Douchebracket: David Kay Regional Final

The NCAA Tournament has been rocked with upset after upset.  Supposed super powers Kansas and Syracuse did not even advance to the Elite 8 and two five seeds are in the Final Four.  However, the David Kay Regional of the Sports Bank’s Douchebracket saw no such thing.  Click here to take a look at the complete regional.
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Douchebracket: David Kay Regional

By: David Kay

The David Kay Regional as you could probably guess is a little basketball heavy.  There are certainly big shoes to fill from last year when Rachel Nichols DOMINATED this regional.  Make sure to leave a comment at the bottom because your opinion will factor into who advances and battles the winner of the Peter Christian Regional in the Final Four.
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Big East Basketball Power Rankings 2-5-10

By: David Kay

1. Villanova: 9-0, 20-1 (LWR: 1)
Things get really serious this week for ‘Nova with two monster road games.  The Wildcats have only played one ranked team in their nine conference wins so far, but the final month pits them against five ranked teams, as well as a road game at Cincinnati and hosting a tough UConn team.  If they can finish strong, they are as much a Final Four contender as Kansas and Kentucky.

Up Next: at Georgetown (Sat), at West Virginia (Mon)

2. Syracuse: 9-1, 22-1 (LWR: 2)

Despite picking up a pair of victories, it was a rough week for the Orange.  They trailed by 18 in the first half at DePaul before rallying back.  Then, Wesley Johnson goes down in the Providence game with an fall very similar to the one that fractured two vertebrae in Ohio State’s Evan Turner’s spine.  Johnson is okay though and does not expect to miss anytime for ‘Cuse.

Up Next: at Cincinnati (Sun), vs. UConn (Wed)

3. West Virginia: 7-2, 18-3 (LWR: 3)
The Mountaineers score the first 13 points against Louisville only to escape with a bit of a controversial win after trailing by 11 with six minutes to play.  WVU then hands it to a struggling Pitt team for a fifth straight win.  Monday’s game against ‘Nova is going to be huge.  By the way, is there a fan base under more scrutiny than the Mountaineers’.  First, they got reprimanded by the university for chanting phrases with swear words that could be heard on national TV, then they get a technical foul for the team when a fan throws something on the court.  In the words of my sixth grade reading teacher, “Don’t be sorry.  Be mature.”

Up Next: at St. John’s (Sat), vs. Villanova (Mon), at Pitt (Fri)

4. Georgetown: 6-4, 16-5 (LWR: 4)
With the President and V.P. on hand, Georgetown represented the Big East by smacking around the Dookies.  How do the Hoyas respond?  By laying an egg at home in the second half of an eight-point loss to South Florida.  That has got to be frustrating for JT3.

Up Next: vs. Villanova (Sat), at Providence (Tues)

5. Pitt: 6-4, 16-6 (LWR: 5)
Two weeks ago, we were talking about Pitt as one of the surprise teams in college basketball, now they have dropped four of their last five.  Jamie Dixon’s teams have never been offensive juggernauts due to their ability to get after it on the defensive, but they are second-last in scoring in the Big East (behind DePaul) and haven’t scored more than 66 points in a game during their recent funk.

Up Next: vs. Seton Hall (Sat), vs. Robert Morris (Mon), vs. West Virginia (Fri)

6. Louisville: 5-4, 14-8 (LWR: 6)
After a pair of questionable calls in the final minutes of a loss at West Virginia, Rick Pitino said he has “had it” with officiating.  As I mentioned earlier, the West Virginia fan base came under scrutiny for the profanity they were yelling during this game, but points for creativity when they started chanting “Karen Sypher,” the name of the woman Pitino admitted having an affair with this off-season.

Up Next: vs. Rutgers (Sat), at St. John’s (Thur)


7. Marquette: 5-5, 14-8 (LWR: 10)

The Golden Eagles FINALLY had karma on their side late in a game as Jimmy Butler’s jumper with two seconds left lifted MU past UConn in Storrs.  For a team whose five losses in conference have come by a total of eleven points, that is a huge boost.  Now at .500 in the conference, Marquette has moved themselves into the thick of the NCAA Tournament conversations.

Up Next: at Providence (Sat)

8. Notre Dame: 5-5, 16-7 (LWR: 9)
If the Irish actually had a bench, they would probably be an NCAA Tournament lock.  Since they don’t, ND will continue to live on the bubble.  By the way, Luke Harangody is my least favorite college basketball player of all time.  P.S. Very rarely can lose to Rutgers and actually move up a spot, but that’s the middle of the pack Big East this year.

Up Next: vs. South Florida (Sun), at Seton Hall (Thur)

9. Cincinnati: 5-5, 14-8 (LWR: 8)
I would rather be eaten alive by the smoke monster on Lost than bet on this team.  That is how inconsistent the Bearcats have been in Big East play.

