The Big East does get one thing right with the expanded tournament

1 Comment

On Wednesday, the Big East made official what we had all suspected: that the Big East tournament would be expanding to include all 18 teams that will be members in the 2013-2014 season.

I’ve already told you that I am not a fan of this particular move.

But that doesn’t mean that every decision that the Big East made at their meetings in Florida this week was a bad one. The Big East will be adjusting the format for their tournament by eliminating the double-bye. The way the bracket is currently structured, the bottom eight seeds play each other on the Tuesday of the tournament, with the winners advancing to play the No. 5-No. 8 seeds and those winners advancing to take on the top four teams.

The new setup will be the standard bracket. The top four seeds will play the bottom four seeds on Tuesday, with No. 1 and No. 2 taking on the winners of the play-in games — No. 15 vs. No. 18 and No. 16 vs. No. 17. On Wednesday, the middle eight teams will play, with the winners advancing to play on Thursday in the quarterfinals. The advantage gained for finishing in the top four in the regular season will be the day off in the middle of the tournament.

Honestly, I like this setup better.

For starters, the top four seeds are generally going to be the teams that draw bigger crowds — Syracuse, UConn, Louisville, etc. Those fans are more likely to attend games on a Tuesday than those of programs finishing in the bottom half of the bracket. It may not be a packed house in the Garden, but I’d be willing to bet that there will be more rear-ends in seats on the first day of the tournament that the current structure.

I also don’t think that there will be a huge risk of an upset on Tuesday. The teams at the bottom of the Big East have not been good since the league expanded to 16 teams, and that was before Houston, Central Florida and SMU were added. Upsets of the top four seeds are fairly rare  in the NCAA tournament, and those teams pulling the upsets are at least conference champions. Not teams that can’t avoid finishing in the bottom third of an 18 team conference.

If we’re going to be stuck with 18 teams, this setup is the lesser of two evils.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

Rob Carr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.


N.C. State lands second transfer of day with Utah’s Devon Daniels

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

A big recruiting day for N.C. State continued on Saturday afternoon as Utah transfer and guard Devon Daniels pledged to the Wolfpack.

Earlier in the day, N.C. State and new head coach Kevin Keatts landed another quality transfer in UNC Wilmington guard C.J. Bryce.

The 6-foot-5 Daniels just finished his freshman season with the Utes in which he put up 9.9 points 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range. Just like Bryce, Daniels will have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to NCAA transfer regulations before he has three more seasons of eligibility.

N.C. State now has two potential starters on the perimeter for the 2018-19 season with the addition of Bryce and Daniels as it will be interesting to see what kind of talent the Wolfpack can get around them.