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Journey to NCAA tournament starts this week in far-flung places

Published: Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 11:52 PM
Updated: Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 11:52 PM

Conference tournament schedule

A look at the 30 leagues that have postseason play, with each conference’s RPI rank, the conference leader and number of potential NCAA bids:

League;Dates;Site;RPI;Leader;Bids

America East;March 8-10, 16;Albany, N.Y.;22; Stony Brook (23-6, 14-2);1

Atlantic 10;March 14-17;Brooklyn, N.Y.;7;St. Louis (23-5, 12-2);4-6

Atlantic Coast;March 14-17;Greensboro, N.C.;4;Miami (23-5, 14-2);4-6

Atlantic Sun;March 6-9;Macon, Ga.;26;Mercer (21-10, 14-4);1

Big 12;March 13-16;Kansas City, Mo.;5;Kansas (25-4, 13-3);4-6

Big East;March 12-16;New York;3;Georgetown (23-4, 13-3);6-8

Big Sky;March 14-16;Higher seeds;28;Montana (20-6, 16-1);1

Big South;March 5, 7, 9-10;Conway, S.C.;30;Charleston So. (17-11, 12-4);1

Big Ten;March 14-17;Chicago;2;Indiana (25-4, 13-3);7-8

Big West;March 14-16;Anaheim, Calif.;21;Long Beach (17-11, 13-3);1

Colonial;March 9-11;Richmond, Va.;24;Northeastern (19-11, 14-4);1

Conference USA;March 13-16;Tulsa, Okla.;11;Memphis (25-4, 14-0);1-2

Horizon;March 5, 8-9, 12;Higher seeds;12;Valparaiso (24-7, 13-3);1

Metro Atlantic;March 7-11;Springfield, Mass.;14;Niagara (18-12, 13-5);1

Mid-American;March 11, 13-16;Cleveland;17;Akron (23-5, 13-1);1-2

Mid-Eastern;March 11-16;Norfolk, Va.;29;Norfolk State (19-10, 14-0);1

Missouri Valley;March 7-10;St. Louis;9;Creighton (24-7, 13-5);2-3

Mountain West;March 12-16;Las Vegas;1;New Mexico (25-4, 12-2);4-6

Northeast;March 6, 9, 12;Higher seeds;20;Robert Morris (22-9, 14-4);1

Ohio Valley;March 6-9;Nashville, Tenn.;16;Belmont (24-6, 14-2);1-2

Pacific 12;March 13-16;Las Vegas;6;Oregon (23-6, 12-4);4-6

Patriot;March 6, 9, 13;Higher seeds;18;Bucknell (25-5, 12-2);1

Southeastern;March 13-17;Nashville, Tenn.;8;Florida (23-5, 13-3);2-5

Southern;March 8-11;Asheville, N.C.;27;Davidson (23-7, 17-1);1

Southland;March 13-16;Katy;25;Stephen F. Austin (24-3, 14-2);1

Summit;March 9-12;Sioux Falls, S.D.;19;South Dakota St. (22-9, 13-3);1

Sun Belt;March 9-12;Hot Springs, Ark.;15;Middle Tennessee (27-4, 19-1);1-2

SWAC;March 12-16;Garland;32;Southern (21-9, 15-3);1

Western Athletic;March 12, 14-16;Las Vegas;13;Louisiana Tech (26-3, 16-0);1-2

West Coast;March 6-9, 11;Las Vegas;10;Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0);2-3

It must be March

Sorting out this month’s college basketball madness:

March 5-11: Mid-major tournaments begin

March 13-16: Big 12 tournament

March 17: Selection Sunday

March 19-20: NCAA First Four

March 21-24: NCAA second- and third-round games, including matchups in Austin.

March 28-31: Sweet 16, including games in Arlington.

When Winthrop and Radford roll out the ball Tuesday morning at the Big South tournament in Conway, S.C. — just a stone’s throw from Myrtle Beach — the postseason march will begin, complete with stops in Austin, Arlington and, ultimately, Atlanta.

The beauty, and curse, of college basketball is that no matter how badly a team’s season has gone, it can be salvaged by lighting it up for one week in March. Win your conference tournament, and you earn an automatic bid to the Big Dance, which visits the Erwin Center for second- and third-round games.

There are 347 NCAA Division I teams, and approximately 300 of them will be part of a title-elimination process that starts this week, when low-major and mid-major conference tournaments tip off.

“We’re always talking about opening the NCAA tournament to everybody, but with the exception of the Ivy League, it already is open to everybody,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. “Regardless of what kind of year you had, you have a chance to play your way into the NCAAs.”

The only teams that don’t have this last-gasp chance are from the Ivy, which has no postseason tournament; the Great West, a newer conference not yet awarded an NCAA invite; about a dozen schools that are academically ineligible; and a handful of independents.