Up Next: vs. Syracuse (Sun)


10. South Florida: 5-5, 15-7 (LWR: 13)
The Bulls are on a roll behind junior shooting guard Dominique Jones who is averaging 35 points per game during USF’s four-game win streak.  Out of nowhere, this team has shockingly crept into talk of making the tourney.

Up Next: at Notre Dame (Sat)

11. UConn: 3-6, 13-9 (LWR: 7)
Jim Calhoun’s health cannot be getting any better as the Huskies are now three game under .500.  They will likely have to reverse their conference record the rest of the way to even have a shot at being a bubble team come Selection Sunday.

Up Next: vs. DePaul (Sat), at Syracuse (Wed)


12. Seton Hall: 3-6, 12-8 (LWR: 11)

The Pirates have proven that they can compete with any team in the conference.  However, they aren’t a good enough defensive team to beat the upper-echelon Big East squads.  It looks like the Hall is heading to the NIT.

Up Next: at Pitt (Sat), vs. Notre Dame (Thur)

13. Providence: 4-6, 12-10 (LWR: 12)
After Marquette on Saturday, the Friars have a run of Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia, Syracuse.  BRUTAL!

Up Next: vs. Marquette (Sat), vs. Georgetown (Tues)

14. Rutgers: 2-8, 11-11 (LWR: 16)

Just when it looked like the Scarlet Knights were going to pull a DePaul from last year and go winless in conference, they win back-to-back game at home against Notre Dame and St. John’s.  Former McDonald’s All-American guard Mike Rosario scored 57 points in those games.  Get dude the ball!

Up Next: at Louisville (Sat), Caldwell College (Tues)

15. St. John’s: 2-7, 12-9 (LWR: 14)
Losing by 12 at Rutgers is embarrassing.  More embarrassing than trying out for American Idol, thinking you are a good singer, getting ripped apart by Simon Cowell, and then crying or throwing a tantrum.

Up Next: vs. West Virginia (Sat), vs. Louisville (Thurs)

16. DePaul: 1-9, 8-14 (LWR: 15)
The Blue Demons nearly pulled off the shocking upset of Syracuse before letting an 18-point lead slip away.  DePaul is averaging just 60 points per game, almost seven points below the next lowest scoring team.  They almost look like they have no idea what to do on the offensive end if Will Walker isn’t chucking up 25-foot three’s.

Up Next: at UConn (Sat)

Luke Harangody named National Player of the Week

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Luke Harangody Reacts to 1st Loss of Season

harangody

By Paul M. Banks

Luke Harangody received more votes for the AP All-American team than any other player in the nation. The 2 time All-American senior forward is also the Big East preseason player of the year. Here’s how he reacted to #23 Notre Dame’s first loss of the season, coming at the hands of Northwestern, who beat the Irish 72-58. Harangody led the Irish with 21 points, but shot an ugly 7-19 from the field

2009-2010 Big East Basketball Preview: Part 2 of 5

harangody

by: David Kay

Part of two of our week long Big East Hoops Preview continues with the teams that will likely fall on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble.  Unfortunately, I have to include my beloved Marquette team in that category.

This list includes the most hatred duo to ever play on one college basketball team, a usual conference powerhouse re-tooling, my MU boys (tear), and a usual bottom feeder that could be poised to make some noise for the first time in almost a decade.

9. Notre Dame (9th, 8-10 in BE, 21-15 overall, NIT)

2009-2010 Outlook:
A lack of depth was a major issue as the Irish failed to live up to their lofty expectations last season, and it will once again be a concern as four important seniors graduated.  Luckily, Luke Harangody chose to come back for his senior season and Ole Miss transfer Ben Hansbrough (yes, Tyler’s little bro) should step into the starting line-up right away.  A Harangody and a Hansbrough on the same team; the hatred should be plentiful for ND this year.  Tory Jackson should be a steadying presence as he enters his fourth year as the team’s starting point guard.

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Luke Harangody (Sr)/Thomas Knight (Fr)/Mike Broghammer (Fr)
F: Tyrone Nash (Jr)/Carleton Scott (Jr)/Jack Cooley (Fr)
SF: Scott Martin (Jr)
SG: Ben Hansbrough (Sr)/Joey Brooks (Fr)
PG: Tory Jackson (Sr)/Jonathan Peoples (Jr)

Gone: G-Kyle McAlarney, G/F-Ryan Ayers, C-Luke Zeller F-Zach Hillesland

Player to Watch: Martin- The Purdue transfer started in eight games for the Boilermakers during his freshman season.  He is a well-rounded player who can hit from the outside and will need to be a perimeter compliment to Hansbrough as sharp-shooters McAlarney and Ayers (who combined for 218 three-pointers last season) have both graduated and Jackson is inconsistent from deep.

