Possible Holy War?

Posted: March 18, 2014

PUTTING VILLANOVA and Saint Joseph's anywhere together can often be a dicey proposition. They don't call their rivalry the "Holy War" for nothing.

But the selection committee found a place where the two will have to coexist. They are going to Buffalo and would meet in the third round Saturday, if they get past their first opponents.

"I swear, I really think there are so many connections [among teams]," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "I do think it's random."

St. Joe's plays Connecticut. Villanova has Milwaukee.

Villanova leads the all-time series, 47-25, including a 30-point thumping earlier this year. Their only NCAA meeting was in 1971 when Villanova beat the Hawks in the first round en route to the Final Four.

For the fourth time, Villanova and St. Joe's will be the city's lone NCAA Tournament representatives.

The last time this happened, it was pretty magical - for St. Joe's, that is.

In 1981, the Hawks beat Creighton in the first round (hey, at least somebody can beat Creighton around here) and then shocked top-ranked DePaul in the last seconds.

The Hawks then beat Boston College and came within one victory of getting to the Final Four, which was being held at the Spectrum.

But Indiana thumped the Hawks and rolled to a championship that is best remembered for being played the same night President Reagan was nearly assassinated. It was a helluva tournament.

Weather watch

Going to Buffalo? Weather.com is calling for showers on Wednesday with a high of 47 and some snow on Thursday with temps in the 30s.

'Tis the season

You can tell it's March when the coaches from the power conferences are whining about disrespect.

"I'll get in trouble probably for saying [this]," Mike Krzyzewski said, making the case for at-large bids for ACC rivals N.C. State and Florida State. "Like the Atlantic 10, they're a really good conference. I hear people saying there are six teams in [from] there. Come on. I mean, they're good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through."

And then there's this.

"The thing that always makes me laugh is the thought that those middling teams from the football conferences, I don't think they could fare any better than what BYU has done here," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said after winning the West Coast Conference. "They're a very, very good team and I expect to see them pop up on Selection Sunday."

BYU is a 10-seed, N.C. State (11 seed) is in a play-in game and Florida State was not invited.

Bitter sweet

Creighton's Doug McDermott will try to be the first member of the 3,000-point club to make some noise in the NCAAs.

Of the other seven members of Club3K, none ever made it to the Sweet 16, which probably isn't that surprising given what a team game basketball is.

LSU's Pete Maravich, the all-time leading scorer (3,667 points), never played in the NCAA Tournament, which had fields of 28 and 30 when he played. Neither did Portland State's Freeman Williams (3,249), Texas Southern's Harry Kelly (3,066) or Saint Peter's Keydren Clark (3,058). Mississippi Valley State's Alphonso Ford (3,165) lost his only NCAA game and Bradley's Hersey Hawkins (3,008) went 1-2.

Lionel Simmons (3,217) made three trips to the dance. La Salle was a 4-seed when it beat Southern Miss in 1990, but was out 2 days later after losing to Clemson.

McDermott (3,105) and Creighton are a 3-seed in the West.


Wichita State's prize for going 34-0 was getting the lousiest draw among the No. 1 seeds.

The Shockers are looking at Kentucky in the second round, Louisville in the Sweet 16 and possibly Duke or Michigan just to get to the Final Four.

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