For everybody else, whether you are 3-26 Binghamton, 8-23 Presbyterian or 13-16 Texas, which has a No. 122 RPI, there is a sliver of hope. A tiny sliver.

Texas, for instance, is given a 0.73 percent chance — about 1 in 135 — of winning the Big 12 tournament, according to teamrankings.com. Hey, it beats no chance at all.

“The conference tournaments always give you new life,” Barnes said. “Some roads are more difficult than others, but it’s been proven a long shot can get in if it gets hot at the right time.”

The flip side for low-majors and mid-majors is that teams that had great regular seasons have to prove it all over again.

“The stakes are really high there because they know their league is only going to get one NCAA bid,” Barnes said. “Imagine the pressure, the intensity, but it makes their tournaments really exciting because it’s winner-take-all.”

Yes, in this sport, the sprint can be more important than the marathon.

Valparaiso (24-7, 13-3) won the Horizon League with the kind of team that could scare, possibly even beat, one of the big boys in a few weeks. Unless the Crusaders win their tournament, though, they won’t be dancing.

Bucknell (25-5, 12-2) faces the same heat in the Patriot League. The Bison, who have a possible NBA draft pick in 6-foot-11-inch center Mike Muscala, are projected as a 13th seed if they make the NCAA tournament.

Fortunately for Valpo and Bucknell, their leagues do all they can to protect their regular-season champs by giving them a home-court advantage for the conference tournaments.

Last year, only 11 of 30 regular-season champs also won their league tourneys.

Of the 14 conference tournaments on tap this week, just three leagues have legitimate chances to earn multiple NCAA bids:

  • West Coast, which starts Wednesday and is fronted by new national No. 1 Gonzaga (29-2). St. Mary’s (26-5) is a decent bet to earn an at-large, and if another team, say BYU (21-10), wins the tourney, then the WCC could pick up three bids.
  • Missouri Valley, which opens Thursday, holds its popular “Arch Madness” in St. Louis, averaging more than 10,000 fans per session. It has two teams — Creighton (24-7) and Wichita State (24-7) — that should make the NCAA cut.
  • Ohio Valley, which tips Wednesday, is the league that gave you Murray State last year. This time newcomer Belmont (24-6, 25 RPI) is so accomplished the Bruins will be a strong NCAA candidate even if they don’t win the OVC tourney. Belmont has the nation’s No. 2 nonconference strength of schedule.

 

“I’ve always thought if you’re in a smaller league, you should play the hardest nonconference schedule you can to give yourself a better at-large chance,” Barnes said. “Anybody can get knocked off in a conference tourney.”

VIDEO: Dayton coach Archie Miller gives emotional speech at Steve McElvene's funeral

Published: Saturday, May 21, 2016 @ 7:09 PM
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 8:30 AM

Archie Miller talks publically for the first time since the death of Flyers center Steve McElvene.

Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller spoke about Steve McElvene at his funeral today in Fort Wayne. It was the coach's first comments about McElvene since he died at home May 12 in Fort Wayne.

An emotional Miller was comforted by two of his players, as he recalled his personal conversations with McElvene and how he interacted with children during a camp.

"I know you loved your family dearly. You wore it on your sleeve every day. You didn't want to let anyone down.

"For as long as I live, May 12 will be a day that will shake me."

Portion of Miller's Speech

"Steve, when I see your family, I remember walking into your house  for the first time and seeing how happy everyone was for you, that you were coming with us and you were going to college. I know you loved your family dearly. You wore it on your sleeve every day. You didn't want to let anyone down. I still can remember watching film when you dunked all over Alabama. You ran down the court pointing to your family in the crowd. You forgot the game was going on and lost your man and the ball. Your man caught the ball. You recovered. He fell down. You pumped your fist, and the crowd went wild. We discussed this the following day at length."

"Tough times call for tough people, and nobody is tougher than your mother. She's been a survivor her whole life. Now we can be there when she needs it the most, and whenever she needs us, she can always just pick up the phone and call."

"I know this. I have piece of mind. We fought as hard as we could for you while you with us. Every phase of your life, people gave everything they had to help you get where you wanted to go."

"For as long as I live, May 12 will be a day that will shake me. I can’t say I’ve ever been that scared or sick to my stomach in my life. Calls come in daily from the staff. Every time they are usually the same in one way or the other: some good, some hard to shake, but i’m usually read for the next step. Your guy (Coach Allen Griffin) called me, and I knew things were different."

I already transcribed most of it if you want to use these quotes. I just thought it might be overkill to post another burst. The burst I posted earlier was also from his speech.

