Welcome to Philly, where we need a public poll to determine whether or not it’s a good thing that the most successful local sports team over the past five years had its season come to a shocking conclusion. Thankfully, at the time of posting this, 74% of people said “no.” The rest can all go to hell.
Let’s hit it!
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And there go the Dukies. This is now the third time in six years they have lost in the first weekend– to Mercer, Lehigh and South Carolina. Does this mean Coach K, like Jay Wright, is unable to win in March? C.J. McCollum, who cucked K in 2012, seems to think so:
Should've known Duke wasn't about that life , with it being our five year anniversary. Bye bye bracket 😂 never again will I pick them 👌🏾
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) March 20, 2017
HEY HOW ABOUT THE BIG 10? IT’S ALMOST AS IF THE TWO TEAMS THAT PLAYED IN THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN 7 AND 8 SEEDS:
The South Carolina locker room looked like a whole lot of fun after their win over Duke. pic.twitter.com/Tx0gZV1vvp
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 20, 2017
Friend of the players Jay Glazer reports that Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey has been found:
Breaking: FOX Sports has learned the FBI & NFL Security believe they have located Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jersey & in process of returning to Patriots. Wild story details coming up on @fs1. More details coming up later on @fs1 including FBI being involved bc jersey was on foreign soil, FBI and NFL Sec located Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jersey FOX Sports has learned.
HughE Dillon has Philly sightings— including Mark Cuban.
My brother-in-law, who was driving on 95, is almost certain he saw Dario Saric driving a tinted out Kia on his way to the game:
If you’ll recall, Saric is sponsored by Kia:
Small life win: I drive a better car than Dario Saric. Small life loss: He doesn’t pay for his.
During the game, lit:
HOLY SHIT THIS DARIO SARIC ASSIST pic.twitter.com/VcTPDo2aX7
— max (@MaxRappaport) March 19, 2017
Embiid’s injury (and Ersan being traded) was the best thing to happen to Saric. In his first 45 games, he averaged 9.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, .6 steals, and .3 blocks, while shooting 37.6% from the floor and 33.9% from three. In the 24 games since, his averages have increased to 17.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, .9 steals, and .4 blocks, on 46.2% shooting. All of this while his 3PT shot has fallen apart (down to 29.9%) since Embiid’s last game.
After the Sixers came from behind to beat the Celtics yesterday, Jae Crowder said “That’s what happens when you overlook an opponent.” At a certain point, that’s not an excuse anymore, you just got beat.
Meanwhile, Mike Stanton is a unique human:
OH MY LORD, WHAT A MOONSHOT FROM STANTON 😳😳😳💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/HKtLsKEWbj
— Herbo (@HerbMcDerb) March 19, 2017
Shaq is a flat-earther:
Shaq is a flat-Earther, too
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) March 19, 2017
— Footlong Foles (@footlongfoles) March 16, 2017
I could not be happier that the family Collins has been sent home. Yeah, yeah, I know– Chris had every right to be pissed at that call, but then he acted like a humongous baby in the press conference as the NCAA’s statement was read:
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) March 19, 2017
Grow up, Peter Pan.
The Wildcats scored just five points on their eight possessions, going 1-for-3 from the field, with two turnovers and, despite being the nation’s second best free throw shooting team (79.3 percent), shooting just 3-for-6 from the foul line.
That 3-for-6 from the line down the stretch kills me. It’s the difference in the game. Nova, when they play like they did on Saturday, is still able to win games by grinding it out. They worked their way up to a seven – SEVEN – point lead, and then sputtered down the stretch. That’s the toughest part to swallow– they had the game won… until they didn’t.
This also from Jerardi is remarkable:
In its two NCAA games, Villanova’s “bench” outscored its opponents, 55-8. It was not the bench then, but perhaps the minutes that got them. Wisconsin had the ball for 23 minutes, Villanova just 17. Playing all those minutes on defense could have taken a toll on both ends in those fateful final five minutes. That has been the trap Wisconsin has set for years. Villanova, finishing off a legendary four-year run and playing this season without Phil Booth and Omari Spellman, just happened to get caught in it.
Most of those points came from Donte DiVincenzo. But not too shabby for a team with depth issues to do that much with their bench. What if the NCAA hadn’t ruled Spellman ineligible for the season?
How good is Nova next year? Still pretty damn.
They lose Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds, which hurts. But Spellman will be an almost immediate upgrade over Reynolds. Jenkins, as much as he will forever be a part of Nova lore, is not a world-beater, and production can be replaced. Hart, obviously, won’t be replaced so easily.
But Nova returns all of its ball-handling guards, two of which are quickly becoming their stars: Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo. And they get back Phil Booth. Meanwhile, Mikal Bridges is rapidly improving and Spellman should give them a + big man for the first time in years. If Brunson, DiVincenzo and Bridges stick around for four years (I think all three could eventually play in the NBA), Villanova could be really, really good again in two years.
Good rant by Geno Aurieieieieieieiieieieieima, though the coach of perhaps the one sports team on the planet that can hand-select every one of its players lamenting the struggles of recruiting is a tad disingenuous:
A MUST WATCH FOR ALL PLAYERS AND COACHES!
(so good I'm sharing it twice)
— Coach Mac (@BballCoachMac) March 19, 2017
Here’s a video about Embiid’s injury which is basically just a bunch of clips of him jumping and landing:
You lose a fly ball in the sun while your sunglasses are chilling on your hat? That’s a fine for everybody:
Mackanin said Franco’s error – the third baseman lost a pop-up in the sun on Saturday afternoon despite having sunglasses resting on the brim of his hat – warranted one of the manager’s team-wide fines. The team is penalized each time a player slips up, whether it’s not hustling or failing to get a bunt down. The manager hopes the rest of the team gets on the player who brought on the fine.
Jeremy Hellickson will start Opening Day for the Phillies again, making Cliff Lee the only starter (2014) not to repeat Opening Day gigs for the Phils since Robert Person in 2002.
As it turns out, after being released from the Eagles, Chase Daniel continues to exist.
Airing of Grievances with Josh Innes:
The Stepover Episode 27– a snow day March Madness preview: