NCAA

Philly-Syracuse connection on display at The Basketball Tournament

Philly-Syracuse connection on display at The Basketball Tournament

In no world would anyone confuse the Gallagher Center with Syracuse’s 35,000-seat Carrier Dome.

But with several of the Orange’s best players in the last decade coming from the City of Brotherly Love — including Rick Jackson, Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Rakeem Christmas, just to name a few  — Philadelphia has become a hub for fans of the 'Cuse.

So, it was only fitting that when Boeheim’s Army took the floor for its second-round matchup in The Basketball Tournament, 100-plus Orange fans in attendance at Philadelphia University stood and applauded until Donte Green’s opening basket went down.

Despite a 39-21 run late in regulation from its opposition, No. 3 Boeheim’s Army eked past No. 11 Gaelnation 106-100 in double overtime, moving on to the Super 16 for a third straight year. Donte Green and Eric Devendorf shouldered the offensive load for the Syracuse alumni, combining for 55 points.

And although Neumann-Goretti alum Jardine was absent Sunday, his high school teammate Jackson and Wilmington, Delaware, native Trevor Cooney gave the winners plenty of local flavors.

“(Philly basketball) means toughness,” Jackson said. “I grew up playing in those outside leagues where if you fall, you’re going to be on concrete. That alone will make you a man.

“Being out there falling, you know the refs aren’t calling much because they want to go home so they’re letting guys play, and I think that’s where I get it from.”

Jackson’s double-double was one of two posted by Boeheim’s Army on Sunday, and the former Big East Defensive Player of the Year led his team on the boards. After graduating back in 2011, he’s bounced between seven different pro teams, never sticking in one place for more than two seasons.

For Cooney, it’s been a similar, albeit much shorter, road. The Sanford School (Del.) alum left upstate New York just a year ago, but he’s already played for a trio of different teams after going undrafted.

And like Jackson, Sunday was just as much of a homecoming for the 6-foot-4 sharpshooter.

“I started in Philly playing AAU when I was in fifth grade, coming up here all the time,” Cooney said. “There’s some good basketball in Delaware, but there’s some really, really good basketball in Philly. If you want to take your game to the next level, this is where you come to play.

“I’ve played most of the time overseas, so it means a lot for my family and friends to come out here and watch me play again.”

The toughness built by their Philly backgrounds certainly showed with the Orange alums nearly choking away a 16-point halftime advantage. Boeheim’s Army had chances to finish things off at the end of both regulation and the first overtime, but they couldn’t close it out.

And for Jackson, who started in Syracuse’s six-overtime epic back in the 2010 Big East tournament, it was yet another reminder of his collegiate days.

“Ever since that game, every time I go into overtime I get that flashbacks of that six-overtime game,” he said.

Unlike years past, the entire group of former Orangemen spent the week leading up to the start of TBT practicing on the Syracuse campus. Cooney said the team was able to spend some time with its namesake, Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim.

Now, they’ll have the chance to head back to the Empire State and play in front more raucous, orange-clad fan, as they are just four wins away from the $2 million prize.

“Every team, as you move forward, has the same guys. We’re all professional players,” Cooney said. “It’s going to come down to getting stops and playing well together.

“If we’re able to do that, I think we’ll win some games.”

No. 7 Team Fancy 82, No. 2 Supernova 74
No team playing Sunday featured as many recognizable names as Supernova. The group of former Wildcats, led by Reggie Redding and Corey Fisher, had no problem making it to the second day but looked as if they’d spent Saturday night in a freezer.

Supernova was ice cold from the get-go, hitting on only 11 of 34 shots before the break as they trailed 44-28. And the frustration flowed into the second half with Maurice Sutton and Jayvaughn Pinkston each picking up a technical foul.

Eventually, Supernova closed to within five of Team Fancy just under the five-minute mark. Redding then kissed a floater off the glass in the final minute, making it a four-point game at 76-72. But Sutton couldn’t finish a put-back jam off a missed triple that would’ve made it a one-score game and Team Fancy pulled off the shocker in the final game of the weekend.

No. 1 FCM Untouchables 91, No. 9 Paul Champions 57
The top seed in the Philly region had no issues for a second straight day. After winning by 25 Saturday morning, the Untouchables had their opponent in the rearview mirror by halftime. Baltimore native Marcus Hatten, who has played for 14 different overseas teams since graduating from St. John’s in 2003, led the victors with 25 points — including a stunning 7 of 12 effort from three-point land.

No one on Paul Champions — a team that featured quite the stark height difference between 5-5 Earl Boykins and 7-6 Mamadou N’Diaye — could muster double-figure points. The Untouchable defense held the Champions to just 37.3 percent shooting. Expect the Untouchables to be heavy favorites to win the region when The Tournament continues July 20 in Brooklyn.

No. 4 Team FOE 82, No. 12 Sideline Cancer 75
It was the second time in as many days that Team FOE found itself trailing at halftime. Sideline Cancer, led by former St. Joe’s shooting guard Aaron Brown’s 21 points, was looking to continue its Cinderella run and make another Super 16 appearance like it did back in 2015.

But FOE, coached by Philly natives and former Kansas standouts Markieff and Marcus Morris, would not be put away.

“Sometimes we don’t execute throughout the whole game, but that’s why the second half is always better than our first half,” Team FOE forward Sean Evans said. “We kind of clicked in that second half but we’ve got to play that same way — hard, effective — throughout the whole game.”

Trailing by as many as eight with just under 11 minutes to play, FOE (Family Over Everything) closed on a 30-15 surge. Former Jayhawks Tyshawn Taylor and Mario Little were among the notable names that sparked FOE’s late offense, but they also got 21 combined points from Evans, a Northeast High graduate, and Drexel Alum Scott Rodgers. They’ll meet the Untouchables in 11 days.

Sliding Temple visits Army; Penn hosts Yale in need of Ivy win

usa-logan-marchi-penn-athletics-justin-watson.jpg
USA Today Images/Penn Athletics

Sliding Temple visits Army; Penn hosts Yale in need of Ivy win

Temple (3-4, 1-3 AAC) at Army (5-2)
Michie Stadium, West Point, New York
Saturday, noon, CBS Sports Network

Last time out
Temple lost to UConn, 28-24, last Saturday.

Army beat Eastern Michigan, 28-27, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Last week against UConn, the Owls committed 12 penalties for 117 yards. Despite putting up 229 more yards and 13 more first downs than the Huskies, Temple couldn’t finish drives late in the game to pull out the win.

Temple’s schedule doesn’t get easier this week. The Owls play an Army team riding a three-game win streak and boasting the second-best rushing offense in college football (378.4 ypg). That will be the matchup to watch as Temple averages 167.1 rushing yards allowed per game, good for seventh in the American Athletic Conference.

Temple’s starting quarterback Logan Marchi missed some practice time this week, but head coach Geoff Collins said he expects him to play on Saturday. If he can’t go, look for backup Frank Nutile to replace him.

What it means
Temple’s performance against UConn was embarrassing, while the Owls' bowl hopes would take a severe hit with a loss to Army. Tulsa and Cincinnati are the only other opponents on the schedule against which Temple should be favored. Navy and UCF, on paper, look to be tough matchups for the Owls.

Series history
Temple owns the 7-5 series advantage and is 6-1 against Army since 2008. That one loss came last year when the Black Knights beat the Owls, 28-13, at Lincoln Financial Field in Temple’s season opener. 

What's next?
Temple has its bye before hosting Navy on Nov. 2.

Army travels to Air Force. 

Penn (2-3, 0-2 Ivy) vs. Yale (4-1, 1-1 Ivy)
Franklin Field
Saturday, 1 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia+


Last time out
Penn lost at Columbia in overtime, 34-31, last Saturday.

Yale defeated Holy Cross, 32-0, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn has the worst scoring defense in the Ivy League, which doesn’t bode well for its chances in this one considering Yale has the best scoring offense in the league. The Quakers allow 32.6 ppg and the Bulldogs score 41 ppg. Penn’s total defense is also last in the league allowing 449.2 ypg.

