A white head coach called a timeout in the final seconds to prolong a lop-sided victory, then grabbed an African American head coach by the arm to assert his opinion in the handshake line, but many people in the college basketball universe are calling for Juwan Howard to be suspended.
Why promote Black Lives Matter campaigns during in-game commercials and with warm up apparel on the sidelines, when we can’t seriously take a look at these aggressions (and micro-aggressions) as a society?
Juwan Howard took a swing at a Wisconsin coach after this ugly scene played out. No one would argue that’s a justified act. However, in what universe is it okay for Wisconsin coach Greg Gard to put his hands on Juwan Howard in the first place? Any thoughts about why that’s acceptable can only be explained by white privilege.
Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot. What if Juwan Howard called a timeout in the closing moments to avoid his backup players from temporary embarrassment. As Greg Gard explained in the post-game interview, that’s exactly why he called this unnecessary timeout. He didn’t want his offense committing a 10 second violation while being covered full court by a Michigan man defense. Taking that violation wouldn’t have affected the outcome of the game. It would have instead saved college basketball from this ugly scrum.
What if Howard had done this? Do you think Greg Gard would have stood by like a little school boy, having his arm held for a quick lecture in the handshake line? The timeout needed no explanation. Only someone who feels privileged would be compelled to compound the insult with a lecturing justification.
Even the press release by the Big Ten Conference doesn’t reference the physical contact initiated by Greg Gard. Instead, it says “The Big Ten Conference is aware of a physical altercation involving Michigan Head Coach Juwan Howard…”
Some people are calling for a season-long suspension for Juwan Howard. He did not apologize in his post-game press conference. Few are calling for the aggressor, Greg Gard, to lose his job of even face a multiple game suspension. I think an equal penalty for both coaches would reflect a society that values equality.
The list of second generation basketball players seemingly grows each year, with sons of former NBA players competing in college hoops nationwide. Below is a full list of sons of NBA dads we’ve spotted in college basketball. If we have missed any, please tweet us at CBBEyeTest.
CLICK HERE FOR LAST YEAR’S LIST OF SONS OF NBA PLAYERS IN NCAA 2020-2021
The leading man for the second generation players list of 2022 has to be Jabari Smith. He is a likely top lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
As a freshman, Jabari Smith Jr. is leading the Auburn Tigers as a possible future 1 seed for March Madness.
His father, Jabari Smith senior, had a lesser-known NBA career versus some of the names below. He played 108 games in his NBA career.
One of those blasts-from-the-past is Brian Shaw. His son B.J. Shaw wears the same number 20 and competes with UC Davis.
Another important rotation player from that series was Ron Harper. As you may know, his son Ron Harper Jr. is one of the best “juniors” across the college basketball landscape.
Ron Harper Jr. had one of the season’s most memorable moments when his buzzer beater helped defeated the then-number 1 ranked Purdue Boilermakers.
You cannot have a conversation about the 1990s Bulls without talking about Scottie Pippen. Yes, his son is playing college basketball too! Scotty Pippen Jr. is being coached by another all-time NBA great, Jerry Stackhouse, and averaging over 19 points for Vanderbilt in his junior season.
Note that the Generation Z player spells his name with a “Y” while pops spells Scottie with an “i.e.”
What sort of tangent would this article be about the 1990s Bulls without a reference to Dennis Rodman?
Steve Kerr’s son Nick played college basketball with Cal a few years ago, which means that 1996 Bulls team could have fielded a full team of future fathers of college players.
Meantime, those 1996 Orlando Magic had a few scholarship players in their gene pool, too.
The most famous Magic ever, Shaquille O’Neal, has a son playing college hoops right now at LSU.
This story wouldn’t be complete without a Shaq-and-Penny connection. Penny Hardaway is actually coaching his son with the Memphis Tigers in 2021-2022 as well. Jayden Hardaway has earned his minutes over the years and is now a regular rotation player with the Tigers.
The 1990s Eastern Conference is well represented in this list.
Dikembe Mutombo’s son Ryan continues a big man family legacy at Georgetown.
At midseason, Simaki Walker’s son Jabari Walker already had eight double-doubles for Colorado.
Former Indiana Pacers guard Harold Workman’s son Bryce plays D1 ball.
The East Coast doesn’t just dominate this status of talent inheritance. On the West Coast, players like James Keefe of Stanford and Eric Williams Jr. of Oregon are sons of NBA players.
Jamal Mashburn’s son is following in his footsteps, in more ways than one. Jamal Mashburn Jr. has also followed a Pitino coach. In fact, Mashburn Jr. played for Rick Pitino’s son Richard at both Minnesota and now with New Mexico.
New Mexico basketball has two sons of NBA players in the rotation. Eddie House’s son Jaelen House is another scoring guard on the team.
Otis Thorpe’s son DJ Thorpe plays for the Cal Bears.
Here’s another random, 1990s sir name, nostalgic, NBA nugget: Marčiulionis.
Do you remember that name?
The second generation NBA talent discussion has an international flair as the son of Sarunas Marciulionis has been imported from Lithuania to St. Mary’s basketball. Augustus Marciulionis is a 6-4 freshman with the Gaels.
It’s not only the 1990s Eastern Conference powers represented, but also 1980s NBA playoff teams with sons in power 5 schools. Cleveland Cavalier’s great Larry Nance’s son Pete continues carving out his own professional basketball career. That status would mean that he follows in both father, and brother’s, footsteps.
Pete Nance is leading Northwestern as a possible tournament team.
Nance continues a growing trend of second generation players populating the entire Big 10 Conference.
According to IUHoosiers.com, Trayce Jackson-Davis is the “son of for Indiana Pacers standout Dale Davis and Ray and Karla Jackson.”
There is a rich history of 6 footish (and under) guards who were set to upset March Madness when their number was called. Here are some of the dangerous scorers who may be overlooked, quite literally, by their competition.
The saying normally goes, “he only needs an inch” to score. And while watching the Tar Heels try to triple team Alex Hunter around the 3 point line earlier this season, I thought: “maybe he just needs a centimeter” to score.
Hunter shoots 46% from the field and 43 percent from the 3 point line. He creates space with ease in a James Harden-like step back dribble. Hunter scored 17 against Louisville, 30 against UNC, and 21 against Mississippi State in the 2021-2022 campaign. So he welcomes the big moment.
Jamaree Bouyee is a super senior who, like a fine wine, has been chilling and ready to show his game has gotten better with age. Saying someone can score in all three levels is cliche. Bouyee has that old cliche on lockdown. He can dance around the three point line to create his own show. Bouyee is solid shooting the ball off a screen in a midrange. And he has been seen to start and finish his own fast break.
The San Francisco Dons are part of a very strong WCC conference. You could say the league is stronger than the ACC. The Dons and their two guards emulate another West Coast backcourt in the Portland Trailblazers with Lillard and McCollum. Bouyee’s backcourt mate Khalil Shabazz is another dangerous scoring combo guard.
If you watched March Madness in the spring of 2021, I don’t need to tell you what Max Abmas is capable of.
He scored 29 against Ohio State and then 26 against Florida en route to a Sweet 16 berth. With Oral Roberts tangling with some other Summit League opponents in conference this season, he has somehow slipped off the radar.
Watching Darius McGhee is like watching Spud Webb with a modern step-back 3 point jump shot in his arsenal. McGhee has an insanely high vertical leap and can attack the rim with bad intentions. Yet, he shoots 41 percent from the 3pt line (Spud averaged 31% over his NBA career.).
*This article is a work-in-progress. Please visit again in March 2022!
What is the eye test? Here, the eye test means that you celebrate and respect the nuances on the basketball floor that can’t be seen in a stat sheet. A defender can affect an offensive set without a block or steal, a senior can hold an underclassmen accountable with tough love, and a hockey assist can set up a game winning basket. The collegebasketballeyetest.com is dedicated to retweeting and sharing first hand observations, whether that’s from fans inside the arena or watching all the action on television during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Here is a list of the most important players in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, according to the eye test over the stat sheet. In other words, here are the glue guys propelling the best teams in America. Enjoy our starting 5.
