Dan Roche

Villanova the favorite to win the Big East tournament again

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Villanova the favorite to win the Big East tournament again

The Villanova men’s basketball team has won the Big East conference tournament for the past three years. And according to oddsmakers, they will likely make it a four-peat.

BetRivers.com lists Jay Wright’s squad as +300 (a $100 bet will win you $300) to win the tournament, shorter odds than the two other teams with which they shared the regular season conference title, Seton Hall (+320) and Creighton (+350). If you’re interested in making a wager, be sure to shop around. For example, BetRivers.com offers a better payout on Villanova than, say, FanDuel (+280).

For those of you looking for value, Providence could be a sneaky-good play. The 4-seed in the tournament is listed at +600 by BetRivers.com to take home the hardware. They have beaten each of the top three seeds in the tournament in the regular season, and come in riding a six-game winning streak.

Full odds to win the 2020 Big East Tournament (BetRivers.com):

Villanova: +300
Seton Hall: +320
Creighton: +350
Butler: +500
Providence: +600
Marquette: +700
Xavier: +1800
Georgetown: +2500
St. John’s: +4000
DePaul: +6000

Phillies PA announcer Dan Baker gets his own baseball card

Phillies PA announcer Dan Baker gets his own baseball card

Everyone knows him by name, even if they almost never see him.

He is just as much a part of the Phillies in-game experience as any player or manager. Even the Phanatic. And he has been, into his sixth decade with the team.

Now, if you want, you can trade him.

Dan Baker, the Phillies' public address announcer since 1972, will have his own Topps baseball card for 2020. 

Baker’s card is in their Opening Day series, which was released today. It will be a certified autograph issue, meaning every Dan Baker card will be signed by the man himself.

The autograph cards in these sets aren’t very common. So if you happen to pull a Dan Baker and someone wants to trade you for it, hold out for a Mike Trout rookie, at the very least.

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10 Hall of Famers who never accomplished what Shake Milton did

10 Hall of Famers who never accomplished what Shake Milton did

76ers second-year guard Shake Milton surprised the basketball world by leading his team with 39 points against the Clippers Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. 

Thirty-nine points is a lot in one game, but is it really? Thirty-six different players have reached that mark in a game this season, including such luminaries as Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre. 

But Ben Simmons has never done it in his career.

This led me down an interesting path: are there Pro Basketball Hall of Famers who haven’t scored 39 points in any game? It turns out there are quite a few. Limiting my search to 1970 and forward, I picked out 10 Hall of Famers who failed to reach that mark in the NBA, beginning with a couple near and dear to Sixers fans’ hearts.

Maurice Cheeks

The long-time Sixer and member of the 1983 NBA Champs played in 1,101 games. He currently ranks in the top-15 all-time in assists and steals, but the four-time All-Star never scored more than 32 in any game. 

Bobby Jones

He was known in his career as the Secretary of Defense, before Phillies centerfielder Garry Maddox. While the sixth-man on the 1983 Sixers was as stalwart at one end of the floor, he wasn’t called upon for much offense. His career high for points in a game was 33. 

Dennis Rodman

One of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, you would think he would have one game where he’d have enough putbacks to get to 39 points and beyond. Nope. The Worm never had more than 34 in a game. Cool bonus fact: his career high in rebounds is also 34.

James Worthy

Talk about Mr. Consistency. Worthy averaged a bit more than 20 points a night for SEVEN YEARS. But somehow, he never got to 39. He scored 35 or more 11 times! A bucket here or there, he would have done it. 

Bill Walton

His career was one fraught by injuries. He made two All-Star teams, and his Hall of Fame credentials are significantly based on his dominant UCLA career. Walton was a terrific rebounder, but topped out at 36 points in a game.

Wes Unseld

He made five All-Star teams, won the MVP in 1969, averaged 14 rebounds per game for a career that spanned nearly 1,000 games, but his career high was only 30 points! He actually had more games in his career where he pulled down 30 rebounds (four) than scored 30 points (one).

John Stockton

A member of the 1992 USA Dream Team that laid waste to the Olympic field in Barcelona, Stockton played in more than 1,500 games. But the 10-time All-Star never reached 39. His career high was five points short.

Arvydas Sabonis

The Lithuanian import didn’t play in the NBA until he was 31 years old. His Hall of Fame resume leans a good bit on his international play; he was a six-time European Player of the Year. He had a solid NBA career, albeit marked by injury. His high water mark in an NBA game was 33.

Jamaal Wilkes

Wilkes was James Worthy before Worthy was Worthy. Hovered right around 20 points per game for the better part of a decade, won three NBA rings, made three All-Star teams, but never broke the magical 39 barrier. He topped 30 points in a game 32 separate times.

Vlade Divac

Not really sure why Vlade is in the Hall of Fame – he never won a title, only made the Finals once, only named to one All-Star team. He was traded for Kobe Bryant on NBA draft night in 1996. And he never scored more than 34 points in any of his 1,134 career games.

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