5 Reasons You Should Root for Villanova in the NCAA Tournament

Villanova Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard II (4) and guard Josh Hart (3) celebrate after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 during the second half at Wells Fargo Center.

Villanova Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard II (4) and guard Josh Hart (3) celebrate after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 during the second half at Wells Fargo Center.

I like Villanova’s basketball team.

I realize this is not a popular opinion for all basketball fans in Philly. Villanova is the Duke of the local basketball scene: It’s an obnoxious private school with smart kids, plus it seems to win all the time. It’s in the suburbs. Its two big local rivals (Temple and St. Joe’s) hated Villanova a ton even before the Wildcats’ recent dominance of the Big 5.

But I like the Wildcats. They’ve played good, entertaining basketball since Jay Wright became coach in 2001. He’s been rumored to be taking better jobs — sometimes, even with the Sixers – but has stayed with the Wildcats. They’ve been a tournament team all but one year since the 2004-05 season. For the last decade, Villanova has been the class of Philadelphia basketball — even if they are in the suburbs.

Even the program’s scandals are benign now. Twelve years ago, Villanova suspended 12 players for using a Villanova phone code to make unauthorized calls. Can you even imagine this type of scandal today, with cell phones and Skype?

With this in mind, here are five reasons to root for Villanova this tournament. Read more »

Main Line Monday: $22.5 Million Villanova Estate Includes Clock Tower Guest House

All TREND photos via Realtor.com

All TREND photos via Realtor.com

Did you balk at the price? We did it too until we heard this: Albermarle was once part of the historic Ardrossan Estate.

Once a 700-acre expanse boasting close to thirty buildings (not to mention the occupancy of Hope Montgomery Scott, the socialite who inspired the the character Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story) Ardrossan was a vaunted property more noted than other Main Line mansions. Today, only 311-acres remain of its original tract, 71 of which now belong to the township. From the Main Line Times:

The township bought 71 acres of the 311-acre Ardrossan Farm property for open space, closing on the $11.6 million deal late last year. The remainder of the property will become an upscale housing development, although developer Edgar “Eddie” Scott III promises to preserve much of the interior land as “investment lots” so the new homeowners can enjoy magnificent views of the rolling countryside.

So what of the other 400+ acres? Long story short, the land was divided and sold off into individual parcels, most of which–like Albermarle–are now probably mansion estates.

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Villanova Gets No. 1 Seed in NCAA Tournament; Temple Out

Villanova Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard II (4) and guard Josh Hart (3) celebrate after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 during the second half at Wells Fargo Center.

Villanova Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard II (4) and guard Josh Hart (3) celebrate after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 during the second half at Wells Fargo Center.

After a 32-2 season, Villanova received the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats will play Lafayette, winners of the Patriot League, on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

But the bubble burst for Temple, which was left out of the 68-team field by the selection committee. They’re a No. 1 seed in the NIT, and will host Bucknell at the Liacouras Center on North Broad on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Read more »

Rollie Massimino on Villanova’s 1985 Upset Over Georgetown

Photo by Jason Myers

Photo by Jason Myers

This is the 30th anniversary of Villanova’s historic upset over Georgetown in the NCAA Finals. How are you going to celebrate?
Our players have come down to visit me for the last eight or nine years, since we started the program here in Northwood. Everyone but a couple will be here. We celebrated at Villanova when we played them back in November, and we have our annual outing, because my wife is such a good cook that they’d never want to give that up.

That game helped launch the NCAA tournament to a higher level. When you see what March Madness has become, do you take any credit for it?
No, I don’t think I can take any credit for March Madness. I think it’s a great tournament, one of the most competitive situations in all of sport. Mike Eruzione, the Olympic hockey player, and I often argue what was the bigger game — him playing the Russians or us playing Georgetown. We’ve made some major arguments. In fact, we had to have Mike Fratello and Tommy Lasorda make the decision. Of course, they were my friends, so they voted for me. Read more »

Main Line Monday: Bright Villanova Home with Mansard Roof

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach - Wayne

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach – Wayne

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured a Walter Durham-designed home, and it’s likely that it won’t be the last given the extent of his Main Line work. But contrary to his past residential creations we’ve covered, this one boasts touches of Second Empire French architecture (including a Mansard roof) and a collection of brightly colored rooms, most of which shades of gold or amber.

What’s more, its sunny interior is purportedly highlighted by natural light that pervades each room. (Per the listing, “each room is filled with light and frames a glimpse of private gardens.”) Among its more sun-friendly compartments are a solarium and a formal living room with glass doors that are described as “capturing the early afternoon sun.” The entry foyer also claims glass doors, which are not pictured.

Read more »

Avenue Kitchen to Start Serving Breakfast

These are from the "Embellished Pancakes" section of the menu

These are from the “Embellished Pancakes” section of the menu

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why do so many restaurants only serve it on weekends? Well, the folks over at Avenue Kitchen understand that the breakfast-free life is no way to live, so they’re launching a breakfast menu on Monday, March 2 that will be available 7 days a week from 7 am to 3 pm.

You read that correctly. You can get breakfast for lunch at Avenue Kitchen. They’re breaking all the rules.

Read more »

March Madness Preview: Villanova Is a Title Contender; Can Temple Reach Tourney, Too?

Villanova Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard II (4) and guard Josh Hart (3) celebrate after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 during the second half at Wells Fargo Center.

Villanova Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard II (4) and guard Josh Hart (3) celebrate after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 during the second half at Wells Fargo Center on February 4th.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Villanova is a national title contender this year.

Right: Villanova does not have the best recent NCAA tournament history. They’ve been to the tournament four times in the last five seasons, but haven’t reached the second weekend. Twice, they’ve been knocked out of the bracket in the Round of 32 when seeded No. 2. Last year, ’Nova lost to eventual national champion UConn in its second game.

Read more »

Meet the Man Behind Villanova Basketball Coach Jay Wright’s Impeccable Suits

Jay-Wright

Gabriele and Coach Wright. | Screenshot from CBS Sports.

Full disclosure: I only know about the Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball team because my husband is an alum and an obsessed avid fan. This is also the only reason I know about #SuitWatch, the hilarious thread on a VU Hoops message board where fans dissect and rate what head coach Jay Wright wears to each game.

Wright’s carefully dapper, much-lauded look — he’s been voted the best-dressed men’s basketball coach by the NCAA, GQ and, well, me (but mostly because I don’t know any other ones) — proves the adage spouted by well-dressed people everywhere: Fit is everything.

CBS Sports profiled Jay Wright last Saturday in its NCAA Men of March series, and while the majority of the episode was about the Villanova basketball program and Wright’s coaching techniques (yada yada yada), the real highlight was the quick segment on Wright’s suits and the friendly, white-haired Italian tailor and suit-maker who sparked his rise to sartorial dominance.

See behind-the-scenes video of Gabe and Jay here.

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