Under The Microscope: Vanderbilt and Temple

SPECIAL NOTE:
This blog is dedicated to the memory of a college basketball visionary who headed up TVS Sports in the 1960’s and managed to give Dick Enberg his first nationally televised assignment announcing “The Game of The Century” when Houston upset UCLA in 1968 in the first ever college basketball game inside a domed stadium–right square on second base at the former Houston Astrodome.

He would later become the head of CBS Sports and eventually went on to become Vice Chairman of the Chicago White Sox baseball team following the 1981 season–staying at that post right up to their World Series victory over Houston in 2005. Eddie Einhorn passed away on Wednesday at the age of 80 following complications from a stroke.

If you get some time, please check out his 2006 book and special DVD enclosed on how college basketball in general and the NCAA Tournament in particular has evolved after the first years under his watch:

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Image courtesy of purfoodsfitness.com

I was one of the first fans to grab a copy when Amazon first marketed it, and it is definitely enjoyable reading the stories of many past coaches, current coaching legends at Duke, North Carolina, and Louisville, and the many broadcasters that worked under Eddie for many years from the likes of NBC’s Al Michaels to a former partner of Jim Nantz of CBS Sports in the 1980’s that did Utah Jazz games in the late great legend “Hot” Rod Hundley.

Here is a link where you can buy your own copy:

http://www.amazon.com/How-March-Became-Madness-Tournament/dp/B00ZVO3SFY/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1456506404&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=when+march+became+madness

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Vanderbilt Commodores, Southeastern Conference

Good Wins:   February 4 vs. Texas A&M, also swept season series with Florida.

Bad Losses:   November 25 on neutral court vs. Kansas (top ranked in RPI at the time), December 6 at Baylor, December 9 vs. Dayton, December 22 at Purdue, January 9 at South Carolina, January 23 at Kentucky, and January 30 at Texas.

RPI Breakdown:  55 overall, 72 in non-conference play.

Brief analysis:  1-5 against the RPI’s Top 25.  They may have a 9-6 record in the SEC good enough for 4th place, but their game Saturday vs. Kentucky could speak volumes.  If not, they would have to pretty much win the SEC postseason tournament just to have a chance.

Percentage chance on reaching the Big Dance:  33 percent.

Temple Owls, American Athletic Conference

Good Wins:  February 4 vs. Tulsa and swept season series with UConn.

Bad Losses:  November 13 and 22, both on neutral courts vs. North Carolina and Utah, December 13 vs. fellow Big 5 opponent St. Joseph’s, and February 17 vs. then top-ranked Villanova.

RPI Breakdown:  56 overall, 145 in non-conference play.

Brief analysis:  You could safely point to the January 2 loss at Houston as their possible reason why they may not reach the Big Dance.  They would have to run the table in the AAC Tournament just to get in.  Even with the same 17-10 overall record as Vanderbilt, the overall body of work just isn’t there in my mind.

Percentage chance of reaching the Big Dance:  10 percent.

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