Eagles Still Have a Chance; Boston Blase

Eagles Still Have a Chance; Boston Blase

Disregard 2 posts ago, the game hasn't been decided yet!  Bob Ryan actually agrees with my point that with Donovan McNabb on the field, his team always has the possibility of winning.  Other than that he basically says the Eagles are chumps from the "junior conference."  More typical New Englander talk.  The only difference between Atlanta and Minesota talking up their game and New England.. The Pats have the coaching and players to back it up.

Link: Boston Globe: Bob Ryan: Superiority Will Shine Through

But the real story for Philadelphia is McNabb, who finally won the Big One. Always a class act off the field, he is now a superb, well-rounded, big-play quarterback worthy of immense respect. He gives the Iggles a chance Feb. 6 in Jacksonville.  A chance. That's all, a chance. But the Patriots will be favored to make it three Super Bowls out of four, and why not? I mean, what more does anyone need to know about this team?

There are a whole bunch of good Inquirer articles today.  I really enjoyed Dan Rubin's piece which focuses on the differences between Boston and Philly and demonstrates that the Patriots will always be second in Red Sox Nation.  I've been saying Boston fans never really care about their football team till they were winning for years.  I was up there when NE won their first championship, and their partying was mediocre at best.  Even this past summer I questioned a long time Creedon Bostonian whether they would trade in their two Lombardi trophies for one Red Sox championship and he responded instantly "In a heartbeat."  Pedro going to the Mets was a bigger story than the Pats beating the Colts in the playoffs.  Boston is a baseball town.  Philly bleeds green.  Period.

Link: Inquirer: Super What? Boston as blase as Philly is frenzied over the game.

Philadelphians "live in a real city with real attractions, not an overblown college town adjacent to a set of nutty neighborhoods which no one has left for the past 100 years. We are sophisticated. Bostonians are just lucky to be in the midst of sophistication - but they are not part of it.

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

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Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

BOX SCORE

Seniors Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins combined for 44 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and No. 1 Villanova held off Providence, 78-68, in a Big East game at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
 
Villanova extended a four-point halftime lead to as much as 20 points before hot-shooting Providence closed to within nine with five minutes left. Villanova then went on a 13-3 run to put the game out of reach.
 
Hart had 25 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Wildcats, and Jenkins added 19 points, four boards and four assists. Both shot over 50 percent.
 
Sophomore Mikal Bridges scored 15 points, matching his Big East career high, and also had three rebounds and three assists, and Jalen Brunson contributed 13 points to go with three rebounds and four assists.
 
Providence stayed in the game by shooting 13 for 26 from three against the No. 3 three-point shooting defense in Division 1.
 
What it means
Villanova improved to 19-1 overall and 7-1 and in first place in the Big East. The Wildcats have won five in a row since losing at Butler on Jan. 4.
 
Providence fell to 13-8 and 3-5 in the conference and 1-6 on the road. The Friars have lost six of eight since an 11-2 start.
 
Villanova is now 47-34 all-time at the Wells Fargo Center but 14-2 in its last 16 games at the South Philly arena.
 
Stat of the day
Providence shot better from three (50 percent) than two (44 percent). The Friars made 13 threes and just nine two-pointers.

Turning point
Providence trailed by just four at halftime at 35-31, but Bridges opened the second half with a steal and fast-break reverse layup and a jumper from the top of the key to start an 8-0 run that gave Villanova a 12-point lead. The Friars never got any close than eight points the rest of the game.
 
By the numbers
• Providence’s 50 percent shooting from three is the highest against ‘Nova since North Carolina shot 65 percent in the national championship game on April 4 in Houston.

• Villanova’s bench scored just two points.

• Providence’s 13 threes are the most by a Big East team against Villanova since Doug McDermott and Creighton had 21 in a 28-point win three years ago this week.

• Rodney Bullock led Providence with 17 points (3 for 5 from three), Jalen Lindsey added 14 (4 for 7 from three) and Isaiah Jackson came off the bench to score 12 (3 for 3 from three).

• Darryl Reynolds' last two double-digit rebound games have both been against Providence.
 
What's next
Villanova travels to Milwaukee for a Tuesday night game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big East with a game later Saturday at Creighton.
 
Villanova has won nine straight games against Marquette, since the Golden Eagles — then ranked No. 17 — came back from 18 points down to win 82-78 at the Wells Fargo Center in January 2012.