Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



In 2020, A Mid-Major Could Win The NCAA Championship For The First Time In 30 Years 0

Posted on January 25, 2020 by Dan Karpuc
UNLV won the 1990 NCAA Men’s Basketball title representing the Big West Conference.

The last time a mid-major program won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, George H.W. Bush was the President of the United States. The 1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels of the Big West Conference became the second mid-major in NCAA history to cut down the nets in that Tournament, joining the 1986 Louisville Cardinals, who were members of the Metro Conference at the time. Since then, just 13 mid-major teams have advanced to the Final Four and five have lost in the National Championship Game. Most recently Loyla-Chicago’s magical Final Four run as an 11th seed in 2018 captured the hearts of America. But, perhaps more than any time since 1990, there’s a strong likelihood that a mid-major program wins it all in 2020. 

Just one undefeated squad currently remains (No. 4 San Diego State: 19-0) and just two other teams in the AP Top 25 have only one loss (No. 1 Baylor: 15-1 and No. 2 Gonzaga: 20-1). A whopping 19 other teams in the Top 25 have three-plus losses, which is a clear indication that parity is at an all-time high. Even the experts who give out college basketball picks are having a tough time finding wins this year.Of those Top 25 teams, just Baylor and Gonzaga are undefeated against their ranked opponents, as well. Further, those two teams, along with San Diego State and No. 7 Dayton, are the only teams in the Top 25 with a perfect road record. 

Read the rest of this entry →

Can This Be The Year For Gonzaga? 1

Posted on February 26, 2017 by Dean Hybl

Gonzaga is looking to reach the Final Four for the first time under longtime coach Mark Few.

Gonzaga is looking to reach the Final Four for the first time under longtime coach Mark Few.

Despite suffering their first loss of the season against BYU, the Gonzaga Zags still lead a pack of several teams that have shown glimpses of being capable of winning the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship this season. Look for NCAA college basketball lines at Skybook.

Much like Villanova a year ago, Gonzaga enters the 2017 NCAA Tournament as a team that has spent years posting regular season success, but without being able to break through for a Final Four run.

Since Mark Few became coach at Gonzaga for the 1999-2000 season, the Zags have reached the NCAA Tournament 17 straight times. However, only six times have they advanced past the first week of the tournament.

Twice in the last four tournaments, the Zags have entered as a number one or two seed. During the 2012-2013 season Gonzaga earned a number one seed for the first time, but lost in the round of 32 to Wichita State.

Two years later, Gonzaga was a number two seed and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time under Few. However, their dream of making the Final Four was dashed by eventual champion Duke.

With non-conference wins this season over Florida, Iowa State, Tennessee and Arizona, Gonzaga has shown that they can play with some of the top programs in the country. The loss to BYU will keep them from finishing with a perfect conference record for the fifth time, but they could still match their 17 conference wins from 2014-2015.

Of course, the NCAA Tournament is always very different than the regular season. To make a deep run doesn’t just take talent. It also requires a bit of luck and good fortune. Read the rest of this entry →

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Time For Cinderella To Dance 3

Posted on March 16, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The NCAA Basketball Tournament gives small schools the chance to wear Cinderella's glass slipper.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament gives small schools the chance to wear Cinderella's glass slipper.

So how does your NCAA bracket look? If yours is anything like mine, the toughest choices have not been in picking Final Four teams, but instead in trying to predict which school will come out of nowhere to crash the party.

Almost every year at least one school that is familiar only to people within its home area code suddenly becomes a national darling thanks to an upset, or near upset, of a team with significantly more national recognition. These schools are often referred to as “Cinderella” and just to avoid the kind of confusion that occurred at my house the other night when my five-year old daughter heard a promo for the NCAA Tournament and thought it meant one of her favorite princesses was going to be playing basketball, in this case Cinderella does not have flowing blonde hair, a glass slipper or a Fairy Godmother.

Rather, the typical Cinderella of the NCAA Tournament is a school that has been playing good basketball throughout the year, but has stayed under the radar while schools from the power conferences hog the national television spotlight and spots in the national polls. One of the endearing elements of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is that the opening rounds of the tournament are the one time each year when those power conference schools must share that spotlight with schools that aren’t so familiar to a national audience. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bob Cousy: The Houdini of the Hardwood
      January 31, 2020 | 4:05 pm
      Bob Cousy

      As we reach the halfway point of the NBA season, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month the first in a long line of superstars to play for the Boston Celtics.

      Before there was Bill Russell and Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics were powered by a 6-foot-1 inch guard from Holy Cross. Bob Cousy was the on-the-court leader for the Celtics in the era during which they emerged as a basketball power.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Current Poll

    Is Eli Manning a First Ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top