Villanova Is No. 1 in the Polls for the First Time Ever

Villanova Wildcats guard Josh Hart (3) reacts with guard Ryan Arcidiacono (15) after a score against the Providence Friars during the second half at Wells Fargo Center on January 24th. The Providence Friars won 82-76 in overtime.

Villanova Wildcats guard Josh Hart (3) reacts with guard Ryan Arcidiacono (15) after a score against the Providence Friars during the second half at Wells Fargo Center on January 24th.

The Villanova men’s basketball team may have its 1985 national championship, but the Wildcats had never been ranked No. 1 in the country during the regular season — until now. (There was no postseason AP poll in the 1985 season.)

The latest Associated Press poll, released today, has Villanova as the top team in the nation. The Wildcats were third last week, but No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 North Carolina both lost last week. Villanova is also No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Read more »

Farmhouse Friday: Villanova House Has 21st Century Style and 19th Century History

This renovated farmhouse offers luxury on an antique foundation.

This renovated farmhouse offers luxury on an antique foundation.

This week’s featured home for Farmhouse Friday is a testament to restoration, renovation and expansion. Technically, it’s Harriton Farm Springhouse, a farmhouse built in the 1840’s. However, it only takes a glance to see that today it is so, so much more than that.

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Does Anyone in Philly College Hoops — Besides Villanova — Have a Shot at the March NCAA Tourney?

St. Joe's DeAndre Bembry (left); Villanova's Josh Hart (right)

St. Joe’s DeAndre Bembry (left); Villanova’s Josh Hart (right).

The January break is over, and all six of the area’s Division I men’s college basketball teams have started division play. With no hope of sporting glory among the pro ranks — except maybe the hard-charging Flyers — it’s now time for Philly sports fans to turn their attention to the college hardwood. So who would make a run to the NCAA tournament this season?

As has been true for every year for about a decade now, the best team among the Big 5 is Villanova. The Wildcats (12-2) are 11th in the AP Top 25, a rank that’s sure to rise when the next poll is released today. Nova is coming off a 2-0 week that included a road win over Butler yesterday.

But Villanova is ranked even higher among computer polls. The Wildcats are the No. 1 team in the nation in RPI, which is the tool the selection committee uses to help them select the bracket. They’re also No. 2 in the Kenpom rankings and No. 7 in ESPN’s BPI.

The Wildcats trailed by 7 in yesterday’s game about three minutes into the second half, but Ryan Arcidiacono sparked a 17-4 run. Villanova led by as many as 9, and held off a late Butler charge to win 60-55. Josh Hart had 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting in the win. The Wildcats do pretty much everything well this season except shoot threes. But as college hoops scribe Ken Pomeroy has persuasively argued, there’s reason to think they may improve.

Villanova is already 4-0 in the Big East, a conference with enough quality teams that a solid campaign in it could land the Wildcats another No. 1 seed. Now, about MarchRead more »

Main Line Monday: Villanova Contemporary With a 200-Year-Old Secret

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

It’s not out of the ordinary to find a centuries-old barn converted into a spectacular home. This home on Kenilworth Road in Villanova is slightly different, as it was actually built on top of a 215-year-old springhouse that was original to the property.

The conversion took place in 1983, which is kind of evident by the styling and architecture of the home, and its former life isn’t buried behind some sheet rock or stucco. Scroll through the gallery and you’ll be able to see its strong stone walls on display in the home’s lower level, which has been converted into two large multi-purpose rooms surrounded by a window-walled sun space (hall).

You’ll also find a vintage shot of the springhouse prior to its multi-story addition.

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Spotted on the Main Line: Pat Croce’s Former Villanova Mansion has Sold

Pat Croce's former estate | Photos by Herb Engelsberg and Michael Brock

Pat Croce’s former estate | Photos by Herb Engelsberg and Michael Brock

The sprawling Villanova mansion once owned by former 76ers executive Pat Croce has sold for $3,081,164, according to Redfin.

It’s been a wild two years for the 3.5-acre estate on Mount Moro Road. Croce originally listed the grand (and exuberantly decorated) manse for $7.95 million in December 2013. After a series of hefty price cuts, it sold after an absolute auction in October of the following year for the bargain basement price of just over $2 million.

In order to make the estate more accessible to a wide range of luxury buyers, the new owner revamped the 11,000-square-foot home in early 2015, later listing in April for $4.3 million. Perhaps in an effort to bottle the energy and creativity of its former owner Croce, the Juliann Lange Team and the Michael Sivel Team, both with BHHS Fox & Roach, cooked up a Night Market-esque open house in June to market the new-look property at a hair under $4 million.

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Villanova Is Great Again; Is This the Year the Wildcats Deliver in March?

Dec 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Saint Joseph's Hawks forward James Demery (25) drives against Villanova Wildcats forward Daniel Ochefu (23) during the second half at Michael J. Hagan Arena. The Wildcats defeated the Hawks, 86-72.

