Archives For Villanova

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Congratulations to the winners of our Crossing Broad-Cibos bracket challenge. Your top finishers and prize winners:

First place: Kelbelle521-Totes Ma Goats, winner of an iPad Air

Second place: Rematch-thedahc, winner of their choice of a signed Domonic Brown baseball or a $60 gift card to the Crossing Broad Store

Third place: By virtue of National Championship score tiebreaker, Joey Beppler-Simply McNabbulous, winner of a signed Domonic Brown baseball or a $60 gift card to the Crossing Broad Store

I’ve already been in touch with Kelbelle, but if you’re Rematch or Joey Beppler, please email CrossingBroad[at]gmail[dot]com to claim your prize.

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First Tollie, then the Mack & Manco people, and now Dante Cunningham?!

One of my all-time favorite Villanova basketball players, Cunningham was arrested early this morning under the suspicion of domestic abuse:

At 4:01 a.m. Thursday, Medina police received a call of a physical domestic altercation at Cunningham’s residence in the 400 block of Medina Road, said Ed Belland, director of public safety for Medina.

An unidentified female displayed signs of an altercation, but no medical care was needed, Belland said. Belland declined to detail the signs or if children were present.

“The suspect (Cunningham) left the scene, but the suspect returned and was arrested without incident,” Belland said.

Belland said Cunningham returned within about 15 minutes and did not risk further possible charges for leaving the scene.

The Timberwolves put out a press release:

“We are aware of the matter involving Dante Cunningham and are in the process of gathering more information. Dante will not be traveling with the team to Miami this afternoon. The Minnesota Timberwolves organization takes the matter very seriously and does not condone the type of behavior that is associated with this situation. However, we need to let the legal process run its course, and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

And you wonder why I’m a cynic. Everything that was ever sacred to me becomes ruined. I’m now seriously worried that the Ninja Turtles will be brought up on racketeering charges. Poor Splinter, he knew nothing!

Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

St. Joe’s

For a while there I wondered how I was going to reconcile an internal conflict that was developing, how I was going to flip the switch from rooting for St. Joe’s last night to burn them until they’re dead on Saturday. Unfortunately, Phil Martelli and his inability to orchestrate even the most basic of plays to put away UCONN cost the Hawks their lead and pretty much any shot of winning in overtime. The fact that they play five players doesn’t help, either. UCONN looked harder, better, faster, stronger down the stretch and in overtime. That was a winnable game for St. Joe’s and they pissed it into the night. It also demonstrated the difference between A-10 teams and major programs– depth. St. Joe’s and their starting five matched up fine with UCONN, but you can’t have a team with NO BENCH PLAYERS and expect to beat a program like UCONN. St. Joe’s didn’t get a point from a non-starter. Not a single fucking point. I’m sure Neil Hartman is disappointed that there will be no Hanging with the Hawks brought to you by some shitty local business segment this year.

 

Villanova

I was never really worried when they were down in the first half and only up four at halftime. They didn’t make a three-pointer until midway through the second half, and they were still winning. Their defense looked quite good. [They were down 10 at halftime to American in the opening round in 2009 and went to the Final Four.] That said, they absolutely can not come out of the gate like that again. Their season will be over the next time they do. All year they took it to lesser opponents, but in the last two games they played down to their level for way too long. I don’t think getting up for UCONN (who looked disinterested for a while last night) will be a problem, and obviously anything after that is a huge game. Villanova will never stop shooting. Make or miss– their motto is shoot ‘em up, sleep in the streets (that’s actually their motto). That’s what Jay tells his kids– keep shooting. It’ll take them as far as they can go. If they’re making shots, coupled with their defense, they’re good enough to win the National Championship. Seriously. The problem is all it takes is one off shooting night to send them home quietly. They’re more well-rounded than other teams Jay’s had, but they still rely on the three. They should beat UCONN. They should beat them by a lot. But they should’ve beat Seton Hall by a lot and they should’ve crushed Milwaukee. I’m nervous.

 

Villanova-UCONN starts at 9:40 p.m. on Saturday.

My Perfect Bracket

Kyle Scott —  March 20, 2014 — 27 Comments

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[click to enlarge]

I hath seen the future and bring to you its winners.

Photo credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Silver is good at predicting things. He predicts elections. He predicts poker hands. He predicts sports results. He predicts… the first time one of his followers will get laid. [Kidding. That's a nerds joke. Settle down, nerds.] His new site, FiveThirtyEight, launched this week and it has had a heavy focus on the statistical oddity that is the NCAA Tournament. I linked to their bracket the other day. Today, Silver brings us a post dedicated to Villanova and their chances for a Final Four run:

But there’s disagreement over the Villanova Wildcats, the No. 2 seed in the East region. Our model gives them a 21 percent chance of advancing to Arlington, which is barely lower than Virginia (23 percent) and Michigan State (24 percent). In contrast, just 9 percent of participants in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge picked Villanova from the East, as compared to 46 percent for Michigan State and 23 percent for Virginia.

It’s sometimes smart to pick a team with slightly longer odds, provided that few participants in your office pool are doing so. The logic is as follows: If you pick Michigan State, and the team reaches the Final Four, that will be helpful — but chances are that about half your co-workers will have picked Sparty as well. You’ll probably need to choose at least one or two more Final Four teams correctly, or have a killer first and second round, to have much chance of finishing at the top of your pool.