PG Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga
In today’s college basketball landscape, with the popularity of “one-and-dones” and “the transfer portal,” it takes a special player to commit to being an upperclassmen at a winning program. Enter Joel Ayayi who entered his junior year at a newly cemented blue blood program, Gonzaga. Ayayi did well in his sophomore campaign as a starting point guard, but still had room to grow. And so when other point guards entered the equation, many other players might have become a flight risk to guarantee playing time. Joel Ayayi stayed. And he proved that he can run among future lottery pick Jalen Suggs and newcomer transfer Andrew Nembhard. Ayayi can control a game with the way he defensive rebounds from the guard position and gets this dangerous offense into instant mode on the other end. His efficiency in the areas of free throw percentage and three pointers has only improved. He has great hands to harass and poke the ball from opponents in the post. Joel Ayayi has elite speed when dribbling. When you think of “getting downhill,” this guy comes to mind. It shouldn’t be a surprise if Ayayi cashes in a triple double in the tournament because his ten points are almost guaranteed and because of the way he rebounds. Consider this: he grabbed 18 rebounds in the game against Iowa and also finished with 6 assists and 11 points. I mean, that’s Iowa! Joel Ayayi is the glue guy we need running any successful Glue Guy All Star Team.
SG Da’Monte Williams, Illinois
One of the secrets to Illinois’s success this season has been the certainty of the rotation. Senior shooting guard Da’Monte Williams started the season at shooting guard, but slid to the bench mid-way into the season to make room for freshmen Adam Miller and Andre Curbello, who started to accumulate more minutes. Did Williams complain? No. He only responded by continuing to check the other team’s most dangerous wing scorer, rebound on all areas of the floor, and take an open 3 pointer with no hesitation to expose teams that haven’t scouted properly. Williams is a strong shooting guard who can help out in a variety of ways in the post. He can have a mean streak on the floor, ripping balls away from opponents and showing lots of fire at both ends. Da’Monte Williams is the type of player championship teams need. Entering the tournament, he should be proud of co-leading the Illini program that he helped re-establish with a 1 seed.
Jordan Schakel might be the Aztecs starting shooting guard, but we are slotting him into the all glue guy team here at small forward. At 6 foot 6, Schakel can confuse the opponent with exactly which position he does play. When starting forward and fellow senior Matt Mitchell was out with injury this mid-season, Schakel picked up the slack in terms of scoring. And so Schakel offers flexibility for the roster. Aztec fans tell me on Twitter that he has started 20 games this season at the shooting guard spot, but can play small forward as well.
Jordan Schakel’s San Diego Aztecs team made it comfortably into March Madness as a 6 seed after winning the Mountain West.
Schakel is third in the nation in 3 point efficiency. He has a knack for knowing when to double the post. Schakel can be seen calling out plays on the defensive end like a veteran linebacker. Jordan Schakel doesn’t block a lot of shots, but when you watch him you’ll see that he contests everything. He plays 29 minutes a game and has reached the 24 point plateau in four games this season. But as you watch him play, you realize he never hunts shots. Still, he averages 14 points per game which is up 4 points from his junior year. This guy is a selfless example on the court and epitomizes what it means to be a glue guy.
PF Kyle Young, Ohio State
Kyle Young ended the season in concussion protocol. The Ohio State Buckeyes need their glue guy if they’re going to advance to a Final Four. Young rebounds, defends the best post player most times, can knock down threes, and definitely shows the best hustle among all the glue guys nationally. Young is the type of player that wins over a neutral crowd with his hustle. It’s too bad that he’s in concussion protocol and that there isn’t a neutral crowd of people this year. Still, Kyle Young is a slam dunk for the All Glue Guy team.
Myles Johnson is cool under pressure and snags the rebound or blocks a shot when his Rutgers team really needs it. He is the prototypical last line of defense that can erase mistakes up front. Moreover, he is just a great player and a total teammate. You can even look to what his leadership has been doing off the court. Myles Johnson has a long wing-span and uses it perfectly for outlet passes and passes from the post. When doing so, he looks like an Olympic Athlete in water polo. His arm slings back and his body patiently buoys before making the right play. He never see him sweat or the paddling underneath. Johnson is a favorite to watch. His effort, rebounding and timely plays are to be admired. In this year’s Big 10, you almost needed a legitimate center to compete for an NCAA bid. Myles Johnson rounds out the All Glue Guy Team with a lot of class.
