Throwback Thursday to NCAA Tournament Photos

Sample size of the photos I shot in the first and second rounds from Indianapolis.

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Photos from the stands: EKU at Ball State

Ball State defenders loved the ample chances for interceptions in this game.

Ball State defenders loved the ample chances for interceptions in this game.

Had the pleasure of meeting up with a few college friends this week to see my alma mater take on FCS Eastern Kentucky, my mom’s alma mater. So this game had family rivalry.

Both teams entered 1-1 and many thought the Colonels of EKU could make a game out of it. Shockingly, Eastern’s offense played worse at Ball State than it did at Purdue two weeks prior. Starting QB Bennie Coney was pulled with a 1 for 4 stat line of one yard and two interceptions. Something fans in the stands could have duplicated.

Maty Mauk, a transfer from Missouri, played better but was far from good. His best stats came in the fourth quarter in garbage time.

Eastern Kentucky committed 128 yards in penalties including a running into the punter that extended a Ball State drive that led to a touchdown. The Colonels practically blew themselves out.

Ball State won easily but the contest was more about how inept Eastern Kentucky was. The Cards were able to spread the ball around to three different receivers that had six receptions each. The defense does deserve credit for holding EKU to just three yards rushing. It helps though when you know a team can’t pass.

The best part of the day was Eastern Kentucky trying to fire themselves up on the sideline with a huddle after the third quarter. Problem is they were down 34-0. Cardinals would win 41-14.

Ball State did a great job of protecting QB Riley Neal.

Ball State did a great job of protecting QB Riley Neal.

Ball State QB Riley Neal

Ball State QB Riley Neal

EKU couldn't run the ball at all. Punting from their own 10 yard line occurred more than once.

EKU couldn’t run the ball at all. Punting from their own 10 yard line occurred more than once.

EKU covered signals with these flags I think to prevent people from stealing them in the press box.

EKU covered signals with these flags I think to prevent people from stealing them in the press box.

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Photos from GLVC football

Last Saturday I had the chance to check out UIndy football against Quincy in Great Lakes Valley Conference action. UIndy defeated the Hawks 26-20 on a chilly night. The Greyhounds are looking good in the conference.

Here are photos and video from the game I shot for the Southsider Voice.

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2014-15 College Sports Social Media Awards

All I do is win, win, win no matter what.

All I do is win, win, win no matter what.

I hope you enjoyed the appetizer of the ESPYS because it’s time to recognize the more important stuff. The social media masters in our NCAA bubble. Social Media award

Last year, my post was a big hit and I went all out this time. No I didn’t see everything on Twitter and Facebook and if I did I would be a synthetic on Humans. Trust me, I saw enough, but feel free to let me know if there was something you think I should have recognized. Now let’s take a look at these manufactured awards.

Best way to embarrass your players: Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt had a great spring sports season with baseball and tennis, so with all the excitement can you blame the track team for taking a nap to recharge? Apparently, their own teammate could not. Anchor down means staying on the internet forever.

Worst use of a statistic: UConn Football
I get it UConn football, you are constantly trying to get your team out of the shadows of the best basketball programs in the country. The countdowns though are coming across as desperate.

That’s right, we are counting down to play a FCS team! Not Rutgers, not Boston College, not even Temple but FCS Villanova. Get your tickets now!

Even worse was the punting statistic. In a 12-game season 66 punts is 5.5 punts a game. That’s a problem as UConn gave up the third highest points in American Athletic Conference play last season. Roughly 30 points per contest. Don’t brag about forcing punts when you are being scored on every other possession.

Best use of democracy: Georgia Tech
Who knew the Yellow Jackets would go to the public for fashion advice?

Best presentation of starting lineup: Missouri
There were plenty of great designs out there for starting lineups in basketball but I like what Missouri did here with the black and white contrast. Now that’s some good layering in the photo edit.

Best soccer starting lineup: East Tennessee State
While I liked what Missouri did for basketball I have to give ETSU credit for their soccer efforts. I gotta have more tactical lineups like these.

Most insecure: North Dakota State
I seriously don’t know what I did. I was a big fan of the Bison winning numerous FCS titles and getting on College Gameday too. This hurts NDSU.

No longer on the Christmas card list.

No longer on the Christmas card list.

Best prognostication: Georgia State
In what ended up being the most entertaining game of the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers knew that an upset was in order thanks to an official box score. Sorry Baylor.

Most shameless advertisement: FIU
FIU has always been in need of cash and well… let’s have a word from our sponsor.