YOU HEAR THAT? NATE SILVER IS TELLING YOU IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO PUT VILLANOVA IN YOUR FINAL FOUR. IF NATE SILVER LIKES THE CATS, I LIKE THE CATS. MEOW! – LICKS SELF – MEOW!

Now, about those nerds…

H/T to Kevin

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REPOST: Stepping up the prize game this year. In partnership with our friends over at Cibos App – where Twitter meets sports – we’re hosting an bracket challenge. It’s FREE to play. Top three prizes are as follows:

1) 16 GB Wifi iPad Air

2) Signed Domonic Brown baseball

3) $60 gift card to Crossing Broad Store

In the event of a tie (rare), a coin flip will determine winner.

Winners will be listed on site so they can get heaps of praise.

It’s hosted through ESPN. You will not be able to swap in different brackets from other groups once the games start. Deadline to signup is Thursday at noon.

Create your bracket here. If you need it, group name is CrossingBroad-Cibos. Password is cibosapp.

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You can download the app here. Also, follow Cibos on Twitter (@CibosApp).

Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer

Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer

Caution: I’m about to make sense.

I have a confession to make. In the late winter and early spring of 2001, I drove around with two St. Joe’s stickers on my silver Jetta. One was a basketball sticker.

It was my senior year of high school and I had a partial scholarship to go to St. Joe’s. Since I hadn’t yet heard back from Villanova and my best friend was already committed to attend Hawk Hill, I enrolled at St. Joe’s. Sent a check and everything (well, my parents did). I was in. I was a Hawk. LET’S GO ST. JOE’S!*

And then I got in to Villanova. No scholarship. No housing. Commuter status. So I had a decision: go to St. Joe’s and live with my good friend, or go to Villanova, be put on a waiting list for housing, and cost my parents more money?

I managed to piss off both my friend and my parents with my decision. And myself. It took two and a half months before a dorm room opened up… at an auxiliary Villanova dorm at Harcum College two miles down Montgomery Ave.

But I stuck to my guns. I went to Villanova. The St. Joe’s stickers came off, the Villanova stickers went on. I bought a Villanova sweatshirt and a visor. I was a Main Line douchebag. But I didn’t hate St. Joe’s.

This is a big topic on the radio today– can you root for another Big 5 school if you went to a Big 5 school?

Yes, you can.

You see, there was nothing hypocritical or John Kerry about my sticker change. I had gone to Villanova games growing up, but spent much of high school rooting for St. Joe’s, when they were relatively good with Marvin O’Connor. I didn’t quite grasp the fact that my college decision would require me to hate the Hawks with every fiber of my being. I liked both schools. Temple, too. I was a sports fan from Delaware County.

Over time I grew to detest St. Joe’s, many of their fans and Phil Martelli. I still kind of think Phil is a jackass who is insanely butthurt that Villanova has stolen the spotlight that was available to him and his team after their run in 2004. But my Philly fandom has always trumped my Nova fandom. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’d consider Villanova my favorite sports team, but when it comes to choosing whether to root for or against St. Joe’s or Temple in a none-Nova matchup, I always choose to root for, without fail (though I sometimes revel in their misery… strictly for trash-talking purposes).

In 2004, I sat in an apartment at Villanova with said friend who went to (but didn’t quite make it through) St. Joe’s. We were under our chairs when Pat Carroll forgot to defend John Lucas’ three-pointer and Jameer Nelson’s turn-around jumper fell short. I felt the same gut-sickness I feel when every other Philly team fails. It wasn’t as strong as it usually is, but it was there. It was similar to how I felt when Smarty Jones lost the Triple Crown a few months later. All this after a two-year stretch during which St. Joe’s owned Nova and twice embarrassed them.

Around that time I remember calling in to WIP – I think it was Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow – and answering this very question. I explained that I was a 20-year-old from Springfield, Delaware County who went to Villanova but chose to root for St. Joe’s in the tournament. It was for the greater good. Maybe I was a little green at that point and not nearly as cynical as I am now, 10 years later, but I still have the same opinion. I will root as hard as I possibly can for Villanova to embarrass St. Joe’s if they play on Saturday. I will want them to destroy that stupid hawk. 104-64 would be a great score. But should St. Joe’s win? I’ll swallow my pride, hop on board and root for one of the teams I rooted for growing up in the Sweet 16 next week. The same way I rooted for La Salle last year.

And that’s why my Everyone Hates Villanova post last week was written with such hostility. Most fans and alumni of other Big 5 schools don’t feel the same way toward Villanova. Their misplaced anger has nothing to do with the current team. It has to do with the people who attend Nova, Rollie Massimino and the fact that Villanova is located on the Main Line, outside of the city. No one seems to hold this against the Union, however. Or Smarty Jones, for that matter. Nay. They hold it against Villanova despite the fact that the coach is incredibly likable and the team has been arguably the second most successful in Philly sports over the last 10 years. That’s the wrong choice. So let loose this month, Big Fivers. Root like hell for your team. And if they lose… then root for the other Philly team. There’s no harm in that.

*Writing that did cause me to gag, however.

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Nate Silver’s stats-heavy FiveThirtyEight launched today. It’s owned by ESPN, but Silver, who is known for his political predictions, and his team will go well beyond sports. They picked a good day to launch and did so with a brand new NCAA Tournament bracket that gives you the probability of specific teams winning it all. It basically takes a dump on some selection committee choices, as evidenced by four-seed Louisville having a 15% chance of winning the National Championship– which is higher than any other team in the tournament.

Very cool and worth checking out.