The full body caricatures were designed by the artist Eilvain on Fiverr.com.
The college basketball is unique and completely different from the NBA game. In a short 40 minute game clock, a hot streak by an unconscious shooter can put an opponent away. And, in March Madness, it can light a fire to your bracket.
Here are eight sharpshooters to beware of before you sharpie that bracket of yours.
8. Mitch Ballock, Creighton Bluejays
The fun thing about watching Mitch Ballock is that he can knock down three pointers from feet back from the 3 pt line and also while running the fast break. While watching a Creighton game mid-season, Ballock’s ability to change the mood of a game actually had Fox1 color commentator (and former Big East great) Donny Marshall actually lamenting aloud how he needs to be more selfish. Ballock is actually the only Creighton player who was on its 2018 team that lost to K-State in the Big Dance. In that game, he knocked down 4 of 11 three point shots and finished with 16 points. His threes normally come in droves, which is the name of the game and the theme of this article. Let’s continue to get hotter.
7. Michael Almonacy, App State Mountaineers
Michael Amoncacy jumped on this list with his stellar performance against Georgia State in his conference championship performance. The cool thing about the tournament is that one guy can get hot and an entire team can get on his back and ride his hot play to advance. We’ve seen this a lot with mid-majors. And what Almonacy did against Georgia State can transfer in the NCAA Tournament.
6. Johnny Juzang, UCLA Golden Bears
Johnny Juzang is back at home in the Golden State after a brief season with Kentucky. The sophomore is one of those shooters who doesn’t touch rim when he gets hot. He is not just a three point threat, but can also light it up from mid-range. As UCLA struggled down the stretch in the regular season, perhaps its time to turn more volume over to Juzang.
5. Quentin Grimes, Houston Cougars
Quentin Grimes’s jump-shot can remind you of Alan Houston’s. The technique is as pure as you can see. When his feet are set, the motion is super fluid. He also doesn’t need to be behind the three point line to get hot and alter the pace of a game. There were many moments in this season when Grimes got hot in NBA Jam-type style, where the Cougars couldn’t feed him the ball quick enough. One of those moments was on national TV as he scored 18 of 34 points in an important statement game against Western Kentucky.
4. Duane Washington, Ohio State Buckeyes
We just saw this guy go off against Michigan in the Big 10 semifinal game. On this list, Duane Washington Jr. has the quickest release. And the Buckeyes know to feed him from behind-the-line when it’s that time.
3. Jared Bulter, Baylor Bears
Jared Butler is voted the Big 12 Player of the Year and its best shooter of the year. You’ll have to have a strong argument to keep his team out of the Final Four in your bracket. And if you’re an opponent, check the heat map of “his spots” on the floor.
2. Jordan Schakel, San Diego Aztecs
San Diego State’s senior glue guy does so much on the floor, and is also one of America’s most efficient three point shooters. Jordan Schakel has shot 47% from three this season, dropping 77 baskets from beyond the arc.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga Bulldogs
Corey Kispert is just an amazing college basketball shooter. And when BYU shot 70 percent form the field in the WCC Championship game, a quick sequence in the second half where Kispert knocked down three 3’s reminded everyone what’s up. You better double team this guy from behind the arc if you plan on winning a national championship this year. He can put on a clinic real soon.
Honorable mention: John Petty Jr. of Alabama is a familiar face in the NCAA Tournament and a usual suspect when it comes to getting hot. He hits about 2.5 of 6-and-a-half three pointers every game and averages only 12 points. However Petty Jr. can go off on big games. He shot 8 of 10 from three against LSU this season and 4-4 against Tennessee.
Meanwhile, at Oral Roberts Max Abmas is the nation’s leading scorer and has made the third highest amount of three point baskets nationwide this season.
The Black Lives Matter college basketball jerseys, with equality slogans instead of last names, and public service announcements between every TV timeout, mean nothing. That is, unless we call out white privilege when we see it.
On Friday afternoon during a closely contested conference tournament game between Michigan and Maryland, Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard got ejected after a verbal altercation at mid-court. Mark Turgeon, a white coach who also was very animated during the discussion, was not ejected.
[One year later, White Privilege is on Full Display again amidst Wisconsin-Michigan Brawl involving head coach Juwan Howard. Read more here.]