Selfie of the year by mascot: Kentucky
Here is a school not in need of cash. Why every team should have a midnight madness like Kentucky.

Best at making announcements: Northern Illinois
NIU is developing a tradition of making a big deal about future football games. And I have to say #SchedulePalooza is pretty cool. The Huskies drop hints making fans work a digital scavenger hunt to determine the teams NIU will play in a few years.

Worst graphic: Arizona
The defensive player of the week has NO EYES! What an incredible performance by her!

Worst logo placement: Siena
You may accuse me of having my mind in the gutter but a woman’s waistline should never be used for branding. Or a man’s for that matter. Siena is a great follow but this post was not one of the best.

Best costume by a media member: Shae Peppler
Going back to a Miami school with Shae Peppler of Campus Insiders somehow pulling off an Al Golden for Halloween. Didn’t know his tie was so iconic.

Best female media personality to follow: Nicole Auerbach
Auerbach is one of the few who covers college basketball and football equally. She is also one of the few women to be on television as a college football expert for the Big Ten Network. Plus she retweeted me last year. So all the power to her.

Best male media personality to follow: Pat Forde
Until Seth Davis covers other sports besides basketball, Pat Forde is and will always be the man.

Most Harsh: UTEP
This about sums it up.
http://www.midmajormadness.com/2015/3/17/8240159/utep-miner-athletics-uses-twitter-to-put-down-their-own-player

Best food promotion: Iowa State
Now that is a social media promotion.

Best photo shoot: Tie between Pepperdine and Bowling Green State
Yeah I whiffed with a tie but how are you supposed to choose between these two?

Best social media rivalry: MAC vs. the Sun Belt
A great way to have the other bowl games be more impactful is to have the conferences duke it out Twitter. Well done MAC and Sun Belt. Well done.

Best tweet: Jacksonville State
Now this photo demonstrates what college sports should be all about. Playing for your school, having fun and getting that degree. You can stop advertising NCAA. We have found your marketing tool.

Best team selfies: Niagra Women’s Basketball
Have you ever been stuck on the interstate for 24 hours because of a snowstorm? No? Well here is what it looks like.

Best way to celebrate a milestone: New Hampshire
Reaching 700 wins in any sport is a big deal. You truly have to put your body into it.

Best to chat with: Southern Miss
Want to chat with your favorite Golden Eagle? You don’t even have to leave your laptop.

Best video series: American Athletic Conference
American Rising hosted by Hali Oughton became the most informative regular on my news feed this year. The AAC is still new and an odd mix of schools so this media effort helps get it organized for fans.

Best conference on Facebook: Mountain West
For Facebook, I want to see photo galleries. The Mountain West does a tremendous job of providing exactly that for most of its games. This Facebook banner is pretty good too. MWC 7 teams

Best conference to follow: Big West
The Big West celebrates every holiday, offers plenty of photos for every sport and how can you beat this?

Best video by a school: South Florida
A great way to promote a sport like volleyball. This promotion idea was cute and I hope that more videos like these will increase interest for the volleyball program at USF.

Best game show by a team: Florida State Sand Volleyball
On the other side of the state, FSU tried some video ideas of its own with a game show theme. I’m all for getting sand volleyball more attention even in cheesy ways like this, but I don’t think you need two parts here. Still, the effort is to be applauded.

Best school to follow on social media No. 5: Georgia Southern
Now to the top five schools to follow on Twitter. The Eagles made some nice info graphics for their teams this year. Here is a look at a soccer example.

Best school to follow on social media No. 4: Western Kentucky
WKU promoted their sports equally with photo shoots and other promotional graphics. The Hilltoppers had fun too with this color coordinated seating chart.

Best school to follow on social media No. 3: Oregon State
No school made better use of its color scheme on social media than the orange and black of Oregon State. Their posts were hard to miss.

Best school to follow on social media No. 2: Colorado State
Colorado State did an excellent job using photography. It always seemed to grab my attention with the bold colors the Rams would use.

Best school to follow on social media No. 1: Kansas State
The best combination of game updates, photography, promotions, statistics and design has to be Kansas State. The Wildcats were active promoting every game from every team and every result. I feel like I’m in the know about K-State despite living a few states away.

Plus how do compete with a promotion like this?

More Summit League Basketball Photos

IUPUI during player intros.

IUPUI during player intros.

I have more pictures from my first ever Summit League game as a photographer now on my Facebook page.

