Aaron Craft’s NBA career projection: Ben Hansbrough

ben-hansbrough

If you want to forecast how the professional basketball career of over-publicized, former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, then look at the pro career of once over-publicized, former Notre Dame guard Ben Hanbrough.

If SIU is “Floor burn U,” then Ben Hansbrough was “Captain Floor Burn.” During his college basketball career, he was even grindier than his brother Tyler Hansbrough. Ben didn’t make any preseason Big East all-conference teams, but yet he was the 2010-11 BE POY. Ben Hansbrough and Aaron Craft aren’t that similar of players, but they do have some similarities; most importantly the bottom line of what their NBA future holds.

[Read more…]

Big East Tournament will have major impact on NCAA Tournament seedings

big east tournament

The next few days of the Big East Tournament will play a major factor in the seeding that the conference teams earn when the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced on Selection Sunday.  A team could easily move up or down a couple of seeds depending on the outcome of their performance at Madison Square Garden.  Here is a best case/worst scenario on where the Big East teams could land in the brackets depending on their result at the Big East Tournament.

Click here for my latest NCAA Tournament Bracketology.
[Read more…]

#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: College Basketball 111 in 111

notre dame cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 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.

Mike Brey continues to produce results as Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach.  With pretty much everybody back from last year, ND will once again be a major player in what figures to be their final year as members of the Big East Conference.

[Read more…]

Notre Dame Basketball #4: Not bad for a Football School

Notre Dame basketball

This year’s Notre Dame team is a lot like another potential #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament; another team currently ranked in the college basketball top four- the Ohio State Buckeyes. In both South Bend and Columbus, college football comes first, foremost, and probably second, third and fourth too.

It sounds ridiculous to say, but both OSU and ND are “flying under the radar,” so to speak. Neither team gets the proper attention it deserves from it’s fanbase, because the gridiron is unquestionably king on both campuses. But hoops hotbedness is improving at the Joyce Center.

“I had four people come up to me and say, it’s a tough ticket tonight,” ND Coach Mike Brey said the night of the final home game in Purcell Pavilion.

“That’s music to my ears. I like that the place is 9,200. We want it to be a bit of a tough ticket and people scrambling in town.”

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Notre Dame’s Strong Case to be a #1 Seed in NCAA Tournament

mike_brey

The losses among the major college basketball national powers piled up last week- BYU, Purdue, Duke. Opening the door for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to grab that final #1 seed. To quote ’80s one-hit wonder Spandau Ballet, “we know this. much is true.” Ohio State is the overall top seed; Kansas and Pittsburgh will join them on the top line.

The final #1 however, is up for grabs, and ND, with a RPI of #9 can take it if they reach the Big East Tournament Final game, something the Irish and Mike Brey have never done. They don’t have to win it- just get there. Having a double-bye in the conference tournament will help.

The current No. 4 ranking is Notre Dame’s highest since being fourth in December 1980. The last time they were a #1 seed was 1979, when they lost to Magic Johnson’s national champion Michigan State Spartans. And this year, they once again have a top line resume.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Louisville’s Rick Pitino gets Coaching “Pantsed” at Notre Dame

pitino

There’s only one way to describe what happened to the Louisville Cardinals, and their coach Rick Pitino- a college basketball coaching version of getting “pantsed.” You’ve heard of the term “half-time adjustments,” well what about overtime adjustments.

Pitino and Notre Dame’s Mike Brey traded blows for 40 minutes last night, tied at 74 heading to regulation. Then UL just got absolutely owned at Notre Dame, as the Irish started the extra session on a 14-0 run and folded the cards 89-79.

One of the biggest factors contributing to the outcome was ND switching from man to zone at an opportune time.

“We’re big; that group can play zone. We did not talk about it in the timeout. We kind of changed on the fly, and we did a great job. That is veteran guys making it work. That helped us. It changed their rhythm a little bit,” Brey said postgame.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

#15 Louisville falls at #7 Notre Dame in Overtime

pitino

High scoring. Good Shooting. An overtime session dominated by the home team in an extremely spirited venue- this was Big East college basketball at it’s finest.

#14 Louisville tied #7 Notre Dame at 74 when two halves were concluded. However, Irish eyes perked wide open in the extra session, as ND owned the extra five minutes with a 14-0 run. UL didn’t even score in overtime until there was 42.6 seconds remaining.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

BIG East conference Schedule Announced

notre dame_big east

For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will meet Connecticut in a home-and-home series during the 2010-11 BIG EAST regular season.  The conference regular-season matrix for the upcoming campaign was released on Thursday.  In addition to the Huskies, the Irish also are slated to play Marquette and St. John’s twice next season.

[Read more…]