Posts for villanova

Villanova Thrashed The Big 5, As Is Tradition

Kyle Scott - December 14, 2017

I promise I’m not trolling the graduates, students and inevitable supporters of such fine institutions as Temple, St. Joe’s, La Salle and Penn, because believe me, if I were going to do that, I would’ve posted about how Villanova became the number one team in the country in the midst of our mourning of Carson Wentz’s injury on Monday. But I didn’t, because truth be told, that news did little to ease the sting of an all-too-familiar feeling of being a Philly fan.


72 hours has passed now and Villanova just beat the ever living piss out of Temple, so let’s talk about their continuned dominance of all things basketball in and around the Philly area.

Tell me what these numbers represent:





No, those are not some interstellar code to unmars the genome of a speciel being (I made up two words in that sentence)– they are the scores of Villanova’s four games against Big 5 opponents this season. If you want to do math, that’s 348-250. Villanova has now won – chuckles – 22 straight Big 5 games. You can throw in a win against national runner-up Gonzaga in the middle of the provincial beatdown this year, and it all means that Villanova is 11-0 and, once again, the number one team in the country.

ESPN’s announcers, who don’t often get to see Nova due to their standing as FOX’s premier college basketball team which sees every single one of its games televised on national TV, were effusive in their praise. Specifically, the following quotes in between verbally fellating Jalen Brunson as he dominated his fallback school: Villanova has “ownership of [college] basketball in this city” and that there is “no better coach in the country [than Jay Wright].”

All things we knew by now, but it’s always good to be reminded of true greatness.

Villanova Mauled Gonzaga and Is Maybe The Best Team in the Country

Kyle Scott - December 6, 2017

Villanova is now 2-0 in their last two games against national runners-up after destroying Gonzaga last night on the strength of HOLY SHIT SUSPENSION BRIDGES:

Bridges may be a lottery pick. Jalen Brunson may be the player of the year. And Omari Spellman is baby Embiid.

From one first round pick to another. Just another day in the Nova Nation.

Oh, and also Villanova is undefeated, the number four team in the country, and a national championship contender yet again. Like. Fucking. Clockwork.

Jay Wright Is Getting The John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award

Kyle Scott - October 10, 2017

Press release:

Jay Wright, Villanova University Men’s Basketball Coach, will receive the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor in 2018. Coach Wooden’s daughter Nan Wooden was proud to announce his selection at the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s annual Wooden Award Tip-Off Luncheon. The luncheon features the head coaches from the Division I men’s basketball programs in Southern California. The “Legends of Coaching” honor recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standard of coaching success and personal integrity.

The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Steering Committee in 1999. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rate of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Coach Wright will be recognized during the Wooden Award Weekend April 5-7, 2018, as a part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s celebration of the greatest players and coaches in college basketball. He will be awarded the honor during the 4th Annual ESPN College Basketball Awards on April 6, 2018.

Previous winners include Tubby Smith, Bill Self, Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Roy Wiliams, Coach K and Dean Smith. Not bad company.

Villanova to Play Penn in Jake Nevin Field House

Chris Jastrzembski - September 1, 2017

Villanova will play at least one game on campus this season. Except it won’t be at Finneran Pavilion.

The Wildcats announced this morning they’ll play Penn at Jake Nevin Field House on November 29. Originally known as the Villanova Field House, the Wildcats last played at the venue back in January, 1986 against Marist, before moving to the Pavilion.

Most of Nova’s games will be played at the Wells Fargo Center this year, as the Pavilion undergoes a huge $60 million renovation. That includes the addition of VIP box clubs, seating renovations, and what the school called a “recruiting room.”

The Field House currently is home for the women’s volleyball team and recently underwent its own renovation back in 2012.

The place seats 1,500 people in the upper level, which is about 5,000 less than what the Pavilion has (the reno is, frustratingly, not adding any seats). My guess is they’ll add some seats (in the Field House) to up the attendance.

Penn State did something like this two years ago when they played Canisius and UL-Monroe at Rec Hall, which was their home before the Bryce Jordan Center was built. It’s a great move by Nova to have at least one game at their old barn rather than make people commute down to the Wells Fargo Center for every home game.

It’s even better that it’s a Big 5 game, but I’m for having every Big 5 game at the Palestra. But that’ll probably never happen again.

What Sort of Sociopath Writes The Number 1 Like This?

