Tag Archives: NCAA tournament

Kentucky Wildcats: Making and Vanquishing History

By Brandon Busuttil

March 26, 2015

This years Kentucky men’s basketball team has been nothing short of a spectacle. The last time a team went undefeated (winning the NCAA tournament) wasn’t since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers team. It seemed back then, having an undefeated team was a lot more common with UCLA doing it in the 1963-64 season, 1966-67 season, 1971-72 season and UCLA’s undefeated streak lasted all the way through the 1972-73 season and didn’t end until January 19, 1974, when Notre Dame beat them to break their 88 game winning streak. Since that time only one team in the past 10 years has managed to have just a perfect season (undefeated regular season). We witnessed that last year when Wichita State had a perfect season, and lost to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.

The big question is, can Kentucky go all the way? Can they be undefeated? A lot of individuals’ brackets would say: YES. But remember, this is the NCAA tournament and we all know that in the NCAA tournament anything can happen. This was already displayed in the 2nd round of play when Georgia State took down a #3 Baylor, and UAB also took down a #3 seed, Iowa State. With Kentucky getting set to play West Virginia in the Sweet Sixteen it made me take a look back in time. In 2010, Kentucky and West Virginia met in the Elite Eight. Kentucky seeded #1 and West Virginia seeded #2. This was the year when Kentucky had John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson, and Demarcus Cousins. West Virginia beat them with players no one can even remember. Proving that anything can happen. Could this years West Virginia team repeat history? Personally, I don’t think so. But again, this is March Madness.

If Kentucky are to get past West Virginia they could face Wichita State. A team that has proven time and time again, they can hang with the big boys. Last year Kentucky beat Wichita State ending WSU’s undefeated season. If these two teams were to meet, I would highly expect Wichita State to try to do the same to Kentucky as Kentucky did to them. After Wichita State put a beating on a Kansas team, that has been avoiding playing them for a few years now, Wichita State is a scary team to play.

For this Kentucky team, it is not only about making history, but they will have to overcome history to have a chance at winning the NCAA championship and becoming the first undefeated team since 1976.

What a Difference a Year Makes: The Story of BGSU Men’s Basketball

By Kaleb Page

February 16, 2015

The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team has seen something of a metamorphosis from just a year ago. At this point a year ago the Falcons were sitting at an overall record of just 11-14 with a 5-7 record in the Mid-American Conference. That season went down as a rather unsuccessful one that could be added on to the list of ones before it (2012-13 season: 13-19, 2011-12 season: 16-16, 2010-11 season: 14-19).

Where was the hope? Where was the possibility of even seeing men’s basketball have any amount of success moving forward? Those questions could be answered by a change of direction.

Upon finishing the season on a four game losing streak along with a record of 12-20 (6-12 MAC), the time for change was now. On March 25, 2014 a new leader entered and the direction for the Falcons changed. That leader was none other than former Wichita State assistant coach Chris Jans. From the start of his press conference announcing his hiring, he had that feeling of someone who was going to turn things around.

What that turnaround might be nobody could know. Would it be a two or three game improvement, development that was hard to see but diagnosed by Jans as being there in practice or something different altogether? In the eyes of the media it seemed as though this new hire would help the Falcons reach fifth place at best in the eastern side of the MAC.

But what if I told you none of those things have happened thus far? You would probably think it went south fast and the bottom is where this Falcon’s team went if none of the above things happened. However, that would be far from the reality of this season thus far.

At this point in the season the men’s basketball team sits at an impressive 17-6 record (9-3 MAC East) and in sole possession of first place on the eastern side of the conference. This team has grown leaps and bounds from what it was a year ago at this time. The team has already surpassed its win total from all of last season and there are still six games remaining on the schedule.

If you told someone this would be what the team of a year ago looked like today, they probably would laugh and think you were crazy. Even more so would it be crazy to even imagine this team in talks to be an NCAA tournament team. Which this week has seen the Falcon’s mentioned as a 12 seed, and if they would reach the tournament it would be the first time since 1968 a team from BGSU made the big dance.

