Temple Survives, It's Ova for Nova
By Kevin K

In the past two days, two things ended for the Big Five.

First off, Fran Dunphy finally gets a first round victory after 11 straight losses in 16 years of coaching (Penn and Temple) after a 66-64 victory over Penn State.

The win over Penn State was one of the most entertaining game of the Tournament so far. The game came down to the final seconds as Temple walked off the court with a first round victory.

In the postgame press conference Dunphy said, "It's not like Penn State deserves to lose that game. We just happened to win it." In the locker room he continued, "They played great," Dunphy said, quietly. "I feel bad for those guys. I know Ed DeChellis. I know what he goes through. It's not always easy. But that's what college athletics is about.

"I'll take a step back in many, many years and appreciate the hell out of what's happening to me, each and every game and each and every day."

Temple plays San Diego State University Saturday at 6:00 on TNT.

Secondly, Villanova's season came to a close after suffering yet another late season meltdown and loss to George Mason. With less than two minutes to play in the game, Nova lead by 6.

A few missed foul shots and opportunities later and George Mason tied it. George Mason ultimately won the game 61-57 after a missed layup to tie the game for the Cats led to a fast break and icing on the cake for George Mason.

Philly Phans blogger Carl Naimoli was right about this year for Villanova, it was Deja Vu.

This is nothing new for Villanova fans as we saw a similar ending to the season last year. The season was looking promising, Villanova was 22-2 overall and 11-1 in the Big East and ranked as high as 2nd in the country.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this team to start off the season as they were ranked 6th in the ESPN/USA Today polls. They started 17-2 with impressive wins over Louisville and Syracuse but ever since then their 4-6 slide has put the feeling of déjà vu into my mind, and my fear of another late season collapse may be coming to fruition.

The problem surrounding this team is their lack of leadership on offense. Where they make up defensively with the loss of All-American Scottie Reynolds they lose just as much on offense. Their scoring is spread out but they need a leader to take over in big game situations and neither Corey Fisher nor Corey Stokes has been able to do that.

It was lack of leadership and failure to close out the game that cost Villanova in the first round of the tournament. Villanova is now heading home as George Mason prepares for Ohio State on Sunday.

 
 
NCAA Game Time and Channels Announced
By Kevin K

This is the first year in which you can watch EVERY NCAA Tournament game. There will be plenty of flipping back and forth to different channel of the NCAA tournament this week, especially come 2:00 on Thursday and Friday in Philadelphia.

The T.V. schedule has officially been posted!

Thursday 2:00: Temple vs Penn State on TNT
Friday 2:00: Villanova vs George Mason on TNT

You can check out the entire T.V. Schedule here: http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/2011-03-08/men%E2%80%99s-march-madness-tv-schedule 
 
 
Big 5 Tournament Bids
By Kevin K

In the toughest bracket in the Tournament, the Villanova Wildcats received a #9 seed and will play #8 George Mason. Villanova will have a hard time getting to the Final Four if they are able to beat George Mason. The Wildcats would have to get by the #1 Overall Seed Ohio State, #2 North Carolina, or #3 Syracuse.

Villanova has been on a down slide lately and will have a hard time making a run in this tournament.

The Temple Owls received a #7 overall seed and are set to play the #10 Penn State University out of the West Region. Temple can beat Penn St, but may have a difficult task in San Diego St. in round two. Temple could surprise many people with the #7 seed in the West Region and could make a run out of the West.

LET'S GO BIG 5!
 
 
St. Joe's Gets an Upset, Nova Slumping
By Kevin K and John S

BIG EAST

Villanova squandered a 16-point halftime lead, as South Florida's Anthony Crater scored on a driving layup with 5.1 left to knock the Wildcats out of the Big East tournament with 70-69 upset victory. The 9th seeded Wildcats will have to wait to find out their fate on Selection Sunday.

