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.

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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.

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NCAA Tournament West Regional Sweet 16 Breakdown

kyrie irving nba

Kyrie Irving is back for DukeUConn keeps rolling.  San Diego State earns their chance to prove they belong with the big boys.  These are some of the headlines heading into the Sweet 16 of the West Regional.  There is a lot of NBA talent playing in Anaheim but can anyone knock off the defending champion Blue Devils?  Here is my breakdown.

By: David Kay

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College Hoops 101 (3/16/11)

uconn big east champs

There is doing work and then there is what I did during Conference Tournament week.  I was to watching college basketball what Bob Knight is to pump fakes; obsessed.  I did not reach my goal of watching all 15 Big East Tournament games but I did set a single week record for games watched. Plus, my final bracketology also held its own against Joe Lunardi’s which I consider a great success.  Now, let the madness begin!

If you are unfamiliar with College Hoops 101, it is a weekly feature here at The Sports Bank that breaks down everything you need to know going on in the world of college basketball.  I will look back at the conference tourneys and break down what to expect in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

By: David Kay
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2011 March Madness Predictions

bracket

It’s crunch time. The tournament is less than 24 hours away. By now you have gone through a dozen brackets, second guessing each pick. You want to choose the upset that no one is talking about, but your sleeper is becoming everyone’s sleeper. We see it every year; an upset pick that becomes so popular that it is no longer an upset, i.e. Richmond over Vanderbilt this year. At last, I’m here to give you six picks that no one is talking about, but should be, heading into the 2011 NCAA tournament.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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2011 NCAA Tournament: West Regional Bracket Breakdown

kemba walker nba

Warning: I will not be responsible if you copy these brackets and are out of your NCAA Tournament pool by by Sunday.  However, if you do listen to my college basketball wisdom and win some money, I want 20% of the pot or at least a shout-out on your twitter or facebook page.  Click here to check out my East Regional breakdown.

By: David Kay
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Casting My USA Basketball Writers Association Awards Ballot

jared sullinger

A secret ballot? Nah, when it comes to college basketball, I’ll shout my opinions and evaluations from the mountain top. I’ve covered a lot of teams both in the Big Ten and the Big East this past season: Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and DePaul, so let’s begin.

We start by choosing my District: V. of course, covering Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana, or as well call it The Sports Bank territory. Here’s who excelled in representing the Great Lakes/Upper Midwest.

By Paul M. Banks

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Big East Basketball Power Rankings (2/1/11)

villanova basketball

Have you seen the Big East standings lately?  It is messier than .  After 8-1 Pitt, nine teams have between two and four losses and that does not include a St. John’s team that just beat Duke by 15.  No wonder why you keep hearing about 11 Big East teams having a chance to make the NCAA Tournament.  Here are my latest Big East Power Rankings.

By: David Kay
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College Hoops 101 (1/31/11)

byu basketball cheerleader

If you are unfamiliar with College Hoops 101, it is a weekly feature here at The Sports Bank that runs every Monday (a double edition this week as I had to skip last week’s) and breaks down everything you need to know going on in the world of college basketball.  I will look back at the previous week and peak ahead to some of the key match-ups in the next seven days. (Click here if you missed my most recent Bracketology.)

By: David Kay

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Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/26/11)

Notre Dame basketball

Pitt suffered their first conference loss this season but do they drop out of the top spot in my latest Big East Power Rankings?  How far does Syracuse fall after losing three straight games including an embarrassing 22-point home loss to Seton Hall.  So many questions; only one way to find out the answers.

By: David Kay
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Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/18/11)

uconn huskies cheerleader

In my most recent bracketology, 11 Big East teams made the NCAA Tournament projections.  It is not a crazy thought right now especially since nine teams are ranked in the AP Top 25.  Of course, once the season plays out and teams start to beat up on each other, a couple of those teams will struggle and take themselves out of the conversation like happens every year.  Here are my updated power rankings with Pitt holding onto the top spot after winning the battle of unbeatens last night versus Syracuse.

By: David Kay
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Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1-11-11)

Pittsburgh cheerleader

There are three different sections to the Big East through two weeks of conference play: The top tier, potential NCAA Tournament teams, and the bottom five.  Pitt, Syracuse, and Villanova have earned the title of the teams to beat but the next eight are battling for their tourney lives already… and it is only the second week of January.  Here are my updated Big East basketball power rankings.

By: David Kay
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