Your Monday Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

It’s on.

After hitting a record-setting 18 threes in a 95-79 demolition of Kansas, Villanova will look for their second National Championship in three years as they take on Michigan tonight.

Head coach Jay Wright said it was a night where the team made their shots. They went 18-of-40 from three, so what are the chances we see that again tonight? Nova faces a tough three-point defense in Michigan, who limits their opponents to 33% from beyond the arc. Michigan wants opponents to drive into the lane instead.

We’ll see what Michigan has in store for the Wildcats. I’d take Nova’s offense and defense over Michigan’s units, but we should always expect the unexpected.

If for some reason you’re in San Antonio and are thinking about going to the game, there’s still some cheap seats available.

Elsewhere, Fran Dunphy will step down as Temple’s head coach following next season and will be replaced by Aaron McKie.

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The Roundup:

Joel Embiid finally underwent orbital bone surgery on Saturday, and there’s a chance he could return in two weeks and miss just one playoff game. An update should come later in the week. I wonder if he’s looking for possible masks to play in.

But his Twitter game on Saturday was phenomenal:

In their first two games without him, the Sixers used Amir Johnson and Richaun Holmes as his replacement. They also took home double-digit wins over Atlanta and Charlotte on the road to extend their winning streak to 10. Ben Simmons had a triple-double against the Hawks in under three quarters, and followed that up with 20 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds against the Hornets. Rookie of the Year indeed.

In the playoff race, Cleveland and Indiana both won yesterday, while Washington, who did get John Wall back on Friday, fell to the Bulls. Let’s take a look at the updated Eastern Conference standings:

The Sixers host Brooklyn on Tuesday before taking on Detroit and the third place Cavs. Cleveland plays at home against Toronto, followed by Washington and Philadelphia later in the week. Indiana takes on Denver tomorrow before playing Golden State and Toronto.

Also, former Sixer Maurice Cheeks will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September.

The Flyers almost blew their lead against Boston yesterday as the Bruins tied things up with three seconds left in regulation. But Claude Giroux’s heroics gave the Flyers a 4-3 overtime win and the extra point they really needed.

Giroux got things going in the first, while Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick also added goals of their own in the win. But Konecny’s goal was absolute filth:

But Giroux’s overtime winner sparked another discussion: Hart Trophy finalist?

He’s exploded this years after two seasons of awful hockey. His 29 goals, 66 assists, and 95 points are all career-highs at age 30. He’s fourth in the league in points and one assist behind Blake Wheeler for the league lead. He also has a +21, which would also be a career-high if he doesn’t go south in that department. That’s definitely worth some consideration.

The Flyers take over the first wild card spot in the East and are still tied with Columbus with 94 points. They’re also two points back of Pittsburgh, who lost to Washington last night. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three points, and two of those points can be shaved off tonight if Florida loses to Carolina.

The Flyers play their final road game of the regular season on Tuesday against the Islanders.

The Phillies went 1-1 in their two games over the weekend, which on paper is good. But if you dig deeper, it was horribleFriday’s 5-4 win over the Braves in 11 was Gabe Kapler’s first as manager, thanks to Carlos Santana’s three RBIs. But the Phils used eight relief pitchers.

That was a big cause in Saturday’s ugly 15-2 loss to Atlanta. The Braves scored four runs in the third and five in the sixth to lead them to the blowout win. Vince Velasquez lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits, four of them earned runs, and struck out four. Yikes.

To make matters worse, he had a bullpen debacle with Hoby Milner and Pedro Florimon had to pitch the eighth because Kapler ran out of pitchers. He used four pitchers in the loss before going to Florimon. This isn’t good at all.

Kapler’s unconventional ways made it into a New York Times piece, where his old boss Joe Maddon put it very well:

“He’s strong enough to absorb any blows he’s going to get in the beginning, because definitely, the cheesesteak guys aren’t going to dig on that early on,” Maddon said. “Maybe the sushi people will be O.K., but not the cheesesteaks. So he’s going to have to fight through that.”

Maddon is from Hazleton, Pa., not far from Philadelphia. He laughed and continued: “I know these folks, I’ve been there. But they have a nice team, and as they continue to blossom and his stuff works, the cheesesteak guys will start eating sushi.”

The Phils hope for a fresh start as they travel to New York to take on the Mets. Ben Lively begins their three-game series tonight at 7:10 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Eagles could still use some help at a couple of offensive positions.

We kind of know what Nick Foles’ trade value was (or is, because he could still be traded), but what about Mychal Kendricks?

Former Raiders punter Marquette King was cut. The Eagles should get him.

The Union lost to Colorado 3-0 on Saturday. They fell to 1-1-1 on the season, and made MLS history by starting the youngest backline in league history with Matt Real (18), Auston Trusty (19), Jack Elliott (22), and Keegan Rosenberry (24). They’ll host San Jose next weekend.

Speaking of soccer, check out the second episode of Crossing Broad FC.

In other sports news, Arike Ogunbowale delivered her second buzzer-beater in three days as she helped lead Notre Dame win the women’s college basketball National Championship:

Aaron Donald is training with real knives:

Chase Utley and Devin Smeltzer first met in 2006 when Smeltzer, a cancer patient, had his hat signed. Now, Smeltzer is a pitcher in the Dodgers farm system, and the two reunited:

Hassan Whiteside wasn’t happy with the amount of playing time he got on Friday and the Heat fined him for his comments.

Geno Smith (lol) is a Los Angeles Charger.

These were three of the sickest plays from the weekend:




In the news, jury selection is underway in Bill Cosby’s retrial.

You can get free pizza today from Little Caesar’s, thanks to UMBC. That is if you like Little Caesar’s.

Steven Bochco, who produced shows such as Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, has died at the age of 74.

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3 Responses

  1. Was wondering when my great insider columns and other benefits were about to hit the site?

  2. “He’s exploded this years after two seasons of awful hockey.“

    Two seasons of “awful” hockey? That’s prettty harsh. Yeah, he struggled last year, but two years ago he had 67 points in 78 games. Definitely not MVP-candidate level, but I’d hardly call that “awful hockey.”

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