NORMAL, Ill. — Postseason basketball; a new season for all.
Although it was not in the tournament they desired, Illinois State clubbed pesky UC Irvine in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, 85-71.
Seniors Deontae Hawkins and Paris Lee, in a showing that featured the Redbirds shooting 52% from beyond the arc,scored 22 and 13 points respectively to advance the active home winning streak to 22 games.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament, and 8 teams took part in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 195 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues, whether it’s due to low APR scorers or self-imposed bans.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes. Living up to the Canadian stereotype of always being nice, we have included all 351 teams into one hypothetical post-season tournament.
Coming into Thursday night’s game against the UC Riverside Highlanders, the Denver Pioneers were on quite the roll.
Over the last two weeks, the Pioneers had reeled off four straight wins, pushing their record above .500. Three of their four wins had been by double figures, and the last two wins came on their home floor.
Against the Highlanders, the Pioneers were looking to extend their overall winning streak to five games, while also extending their winning streak inside Magness Arena to three games.
Both teams went back and forth to start the game, but Jake Krafka hit a three point jumper with 10:57 to play in the first half that gave Denver the lead for good.
With the exhibition season in full swing, and coming to a close early this week, that can mean only one thing.
The 2016-17 college basketball regular season is just around the corner!
Things get underway Friday, November 11th at Noon EST with the first regular season game of the season, and there will be a plethora of talent on display across all 32 conferences all season long.
Before the season gets started, we decided to hand out some preseason hardware, in the form of our Conference Player of the Year award and All-Conference Teams.
Along with that, we have the College Court Report All-Americans, and the Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List. Links to all of the conference awards and the Watch List can be found at the bottom of each article.
With over 5,200 players slated to play collegiate basketball in Division I this season, there are talented players from coast to coast. Some of them are household names, while there are plenty of players who people haven’t heard of, but are demanding of your attention.
The majority of fans tend to focus on the power five conferences, turning a blind eye to the smaller programs. When you dig deeper, you’ll see that the non-power five schools have players who could just as easily play for a power conference program.
When it comes to senior guards in the NCAA, there are talented players from coast to coast. With so many players, it was nearly impossible to cut the list down to just 10 players without leaving star-calibre players off the list.
The Diamond Head Classic has become a Christmas tradition for many basketball fans, as there are only a handful of college basketball games in the days just before and after December 25th. For hardcore basketball fans, the final day of the event falls on Christmas Day, providing an escape from the usual dinner table conversations.
Last season, the Oklahoma Sooners took on the Harvard Crimson in the finals. Harvard knocked off the BYU Cougars and the Auburn Tigers to reach the finals, and were looking for their third-straight upset to take home the title. In the end, Buddy Hield and the Sooners were too much for the Crimson, cruising to the 83-71 victory and the 2015 Diamond Head Classic title.
This time around, seven new teams will try their hand in Hawaii. While there are two clear-cut favourites, anything is possibly over the holiday break.