Kyle Scott - April 4, 2017

While we all wait with bated breath to find out what unfortunate soul got Jim Nantz’s tie (you can’t tell in this video– I looked), let’s turn our attention to the first math class North Carolina basketball players have attended since the Eric Montross years– Roy Williams’ post-game bracket mathetology, Hard Math:

It would appear that coach Williams, in an effort to get his players those pesky little academic credits required to play pro college ball, launched a locker room class in which he walks the players through the difficulties of dividing even numbers by 2. North Carolina, now the national champions as it turns out, made it through 64-32-16-8-4-2 and have now, much like Brian McKnight, have arrived back at one. One. The number 1:

Voila_Capture 2017-04-04_09-51-40_AM

GAH! What the fuck is that? Burn it, burn it with fire! That’s an I! I can’ t even write it appropriately on this site because I’m not a mongrel and use sans-serif fonts. But OK, let’s give Williams’ players the benefit of the doubt and just assume for a second that they can even spell Roman Numeral and were taught to count in a prerequisite course called Super Bowl Logos… even then, what sort of lunatic writes simple whole numbers as numerals? I – I! I! I! – demand an immediate investigation into the accreditation of Hard Math, Super Bowl Logos, every other half-assed course North Carolina players have had someone else attend for them, and next semester’s upcoming class, Title Forfeiture. If there was ever an instance to make you question the legitimacy of North Carolina’s academics, this is it!

Side note: I got Tweets and texts asking how I felt about Kris Jenkins wearing a North Carolina shirt last night. I didn’t mind it. You see, when you crush another team’s soul with a shot like that, you are granted full ownership of their entire program, and with that comes all the gear and swag you want. Jenkins was simply supporting what is rightfully his (and his brother from another mother). But this… this was too much:

Enough. Enough now.

A Reminder That Jim Nantz Will Give Someone His Tie Tonight

Kyle Scott - April 3, 2017

A tradition unlike any other– Jim Nantz goes full creepfest and gives an unsuspecting college kid who just won the National Championship his tie.

For The Win has a short article about the tradition (urgh! VOMIT!!!), which apparently began in 2006 but only got publicized after cameras recorded Nantz giving Ryan Arcidiacono his tie last year. Nantz was mostly ridiculed, so he spun it into a sponsored charity thing with Vineyard Vines, “who will manufacture ties with Nantz National Alzheimer’s Center printed on the back,” to save face and so he can continue with his ego-boosting tradition (blech!!!!).

Some excerpts:

Nantz says he’d presented ties to fans who came up and asked for autographs, sometimes to those who had their own story of a family member who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease — Nantz’s father died in 2008 after a battle with the horrifying disease, and the announcer made it his priority to do all he could to fight for a cure.

What a weird thing to do! Imagine going up to a TV broadcaster and asking for their autograph and then them handing you their tie. Uh, thanks man, but I just figured I’d get a few more Johnny Hancocks on my program and call it a day. Now I have… a silky garment from you. Hey, where’s Erin Andrews?

“I’m not comparing myself in any fashion to these names, but these are all friends of mine who I’ve watched how they handle the public: President George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, [the late] Arnold Palmer. I watched the way they interacted with people and I’ve been downright touched by their generosity. Arnold would sign an autograph with more care and attention than anyone you saw. He would pull out an umbrella pin and sometimes put it on you. The presidents, I’ve seen them give away cuff links. I’ve just seen the best at being able to make people know they’re appreciated.”

President of the United States.

Arnold Palmer.

Jim Nantz.

Tell me which of these three you’d prefer to not receive worn clothing from.

No but for real, imagine how big your ego has to be to just casually throw yourself into the same conversation with presidents and one of the greatest golfers ever? This would be like me donating my old Macbook Pro to the Newseum because I heard Woodward graciously bestowed upon it his typewriter and Hemingway’s grandchildren handed over one of the old man’s cigar boxes. I bet Nantz dropped that line without a hint of irony.

Later, while Florida celebrated its championship, Nantz and Brewer found each other. Brewer asked Nantz if he’d mentioned his dad on the air, and the broadcaster confirmed he did. Then, he took off his tie and handed it to Brewer.

Wow. That escalated quickly.

Hey man, did you give my dad a shoutout?

Sure did, partner. Here, take my tie… and my shirt, and this pair of game-worn boxer briefs.

