Back to Reality: Monday Morning After Headlines

Back to Reality: Monday Morning After Headlines

It was a little odd sitting on my back patio yesterday afternoon, empty blue sky overhead and the wind dying down by the hour. Don't we have tickets for a game tonight? Obviously, despite the calm after the storm, the Phillies and Union made the right decision to just scrap a day that featured an early morning hurricane that did lay some damage around the area, from widespread power outages to some serious flooding. The road I usually take to get to PPL Park was completely flooded as of yesterday afternoon, and I'm guessing field conditions were less than optimal.

With no sports on the docket yesterday, we enjoyed a little day off to recuperate from our Happy Landfall, Irene! party. Today we're sifting through the news debris as the Philly sports world gets back to reality.

Headlines from the weekend and Monday morning below.

Once both Saturday's games were called due to rain, the Phillies boarded a plane for Cincinnati, where they'll face the Reds in a four-game set to start the week. Jim Salisbury takes a look at Cole Hamels' return from the DL, with video on whether John Mayberry Jr is close to becoming a regular in the Phillies lineup and Vance Worley's potential for starting in the playoffs. [CSNPhilly]

We have a lot of baseball coming our way now that the hurricane hiatus is over, with the Phillies playing 33 games in 31 days. Sam Donnellon looks on the bright side and asks whether this might actually be a good thing for the Phils. [Philly.com]

Bob Vetrone Jr's BoopStats blog says that the Reds are an ideal opponent for Cole's return to the rotation. [BoopStats]

With Irene bearing down on the Delaware Valley like the Browns first quarter pass rush did on Michael Vick Thursday night, the Eagles shook up their offensive line on Saturday. Kulp described the new-look line here. [The700Level]

New Flyer Brayden Schenn is taking tips from longtime NHL star Gary Roberts, but it's not on how to put the puck in the net… it's on what to put in his shopping cart at the grocery store. [Globe and Mail]

The Union may have been off yesterday, but the other local soccer club was in action, with the Independence squaring off against Marta and the Western New York Flash for the Women's Professional Soccer League Championship. It's the second time the Independence have made the final in their two-year history. Unfortunately, the Flash would win the match on penalty kicks after regulation and overtime ended with the teams locked at one. Great showing in 2011, ladies. [CSNPhilly]

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 76, Seton Hall 46

ap-josh-hart-steal.jpg
The Associated Press

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 76, Seton Hall 46

BOX SCORE

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Back at No. 1, Villanova looked every bit like the best team in the country.

The Wildcats — who earlier in the day regained their top spot in the rankings after a week at No. 3 — demolished Seton Hall, 76-46, in a Big East matchup Monday night at the Pavilion.

The win was the fourth straight for Villanova (18-1, 6-1), the 1,700th in program history, and the 47th straight at the Pavilion, setting an all-time record. The previous mark of 46 was established between January 2007 and 2011. 

Leading by 13 at halftime, Villanova put its foot on the gas to start the second half, jumping out to a 53-26 advantage on a Kris Jenkins three-pointer followed by a baseline slam from Donte DiVincenzo.

The hot-shooting Wildcats continued to pour it on from there, with Jenkins hitting a couple of more tough threes to put Villanova up by a whopping 65-31 margin with 10:33 left.

Seton Hall (12-6, 2-4) closed a three-game road trip with losses in all three games.

Big men on campus
Jenkins led the way with 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting from behind the arc. He joined Jalen Brunson (13 points), Josh Hart (11 points), Eric Paschall (10 points) and DiVincenzo (10 points) in double figures.

All seven of the players in head coach Jay Wright’s seven-man rotation finished with at least eight points as Darryl Reynolds had eight points and nine rebounds and Mikal Bridges had eight points and seven rebounds.

Desi Rodriguez was the only Seton Hall player to hit double figures with 15 points.

By the numbers
• Villanova shot 47.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent (12 for 26) from three-point range, while Seton Hall shot 29.1 and 25 percent.

• The Wildcats had nine steals and scored 27 points off 16 Seton Hall turnovers. 

• Villanova only missed one of its 11 free throw attempts.

First half
Seton Hall led 5-4 before Villanova went on a 13-0 run to take control, capped by a fantastic one-handed putback slam from Reynolds. 

The Wildcats extended their lead to 25-7 as Seton Hall struggled to make anything. Consecutive threes from Rodriguez gave the Pirates a glimmer of life late in the first half, but the Wildcats still took a comfortable 36-23 lead into halftime.

Hall trouble
The Pirates have more victories over Villanova than any Big East team since the new version of the league was launched in 2013, beating the Wildcats three times. One of those wins was in last year’s Big East Tournament title game at Madison Square Garden, Villanova’s final loss in 2015-16 before its magical run to the national title.

Seton Hall has had far less success at the Pavilion, however, with their last win there coming all the way back in 1994. 

Simmons in the house
Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, was on hand to see the No. 1 team in the country. He sat courtside and took photos with fans at halftime. 

Up next
Villanova returns to action Saturday afternoon vs. Providence at the Wells Fargo Center.

Seton Hall goes home to welcome St. John’s on Sunday. 

Dario Saric: Joel Embiid 'has changed the sport in Philly,' deserves to be All-Star

Dario Saric: Joel Embiid 'has changed the sport in Philly,' deserves to be All-Star

Even Dario Saric is getting in on the Joel Embiid All-Star Game craze.

After the Sixers' 113-104 win over the Bucks Monday, Saric made the case for Embiid in a postgame interview with CSN's Molly Sullivan. 

"Joel, for sure, he deserves to be in All-Star Game ... he's the guy who changed the sport in Philly," Saric said.

"And if we get Ben [Simmons] to him, we got good couples for so many years."

Saric definitely trusts The Process.

"He deserve everything ... he's maybe the best big man in the league."

We'll find out if the fans like him as much as Saric does Monday at midnight when fan voting ends. 

Catch the full interview above for more.