10. Pitt (2nd, 15-3, 31-5, NCAA Elite 8 )

2009-2010 Outlook:
I realize this is low for Jamie Dixon’s team.  But losing four starters in Blair, Young, Fields, and Biggs means 59% of their scoring, 63% of their rebounding, and 60% assists from a year ago need to be replaced.  If their role players from last year can adjust to being starters under the tutelage of Dixon, there is a good chance Pitt will be tourney bound.  It doesn’t help though that returning sixth man Gilbert Brown will miss the first semester after being suspended for the first semester due to academic issues while their lone returning starter, Jermaine Dixon has a broken foot that will cause him to miss the beginning of the season.

jamie-dixon

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Gary McGhee (Jr)/Talib Zanna (Fr)/J.J. Richardson (Fr)
F: Nasir Robinson (So)/Gilbert Brown (Jr)/Dante Taylor (Fr)/ Dwight Miller (Fr)
G: Jermaine Dixon (Sr)/Lamar Patterson (Fr)
G: Brad Wanamaker (Jr)/Tim Frye (Jr)
PG: Ashton Gibbs (So)/Chase Adams (Sr)/Travon Woodall (Fr)

Gone: C-DeJuan Blair, SF-Sam Young, PG-LaVance Fields, PF-Tyrell Biggs

Player to Watch: Gibbs- The reins of the Pitt offense will be put in Gibbs’ hands.  He helped lead the Jamie Dixon-coached U.S. U-19 team to the gold medal this summer which should be a big confidence booster as he only averaged ten minutes per game off the Panther bench last season.  Dixon needs someone to step into the leader role on the floor with four starters gone, and Gibbs will have to be that guy.  Spending a year learning from Fields could have only helped his preparation to be the Pitt floor general.

11. Marquette (5th, 12-6, 25-10, NCAA Second Round)

lazar12009-2010 Outlook:
Like Pitt, Marquette loses four starters who accounted for 67% of their scoring and 83% of their assists including their trio of four-year starting guards (McNeal, Matthews, and James.)  It will be a major transition this season as MU tries to find a new identity as six new faces join the Golden Eagles.  MU suffered a major loss in the pre-season when expected starting point guard, freshman Junior Cadougan, ruptured his Achilles tendon and will be sidelined for the season.  Still, If they can build their chemistry early in the year and Hayward emerges as a go-to player, there’s a chance Marquette could be dancing.

Projected Depth Chart
C: Chris Otule (So)/Youssoupha Mbao (Fr)
PF: Lazar Hayward (Sr)/Joe Fulce (Jr)
SF: Jimmy Butler (Jr)/Jeronne Maymon (Fr)/Erik Williams (Fr)
SG: Dwight Buycks (Jr)/David Cubillan (Sr)
PG: Mo Acker (Sr)/Daruis Johnson-Odom (So)/Junior Cadougan (Fr-out for season, ACL)

Gone: SG-Jerel McNeal, G/F-Wesley Matthews, PG-Dominic James, C-Dwight Burke

Player to Watch: Mbao- For a team that has lacked a real inside presence the past few years, having a 7’2 threat like Mbao will finally give Marquette a shot blocking threat they haven’t seen since Jim McIlvaine or Amal McCaskill.  It will just be a matter of how much Mbao will be able to contribute in his first season.  He is still rail thin and very raw, but if he can play 12-15 minutes a night right away at a very unsettled position, it could be a major boost for the Golden Eagles.

12. St. John’s (13th, 6-10, 16-18, CBI)

mason-jr2009-2010 Outlook:
Getting a medical redshirt year for senior Anthony Mason Jr. who played in just three games last season due a torn muscle in his foot was a big-time plus for a program that hasn’t had a winning record in conference play since 2001-2002.  They only lose one player who barely contributed and their recent youth movement is beginning to mature.  St. J’s could make some noise, but until they prove to be a consistent team, cannot be ranked any higher than this.

Projected Depth Chart
PF: Sean Evans (Jr)/Dale Coker (Jr)
F: D.J. Kennedy (Jr)/Justin Burrell (Jr)/Rob Thomas (Jr)
G/F: Anthony Mason Jr. (Sr)/ Omari Lawrence (Fr)
SG: Paris Horne (Jr)/Quincy Roberts (So)/Dwight Hardy (Jr)
PG: Malik Booth (Jr)/Malik Stith (Fr)

Gone: C-Tomas Jasiulionis, C-Phil Wait (transfer-Monmouth), SG-TyShawn Edmundson (So) (transfer)

Player to Watch: Horne- When Mason Jr. went down with his injury, Horne stepped up his game and finished the season at Storm’s leading scorer.  He loves to pull the trigger from deep and could be a solid compliment to Mason Jr.

WEEK LONG PREVIEW:
Monday: Teams 13-16
Wednesday: Teams 5-8
Thursday: Teams 1-4
Friday: Post-season Award Predictions