Today in Philly Sports History: St. Joe's Beats Villanova on Buzzer-Beater, 1966

Today in Philly Sports History: St. Joe's Beats Villanova on Buzzer-Beater, 1966

The separation between #s 1 (Villanova) and #s 2-5 (in some order, Temple, Penn, La Salle and St. Joseph's) might have diminished the excitement surrounding Big 5 basketball somewhat in recent years, but there's no denying the place in Philly hoops history that the entirely unofficial conference has had. With a history dating back to the mid-50s, Big 5 basketball has borne enough rivalries, legends and classic games to fill several books, and even continues today, with games like the "Holy War" between St. Joe's and Nova, and the ongiong debate over whether to expand to a half-dozen to include rising local power Drexel.

One of the signature games of the association came on January 16th, 1966, in one such righteous battle between St. Joe's and Nova. The Hawks were a nationally ranked team, led by future NBA players Matt Guokas and Cliff Anderson, while the Wildcats were considered heavy underdogs. But Nova came out firing, and looked like a sure thing to pull off the upset as they led by nine with under six minutes left. The Cats went cold, though, and led only by one with seconds remaining. Little-seen Hakws benchwarmer Steve Donches launched a 29-footer as the buzzer sounder, and it landed for the win. Final score: St. Joseph's 71, Villanova 69.

The Nova-Joe's rivalry rages on, with the two teams locking horns last December, resulting in a 97-89 Villanova victory. Since the 21st century began, Villanova leads 8-3 in the regular-season series, and leads them 43-24 over all. St. Joseph's, however, is arguably currently leading in the NBA Pro battle, claiming both Magic All-Star Jameer Nelson and Cavaliers playoff warrior Delonte West, while Nova boasts only one current NBA starter in Wizards combo guard Randy Foye.

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).