HOUSTON - The Villanova players briefly barred their coaches and managers from the locker room at halftime of Monday night's NCAA championship game. They were very unhappy with their defense, which allowed North Carolina to shoot 53.6 percent and score 39 points. They wanted to have an honest discussion without any outside influences.
HOUSTON - Nearing the end of his senior year at Lower Merion High in 2012, Darryl Reynolds was being recruited by zero Division I schools. The Aces were playing Chester in the District I championship game at Villanova and Jay Wright was there to watch "all these great players," including Chester's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Larry Brown, between jobs, was there with his good friend Wright.
JAY WRIGHT'S most talented team was unquestionably the 2005-06 edition. Randy Foye and Kyle Lowry were first-round picks that summer. Lowry, with Toronto, started in the NBA All-Star Game. Foye comes off the bench in Oklahoma City. Allan Ray (2,025 points) actually outscored his classmate Foye in college by 59 points. Will Sheridan, Jason Fraser, Dante Cunningham and Shane Clark battled opponents' bigs. And Mike Nardi was a critical piece for the devastating four-guard lineup.
The late NCAA game at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night showed off two distinct methods for trying to attain the same goal. North Carolina and Indiana, with their great traditions and five NCAA titles each, want to play without brakes, accelerator to the floor, 80 points the minimum scoring goal, breaking the opponents’ will the ultimate plan.
SPOKANE, Wash. - This wasn't the script anybody really imagined for Friday night's first-round NCAA game between Saint Joseph's and Cincinnati. Given the Bearcats' tremendous defense, points really figured to be at premium at Spokane Arena. It did not play out that way, and everybody who watched it had to love it. It was high-quality hoops from start to finish where no lead was safe and no shot too difficult.
Dick Jerardi specializes in college basketball and horse racing. He has covered every Triple Crown race since 1987 and every NCAA Tournament since 1988, in addition to chronicling the careers of two National College Basketball Players of the Year, La Salle's Lionel Simmons (1990) and St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2004). He’s also covered many major events, including the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 2001 NBA Finals.