Admitting that I won’t be able to write this post with even a shred of bipartisanship (V FOR VILLANOVA, V FOR… hold up, it’s coming), I’ll just give you the facts about St. Joe's Halil Kanacevic, who gave Villanova students the finger last night and then imploded down the stretch, paving the way for a Villanova victory.
With a little under 10 minutes left, Kana… kana… kanaigetaonefingersalute (!) made a three-pointer, raised his hands, and then dangled his middle fingers toward the Villanova student section.
Down the stretch, the St. Joe's forward from Staten Island further imploded. I like the way Dick Jerardi tells it in the Daily News (for which you’ll soon have to pay to read online, which won’t work):
The Wildcats had scored on more than two consecutive possessions just once all game, right at the end of the first half when they scored on three. If the Hawks had just played sound defense, it was going to be a hard game to lose.
Kanacevic fouled Bell 25 feet from the basket. Bell calmly made a pair. Kanacevic threw a backdoor pass to Galloway into a very tight window. Bell stole it. After a Daniel Ochefu follow basket, Kanacevic was fouled with 45.8 seconds left. Shooting into that student section, now completely crazed, he missed a pair.
Bell hit a three from the left corner. After an ugly SJU possession, the Hawks ended up with the ball on the sideline in the deep right corner with 3 seconds left, trailing by two points, without a timeout. Nobody was open. Kanacevic, fearful of a 5-second call, threw it off Mo Sutton. The ball caromed over the sideline, hitting Kanacevic. Turnover. Bell two free throws. Game over.
For more, including post-game interviews and all that jazz, check out Jerardi’s recap, or Aaron Bracy’s on PhilaHoops.com, or CSN Philly. And I’ll just continue to pretend that Villanova didn’t play La Salle or Temple this year.