The Bulldogs take control on the ground with the best rushing offense in the Ivy. Zane Dudek and Deshawn Salter lead the Bulldogs, as both have rushed for more than 400 yards and each has seven touchdowns. Penn will have to win the battle in the trenches to slow down the Bulldogs.

Series history
This is the 84th meeting between the teams. The Bulldogs hold a 46-37-1 advantage but Penn has won 19 of the last 25.

What’s next?
Penn travels to Brown.

Yale hosts Columbia.

Temple-UConn observations: Despite valiant effort from Marchi, Owls lose 1st homecoming game since 2008

Temple-UConn observations: Despite valiant effort from Marchi, Owls lose 1st homecoming game since 2008

BOX SCORE

That’s why football is a week-to-week game. Forget about momentum.

Temple found that out the hard way. After coming alive in a big road win over East Carolina last week, the Owls were humbled when a fourth-quarter rally fell short Saturday in a 28-24 homecoming loss to Connecticut at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Owls had one final shot at the victory with a drive in the final minute, but a Logan Marchi heave to the end zone was broken up.

The loss dropped Temple back under .500 at 3-4 (1-3 American Athletic Conference). UConn moved to 2-5 (2-2) with the victory.

• Say what you want about Temple quarterback Marchi (and you surely will after this game), but the guy is a fighter. Whether things are going his way or not, he continues to try to search for his receivers and attempt to squeeze the ball into those windows on the field. He made it two consecutive games with 300-plus yards passing as he was 33 of 54 for 356 yards with one touchdown and one interception Saturday.

• The game marked Temple’s first homecoming loss in nearly a decade. TU hadn’t suffered a homecoming defeat since a 7-3 loss to Western Michigan on Sept. 27, 2008. On that day, former Eagles DB Jaiquawn Jarrett was beaten in coverage on a double move in the third quarter for the game’s lone touchdown. Coming into Saturday, the Owls had won eight straight homecoming matchups by an average margin of 19.3 points.

• There was a rare sighting for Temple at the Linc: a rushing touchdown from a tailback. In fact, there were two. David Hood, who became the first Owls tailback to score on a run this season in last week’s rout of East Carolina, punched it in from one yard out to open the scoring in the first quarter. Ryquell Armstead weaved his way into the end zone for a 10-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.

• Delvon Randall is simply a playmaker. The Owls’ leading tackler, Randall added another five stops in Saturday’s win. The junior DB also made a beautiful play along the sideline in the first quarter when he undercut an out route for an interception. It marked Randall’s third straight game with a pick. The Owls only have four interceptions this season and Randall has three of them.

• My colleague Greg Paone touched on college football’s targeting rule a couple of weeks ago (see story)We agree on pretty much all of the nuts and bolts of the rule. I’m glad it’s in place to protect players from violent and unnecessary hits. However, the more I see it called each week — and it seems like there is at least one in every game now — the more I’m starting to dislike the implementation. Temple defensive lineman Sharif Finch was ejected for targeting on Saturday when he went high on Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs on a third-quarter touchdown pass. Shirreffs sold the hit by jerking his head back as he fell to the ground, but it was definitely worthy of a penalty. Was it a late hit? Yes. A bone-headed hit? Absolutely. But one worthy of Temple losing a top defensive player for the remainder of the game? I don’t think so.

• Speaking of Shirreffs, it’s easy to see why the Huskies have the best passing offense in the AAC. He didn’t show it with yardage in this tilt (just 105), but he was able to connect on three touchdowns through the air. He also added 39 yards on the ground, including a key run up the middle late in the fourth quarter.

• The Owls simply aren’t a good enough team to overcome 12 penalties for 117 yards.

• Like any other major college football game around the country, Saturday’s matchup at the Linc had scouts from NFL teams listed to attend. Of course, the Eagles were listed for several scouts in their home stadium. While the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers were also among those expected to have representatives at the game, there was only one other team labeled for more than one scout besides the Eagles — the New York Giants. At 0-5, they can certainly use all the help they can get right now.

• Temple will look to rebound when the Owls travel to play their final non-conference opponent in Army at 12 p.m. next Saturday.