Dec 1, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Saint Joseph’s Hawks forward James Demery (25) drives against Villanova Wildcats forward Daniel Ochefu (23) during the second half at Michael J. Hagan Arena. The Wildcats defeated the Hawks, 86-72.

College basketball fans, especially casual fans, may consider the Villanova Wildcats a team of overrated chumps who fold whenever March comes around. After all, they were a No. 1 seed last year and No. 2 the year before — and went out in the Round of 32 each time. The Wildcats haven’t been to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament since 2009, when Villanova won the East Region and advanced to the Final Four.

But losing in the tournament after one win doesn’t erase the quality work Villanova’s basketball teams have done over the past few seasons. Last season, the Wildcats stormed through the Big East, dropping just two games. They were in the top-25 nationally in both 2-point and 3-point shooting percentage. They rarely turned the ball over.

This season, they might be even better. Last night, the Wildcats beat Saint Joseph’s on Hawk Hill, 86-72. They only trailed once, 3-0. When St. Joe’s went on a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 5 with 12 minutes left, Ryan Arcidiacono nailed a three to quiet the crowd.

Yes, this was Villanova’s scare: The Wildcats were only up 5 in a game they previously led by 15. They won by 14 anyway. At the time of the close call, college basketball stats site Kenpom pegged Villanova’s win probability at just under 90 percent. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Villanova’s Harriton Manor House Is a Blend of Past and Present

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

TREND images via Zillow / BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.

Interspersing historic buildings with new constructions, open space with sensitive site planning, not to mention an innovative stormwater management system atop a 55-acre site, it’s no wonder the Harriton Farm development earned the Montgomery County Planning Commission‘s 2007 Land Development Award.

Developed by Pohlig Builders, LLC, and designed by Michael Visich Architects and Glackin Thomas Panzak, Inc., Harriton Farm is unique in that 7 of the 35 homes that reside within it are preserved structures, such as an 1860 gothic cottage, an 1880 Victorian barn and Queen Anne stable, and Lane’s End, an 18th-century farmhouse. There’s also the Harriton Manor House, which we’ve chosen as our Main Line Monday home for today.

Originally built in 1842, the Harriton Manor House sits on a lush plot overlooking a pond. It’s a country-style residence and as such offers features like plantation shutters and a breakfast room with fireplace and wood-stove insert. It’s newer details are likely to have come about during an extensive renovation in 2003. It was then that it had flagstone decking, a lower-level wine cellar and wet bar, and an apartment above the 3-car detached garage added to its repertoire. (FYI, its terrace is two stories and comes with massive columns.)

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Radnor Barn Transformed Into Luxury Mansion

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rosemont

We’re filing this one under Jaw Dropper – though it would have undoubtedly fit our Main Line and Farmhouse features too – because, well, it’s incredible. Formerly a barn nestled in Radnor Township, the renovated and restored property now functions as a residential piece of eye-candy overlooking “The Willows,” a lush 47-acre township park.

Inside, the home flaunts striking original stone walls accented with distinct millwork and gas fireplaces. Beautiful woodwork is spread throughout, making appearances in the wood-paneled executive office and the wood-ceilinged (and window-surrounded) breakfast room. Other rooms of note include a fitness space, bar, second caterer’s kitchen, gender-segregated bathrooms, billiard area, and in-law suite with office. The kitchen, too, is vaunted as exceptional what with its custom finishes and double Subzero refrigerators and freezers.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: French Country Estate-Style Dream on the Main Line

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

If this week’s Main Line Monday home seemed fitting as the setting for a Sabrina remake, then this Villanova residence would work great in a period film. Stylized in the character of French Colonial country estates, the three-acre property vaunts superb outdoor spaces by award-winning landscape architect Chuck Hess, while the home itself was designed by Peter Zimmerman Architects, a local firm noted for their historic preservation and residential projects on the Main Line. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Built in 2002, the house at 1113 Brynlawn Road offers elegant rooms with accents that include coffered and latticework ceilings, fireplaces (there are seven total), reclaimed antique pecan floors, and custom millwork. Floor-t0-ceiling windows and French doors are also throughout, with a pair in the garden room leading out to a flagstone patio overlooking the multi-garden grounds (which, for the record, was the Association of Professional Landscape Designers “Residential Best of Show” award winner in 2007). The garden room also connects to a a gallery with access to the study and open family kitchen. Specs and photos below.

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One Direction’s Harry Styles Visits Villanova Pizza Shop

In case the screaming teenage girls in the distance didn’t tip you off, One Direction is officially in Philadelphia. They’ll appear at Lincoln Financial Field tonight in their international On the Road Again Tour.

Somehow 1D frontman Harry Styles made it over to Villanova University last night to stop at a pizza shop near campus called Campus Corner. Naturally, the young clientele went wild, and Twitter blew up with evidence of his arrival:

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