ATLANTIC 10

The St. Joseph Hawks extended their season with a 71-59 victory over George Washington in the opening round of the Atlantic Ten Tournament on Tuesday night. With their win, the 12th seeded Hawks advanced to play 4th seeded Duquesne in a 2:30 p.m. tipoff on Friday at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

LaSalle got a big win in the A-10 Tournament over St. Bonaventure; however, there hopes of winning the A-10 may be smashed come Friday against the Temple Owls.

GAMES TO WATCH:

Friday, March 11th:

St. Joseph Hawks vs Duquesne 2:30
LaSalle vs Temple 6:30

All A-10 games will be played at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Give your Big Five Teams some support by showing up and cheering them on!

IN OTHER SCORES:

Penn fell to Princeton last night in an Ivy League match-up. Penn fell 70-58
 
 
It Looks Like Déjà Vu For Villanova
By Carl Naimoli

The Villanova Wildcats (21-8, 9-7) have just lost four of their last six Big East games, with their two wins against lowly Seton Hall and DePaul. In all they have lost seven of their last twelve games and with road matchups against 9th-ranked Notre Dame and 6th-ranked Pittsburgh their future looks grim.

This is nothing new for Villanova fans as we saw a similar ending to the season last year. The season was looking promising, Villanova was 22-2 overall and 11-1 in the Big East and ranked as high as 2nd in the country…Then it all came tumbling down. Villanova lost four of its’ last six regular season games and was knocked out of the Big East Tournament in their first game against unranked Marquette.

The poor play carried over into the NCAA Tournament as they were close to being only the fifth 2 seed to lose to a 15 seed when they beat Robert Morris in overtime. They didn’t fare much better in their next game when they lost to 10th-seeded Saint Mary’s.

This year’s Villanova team is in a similar situation, but now it’s worse with two tough games remaining on the schedule.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this team to start off the season as they were ranked 6th in the ESPN/USA Today polls. They started 17-2 with impressive wins over Louisville and Syracuse but ever since then their 4-6 slide has put the feeling of déjà vu into my mind, and my fear of another late season collapse may be coming to fruition.

As of yesterday Joe Lunardi has them as a 4 seed, but the possibility of them losing their final two games and with another poor showing in the Big East Tournament it could be realistic for Villanova to fall to an 8 or 9 seed.

The problem surrounding this team is their lack of leadership on offense. Where they make up defensively with the loss of All-American Scottie Reynolds they lose just as much on offense. Their scoring is spread out but they need a leader to take over in big game situations and neither Corey Fisher nor Corey Stokes has been able to do that.

Also, the much hyped sophomore class has not lived up to its reputation. Coming into last year the 2009 class (Mouphtaou Yarou, Dominic Cheek, Maalik Wayns, and Isaiah Armwood) was ranked third by ESPN and Rivals.com and second overall on Scout.com, only behind the famed Kentucky class of John Wall and company. Other than Maalik Wayns the rest of the class has been quite a disappointment.

I know Villanova has the tough task of playing in the Big East but if they continue to lose their confidence will be shot by tournament time. The Cats need another contributor besides Stokes, Fisher, and Wayns. If someone like Dominic Cheek or Mouphtaou Yarou can step up they have a shot to be a dangerous team, but if they can’t find a spark it could be another early round exit for the Wildcats.
 
 
Thursday night’s battle of Big 5 Titans ended with Villanova clinching the 2010 Big 5 title with a hard fought 78-74 victory over the Temple Owls.  A year after the Owls had surprised the highly ranked Wildcats, Villanova got its revenge in 2010 with this victory.

The 8th ranked Wildcats were led by Maalik Wayns, who tallied 21 points to go along with 8 assists. Corey Stokes led the team in scoring with 24 points. The only other Villanova player in double figures was Mouphtaou Yarou with 14 points and 4 rebounds.

In the losing effort, Temple’s Lavoy Allen dropped in 22 points to go along with 9 rebounds.  Juan Fernandez had a season high 20 points and Ramone Moore chipped in 16 points and 8 rebounds.

