Esteemed stathead journalist Nate Silver is (kinda, sorta) picking Villanova — well, not necessarily to win the NCAA championship exactly, but at least to do really well in your brackets.
NCAA Tournament: Villanova an Ugly Winner, St. Joe’s Bounced, Phil Martelli’s Grandson Still Adorable
Villanova is a very good basketball team.
You wouldn’t know it from the way they came into the tournament, but the Wildcats are one of the 10 best teams in the country. No, literally: They are only one of three schools to be in the top-10 in every major college hoops rating system. And Villanova — who went 28-4, losing to Syracuse, Creighton twice and Seton Hall in the Big East tournament – won in just about every way this season: It blew out teams. It won close games. It went 4-0 in overtime games. Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency numbers give the Wildcats the 19th best offense and 12th best defense.
And yet, despite earning a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region of the NCAA tournament, only 9.6% of brackets have Villanova in the Final Four. The numbers say Villanova passes every test: They’re good on both ends, they have wins over good teams, they won lots of games big — usually a sign of a great team. They are a legitimate National Championship contender. And yet, even in Philadelphia, I’m in a 159-player pool, and only one person took Villanova. (Uh, me. I like balanced, well-rounded college teams. Pomeroy gives them a 1-in-20 shot.)
The Wynn Race and Sports book in Las Vegas has released the betting lines for the first two rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament.
On Thursday, in the second round of the East Regional in New York, Villanova is a 17-point favorite to beat the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If the Wildcats win, they could play the Hawks of St. Joe’s in a championship version of the Holy War. However, St. Joe’s is a four-point underdog against the University of Connecticut.
The Higley 1,000 — the list of America’s 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods — has just been released by by geographer Stephen Higley. For those of us on the East Coast, there aren’t too many surprises: We can shrug our collective shoulders at the news that New York and Connecticut are full of moneyed white people. But it’s interesting to see the results for the Philadelphia metro area.
First, let’s listen to Higley talk about how tough it is to define “neighborhood”:
The concept of “neighborhood” in America is to say the least, amorphous. Realtors are notorious at “stretching” ill-defined neighborhood boundaries of wealthy places in the interest of generating higher prices through a halo effect.
Mapping companies vary from identifying virtually every sub-division (ADC Maps) to the grudging vagueness of a few well known neighborhoods (eg. Thomas Brothers Guides, Rand McNally). Google Maps, my main source for updating the Higley 1000 for 2010, has done an excellent job of adding neighborhoods in recent years. Still, there are many areas that are difficult to name as a “neighborhood”. I have used a variety of resources in trying to identify individual neighborhoods including extensive use of the internet.
(That’s cute — “extensive use of the internet.” Well, yes, we all use that thing from time to time.)
The NCAA tournament bracket was released yesterday, and two Philadelphia-area schools qualified for the tourney. Even better: There’s a chance for an all-Big 5 matchup in the Round of 32. How exciting! Here are the Round of 64 matchups:
- 6:55pm Thursday, TBS: (10) Saint Joseph’s vs. (7) Connecticut
- 9:25pm Thursday, TBS: (2) Villanova vs. (15) Milwaukee
Inclusion in the NCAA tournament capped a great weekend for Saint Joseph’s, who beat Dayton on Friday, St. Bonaventure on Saturday and Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time since 1997. The Hawks are back in the tournament for the first time since 2008, when they lost to Oklahoma in the Round of 64.
PERSON: Ted Zeta (a.k.a. Will D. Cat), 21
PLACE: The Pavilion, Villanova
THING: Getting ready for game time
Is the suit uncomfortable? It takes a while to get used to. It’s warm. You sweat a lot.
Villanova came into today’s Big East Tournament game against Seton Hall as heavy favorites. The Wildcats were 28-3, ranked No. 3 in the country and were heavily-favored against 16-16 Seton Hall.
The Pirates — yes, there is a university in New Jersey nicknamed this — jumped out to a 30-15 lead. But Villanova went on a 16-0 run in the second half and eventually took the lead on a jumper with 11 seconds left.
Then, this happened.
This four-bedroom home extends its Japanese design aesthetic from facade to landscaping to 6,300-square-foot interior. With wood and rice paper room dividers and jade-colored floor tiles, among other design notes, it’s remarkably consistent in its Asian approach.
The home includes large open spaces and a vaulted ceiling; a sunroom; multiple access points to the verandas; a private terrace for the master suite; a pool; gardens; and walkways. It all sits on almost three acres.
The home was originally listed for $2.5 million in 2012, but recently sold for a little more than $1.5 million. Gallery below.
Some people like to visit castles on European vacations. Others like to read about them or obsessively follow premium cable programming about them. Then there are people on the Main Line who live in them. This is one such estate.
The home combines the architectural design elements of the medieval era (lots of timbered arches, leaded windows, original stained glass and castle details) with the modern luxury one would expect from a Villanova estate. The immaculte eat-in kitchen is new and includes its own wood-fired oven. The first floor also features a renovated family room and recreation wing. Outside is a flat 3.4 acre lot that has been professionally designed and landscaped. The grounds include a reflecting pond with fountain as well as a pool and several flagstone patios.
A Russian man who fled his homeland after suffering abuse for being gay has won asylum in the United States thanks to a team of law students at Villanova.
The Inquirer reports that the man, called S.R. in court documents, tried to enter America via Mexico when he was arrested as he was walking across the Rio Grande into Texas in July. From there he was sent to immigration detention at York County Prison and ordered to be sent back to Russia, but his fate changed when he met Joseph Catuzzi and Michelle Majkut, members of Villanova’s Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES), a program that supports immigrant detainees in court. The Inky tells the story: