Decisions, Decisions: The Reshaping Of SEC Basketball

Remember March 1, 2014? Kentucky had just lost to South Carolina. Tennessee had not yet solidified its NCAA tournament resume to the point where it was more likely than not to make the Big Dance. Yes, Arkansas had thrust itself into the heart of the March Madness conversation, but the Razorbacks quickly played themselves out […]

A Media Wish List: 10 Ways College Basketball Must Improve On TV

College basketball is an attractive television product. Yet, the sport can be packaged and situated so much better than it presently is. Some of the following requests are reasonable and realistic as a matter of practical politics; others are manifestations of wishful thinking… but deserve to be mentioned in print, anyway. Here are the 10 […]

The 10 Stories That Defined The 2014 NCAA Tournament

It’s easy to allow the Final Four to become the last word on the college basketball season, but as my colleague Steve Fetch reminded us a week ago, the whole of a season ought to matter, not just March. There’s a balance to be struck in which four months receive due recognition alongside the three […]


The Kansas Jayhawks, with roots that can be traced to the founder of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, have won three NCAA tournament championships. The Louisville Cardinals, who made six Final Fours under Denny Crum and three more under Rick Pitino, have won three NCAA tournaments as well. Oklahoma State (formerly Oklahoma A&M), the program of […]

The Rich Get Richer

It is, of course, remarkable that the Kentucky Wildcats and Connecticut Huskies are meeting for the national championship in this particular season of college basketball. Yet, that statement offers a window into these two programs, which have both become members of the sport’s ruling class. As tip-off time approaches in Arlington, Tex., it is worth […]

The 10 Best National Championship Games Of All Time

This might seem counterintuitive to some, but it’s easier to identify great championship games than it is to arrive at a list of the best Final Fours in history. The reason is simple: A single game is being evaluated, not a set of three contests. Some of the greatest college basketball games ever played have […]

Deja Blue All Over Again

You can see it in the photo above. Josh Gasser knew that Kentucky could beat his Wisconsin team with a three-point shot at the end of regulation. Yet, with the clock ticking under 10 seconds at AT&T Stadium, Gasser froze six feet from where Aaron Harrison — Kentucky’s dagger-wielding freshman — was standing. He was […]

If You Can Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em

In every Final Four, plenty of narratives vie for attention. Phrased differently, a lot of fans might contend that sportswriters pit various narratives against each other. No matter what your own viewpoint might be, Saturday’s first national semifinal at AT&T Stadium witnessed a script-flipping performance by the Connecticut Huskies. An NCAA tournament championship game will […]

Connecticut-Florida: New Money

Saturday’s second semifinal between Kentucky and Wisconsin is fascinating because of its chess-match dimensions. The Final Four’s first semifinal — being a rematch of a regular season meeting — is quite compelling in its own right, but for a very different set of reasons. * Kentucky — built by Adolph Rupp, maintained by Joe B. […]

Kentucky-Wisconsin: Offense Wins Semifinals

Defense usually does win championships, but the Kentucky Wildcats have used this NCAA tournament to defy conventional wisdom. A team that could not get out of its own way at the offensive end of the floor for much of this season has finally gained a winning identity. Big Blue has played with the added confidence […]

The 5 Best Final Fours Of All Time

Whereas the worst Final Fours should be divided between the pre-shot clock era and the shot clock era, the best Final Fours don’t need to be segregated. Great basketball is great basketball, and interestingly enough, most of the five best Final Fours predate the advent of both the shot clock and the three-point arc. Surprised? […]

The 5 Worst Final Fours Of The Shot Clock Era

When looking at the history of college basketball, it’s hard to apply the same set of standards to the pre-shot clock era and the shot clock era on a general level. This reality emerges to an even greater degree when trying to identify the worst games. Wyoming defeated Georgetown, 46-34, in the 1943 Final Four’s […]

10 Historically Important Final Fours

Earlier this week, we explored the various Final Four national semifinals (not championship games) that defined the product of college basketball on the court. This piece will look at Final Fours as a whole, not just the semifinal round. Moreover, it will also focus on off-court issues relating to race, economics, culture, and the length […]

10 Memorable Final Four Semifinals

The Final Four moments that typically linger in the public memory come from Championship Monday, but what about the Saturday semifinals that stand above the rest? The envelope, please: 10 – STANFORD-KENTUCKY 1998 While this game might have lacked a measure of star power, it was never short on drama. Arthur Lee and Jeff Sheppard […]

10 Final Four Moments That Defined College Basketball

The national championship game is part of the Final Four, but National Semifinal Saturday is the time when all four teams play on college basketball’s grandest stage. Here are 10 moments from Final Four national semifinals — five of them specific actions, five of them larger realities — that spoke profoundly about college basketball (not […]