Volume 5

Kyle Whelliston March 14, 2009  10
Tourney Central 3/14/2009 (Day 12)

Bullet Points American won its second consecutive Patriot League championship, and is on to the NCAA Tournament once again. Dayton and Xavier, the two higher seeds, went down in the Atlantic 14 semifinals; this sets up an improbable 4/7 matchup between Temple and Duquesne. Other semifinal w...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 14, 2009  2
Bally's Championship Fortnight, Part II

Bally had an exciting first week of playoff action, visiting the Atlantic Sun, Missouri Valley and Sun Belt. But was he tired after all that fun? Absolutely not! Bally can't be stopped, he's going all the way to the hoop! Here are some highlights from his stops in Texas and Ohio for the Sun Belt an...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 15, 2009  6
Tourney Central 3/15/2009 (Day 13)

Bullet Points Seven championships were awarded on Saturday. Binghamton won its first-ever America East title; Morgan State is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever out of the MEAC. Temple repeated as Atlantic 14 champions; Akron is on the Big Bracket for the first time since 1986. Alabam...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 15, 2009  7
The State of the Other 22, Final Edition 2009

The State of College Basketball is a decrepit old ratings system that uses a lot of good basketball sense, per-game team performance ratings and degradation of older results to rank the teams from No. 1 to 344 (here's the long-winded version). In its overall form, it retroactively picked three of th...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 15, 2009 
Where's Bally Going?

Bally loveslovesloves the NCAA Tournament, it's his favorite time of year! After the Play-In Game in Dayton, we'll be headed off to a first/second round pod. But where? Will it be Philly or Portland? Miami or Minneapolis? Kansas City, possibly? Boise, maybe? Greensboro is keen this time of year. Or...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 16, 2009  6
Tourney Central 3/16/2009 (Final Brackets)

Bullet Points Stephen F. Austin punched Hoops Nation's final NCAA Tournament ticket Sunday afternoon, its first appearance ever. Championship Fortnight is over, and the national postseason is just ahead. Completed brackets and scores for all 23 TMM leagues are included below. Southland Texas...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 16, 2009  1
Champions of Hoops Nation

Aside from reality show winners and one-hit wonders, nothing is forgotten quite as quickly as Championship Fortnight when the NCAA Tournament brackets are released. Some of the teams we've been following all season are destined for great and lasting glory, which will be fulfilled and certified once ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 16, 2009  5
The Court and the Conference Room

CLEVELAND -- Lately I've been reading When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis, a man I'm privileged to know and lucky to share a bond of mutual respect with. It's a tremendously fantastic book by a supremely talented writer, one that documents the famous 1979 national...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 17, 2009  5
Look Out, They're Back

DAYTON, Oh. -- Back during a time when the years had smaller numbers than they do now, I went to Drexel University, a fine, upstanding and expensive mid-major school. In my studies there, there always seemed to be fellow students who skipped out on the first eight weeks of class, then showed up for ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 18, 2009  6
Go After It, Grab It, Take It

INDIANAPOLIS -- The year 2006 wasn't really all that long ago. Sure, we're dealing with problems light years beyond those we faced back then, and anybody would trade in total world financial meltdown for another "bird flu" scare. But Nelly Furtado's "Loose" feels like it just came out yesterday, inn...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 18, 2009  3
Bally's P.I.G. Party!

Let's get this out of the way: it's not the Opening Round, because that implies there's a "round." It's one game. And it's the Play-In Game, a/k/a the Notorious P.I.G., because it's for true mid-major players. And Bally... well, he's the P.I.G. P.O.P.P.A.! Bally loves going to the P.I.G. every ye...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 18, 2009  8
Mid-Majority D.I.Y., Part 3: Packing

Even though I keep posting these distant dispatches, some folks are still convinced that I'm lying about all these places I go to. I'm from "the internet," and everything on the internet is a lie. Some think I'm not even a real person, that I'm a "profile" created by a 14-year-old girl who just lov...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 19, 2009 
Bally's Dream

Time to turn dreams into reality.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 19, 2009  7
NCAA First Round: Thursday's Games

MINNEAPOLIS -- Not to get all Jean Shepherd on you, but when I started as an undergrad at the University of Oregon there were no coffee shops near campus. Then one opened up on the corner near the bookstore, and it had couches and soft music and 50 different ways to drink coffee. It was the hottest ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 20, 2009  9
NCAA First Round: Friday's Games

MINNEAPOLIS -- There's no day more exciting and more highly anticipated than First Round Thursday, and there's no 12 hours quite as difficult to get through. As soon as the games begin, the NCAA Tournament teaches a hard lesson about the perfection that's necessary to compete against enemies with mo...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 21, 2009  6
Respect, Resilience, Joy and Despair

MINNEAPOLIS -- Just so we're clear, we don't care about your brackets. We know you want to talk about who you "have," about how three of your eight website entries are totally and thoroughly busted, and how you'll never win that $84.50 in the office pool now. We don't want to hear about how you...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 21, 2009  7
Minnesota: It's Bally Territory!

It's the NCAA Tournament, and Bally's got a front row seat! Our little orange friend got so close to the first round action that the refs almost snatched him off the press row table and put him into the game! Not that he'd complain about that! Bally has never been to the Metrodome, but he's seen i...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 21, 2009  1
Second Round: Saturday's Game

[12] Western Kentucky vs. [4] Gonzaga - 8:10 pm ET South Region - Portland, OR Athletic Budgets (2008): WKU: 19,957,908 GONZ: 11,009,859 Gonzaga beat the MAC champions from Akron by 13 points, but it's a DVD that I plan on giving to anybody who thinks that scoring margin, adjusted or otherwise, ma...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 22, 2009  6
Second Round: Sunday's Games

MINNEAPOLIS -- You work in an office. It's a big office with hundreds of people. You all have hard jobs: everyone toils at their stations every day, struggling to put in efforts that will be recognized. When you get a pat on the back and a "good job," it always seems so fleeting... nobody remembers...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston March 23, 2009  4
The Waiting Room for the Exit Interview

MADISON, Wisc. -- I've long felt that the word "heartbreak" doesn't do a proper job as a member of the English language. It implies shatter or malfunction, and sounds so dry. The true feeling is more of a burst -- so closely related to the challenge of capacity that joy brings, but with a method of ...