With the pro teams all off, the college basketball season got underway last night with some of the area squads opening up their season.

The reigning national champion Villanova Wildcats got their season started with a 100-77 win over Morgan State in the brand new Finneran Pavilion. Despite leading by only nine at halftime, Villanova pulled away late in the second half in their brand new digs. Eric Paschall led the way with 26 points while Phil Booth added 17 as the two returning starters from a year ago. Freshman Saddiq Bey led the bench with 16 points, while Jermaine Samuels and Joe Cremo also got into double-digits.

The first night of the college hoops season also saw a Big 5 contest in North Philly, as Temple beat La Salle 75-67. Tied at the half, the Owls led for the majority of the second thanks in part to the first career double-double by Nate Pierre-Louis. Quinton Rose led all Owls with 15 points, while La Salle’s Isiah Deas led all scorers with 23. Temple also made 26 free throws in the win.

Finally, Penn went on the road and turned a five-point deficit into a one-point win, 72-71 over George Mason. The Quakers scored nine of the game’s final 12 points. AJ Brodeur put up a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, both of those numbers were game-highs, while Michael Wang added 14 points off the bench.

No local college hoops tonight or tomorrow, but things will pick up on Friday, including Drexel and St. Joe’s starting their seasons.

The Roundup:

Speaking of basketball, the Sixers return to action tonight to take on the Indiana Pacers on the road at 8 PM in a nationally televised game. Mike Muscala is doubtful with a facial laceration while Robert Covington is questionable with lower back soreness.

Brett Brown isn’t happy about his team’s performance to start the season, and now he’s not happy about Drew Hanlen’s deleted tweets.

One of the guys that’s having a really bad start to the year: Dario Saric.

The Eagles get set to take on Dallas on Sunday night. We’ll have more on what Dallas has done in a little bit. But for now, let’s remember the good times we had with DeAndre Carter:

Thanks to the Cowboys and Giants being bad, as well as the Redskins suffering some big injuries, the Eagles are the odds on favorite to win the NFC East.

As for the action on the field, Lane Johnson might play on Sunday?

“You’re not counting Lane out, are you,” Stoutland asked. “I mean, I think he’s a tough guy. I think that, knowing Lane Johnson, anything he can do to be out on that field, he’ll be [there].

“I’m not a doctor or anything like that, but I just, I know how he operates.”

That would be a good thing to have.

PhillyVoice’s Jimmy Kempski reviews the defense after the first half of the season.

With the Flyers off until tomorrow when they play the Coyotes at home, Joel Quenneville’s firing from the Blackhawks was nearly serendipitous.

Gritty continues to inspire local breweries.

Check out new podcasts for Crossed Up and Crossing Broad FC.

In other sports news, Duke obliterated Kentucky last night.

And now to the Cowboys part of the roundup.

Troy Aikman thinks big changes are needed in the organization. But Jerry Jones has other plans, like keeping Dak Prescott. Skip Bayless is done with defending his team, while Jason Witten’s life after the Cowboys got better. Just look at his hair.

Ruben Amaro Jr. has a new job.

In the news, Democrats took back the House while Republicans kept control of the Senate.

The Girl Scouts are suing the Boy Scouts for dropping the name “Boy.”