Pennsylvania Daily Life

It’s Philly Friday as city’s underdog teams take the court


I thought the state of Kansas might have something to crow about if Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State – the only DI programs the state has to offer – all made it to the weekend.

Now, imagine you live in the city of Philadelphia, where not only have three of the Big Five made it to the Big Dance, but they’re all playing on the same day?

La Salle and Villanova are playing in Kansas City’s Sprint Center, with the Explorers taking on Kansas State at 3:10 pm today and the Wildcats facing off with North Carolina at 7:20 pm. Temple kicks off the day with a 1:40 pm tip time in Dayton, where they’ll take on N.C. State. In each matchup, the Philly team holds the lower seed.

As vicious as the intra-city round-robin matchups can be, at least two coaches who made it this far are now pulling for one another to survive and advance, according to

You know that old adage about rising water lifting all boats? Villanova coach Jay Wright figures it applies to La Salle’s win over Boise State Wednesday night.

A win for the Explorers was a win for everybody.

“We really believe if the Big 5 schools are doing well, kids in Philadelphia are going to stay home to play there, games are going to be important, Philadelphia basketball is going to be important,” Wright said Thursday at the Sprint Center, where both Villanova and La Salle will play on Friday.

So the better La Salle does, the better Villanova and Temple do, the better all of them do.

That’s a lot of underdog pride on the line for one of America’s proudest cities. It’s all rather compelling.

Any Philadelphia resident not completely wrapped up in those matchups will, of course, be tempted to kip out and watch one of the four games being played at the city’s Wells Fargo Center. Duke/Albany, Creighton/Cincinnati, Georgetown/Florida Gulf Coast and San Diego State/Oklahoma offer plenty of goodies to tempt even the most sincere and hardworking employee.

Really, what can you do? Good thing it’s a Friday. Just make a long weekend out of it and cut your losses, bosses of the City of Brotherly Love.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.