr. breathes new life into DePaul


Freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. has been a huge part of the improvement we’ve seen in DePaul Blue Demons basketball this season. They’re 2-3 in the Big East, and if you look at how they’ve been competitive in every league game this year, they might be around .500 in conference play when it’s all said and done.

Sure, that’s not the Final Four or anything, but you have to remember what DePaul has been in the Oliver Purnell era. His best year in the Big East was 3-15, so he’s obviously poised to finish much better than that in 2014. And star frosh Billy Garrett Jr. is a big reason why.

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DePaul basketball might be .500 in conference this year

depaul basketball mascot

Don’t look now but DePaul basketball (10-8, 2-3) could be .500 in conference play this college basketball season. They won back to back Big East conference games for the first time since 2008 tonight.

The Blue Demons beat Steve Lavin and St. John’s (9-7, 0-4) at All State Arena. This DePaul basketball team has been in every conference game they’ve played this year. Doug McDermott and Creighton didn’t pull away until the very end. The Blue Demons were down just seven within five minutes so that final score was misleading. Yes, as of right now DePaul basketball has a 400 winning percentage in Big East play.

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