Just three days ago, the idea of Georgetown having a shot in a game against Villanova in Philadelphia would have been as preposterous as someone saying that it could both snow and thunderstorm at the same time. Now, after Georgetown thrashed St. John's by 25 points and Villanova lost by 15 to Providence on Wednesday night, anything is possible. To whet your appetite for Saturday's showdown, we asked Chris Lane, the most casual blogger on The Nova Blog, to answer some of our questions. You can read our answers to his questions here. Chris, this Nantucket Nectar Half and Half is for you.
Villanova has had an interesting week. They go into the Carrier Dome and look like a Final Four team, and then they get blown out by Providence by 15. What gives?
Tell me about it. There was nothing to be ashamed losing to the UConn Kembas, and originally that looked like a phenomenal win over Syracuse (now looking weaker and weaker as they fall apart amidst Dion Waiters' dropping F-Bombs on Boeheim). Then we go to The Dunk (where we are apparently cursed) and get taken out behind the shed.
I think that being the 3rd straight game on the road, the team was drained. You could tell they were emotion-less and just kind of going through it. I think it will serve as a major wake up call and I'd expect a re-focused team on Saturday.
After The Jump, more fun facts from friendly folks.
Do you think the Providence game was a classic trap game, sandwiched between the Syracuse beatdown and an upcoming battle with Georgetown?
I don't really believe in trap games. Good teams don't lose the 'trap' game. Are we a good team? Yes, so, I can't call that a trap game. Like I said above, I think the team was just exhausted after all the traveling. Providence seems to be believing they can win games again too, so they caught us at the right time. It also doesn't help when you shoot 25% for the game.
Who does Villanova consider its biggest basketball rival?
This has been discussed a lot recently, and I think it totally depends on who you ask. For me, it's Georgetown and Syracuse at 1A and 1B, although I'd really like Pitt and us to be big rivals. I know they've got that thing with the hill people - but we could play the in-state rival angle.
At the end of the day, we absolutely hate you, 'Cuse, Pitt and UConn. I think all those schools feel the same way about each other. Not a bad Top 5.
The pregnancy thing was not true in the least - and I still have no idea how it came to that. There was definitely an altercation in practice, though the exact details never surfaced. I've heard it involved a female, but again nothing confirmed. We'll go with Fisher wasn't happy about Reynolds' emotionless rendition 'basketball player that cares' and Reynolds didn't like how Fisher somewhat resembles a chipmunk.
Now that Reynolds has graduated, how is chemistry this year?
The best it's been since Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson left. There are clearly-defined roles on the team and everybody knows that Fisher, Stokes and Pena are in charge, no exceptions. Most nights you can tell the guys are genuinely having fun out there and really like playing together and playing for each other. That's a winning recipe.
The JayVaughn Pinkston story seemed a little over the top. At other schools, a fight on a weekend would cost you a few extra sprints, but at Villanova the kid gets suspended for the year? Is he expected to be back next year?
I know the entire story and we were actually the first people to break the story as one of our writers was down at Villanova when it happened. I know both sides of the story and I will say this, he was provoked, but not by the kid he eventually punched. Wrong place, wrong time. I do think it was very harsh. I expected a multi-game suspension, but it appears they are making an example out of him.
He will be back next year by all accounts. He lives off-campus now, is working, and has been at every home game.
How little do you miss Taylor King this year? Was he the worst big time basketball recruit of all time? I have an unsettling amount of hate for that kid.
[Expletive deleted] Taylor King. I don't miss him at all. He brought so much crap into the program, and rumours swirled constantly about abuse problems and academic issues. Seirously dude, how [expletive deleted] hard is it to go to class, coast by, and NOT DRINK OR SMOKE DURING THE SEASON. You're a college basketball player for Christ's sake! It's just not that hard. Good riddance. Rant over. (Casual note - apparently we aren't the only ones with unsettling amount of hate for Taylor King)
What would mean more to you, a Villanova championship or an Eagles Super Bowl victory? Speaking of which, who do you think will win - Packers or Steelers?
If you ever insinuate that I am an Eagles fan ever again, I'm coming down to D.C. to find you. Big Blue baby. I was born and raised a New York fan. Which makes this last season especially tough to handle. God damn you DeSean Jackson. And go to hell Matt Dodge.
The Eagles NOT ever winning comes very close to Villanova actually winning a title.
We know about Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns, but who is going to come out of nowhere and put up big numbers on Saturday that we aren't expecting?
Corey Stokes, because outside of Syracuse, he's been struggling lately. That makes you ripe for the pickin'. He usually loves the The Well, so I'd expect a barrage of 3's to resort you to drinking from the new BottomsUp beer taps.
Or I could see freshman James Bell going off for 10+ in garbage time to really run a dagger through your hearts.
We heard rumblings that Villanova fans were none too pleased with Greg Monroe attempting to run up the score last year in the Snowpocalypse Game last year. Were you offended as well?
I think I was in the middle of a Georgetown-slaughter-induced blackout by early in the 2nd half. I don't really remember. I do remember not liking Greg Monroe though, so let's run with this and just say yes. [Expletive deleted] you Greg Monroe for running up the score.
Who is the one player on Villanova you think you'd have the best chance to beat up in a fight?
Tough one. Do I get a weapon like a broken bottle or a rock? If we're talking purely Fight Club style, I have to go with Dallas Ouano. He's from the Jersey Shore, and from watching that show almost everybody there NEVER gets in a fight. They just stand and yell at each other and point and smirk. I'd have to hope he goes with that and I get get a quick one in there. 2nd pick would be Mouphtaou Yarou. Doesn't seem to have much of a mean streak. He'd pop me with a punch and I could play possum. He'd feel bad and let his guard down letting me to go into attack-mode.
I wouldn't want to fight Pinkston because he showed his former Golden Glove skills on that frat kid, or Wayns because he's so quick he'd treat me like a speed bag.
In the last week the Big East has turned upside down. Who ends up being the top four finishers?
Pitt will win the league, UConn in 2nd, Villanova in 3rd and right now, probably Notre Dame in 4th unless Syracuse can get it together. DePaul and South Florida will battle it out for the annual Draids award.
Complete this sentence: If Villanova gets to the [Insert Round of NCAA Tournament] I will be satisfied.
Final 4. Elite Eight will feel like a so close moment. So much depends on how you are playing that time of year though, so talk to me before the Big East Tournament.
Who do you think has the most annoying fan base in the Big East? Who has the hottest girls?
Most annoying is such a relative term these days. Villanova, Georgetown, UConn and Syracuse are really the only schools who I feel have a strong presence in social media, which is the main medium all of us communicate through. I'd say from personal experience at games, I cannot stand Rutgers and West Virigina fans. Georgetown and Syracuse I get along fine with because we can have a sense of humour about the whole thing. UConn are the worst over-30 fans.
West Virigina does get a vote for hottest girls though - all body and no brains. A beautiful thing.
Predict the outcome of Saturday's game. Who wins? What is the final score going to be?
Villanova will rebound and send the Hoyas reeling back to D.C. 78-71 behind the Corey's.