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SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Staff Writer
'THERE WAS a stretch of time after Jameer that I didn't like myself," Phil Martelli was saying in his office late yesterday afternoon. An endorphin-absorbed Sunday that had spilled into a foodless evening and then a sleepless night had morphed the coach into the kind of truth-spilling interviewee that detectives only dream about. He was happy one moment, pensive the next, even a bit sad after that. He was exhausted mostly, but not in the way he has spent too much of the time between the time Jameer Nelson finished and now being exhausted.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
JIM MURRAY is having a good week. Yesterday, he was grandest marshal you ever saw at Philly's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. And on Thursday, his beloved Villanova will play its opening-round game in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed. The former Eagles general manager was positively beaming as he made his way up a sun-splashed Benjamin Franklin Parkway yesterday. Not bad for a guy who attended Our Mother of Sorrows Parish grade school, West Catholic High and Villanova.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | BY DICK JERARDI, Daily News Staff Writer jerardd@phillynews.com
THE TEXT arrived in the middle of the night on Dec. 8, 2013, reminding Phil Martelli of a game that took place on Feb. 4, 2008, at the Palestra. The Saint Joseph's coach was just a few hours removed from his team getting crushed on its homecourt by archrival Villanova, 98-68, dropping the Hawks' record to 4-4. It was the kind of defeat that can ruin a season, overwhelm a coaching staff and destroy player confidence. The author of the text reminded Martelli of that night when St. Joe's had crushed Villanova, 77-55, in 2008.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
EXPECTATIONS. They can work both ways. Villanova didn't start the season with many. That's what happens when you're picked to finish fourth in a reconstructed Big East, and aren't ranked. So getting back to the NCAA Tournament and winning a game for the first time in 4 years probably seemed like a reasonable enough objective, at least to outsiders. Then the Wildcats went 28-4, which was three more regular-season wins than they'd ever had, and got to No. 3 in the nation. And the perspective turned understandably different.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
VILLANOVA has known it was going to be in the NCAA Tournament since about Thanksgiving. And for the last month or so, it was apparent the Wildcats were headed to Buffalo, N.Y., for their first game. The only thing missing was the opening opponent, and the rest of the bracket. Yesterday, those details finally became official. And it was the possible second matchup that got way more attention. No, it wasn't Creighton. The Wildcats (28-4), coming off a quarterfinal loss to Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament, are seeded second in the East Regional.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
A roar of disappointment and disgust went up Sunday from friends and alumni crowded into the Connelly Center's multipurpose room when "Virginia" went up on the No. 1 seed line in the East Regional instead of Villanova. But the Wildcats players and coaches were just fine with being the region's No. 2 seed, good for a matchup against Horizon League tournament champion University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Thursday in Buffalo. "I thought a No. 1 seed was possible, but I understood we weren't going to get it because we lost in the quarterfinals of the Big East" tournament, senior guard Tony Chennault said.
SPORTS
March 18, 2014 | By Ed Barkowitz, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
I am reading about graph theory and the pairwise relationships between objects. Very soon, there will be many pairwise relationships scheduled between basketball teams, and it is very important to understand these. Reading about graph theory is not fun - at least not for me - but it will be necessary to understand when it is time to decide if there is a graph that can properly predict whether the fourth representative from the Atlantic Coast Conference is superior in time, space, and three-point percentage to the automatic qualifier from the Sun Belt Conference.
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Once he completed his media obligations after Villanova's loss to Florida in the finals of the 2006 NCAA Minneapolis regional, Jay Wright entered the locker room at the Metrodome and swelled with pride at seeing how much his players had given in defeat. "It wasn't a bunch of guys sitting around crying," the Wildcats coach recalled a few days ago. "It was guys laying down dehydrated with IVs in their arms. They were just shot. I know it sounds sick, but I just felt so good about our guys and that they played until they had nothing left to give.
SPORTS
March 15, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
NEW YORK - If Villanova needed to be reminded there are no guarantees at this time of year, Seton Hall provided the lesson in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament Thursday by upsetting the top-seeded Wildcats, 64-63, at Madison Square Garden. Guard Sterling Gibbs hit a jump shot from just above the foul line as time expired to give the Pirates, the tournament's No. 8 seed, their biggest win of the season. Seton Hall advances to Friday's semifinal round against Providence while Villanova returns home for the long wait until Sunday's NCAA tournament selection and the longer wait until its opening game in that tournament.
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