Here is a taste of what you’ll see there.
D.J. McCall does not let people get in his way.

D.J. McCall does not let people get in his way.

People are literally afraid to guard Carlin Dupree.

People are literally afraid to guard Carlin Dupree.

Climbing to the Summit League

The only place where a Bison could ever meet a Jaguar.

The only place where a Bison could ever meet a Jaguar.

Life in the Summit League is not luxurious nor is it respected by the national media. Teams are scattered across the middle of the country from Indiana to Colorado, making it tough to form a regional identity. None of the nine teams are in the RPI top 100 and only one is in the top 150 (South Dakota State). That doesn’t mean there are not quality teams here. North Dakota State knocked off Oklahoma in the first round of the tournament last year and that NDSU team is looking good this season.

IUPUI homecourt

Nice looking court.

I knew  that traveling to IUPUI, here in Indianapolis, was going to be a battle for them. And this past Thursday ended up being an overtime affair. Thank you to IUPUI SID Edgar Holdaway for the photographer credential to the game this past Thursday.

Jags DJ

Meet a DJ with eyes on the back of his shirt.

IUPUI in its first season of playing in Pepsi Coliseum at the state fairgrounds and it appears to be a good fit. The first thing I noticed is that IUPUI students are the ones who sit courtside here. How many other schools can say that about their student body? This is partly because the Pepsi Coliseum is built more for hockey, leaving space for the band and student body behind the baskets. The cheerleaders also stand by the sidelines like a football game while most schools have them positioned along the baseline. Little things like this make an IUPUI game unique and it gives the Jags support having the young spirited fans close to the court. They also have this type of DJ yelling “Lets go JAAAAGs,” every 10 minutes to keep people awake.

North Dakota State was the favorite and I got the impression they were the better team. The Jaguars were pressing a full-court defense most of the night trying to force turnovers. IUPUI got some but also let NDSU score easy baskets once their guards broke through the initial pressure. The Bison had more blocks and rebounds as the Jaguars had to settle  for jumpers in its half-court offense.

At the same time though the Bison seemed to struggle to finish their drives to basket. Quite a few misses came at point-blank range from offensive rebounds. NDSU also only made 10 out of their 18 free throws.

IUPUI had a chance to win the game in regulation as guard Mason Archie had an open 3 with .8 seconds left but the shot went long. North Dakota State would outscore IUPUI 16-8 in overtime to put the game to bed.

No. 2 for three and the win is guarded by No. 2. This ended up being IUPUI's best chance for victory.

No. 2 for three and the win is guarded by No. 2. This ended up being IUPUI’s best chance for victory.

NDSU would lose two days later to IPFW, who came in 1-5 in Summit League play. That’s how hard it is to win back-to-back road games in any conference within a 48 hour span. IUPUI would win against South Dakota Saturday to move to 4-3 in conference; just a game back from NDSU and 1.5 back from South Dakota State.

The Summit League bid is up in the air but don’t be surprised if these meet again in the conference tournament. Here are more pictures from Thursday.

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Scenes from the Butler Bowl

Butler is one school where the basketball arena literally and figuratively shadows the football team.

Butler is one school where the basketball arena literally and figuratively shadows the football team.

I was able to earn my first press pass as a photographer Saturday at a Butler home football game with Morehead State. This Pioneer Football League bout saw 114 points on the scoreboard and over 1,100 yards of offense. They may be two basketball schools but they put up a basketball score on the football field Saturday.

The Eagles had over 700 yards and still lost the game 62-52 to the host Bulldogs. What little defense there was came from Butler in forcing two interceptions and a fumble. Morehead State also turned the ball over on downs three times.

There was some controversy as a Butler defender knocked out Morehead State’s starting quarterback Austin Gahafer on a brutal sack. The Butler defender was flagged for targeting and ejected from the game. The damage was done though for the Eagles as Gahafer walked to the sideline and did not return. Another Bulldog player would be ejected for targeting yet it was the Eagles who were penalized more on the day with nine for 110 yards. I can assure you their coach was not happy with the refs. I even heard him or an assistant scream at the refs “You’re stealing this from us!” from the Eagle’s sideline.

While the game won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things (both have 2-4 conference records) it was important for Butler to restore some momentum. The Bulldogs won the league last year and became the first PFL team in the FCS playoffs. Butler (4-5) should end the year a respectable 5-6 or 6-5 while Morehead (3-6) will be an underdog the rest of the way to a projected 3-9 finish.

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