Temple and St. Joe's Set to Square off in Final Game as A-10 Members

Temple and St. Joe's Set to Square off in Final Game as A-10 Members

It's the most-played rivalry in the Big 5 — spanning 154 games — and for the first time in 31 years, it's about to change.

Temple and Saint Joseph's have played in the the Atlantic 10 since 1982, but, this coming July, Temple will finally make the jump to the Big East for all-sports, after re-joining as a football-only member last summer.

That makes tonight, barring a A-10 tournament meeting, the last time Temple and St. Joe's will play each other as members of the same conference.

Saturday night, 6 p.m., the Hagan Arena at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse on Hawk Hill (CBS Sports Network / 610 AM — Martucci-Lunardi / 1210 AM — Donahue-Baum).

It's not a bad to way to go out, especially with something on the line. Neither Temple (14-6, 3-3) nor St. Joe's (12-7, 3-3) want to fall below .500 in a deep league when both have fallen short of their preseason expectations to date. Another win or loss will teach us something about both of these teams and bolster or weaken their respective NCAA hopes. The A-10 is the strongest its been in years, but its members seem to be doing more to beat each other up than to strengthen the tournament bids of the best teams, at least in the early going.

And that brings us to the bigger picture, just when the league is its most formidable, the most change is on the way. Temple — a program with five straight NCAA tournament appearances that has won the conference tournament or regular-season title in four of the last five seasons — is on its way out. But so too — it appears — is Xavier, and possibly Butler, and possibly Dayton, and possibly who knows who else might defect to the Catholic 7's new basketball conference, expected to begin play in 2014. (Charlotte, for the record, is going to Conference USA in 2013. I didn't forget. It's just meh.)

No matter who goes where, local fans will always have the Big 5 games. But tonight is the last time it'll mean something extra in the standings. To a lesser degree — the two haven't shared the same conference for as long — we'll be saying the same thing about Temple-La Salle on Feb. 21.

Paint the rollouts and maybe throw a streamer or two. Tonight isn't the end. It's just the end of what we're used to.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).