It’s Ok to be Ambivalent About Tom Izzo, Michigan St. Despite What Media Say

In recent years, we’ve seen a major surge in tweets from media members and pundits that end with: “both things can be true.” Tweets such as these are required, given the binary mode of thinking that is so prevalent in America these days. Despite rapid advances in information technology and ways to disseminate that information, more people are regressing intellectually.

[Read more…]

Michigan makes it 5 consecutive NCAA Title game losses for Big Ten

tim hardaway-ncaa-title

The Big Ten in the NCAA Title game of college basketball is starting to get like the Big Ten in bowl games versus the SEC in college football. Since Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans won the NCAA Title in 2000, the Big Ten has finished runner-up in the NCAA Title game five times: Hoosiers in 2002, Illini in 2005, Buckeyes in 2007,  Spartans in 2009, and now the Wolverines in 2013.

Louisville outlasted Michigan 82-76 to secure the NCAA title.

And I am emotionally spent! What else could you ask for as a college basketball fan watching a NCAA title game? It was full of runs, tough defense, hustle, and a hard fought victory in the closing minutes…it was simply a great game!

[Read more…]

NCAA removes 1/3 of courtside media seating for Final Four

2013 Final Four

Ok, I know that unless you’re media member, used to be, or one day strive to become you may not have the biggest interest in this story, but trust me it’s a big deal.

Because watching a college basketball game from courtside is a world away from watching it up at the top of a dome in the NFL press box

[Read more…]

Kentucky vs. Kansas: NCAA Tournament National Championship drinking game

2012 national title game

Welcome to the fourth annual NCAA Tournament Championship Drinking Game, one of our favorite articles every year here at The Sports Bank.  If you missed our first three editions, you can check out the 2009 Michigan State vs. North Carolina version, the 2010 Butler vs. Duke edition, or last year’s UConn vs. Butler.

Even if you do not have a rooting interest in tonight’s game between the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks; invite some friends over, buy a heck of a lot of booze, follow our drinking rules, and it will be as much fun as if your own team was playing.

[Read more…]

Peyton Manning’s final answer: Denver Broncos

Peyton-Manning

The official word is in. CBSSports.com‘s Mike Freeman confirms that Manning’s pick is Denver and that a contract “is a formality” at this point.

The Denver Broncos previously claimed they were 95% certain they had Peyton Manning locked down. They were the #1 seed in the Manning Final Four, and they played like it, as they cut down the nets today.

[Read more…]

Butler NCAA Title Game Appearance Generated $500 Million in Publicity Value, Study Says

butler bulldogs

You’ve heard the expression- “you can’t buy publicity like that?” Well if you did it would cost $512,382,703, according to a study done by Borshoff, which monitored and evaluated media coverage of the Butler University college basketball team from mid-March to mid-June, 2011. During that period, Butler garnered an estimated half-a-billion $ through television, print and on-line news coverage. When factoring in social media, the audience reach surpassed 69 billion.

Don’t forget all the great Bulldogs articles out there this spring like “Matt Howard’s NBA Draft Stock,” the early entry analysis of Shelvin Mack; which featured numerous Mark Morrison “Return of the Mack” jokes, and coverage of the oppression of their live mascot Blue II.  These pieces were integral to that half a billion dollars.

[Read more…]

Who Really Thought the UConn Huskies Would Get Here?

Kemba Walker nba

The Connecticut Huskies have quietly been the surprise of the season. Butler and VCU are the surprises of the tournament, yes, but no one expected this out of Connecticut.  This season has been full of surprises, but there hasn’t been one bigger than the progression of the Connecticut Huskies.

The team went through the Jim Calhoun recruiting violations and his possible retirement.  They were considered a team that was too young and couldn’t handle the distractions that surrounded them. They were considered to only be a one man show and no way could they survive the Big East. Then, they started off the season surprising top 10 ranked teams in the Michigan State Spartans and Kentucky Wildcats in Maui. Everyone fell in love with Kemba Walker and named him king of college basketball. Until the Jimmer took over, Kemba was the nation’s leading scorer.

But then the inexperience and youth showed itself during the rigorous Big East schedule while the Huskies struggled down the stretch. With only a 9-9 record in the conference they were more like the team they were supposed to be – a young team with talent that wasn’t ready.

[Read more…]

This Kentucky (and Calipari) Team is Different

calipari

There is one huge thing missing from Kentucky coach John Calipari’s coaching resume: a national championship.

Kentucky Wildcat fans have seen this similar storyline- a freshman point guard leading a John Calipari team deep into the tournament and falling short at the end. It happened at Memphis with superstars Derrick Rose (he’s only the NBA MVP this year) and Tyreke Evans (vastly underrated and underappreciated in Sacramento). It happened last year in Coach Cal’s first year at Kentucky with an Elite 8 run and last year’s first overall pick John Wall. Fans hope there isn’t a repeat ending this year.

[Read more…]

VCU: The Journey to the Unthinkable

The NCAA tournament is known to have upsets and madness, but nothing like this. After VCU’s upset win over the last remaining #1 seed Kansas, practically everyone’s bracket is busted. And no one believed that this team from Richmond, Virginia could do the unthinkable and get to college basektball’s Final Four. Why? Because no one believed they even deserved to be here.  So the big question is, how did they get here?

Let me show you a bit of a timeline:

[Read more…]

Midwest Swing: Title Game Edition

Midwest swing

By Paul M. Banks

INDIANAPOLIS- Signs inside, outside and all over downtown Indy read “the road ends here.” Indeed it did, my four venue, three city college basketball tour ended on this night. As did the championship aspirations of the 64th and final team. I literally teared up as Duke cut down the nets and hoisted the championship trophy because for me, the “Midwest Swing” that began nearly a month ago in Indy, ends in Indy. I came full circle in the “circle city.”

[Read more…]