And if you’re a fellow white person shaking your head ‘no’ at this point, consider this.
How many times have you been watching a Michigan Wolverines basketball game during this 2020-2021 regular season and heard something like this: A commentator discusses how much success Juwan Howard has enjoyed during his second season as the Wolverines head man…
That is, until shortly thereafter you see the camera cut to assistant coach Phil Martelli. The television commentator continues on about how the success Howard has enjoyed has been backed up by the mentorship of Martelli, a veteran head coach who saw some success at Saint Joseph’s. In 24 seasons, Martelli led Saint Joseph’s to the NCAA Tournament less than one third of the time, 7 in total. However, you’ll hear how Martelli is almost like this “Godfather” character. It’s almost as if Juwan Howard, a living legend as an NCAA player, member of the “Fab 5,” longtime National Basketball Association professional (and champion), and seven year assistant coach in the NBA, couldn’t do it by himself.
When a white coach enjoys success early in his head coaching career, does the camera cut to a black assistant coach to discuss how his mentorship has boosted the head man’s abilities?
No. It doesn’t work the other way around.
Still, on this Friday afternoon Juwan Howard went to mid-court to protest a ball deflecting out of bounds. As he explained since in a postgame interview, he felt the ball was out off of a Maryland players hands. Whatever Howard was saying to the referees, and/or the Maryland sidelines at the time, it was not a physically demonstrative act. However, it was met by Mark Turgeon’s storming over towards Juwan Howard, pointing his finger and fist down, and scolding him as if he were a naughty little boy. It’s as if Juwan Howard needs an adult in the room. It’s as if he needs a Godfather looking over him.
And so, when at that point Juwan Howard responded in a pissed-off fashion, the refs probably made the right call to eject him. However, to not eject Mark Turgeon at the same time is a very basic form of white privilege that can’t go un-seen.
In my opinion, the white privilege is enjoyed when the black coach is ejected and the white coach is not. Both men approached one another. Juwan Howard started the protest, whatever it may have been. And both coaches showed a tremendous amount of class, not surprisingly, in their postgame interviews. Each showed some remorse for how things transpired, but both talked about needing to defend themselves and their teams. Instead of punishing only one of these two coaches in the heat of the moment, would it be possible to have some more tolerance and understand how each human being might get “heated” in that moment? I think that would be a more common sense solution.
Obviously most of us will never know what was said, or what backstory really set this off. But if Mark Turgeon’s gripe was that Juwan Howard left “the coaches box,” were two wrongs made right when he himself clearly left his coaches box to tell Juwan Howard off? Again, both head coaches acted demonstratively. But are we really excusing Mark Turgeon because he spent the last 24 years as a college head coach while Juwan Howard spent those 24 years as an NBA player and/or coach?
This blog is written by a huge college basketball fan. The whole theme of the blog is about what is being observed. However, its author is not a “let’s stick to sports to escape from reality,” type of person. The basketball highlights seen on TV are secondary if we can’t really see each other as equals. If we set boundaries where we can and cannot talk about race, we are inherently “talking our ball and going home” as a society.
The Black Lives Matter movement has made more people aware of micro-agressions. These are the seemingly innocent benign comments, behavior or treatment of one another that, in a subtle way, reiterate certain dominance or perceived superiority in society. The white player or coach who can yell and not be punished in the same fashion as the counterpart person of color might seem innocent at face value. But it’s not. Or, as basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote in a Los Angeles Times editorial:
“Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in,” writes Abdul-Jabbar. “As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands.”
Big 10 Coaches Tweak Rosters As Season Enters Home Stretch
Anyone watching college basketball this season with an unbiased view will admit that the Big 10 is the best conference in basketball. So when subtle changes happen to some of the best team’s rosters, those are developments worth watching. Here are some late season roster tinkering that could become a factor in March Madness.
Rutgers Swingman Jacob Young Coming Off The Bench
If you listen to Twitter (don’t), Rutgers fans will tell you that Jacob Young is trash. Well, that’s not true. The Euro-stepping swingman from Houston has a 20 point game in his grasp each time he steps on the floor. His defense has been questioned. And this mid-season, Rutgers coach Steve Pickel relegated Young to the bench. The Scarlet Knights responded by hitting a 4 game winning streak as January rolled into February. Young might not be a starter, but he pairs well with Ron Harper Jr. as a closer.