The win gives Villanova a 4-0 record in the Big 5 and officially clinches the title for this basketball season.

 
 
Welcome one and all! This is my first, of hopefully many, post about Big 5 Basketball in Philadelphia. With it being the Christmas season, there is not a game for any of these respective teams until the 28th, I figured it would be a good time for an introductory post about the Big 5. 

The “Big 5” is a group of some of the most prestigious schools that the city of Philadelphia has to offer.  It is not an official “conference”, but every year these teams meet each other and a champion is determined based on their head- to-head records. 

The 5 teams in the Big 5 are as follows: 

1. La Salle Explorers 

2. Penn Quakers

3. Saint Joseph’s Hawks 

4. Temple Owls 

5. Villanova Wildcats 

So courtesy of the Big 5 website, I found a list of the “Big 5 games” this season and will give those to you in a moment, both men’s and women’s schedules, results, upcoming games, and overall Big 5 standings thus far this season. 

Big 5 Men’s Schedule & Results 

Results:                                                                                                                                          Dec. 3: Villanova – 71. St. Joseph’s - 60
Dec. 8: Villanova – 65, Penn - 53
Dec. 12: Villanova – 84, La Salle – 81

Upcoming: 
Thu. Dec. 30: Temple at Villanova, 7 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 12: Penn at La Salle, 7 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 19: Penn at Temple, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 22: Penn vs. Saint Joseph’s 7 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 26: Saint Joseph’s vs. La Salle, 7 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 20: Saint Joseph’s at Temple, 4 p.m.
Sat. March 5: La Salle at Temple, 3 p.m.

Standings: 

Team W L

Villanova: 3-0

Temple: 0-0
Saint Joseph: 0-1
La Salle: 0-1
Penn: 0-1 

Big 5 Women’s Schedule & Results 

Results: 

Nov. 12: Villanova – 57, La Salle - 42
Dec. 7: Saint Joseph’s – 60, Penn – 45 
Dec. 12: Saint Joseph’s – 46, Villanova – 43 
Dec. 19: Temple – 55, Villanova - 43


Upcoming:

Wed. Jan. 12: Villanova at Penn, 7 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 19: La Salle at Penn, 7 p.m.

Sat. Jan. 22: Temple at Penn, 2 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 12: La Salle at Temple, 2 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 19: La Salle at Saint Joseph’s, 2 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 23: Temple at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m.


Standings: 
Saint Joseph's: 2-0
Temple: 1-0
Villanova: 1-2
La Salle: 0-1
Penn: 0-1


Look for more blogs to come on Big 5 Basketball 

- Johnny S.



 
 
Nova Falls.
By Kevin K

Villanova fell to St. Marys yesterday in an extreme upset. Their heads seemed not to be in the game at all and the Wildcats lose and are
 
 
By Kevin  K

The Temple University Owls go a bad match up in the first round. Cornell is very talented and both coaches know each others style very well. This game went bad for Temple as they are eliminated out of the first round 78-65

It took OT for the Villanova WildCats to beat Robert Morris yesterday. Now they have to face St. Marys on on
 
 

How I See It
By Kevin K

Every time I look at a bracket I see Villanova in the Final Four. Their bracket is the easiest bracket in the tournament. They will have some trouble in the tournament, but as they continue to win they will build confidence. I think Duke is the most overrated number 1 in the Tournament and I expect Texas A&M. I can see the Nova playing West Virginia in the Final Four, and possibly be in the championship, yea I know that is scary.

Temple is completely underrated, and is going to have a difficult time against Cornell. The head coach of Cornell is the former assistant to Fran Dunphy, and the two teams play pretty much the same game. Temple will get by Cornell and actually go to the sweet sixteen, the downside is that is when they will play Kentucky, and lose.

Keeping High Hopes for the two Big 5 teams .... and my boys the University of Maryland Terrapins.