While Villanova has its sights set on another NCAA Final Four run this March, this week’s conference tournaments may be the last time for alumni of the other Philly schools to check out their alma mater’s starting five. If it’s not already too late.
There are more than 120 college basketball games to be played over the next six days leading into Selection Sunday, but only a handful will matter here in Philly. Really, a very small handful. Here’s what’s left of the season for the City 6…which is mostly just a list of the potential opponents Villanova will play in the Big East tourney, let’s be honest.
There are also some key women’s games in the next few days as well, and some of them involve the schools within the city limits actually playing winning college basketball this season. Madness, I know.
Updated Friday, March 10:
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Philly men’s hoops conference tourney schedule
The Wildcats are the top seed in the Big East tournament and even if they lose in the quarterfinals — their first game after a bye in the 10-team tournament — they’re a pretty solid lock for the No.1 seed in the East when the NCAA Tournament begins.
And yet, there’s some unfinished business for Jay Wright’s team after losing to Seton Hall in the Big East final last season. Nova opens their tourney slate at noon on Thursday, March 9, playing the winner of the game between 8th-seeded St. John’s and 9th-seeded Georgetown.
Should the Wildcats win — and they should — they play the winner of the game between 4th-seeded Marquette and 5th-seeded Seton Hall on Friday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. before a potential final at 5:30 p.m. this Saturday against, probably, 2nd-seeded Butler, the team Villanova lost to twice this season.
Update: Villanova crushed St. Johns and faces Seton Hall at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Butler, however, lost in their first game of the tournament, so if Nova wins, they’ll get to the finals against the winner of Xavier and Creighton.
The entire Big East tournament is on FS1 until the final, which is on Fox.
The Owls head into the American Athletic Conference tournament with a 16-15 record, just dangerous enough to make a run, win the title and burst the bubble of a team hoping for an at-large bid.
That, or the 8th-seeded Owls will get bounced in the first round against East Carolina, when the two play Thursday, Mar. 9 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
If the Owls prevail, they’ll face top-seeded SUM at noon this Friday on ESPN2. So the dreams of Temple making a run to the dance will likely end there.
Update: Temple lost to ECU.
The Quakers qualified for the new four-team Ivy League tournament, being held at the Palestra on March 11 and 12. Penn gets ostensibly a home game against top-seeded Princeton at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, before 2nd-seeded Harvard faces 3rd-seeded Yale. Both games will be on ESPNU.
The winners then face off at noon on Selection Sunday, with that game airing on ESPN2.
The Explorers are 15-14 and the 8th seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament, which gets underway Wednesday in Pittsburgh with two games between the four worst teams in the conference. Thursday, the less awful teams play, and that includes La Salle, which faces 9th-seeded Davidson at Noon on Mar. 9. The game will be televised on NBCSN.
If La Salle advances, the Explorers will face top-seeded Dayton the following day at noon, also on NBCSN. Should La Salle advance to the semis and finals, those games are Saturday at 1:00 p.m on CBSSN and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on CBS, respectively.
Update: La Salle lost to Davidson.
Speaking of the four worst teams in the A10 conference, St. Joe’s is one of them! The Hawks are the 13th-seeded team, facing UMass in the first game of the tournament, at 6:00 p.m. on ASN, which a quick Google search indicates is called the American Sports Network, which is also a TV station I just learned exists. March Madness! Update: The Hawks lost Wednesday night, 70-63, dashing their A10 hopes.
They’re done. The Dragons finished the season 9-23 after losing in the first round of the Colonial Conference tournament. Nine wins. Yipes.
Sure, they’re not a city school, but neither is Villanova, technically. Lehigh is in the Patriot League final at Bucknell this Wednesday. The Mountain Hawks are 20-11 this season, the
second-seed (Ed note: third-seed) in the Patriot League tourney, and beat Bucknell twice this season. The Bison are 25-8 this year, tops in the league, and have just three losses this calendar year, including the two to Lehigh. Winner goes dancing. Update: Lehigh lost to the mighty Bison Wednesday, 81-65, ending their NCAA hopes in the one-bid league.
Philly women’s hoops conference tourney schedule
Temple lost in the AAC semifinals to South Florida for the second-straight year, but at 24-7, the Owls are hopeful they’ve done enough to warrant an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament this season.
The Hawks lost in the semifinals of the A10 tournament to Duquesne, ending their NCAA hopes. At 17-14, with an RPI of 111, St. Joe’s won’t be going dancing this year.
Penn enters the four-team Ivy League tournament at the Palestra as the top seed, playing Brown at 11 a.m. this Saturday. The game is on ESPN3, tape delayed on ESPNU.
Should the Quakers win Saturday, they’ll play the winner of Princeton and Harvard on Sunday. That game will air at 4 p.m. on ESPNU, right before the Selection Sunday madness gets going.
The Nova women fell in the quarterfinals of the women’s Big East tournament, losing 56-40 to St. John’s. At 16-14, their NCAA hopes are slim.
The Dragons play Northeastern at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday in the first round of the CAA tournament. The game is not televised, but is available online at the CAA championship website. Drexel enters the tournament 20-9, third in the CAA standings.
Update: Drexel beat Northeastern 68-50 Thursday night, advancing to the CAA semis against James Madison at 7:00 p.m. Friday.
The Explorers fell to St. Joe’s in the second round of the A10 tournament. At 17-13, with a 171 RPI, that should do it for the season.