Vin Parise is a college basketball analyst for SNY, NBC Sports, FOX Sports, and others. As the NCAA Tournament approaches, he and I discuss the Big East, A-10, and MAAC. Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com bracketologist, starting at the 10:25 mark, explains how the Tournament field is assembled.
Two ESPN college basketball experts join the podcast. Mark Adams, who provides color commentary for the biggest midmajor games across the country, talks about Wichita State and other small conference programs to watch as the NCAA Tournament approaches. Writer John Gasaway, whose appearance starts at the 11:45 mark, talks about the analytics revolution in college hoops and what stats matter most when assessing the top teams.
Killian is dancing!
In a battle between schools separated by the length of approximately 500 basketball courts, the Iona Gaels beat Manhattan last night to win the MAAC Tournament and earn the league’s automatic bid to the Big Dance. Iona coach Tim Cluess said after the game he would enjoy Selection Sunday a lot more this year—last season the Gaels got an at-large bid, but Cluess was a nervous wreck until Iona’s name was called.
You might think the Gaels are eager to redeem themselves on the sport’s biggest stage after their record-setting collapse in the play-in round against BYU last year, but they’re playing for something much more important: the memory of a fallen teammate. Mike Haynes, a Chicago recruit headed for Iona last fall, was shot dead in July. Iona’s players dedicated this season to his memory and have worn patches on their jerseys to honor him.
Every year, in practically every conference, you’ll hear the phrase “wide open” in reference to the league tournament. Coaches say it out of respect to other teams; the media uses it as a hedge against their predictions; P.R. folks spit it out to generate hype. So bear with me when I tell you that this weekend’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament is wide open.
But if it’s not true this season in this conference, it never will be. “The charm of our team is that we know we can lose to any team,” Joe Mihalich said during Monday’s conference call with the media. Mihalich is the coach of Niagara, the league’s No. 1 seed. Held at the MassMutualCenter, a neutral site in Springfield, Mass., nearly every team has a reasonable shot at the title.
Continue reading 2013 MAAC Basketball Tournament Preview
Stanley Hill looked around the Hynes Athletics Center and smiled. On the visitor’s bench was Fairfield University’s men’s basketball coach Sydney Johnson. At the scorer’s table was Iona College athletics director Eugene Marshall, Jr. Both men are black. The Iona and Fairfield rosters, like so many others, are filled with black student-athletes. Hill, more so than most, notices. A lot has changed since he played college basketball.
Hill, a 1959 Iona graduate, was in New Rochelle last Friday night to accept the inaugural Trailblazer Award, named after him. At halftime of the Feb. 24 Iona-Fairfield game, he spoke about The Game That Never Was and why Iona was a special place.
Continue reading Stanley Hill: College Basketball Trailblazer
Springfield, MA—Iona led Fairfield by six midway through the second half of Sunday’s MAAC Tournament semifinal when the Gaels’ Scott Machado attempted a three-pointer. Iona had just forced a turnover and Machado was open on the wing. He missed, just barely, and Fairfield’s three-pointer on the ensuing possession started a 16-1 run that propelled the Stags to an 85-75 victory. A basketball game—and a chance at the NCAA Tournament—can change that quickly.
By losing in its conference tournament and therefore failing to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, this is Iona’s predicament. But it’s also Drexel’s. It’s Middle Tennessee’s. It could be Long Beach State’s. If college football is split between the Haves and Have-Nots, college basketball gives us the Haves and the Have They Done Enough?
Continue reading Will Iona Get an NCAA Tournament Bid?
To appreciate Scott Machado as a basketball player is to appreciate the simple: the bounce pass to a cutting forward; the chest pass to an open shooter; the awareness to seek the ball after a turnover. Sure, you’ll see lob passes for dunks and crossover dribbles and deep three-pointers. But if that is all you see, you’re missing a lot.
Manhattan coach Steve Masiello calls the Iona College senior “the best point guard in the country, bar none.” Others around the game think, at the very least, Machado belongs in the discussion: he is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Scouts from more than a dozen NBA teams have visited New Rochelle’s Hynes Athletics Center to watch Machado, the nation’s leader in assists at 10.1 per game.
Continue reading Scott Machado Has Eyes on MAAC Title, NBA