Michigan Coach Tom Izzo Searching for Starting Point Guard
Tom Izzo certainly doesn’t need my sympathy. He’s a championship coach and definitely not reading this blog article. However, I feel bad from any coach who loses Cassius Winston in one COVID-ravaged season and has to enter a COVID-complicated following season with few choices at point guard. Rocket Watts was auditioned at point guard early in the season, but it was determined (not surprisingly) that he is a shooting guard. Izzo then turned to freshman A.J. Hoggard as the head man. Sparty also has 6 foot junior Foster Loyer on the roster. Hoggard has slipped from the leading minutes-getter at point guard and the leading assists man at Michigan State is forward elder statesman forward Joshua Langford. As crazy as this all sounds, if Michigan State even makes the tournament, you’d have to feel shaky taking them against any team that has an established star point guard.
Does the Big 10’s Best Point Guard Come Off The Bench?
CJ Walker went out early this season with a wrist injury. The Buckeyes responded well with play from underclassmen, including the insertion of a Cleveland star who re-classified to leave high school early (Meechie Johnson Jr.). The Buckeyes jumped into the top half of the AP Top 25. Then, when Walker was recovered from his injury, coach Chris Holtmann had him come off the bench. And so can you believe that a player who averaged 3.4 assists in 2019-2020 is still coming off the bench for a top 10 team? This speaks not only to CJ Walker’s willingness to win but Ohio State’s incredible depth.
The 2021 NCAA Conference Tournament schedule is coming together for some regions. In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, decision-makers in college athletics are wrestling with the logistics of in-person events. That includes college basketball conferences across the nation, which are deciding how to crown its champions. One year ago the college basketball season was paused and then canceled altogether, literally as conference championship games were occurring live on television. This article provides major updates from the power 5 conferences and more for 2021’s evolving game-plan.
The ACC 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Returns to Tar Heel State
The ACC Conference will go down in sports history as one of those conferences that had the unpleasant experience of literally pausing play on its basketball tournament as COVID-19 stopped the 2019-2020 NCAA season. It was also one of the major conferences to make early concessions for its 2021 tournament. The ACC announced in November that it would be coming home in a way, relocated its championship tournament to Greensboro. In recent years, the conference had played in perhaps sexier destinations such as New York City and Washington, DC. However, repositioning its conference tournament in the Carolinas obviously puts it closer to a majority of its teams (Wake Forest, Clemson, NC State, North Carolina, Duke located in the Carolinas).
Big 10 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
In an era where the size of events is so often in question, the Big 10 Conference is making a statement on its tournament website: “all 14 teams will advance to the tournament.”
Currently, the Big 10 Conference is predicted to have 10 teams in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. And so giving the other four teams an opportunity to compete for a bid brings back the true intrigue of March Madness.
According to its conference tournament website, the “Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held in Chicago for the 11th time and was last held at the United Center at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.”
The Big 10 Men’s College Basketball Championship game will be held on Sunday, March 14th. The conference hinted at it being aired on CBS Sports.
Big 12 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
According to the Kansas City Star, the Big 12 will hold its tournament on March 10-13 at T-Mobile Center. As of February 1st, the conference had not decided on whether to hold the event without fans or at 25% capacity. The T-Mobile Center has a website ready to sell tickets, but the landing page currently has a “TBA” designation on the ticket sessions.
The Big 12 Conference had fans in attendance for its football championship on December 19 2020, although the state health and safety guidelines in Texas may differ from Missouri’s.
Big East 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
As of February 1st, the Big East hadn’t updated any news on whether the Big East Tournament will take place (with or without fans) at its normal home of Madison Square Garden.
On MSG’s event calendar, a concert for late March is listed as canceled. However, you Justin Bieber fans will be excited that his concert is on!
The last men’s basketball action published on The Big East’s “master schedule” is on Saturday, March 6, 2021 with a flurry of marquee match-ups. In the event there is no tournament, you would assume Providence would have to beat Villanova and Seton Hall would have to defeat St. John’s to even have a chance at an NCAA Tournament bid.
