The St. Joseph's Hawks and La Salle Explorers both had nights that fans of the two programs will figure to remember for at least a little while.
Starting with the Explorers, La Salle opened its A10 schedule with an 80-70 victory over the Xavier Musketeers, who have been having all sorts of issues since their brawl with Cincinnati on December 10th. The line heading into the game was less than three in most books. Ever hear of the phrase that "the line is saying something?" Well, in this case, it was speaking volumes as the Explorers took the lead on Chris Mack's embattled warriors (in their case, this is not hyperbole) with 12:45 to play in the first half and never trailed for the remainder of the game.
The win propels La Salle to 11-4 on the year, a record very few, if anyone, saw coming prior to the beginning of the season.
Speaking of teams on the rise playing out of their minds, the St. Joseph's Hawks are now apparently so good that they wait to get down 16 points before deciding that they're ready to win. Trailing 62-46 on the road at Duquesne, the Hawks ripped off an 18-4 run to cut the Dukes lead to just five with 4:49 remaining. They would ultimately force overtime and go on to win 82-80 in the extra period.
The Hawks, just like the Explorers, are now also 11-4 and 1-0 in conference play.
I know its early, and that conference play will shed greater light on what is and isn't for real about these two teams, but the Big 5 looks a whole lot better than many thought it would just two months ago, even without a strong showing from Villanova. With all this in mind, we're sending out a friendly reminder that St. Joseph's and La Salle will meet either each other or the Temple Owls six times between now and the end February.
For more on all the rest of the action, including Zack Rosen passing Jerome Allen on the all-time Penn point list, click here.
God, this is awesome. Here's some video of some kids storming the court somewhere after someone beat someone else.