As we move deep into the summer, I have begun my annual exercise of interviewing NEC coaches for the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Now that I have a stronger understanding of who’ll be rostered come November, I decided to offer my opinion on who the winners and losers of this offseason were. Continue reading
These conferences, in terms of average strength, are probably about where the current MAAC or Horizon League are down to the Patriot League. Continue reading
I apologize in advance for quoting one of my favorite bands from my college days, but “I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend.” Continue reading
All Bashir Mason could do was smile. What else was there to do?
Keith Braxton faked, got stuck, and self-admittedly threw the ball at the basket, and it subsquently made one revolution around the rim and dropped, giving Saint Francis University a 71-70 victory in the NEC semifinals Saturday afternoon. As the ball finally finished its circuituous journey to the bottom of the net, it simultaneously stunned the home crowd at the Spiro Center and set off wild celebrations among the Red Flash and their faithful, as it marks the first time since 1991 they will be in the NEC final, well before anyone in uniform Saturday was born.
“Welcome to March Madness,” Mason said. “What else can you say?”
In our NEC tournament preview, I noted that the conference had the second highest rate of close games in the regular season – 30% of them ended within 4 points or were decided in overtime. We enjoyed more of the same in the NEC quarterfinals, as the league office couldn’t have asked for better drama, both on television and on NEC Front Row when Sacred Heart made a run at history. Continue reading
In what many believed was a rebuilding year for the Northeast Conference as a whole, the season played out along those lines. Graduations, transfers and unexpected defections led to a youth movement throughout the conference – a movement that was necessary for the league to move up the conference RPI charts in the near future. Continue reading
It went by way too fast, but here we are a few days away form the start of the NEC tournament. In the meantime, John and I diligently poured through the statistics and went through our recollections to determine the best NEC players of the 2016-17 season. Continue reading
There was no college basketball 2,300 years ago (as far as you know), but there were talented coaches, eh, commanders like Pyrrhus of Epicus, who figured taking down this new upstart power in Italy called Rome would be difficult, but certainly not impossible.
In the end, he did push the Romans back with victory in a couple of battles, but they were bloody, costly fights that left his army somewhat demoralized both physically and mentally. Pyrrhus then cemented his legacy with one of the most repeated quotes of all-time: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”
As all of the NEC teams are entering the last few weeks of conference play and jockeying for position in the NEC Tournament, it got me thinking about all the players I’ve seen who never represented the conference in the ‘Big Dance.’ So, what if we were able to give all those players one last chance, on the same team! Continue reading
As I spent time watching NEC basketball over the past week, I wondered who the most invaluable players throughout the league were. Continue reading