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College Basketball: March Madness and the NCAA Tournament

March 17, 2010 under College Basketball

The Triangle and Two: A Weekly Look at the Ups and Downs of Campus Hoops by Terrence Mayrose

“The ball is tipped…”  The opening words to ” One Shining Moment” are so inspiring this time of year.

Tomorrow tips off the premier day for college basketball. Day 1 of the NCAA tournament. Long lunches, streaming videos on computer work screens, and even a “sick” day will all be common occurrences as The Big Dance gets underway.

Before diving into the college basketball bracket, here’s a few quick points that stand out about Selection Sunday :

Virginia Tech basketball fans were left out of the NCAA tournament despite a 23-8 (10-6) record

Any Hokie fan who jumps on the “raw deal”  bandwagon led by Dickie V should know that Virginia Tech’s resume of wins include : #249  NC Greensboro, #254 Delaware (in ot) , #275 Brown, #304 Charleston Southern, #317 VMI, #318 MD Baltimore County, and #338  North Carolina Central . This collection of wins is a main part of the reason Virginia Tech is non conference strength of schedule ranks an abysmal 318th (all ratings by kenpom.com). After being left sitting on the side with a glass of punch while everyone else is dancing in the middle for the second straight season maybe Seth Greenberg will get the memo : PLAY TOUGH TEAMS…

Mississippi State listens to T and 2 but doesn’t turn out well

Opting to follow the sacred belief that fouling up three is always a good thing, Mississippi State basketball fans saw a rare occurrence. Kentucky was able to in fact hit the first,miss the second, get the rebound and score to force overtime. Readers were quick to email asking, ” Still believe you should foul up three ? ” To which I responded, ” Name me any other time you’ve seen that happen.” Aside from Sunday’s miracle….no one had ever seen fouling up three come back to haunt someone. So the T&2 still strongly supports the theory. Click here to read more.. »

The Triangle and Two: A Weekly Look at the Ups and Downs of College Basketball

March 5, 2010 under Uncategorized

by Terrence Mayrose

Greivis Vasquez : A proven winner or desperate to be the center of attention ?

All I could think of while watching and  suffering through the home stretch of that Duke-Maryland game was what exactly to make of Greivis Vaquez’s actions. My gut instinct was to characterize it as another “look at me” type of performance  that is not much different from a little child screaming in the grocery store becuase of what it’s aimed for : attention. You saw the act.. the chest pounding, the pointing to the stands, raising his arms, and putting his hand to his ear saying “I can’t hear you”. I was utterly disgusted that he couldn’t just play, and win the game. He made it a show. My attention wasn’t focused on saluting his performance for beating my Dukies, it was not focused on how dumb he looked. Let’s be serious. He’s easily one of the top 10, possibly top 5 players in the country. Does he really  need to hear the fans chanting to be the best player on the court ? Doubtful.

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The Triangle and Two: A Weekly Look at the Ups and Downs of College Basketball

February 25, 2010 under Uncategorized

by Terrence Mayrose

Coach of the Year Award has two candidates this season

The race for Player of the Year is a tight battle between viable candidates like John Wall, Wesley Johnson, and Evan Turner. Every voter would have a justifiable reason for picking any of these 3 fine players, which makes it hard to speculate who will walk away with the hardwood. The Coach of The Year award should not be as difficult. In the opinion of the T and 2, voters have a choice between Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon. There should be no other names even acknowledged on the ballots.

Boeheim has soured people on occasion this season, as he continues to talk about expansion of the NCAA Tournament, but when it comes to coaching his 26-2 team, he’s done a great job. The ESPN USA Preseason poll had the Orange slated #25, and the AP Poll didn’t even rank Boeheim’s boys to start the season. Entering the season you couldn’t really argue that Syracuse had lost some talent from the previous year. Cuse’ lost sharpshooter/trash-talker Eric Devendorf , powerful inside forward Paul Harris, and a kid named Jonny Flynn….we’re sure you know about him. It’s obvious this season that Boeheim put those losses in his rear view mirror, and hasn’t look back since. Taking the Gene Hackman “coach who I’ve got” motto, Boeheim has flourished with “who he’s got”. Who he’s got is superstar transfer Wesley Johnson, improved Rick Johnson, Andy Rautins, and returning from injury Scoop Jardine, a formidable squad to make a run deep in the tourney; and given the way Boeheim has meshed with this unit expect that deep run.

