Minnesota guard Randy Foye probably would have had a bigger group of well-wishers at last night's game with the 76ers if his alma mater had not been away on business.

Foye led Villanova to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 in 2005 and the Elite Eight in 2006.

The Wildcats are in Boston for tonight's East Regional semifinal against Duke.

"I'm really happy for them," said Foye, who watched the second half of the Wildcats' second-round blowout of UCLA on Saturday. "It's just fun to watch them because they have grown from boys to men. I'm hoping and praying that they keep playing well, and playing together."

Timberwolves assistant coach Ed Pinckney, who starred for 'Nova's 1985 national championship squad, was a Wildcats assistant for four years before moving to his current position before last season.

He still says "us" and "we" when referring to 'Nova.

"I got us winning that ball game, no question," he said. "[Duke] is very talented, but we are more mature than they are. We've got more seniors."

Tall readers

In recognition of Reading Month, Sixers forward Elton Brand will read to a group of 50 children today at 4 p.m. at the Philadelphia Public Library at 1700 N. Broad St.

76ers guard Kareem Rush will be at the Wilmington Free Library and Royal Ivey will be at the Camden Free Library.


Before last night, the Timberwolves had defeated the Sixers in four of their last five meetings, including a 102-96 victory at home Dec. 12. . . . The Sixers have won six straight when swingman Andre Iguodala scored at least 20 points; he only had 15 last night. . . . Former Sixer Rodney Carney, who was traded to Minnesota last summer along with Calvin Booth and other considerations for a conditional second-round pick, was averaging 5.9 points per game entering the contest, but he scored 21 points last night. Booth has made only one appearance all season. . . . The Sixers will host former coach Larry Brown and the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow.

- Kevin Tatum