Even though coach Jans and his staff deserve a lot of credit with taking basically the same team and building them up to what they are today; an equal amount of credit needs to be shown the way of the players. You can start with the star player Richuan Holmes being a force inside on defense and offense showing his array of high-flying dunks and blocks. Even though he can be looked to as the ‘star,’ he would probably be the first to say the season would be nothing without guys like: Zack Denny who leads the MAC in steals with two a game, junior college transfers (Delvin Dickerson, David Joseph and Jovan Austin) making huge contributions, Spencer Parker becoming a dynamic threat off the bench and senior guards Anthony Henderson and Jehvon Clarke providing pop in the back-court. With young guys like Garrett Mayleben, JD Tisdale, Rasheed Worrell and Matt Fox waiting their turn, it looks like the team has a good balance of youth, size and athleticism to power this bright future forward.

I’ve had the privilege of broadcasting two BGSU games as a member of the Bowling Green Radio Sports Organization (BGRSO) this season, and it has been something special to witness. This team just looks like a team you want to be on. They actually hustle and go for it on both ends of the floor each and every night. While I know at times they do have their lapses of judgement like any other team, it still must be said that this team is something special considering what it has done in a relatively short time.

With little expectations for this squad, they have proven the doubters wrong in every way thus far. This is why it is time for this team to capitalize on what it has done so far and push all the way to something bigger than anyone could have imagined: a MAC title. If that goal is accomplished then the sights should be set on getting to the NCAA tournament, and not only getting there but being competitive.

Even if the big prizes don’t end up in Bowling Green this year, this team has nothing to be ashamed of. Coming out of the seller to being a team to look out for is quite the accomplishment in itself.

Keep it up BGSU men’s basketball and ROLL ALONG!

New ‘App’ Ignores Women’s Tournament


We are in the thick of the NCAA Tournament, full of upsets, Cinderella stories and overtime victories.

To further madden March Madness, the NCAA has partnered with Turner Sports Interactive and developed an application for fans and sport lovers to keep track of the tournament game by game. It has an interactive bracket, tweets about the tournament, schedules, and the best part ‑‑ the ability to watch the tournament games through the app with your TV provider log in.

The app has been an outstanding part of this year’s tournament. It constantly sends notifications to the users about close games, upset alerts, etc. While the app still relies on the users’ cable provider to watch games on CBS, TNT, TruTV and TBS — it’s been a perfect fit for March Madness fans.

MacNewsWorld writer Chris Maxer wrote: “To some extent, this makes you feel like you’re part of the action, even if you’re stuck in a meeting and have to discreetly glance at your iPhone … In my experience, it worked pretty well and made me appreciate access to the games when I could not be in front of my Mac or HDTV.”

I, too, have downloaded the app and used it on a daily basis to keep track of games. However, this app does not provide a live feed for the women’s tournament. Where is the love for the women’s game? Women’s tournament fans can utilize the ESPN app and watch games live, but there is still not an interactive bracket, tweet updates, game alerts, or any of the ‘fun’ and advancement like there has been for the men’s tournament.

I am not being a fun-sucker and taking away from the hype of March Madness, but I am wondering why the women’s tournament has been excluded? Why, once again, is society behind on the technology advancements and ‘fairness’ for women?

March Madness: ‘First Four’ Kicks Off Commentary


The NCAA tournament is the time of year where teams achieve their dream of playing in the “Big Dance” and this game was no different between Lamar and Vermont. TruTv televised the “first four” opening round games and did a fantastic job with its commentary.

Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel were the commentators with Lewis Johnson as the on-court reporter giving injury reports and interviewing the coaches before, during, and after the final buzzer. Eagle and Spanarkel did a great job with the play-by-play offering great insight on several set plays executed by both teams. They showed slow motion replays of the play and talked to the viewers about why it was so well executed. When this is done, it gives the viewers a chance to become knowledgeable about the game of basketball.

One of the focuses was on Pat Knight, head coach for Lamar, and how he motivated his team after a Feb. 22 loss by publicly criticizing his seniors about how they are wasting scholarships. A short clip was shown of the press conference and following it there was a comparison of Lamar’s record before the conference then their record after the conference. You could see how well Lamar responded.

This game was just the start of March Madness with more thrilling games to come in the NCAA tournament. One of the big things from these tournaments is the media coverage spanning across four different networks. Each network will bring a different feel to each game and TruTv did a fine job for the Lamar verse Vermont game.