Pittsburgh has been a Big East powerhouse virtually the last decade. Winning two titles in 08 and 03, is a feat in itself, but appearing in 7 of the last 9 Big East Championship games…yes 7.. shows just how much of a mainstay Pitt is in America’s toughest conference. This season was likely to be the year Pitt would have no shot at continuing it’s dominance. In fact it’d be a stretch to even think Pitt could make the Semi-finals of such a loaded conference, given how much Pitt had lost. Departures of NBA bound Sam Young and DeJuan Blair, point guard Levance Fields, and forward Tyrell Biggs, left Dixon in a hole entering the new decade. Such a hole that Pitt was left off the AP and ESPN/ USA preseason polls. How does Jamie Dixon respond ? By channeling Chris “all he does is catch touchdown passes” Carter, and became Jamie “all he does is win basketball games’ Dixon. The name isn’t a stretch. He currently possesses a 77.9 winning percentage to date (184-52), which includes two 30 win seasons, two Sweet Sixteen’s, and an Elite Eight. This year’s squad is 21-7, in a large part to the improvement of Brad Wanamaker, Jermaine Dixon, Gilbert Brown and Ashton Gibbs who Dixon used as role players last year. It’s clear that giving them quality minutes last year has paid off dividends. Click here to read more.. »

The Triangle and Two: Finally, Some Logic in College Hoops

February 19, 2010 under College Basketball

by Terrence Mayrose

Coaches Get On Board With the T & 2

Finally ! Finally ! Finally ! Yes, I screamed that three times in the past week while watching   Rutgers upset Georgetown, the Celtics beat the Kings, and, most recently, Syracuse knock off Georgetown. Why was I so excited about an awful NJ school, an elderly team whose fans have awful accents, and a whiny coach who won’t play man to man ? Simple. In the final seconds, THEY ALL FOULED; UP THREE….and of course… THEY ALL WON .

I couldn’t believe it. I was elated. As the texts from T and 2 readers like James Alberino, John Strange, Jon Snediker and Bill Hassett rolled in throughout the week, I just kept smiling.  By the time Syracuse hacked up three, I had perfected the Judd Nelson-Breakfast Club fist pump. Click here to read more.. »

The Triangle and Two: A Weekly Look at the Ups and Downs of College Basketball

February 8, 2010 under College Basketball, Uncategorized

By Terrence Mayrose

Rivalry Week Signals Shift of Focus For Sports Fans

For all you football fanatics out there,  make sure you savor the Super Bowl, because as of thisRivalryWeek1v morning, it’s time to focus on hoops.  Despite the endless analysis, highlights and “breakdown” sessions  ESPN may have shoved down your throat last week, you should be beside yourself about the slew of college basketball games coming up over the next seven days. Rivalry Week, as it’s become known, is easily the best single week of the regular season. It’s like the best appetizer on the menu. You make sure you order it. Things start on tonight on ESPN’s  Big Monday when Kansas(1)  travels to Texas (10) and Villanova (2) travels to West Virginia(6).

Let’s start with Texas vs Kansas. Texas is 19-3 and in no way a “bubble team”, but it should be noted that after a 16-0 start, the Longhorns are 3-3 in their last six.  The recent struggles make us feel very skeptical about Texas’s ability to become a NCAA championship frontrunner this year; a theme that has haunted this squad in recent years.  The core of Damion James, Avery Bradley, and Dexter Pittman will need to right the ship vs Kansas or the Longhorns could be headed into a tailspin over the final month.

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