But I must say– I respect the hell out of Nantz spinning this into a charity deal to save face. Now it’s taboo to rip him for being a narcissistic freak because some tie company will donate the, like, $17 in gross profits to charity.

Side note: On a test show for our upcoming podcast, our yet unnamed co-host told the story about being around Nantz multiple times and how his go-to move is to ask well-wishers where they’re from, name a place in that town, and then tell them he has to go. What a guy.

The Oral History of Kris Jenkins’ Shot is the Best Thing Online Today

Kyle Scott - March 29, 2017

ESPN’s The Undefeated has an oral history of Marcus Paige’s game tying shot and Kris Jenkins’ National Championship winning shot. It’s terrific. My favorite part:

Kris Jenkins Junior forward, Villanova

[In the future, I’ll say my] shot was Kobe Bryant-esque. Cold-blooded. But that’s 20, 30 years from now. Right now, it was just one of the many shots I shot, that I take every day. I’ve shot that shot a million times.

Justin Jackson Sophomore forward, North Carolina

You can’t get away from it. Any time they start talking about the tournament, boom, Kris’ shot is on.

Jay Wright Head coach, Villanova; 2006 Naismith College Coach of the Year

I’ve wondered what it would be like to be on the other side of that. I can’t even imagine. I don’t think about overtime. I think, What if it went the other way?

Brice Johnson Senior forward, North Carolina

Definitely the greatest ending of all time. I wish I was on the better end of it, but, it is what it is. Do I ever wonder if it went to overtime? I don’t wonder. I know what would have happened. We would have won.

Joel Berry II Sophomore guard, North Carolina

We wish we had that extra time.

Ryan ArcidiaconoSenior guard, Villanova, also known as “Arch”

It never really crossed my mind. Ever. About what if that went to overtime.

Kris Jenkins Junior forward, Villanova

I don’t think what if the game went into overtime. Because it didn’t.

Because it didn’t. I detect just the slightest bit of baller in that line. 1-2 step, Mr. Kris.

Read the full piece here— it’s very well done.

Side note: I’m actually rooting for North Carolina this year. It had to be really tough for those kids to have their souls pierced by Jenkins and then have to go to class make sure someone signed them into class just told their teachers they weren’t going to make it to class a day later. The plight of the UNC basketball player. No but for real, count me on board the Tarheels train this weekend. Choo choo.

Some Thoughts on Villanova

Kyle Scott - March 19, 2017

So I suppose I deserve to have to write this post:

I’m forlorn– no way to sugarcoat it. My fandom hurts. That thing that goes off so often as a Philly sports fan – that soul-crushing, unexpected loss thing – went off again yesterday. It’s gone off three of the last four years. Why? Reasons (forgive any typos, my spell check is too sad to care):

1) Wisconsin is really good

Plain and simple. They’re a powerhouse program. I wrote it on Monday— they’ve now been in four consecutive Sweet 16s, 6 out of the last 7, and 10 in 18 years. Worse, they are exactly the sort of team Villanova struggles against– big, slow, can score inside and out. Jay Wright is always complimentary of opponents, but he said it best on Friday– Wisconsin is a bigger, stronger Butler, a team that beat Villanova twice this season. There would’ve been no shame in losing to Wisconsin if this game was played at any other point during the year. Which brings us to…


2) Wisconsin wasn’t an 8 seed

They finished second in the Big 10 (which was admittedly down this year) and made it to the conference championship game. They were ranked as high as number five in the country in the USA Today Coaches Poll, just over a month ago on February 6 (!!!). At the time, their shooters became hampered by a string of leg injuries and the Badgers then lost five of their next six, which sent their ranking, and tournament seeding prospects, plummeting. Still, they bounced back, winning three of their next four, two of them against tournament teams (Minnesota and Northwestern), and made it to their conference championship game, which they lost to Michigan, also a tournament team. The Northwestern game is particularly noteworthy. Wisconsin blew them out by 28 points, 24 hours before the selection committee announced the bracket. And not only did both teams wind up with the same seed, but somehow Wisconsin got placed in the region with the top overall seed. Go fucking figure. It was just as unfair to Wisconsin as it was to Villanova, who ostensibly earned the right, by going 31-3, to not have to face a team as good as Wisconsin until at least the Sweet 16. Both of these teams are (were 😥) too good to have to play each other in a win-or-go-home game on the third day of the tournament. But don’t let me tell you why this was unjust. Let ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan do it: Continue Reading

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