Pac-12 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
The Pac-12 may have been the most cautious major conference in terms of letting fans attend games this season. This winter they extended the prohibition of fans in attendance across the board. A footnote in the policy states that there is some discretion based on local and state regulations.
The Pac-12 has not yet made an announcement about whether players will compete in person this March for a conference champion. If recent tradition continued, the Pac-12 would be playing its conference tournament in Las Vegas between March 10-13. The Bay Area News Group/East Bay Times is reporting that conference Athletic Director Larry Scott showed no signs of cancelling that version of the event during a recent meeting.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 recently announced in January that Larry Scott will serve out his contract and move on June 2021. Read the full statement here.
With projections showing that the PAC-12 has five teams in great position to make the NCAA Tournament with at-large bids, there is an argument to make for canceling the tournament. This is because the sixth best team in the conference currently, Arizona, is ineligible for postseason play because of violations. This almost makes the decision of punting on a conference tournament as “easy” (relative terms here) as it may ever be for a power 5 conference.
SEC 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
On January 20, 2021, the SEC Conference posted an article on its official site announcing the in-person conference tournament schedule for mid-March. It takes place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Much to Kentucky Head Coach John Calapari’s shagrin, the SEC championship game itself will take place on Selection Sunday (March 14th)!
Read more “Championship Week” updates from non-power 5 conferences below…
The American East 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament tweaks its format
The American East announced it will host its conference tournament over two weeks and in regional pods. The American East Men’s College Basketball Championship game will take place as it traditionally does, on the Saturday morning before Selection Sunday.
The American Athletic Conference 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
According to the most trusted source of news on the Internet, Wikipedia, the tournament will be played at the Dickie’s Arena in Texas. Read more.
The Atlantic 10 Tournament 2021 Men’s College Basketball Tournament Update
The Atlantic 10 took a unique approach to managing its conference tournament during COVID-19. Two rival schools will co-host the event. In early January, the conference announced it is pulling out of the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn amidst pandemic concerns. Two weeks later it announced that the event will be co-hosted by two schools in the city of Richmond.
CBS college basketball insider Jon Rothstein reports that the Atlantic 10 will play to a limited crowd.
Conference USA Champions “Pod Integrity” in its plans to crown a Champion
The Conference USA plans to host its conference tournament at “The Star in Frisco,” which is a massive training facility for the Dallas Cowboys. According to the venue’s website, tickets will be on sale. A COVID-19 protocol fact sheet is included on its website. The protocol calls for pods of tickets where groups of people who know each other are admitted. It stresses “pod integrity,” meaning that tickets aren’t relayed to unknown parties.
Conference USA plans on having 12 teams participate for the men’s basketball tournament March 10-13, meaning that the last place team from the two divisions would not qualify for the playoff.
Mountain West Conference Championship set to peak with matinee matchup
The Mountain West Men’s Basketball Tournament will continue its recent tradition of battling in Las Vegas and playing its championship game on a late Saturday afternoon. This game is normally shown on Network TV, with Reggie Miller and Kevin Harlan calling the game in recent years on CBS. All 11 seeds are slated to play each other in person over four days (March 10th-March 13th). This sets the table for Utah State to have a chance to 3-peat as the Mountain West Conference Championship on Saturday.
Western Athletic Conference Championship Also Returns to Vegas
Poll Results: Which is the streakiest college basketball team in the AP Top 25?
The Minnesota Gophers were recently voted as the most streaky team in college basketball. Similar to the gopher animal itself, the team’s movements include popping up high and burrowing down low. They beat Iowa on Christmas day with a dramatic offensive sequence by Marcus Carr. They crushed Michigan State a few days later. Those are the high pops. They looked like national championship good in the first half against Purdue. However, in the second half they let a freshmen laden team come back from a big deficit for the win. The Minnesota Gophers don’t have any bad losses, but it’s confusing how they oftentimes either crush teams, or get crushed. They beat Ohio State by 17 but lost to Michigan by 25 and Illinois by 27.
After watching a weekend of dramatic action across the college basketball landscape, some team identities are starting to crystalize. Which of these teams do you think can get hot (or cold) at the game reaches crunch time?