 

Steve, when I see your family, I remember walking into your house  for the first time and seeing how happy everyone was for you, that you were coming with us and you were going to college. I know you loved your family dearly. You wore it on your sleeve every day. You didn't want to let anyone down. I still can remember watching film when you dunked all over Alabama. You ran down the court pointing to your family in the crowd. You forgot the game was going on and lost your man and the ball. Your man caught the ball. You recovered. He fell down. You pumped your fist, and the crowd went wild. We discussed this the following day at length.

 

Tough times call for tough people, and nobody is tougher than your mother. She's been a survivor her whole life. Now we can be there when she needs it the most, and whenever she needs us, she can always just pick up the phone and call.

 

I know this. I have piece of mind. We fought as hard as we could for you while you with us. Every phase of your life, people gave everything they had to help you get where you wanted to go.

 

For as long as I live, May 12 will be a day that will shake me. I can’t say I’ve ever been that scared or sick to my stomach in my life. Calls come in daily from the staff. Every time they are usually the same in one way or the other: some good, some hard to shake, but i’m usually read for the next step. Your guy (Coach Allen Griffin) called me, and I knew things were different.

Dayton Flyers to play Auburn next two seasons

Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 2:58 PM


            Auburn coach Bruce Pearl reacts to a call during a game against the Boston College at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl reacts to a call during a game against the Boston College at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Dayton Flyers will play Auburn in the the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, according to a source. The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein, of FanRagSports.com.

The first game will take place at UD Arena. The Flyers will play in Auburn, Ala., the following season. Dates have not been announced.

RELATED: First Four staying at UD Arena

The game this season is part of the Charleston Classic. Teams can play four games as part of that event, three of which take place in Charleston, S.C. That means Dayton could play 31 games in the 2017-18 instead of the normal 30.

Dayton leads the all-time series 4-0. Dayton has never played at Auburn. The game in Alabama will mark a return to the state for new Dayton coach Anthony Grant, who coached at Alabama from 2009-15.

Dayton last played Auburn at the Charleston Classic in 2012, winning 73-63. The teams also played in 2008 at the Chicago Invitational Challenge. Dayton won 60-59.

Prior to that, they hadn’t played since 1972 when Dayton won 106-63 at UD Arena. Dayton first played Auburn in 1965, winning 85-71 at the Sugar Bowl Tournament in New Orleans, La.

Dayton has had great success in the regular season against the Southeastern Conference in the last four seasons, sweeping two-game series from Alabama, Mississippi and Vanderbilt in recent seasons. It split a two-game series against Arkansas.

Auburn finished 18-14 last season, breaking a streak of seven straight losing seasons. Bruce Pearl is entering his fourth season as head coach.

Tar Heels return home with 6th NCAA title to celebrating fans

Published: Wednesday, April 05, 2017 @ 5:40 PM

Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels receives the Championship trophy after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 in the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. 
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels receives the Championship trophy after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 in the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 3, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

North Carolina dedicated the past year to redeeming itself for 4.7 agonizing seconds.

Now these Tar Heels will hang another banner from the Smith Center rafters. Or the ceiling. But probably not the roof.

No longer haunted by the memory of a buzzer-beating loss in last year's title game, but galvanized by a misstatement from their most decorated former player, the Tar Heels returned home Tuesday with their sixth NCAA Tournament trophy, which they earned a night earlier by beating Gonzaga in the championship game.

"This year," senior Isaiah Hicks said, "we did it."

>> Read more trending news

Thousands of fans poured into the arena and onto the court before the team's flight had even landed at nearby Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and they cheered fanatically every time live footage of the team's motorcade was shown on the video scoreboards.

When the individual players were introduced, they showered Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Justin Jackson with chants of "one more year."

"It just didn't seem like we were going to get back to where we wanted to be, and you all did a great job," said guard Joel Berry II, still wearing the net from the title game around his neck. "We just basically did our thing, and we came back home with it."

This was the first time the team and its fans were together inside the Smith Center since a victory over Duke in the regular-season finale exactly one month earlier — a night made memorable by Michael Jordan's surprise appearance at halftime to announce a partnership between the athletic department and his Nike line.

Read more here

Social media reacts to news of Anthony Grant’s hiring at UD

Published: Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 3:21 PM

Anthony Grant: 5 things to know

Just before noon on March 30, the University of Dayton announced Anthony Grant will be the new men’s basketball coach. 

UD will hold a press conference on Saturday at 1 p.m. to formally announce the university’s 19th basketball coach.  

The Flyers community took to social media after the news broke to express their thoughts on the new coach.

MORE COVERAGE
» Dayton Flyers announce hiring of Anthony Grant
» Tom Archdeacon: Anthony Grant a ‘natural fit’ as new Dayton Flyers coach
» Tom Archdeacon: Final Four coach an admirer of UD hire Anthony Grant

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