Jan 28, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT
Team of the Week: Villanova
For the first time since Ball State did it back in 2001 a team knocked off two top five teams in the same week. On Wednesday, the Wildcats knocked off then-No. 5 Louisville and followed that up with a win over then-No. 3 Syracuse. Darrun Hilliard was the star against the Orange, hitting for 25 points, while Ryan Arcidiacono had 15 points in the win over Louisville and his the game-tying three to force overtime against Syracuse.
The bigger news here is that Villanova, a team that had been pushed into the back of the mind of every Big East fan thanks to a couple of disappointing seasons in a row, is now firmly back into the NCAA tournament discussion, something that I doubt even the most die-hard fans thought possible. I mean, this is the same Villanova team that lost to Columbia — by 18! — earlier this season. Jay Wright’s team still has work to do, but those two wins likely mean that Villanova will make the tournament barring a dumpster fire taking place over the next month and a half.
Basketball is better when hoops in Philly is relevant, and Villanova certainly is relevant now.
Teams deserving a shout out:
La Salle: Villanova wasn’t the only team from Philly to win two games against ranked teams this past week. The Explorers did as well, beating Butler at the buzzer at home on Tuesday before going into Richmond and knocking off the Rams thanks to 31 points from Ramon Galloway. La Salle is loaded with talented guards and thrives playing small ball, but they also have enough quality size that they can battle with the big boys. Dr. Giannini’s team can also claim a win over Villanova this year.
La Salle has mostly been an afterthought in Philly over the last decade. All of a sudden, they look like they might be the best team in the city.
Georgetown: The Hoyas have now won four of their last five since Greg Whittington was suspended thanks to wins at Notre Dame and at home against Louisville this week. Otto Porter Jr. was the star, but it needs to be noted that Georgetown is a different team on the days that Markel Starks is playing and scoring at a high level.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils got drubbed at home by Arizona last week, which sent them off of the radar as a Pac-12 contender until Herb Sendek’s team when and swept the LA schools this weekend. The overtime win over USC was alright, but beating UCLA by 18 points after the Bruins trounced Arizona in the McKale Center sent a statement.
Miami: As if the win over then-No. 1 Duke wasn’t enough, the Hurricanes also managed to blow out Florida State at home this week. Miami is now 6-0 in the ACC with a two-game lead over the entire conference. Reggie Johnson is now back, and while he’s not playing his best basketball yet, Julian Gamble has made sure that no one has noticed. Miami is unquestionably the best team in the ACC so long as Ryan Kelly is out with an injury, and they may be when he returns.
Montana: The Grizzlies moved to 10-0 in the Big Sky this week, with the biggest win coming on Saturday as the knocked off a good Weber State team. WSU was 8-0 in the league heading into the weekend, but the Wildcats also dropped a game at Montana State. Will Cherry had 28 in the win.
Five more teams that deserve mention: Belmont, Kansas, Oregon, Sacred Heart, San Diego State
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
May 17, 2013, 9:02 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 7:55 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 6:48 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 5:23 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 4:36 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 3:21 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 2:29 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 10:52 AM EDT
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May 17, 2013, 9:56 AM EDT
A few days after landing a verbal commitment from 2014 point guard Edmond Sumner, the Xavier basketball program made an addition to its 2013 recruiting class on Thursday. 6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov, a native of Bulgaria, will attend Xavier next season according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Vezenkov played in 20 games this past season for…
May 16, 2013, 9:20 PM EDT
Three days after it was reported that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel would announce plans for a new project that would include a new arena for the DePaul basketball program the mayor did just that, unveiling plans with the hope of beginning construction in 2014. The multipurpose facility (which authorities hope will be completed in time…
May 16, 2013, 7:49 PM EDT
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May 16, 2013, 6:47 PM EDT
After one season at Villanova assistant coach Raphael Chillious has returned to the Washington program, the Pac-12 school announced in a press release Thursday. As a member of Lorenzo Romar’s staff from 2010-12 Chillious helped the Huskies win three conference titles (one regular season and two tournament titles), and the combination of his return and the…
May 16, 2013, 5:41 PM EDT
Rutgers announced the official addition of two players to the men’s basketball program on Thursday, as both incoming freshman Junior Etou and former Iowa State win Nkereuwem “Kerwin” Okoro are now Scarlet Knights. Okoro, a 6-5 guard who played his high school basketball at St. Raymond’s High School in the Bronx, played in just nine…
May 16, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT
The 2012-13 season was a successful one for first-year Canisius head coach Jim Baron, who managed to win 20 games and lead the Golden Griffins to their first postseason appearance since then-head coach John Beilein led the program to the NCAA tournament in 1996. Coach Baron will welcome back son Billy for his senior campaign…
May 16, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
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May 16, 2013, 2:10 PM EDT
The Big Ten’s tax returns are in, and it’s safe to say that, as we all suspected, the league is loaded: The Big Ten’s return showed the conference with more than $315 million in revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The Big Ten, which increased its annual revenue by more than $50…
May 16, 2013, 1:40 PM EDT
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