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 CSNPhilly.com:
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.