villanova

Villanova the favorite to win the Big East tournament again

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USA Today Images

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

Villanova's Jay Wright selling gorgeous Berwyn home for $2.5 million

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Zillow

Villanova's Jay Wright selling gorgeous Berwyn home for $2.5 million

For a cool $2.5 million, you can live like a national champion.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright is putting his five-acre, 6,200-square-foot house in Berwyn for sale, according to a report from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The house, a short drive from the school's campus, isn't technically on the market just yet. It will officially be listed for sale Feb. 24.

There's no need for Villanova fans to panic, though: Wright and his wife Patricia are simply looking to downsize now that their children have grown up, according to the Journal, rather than leave the area.

Yes, Wright's name pops up in NBA head coaching talks all the time. Yes, one day it might happen. This is not that time.

From the story:

The Wrights are downsizing and looking to move closer to Villanova, [broker Maribeth] McConnell said. The Berwyn house was their family home, and now their children are grown, she said.

Wright and his wife bought the house for $1.6 million in 2009, according to the Journal.

Spread across five acres, the house has six bedrooms, six full baths, six fireplaces, a three-car garage, a tennis court and a basketball court, and an inground pool, along with a 1,100-square-foot living space over the detached garage.

It's a pretty nice house:

Why USA Basketball should replace Gregg Popovich with Jay Wright

Why USA Basketball should replace Gregg Popovich with Jay Wright

It’s time for Jay Wright to get his chance to serve as the head coach of NBA players.

Deep breaths, Nova Nation. I’m not talking about Wright getting a job with an NBA franchise. Rather, USA Basketball should make the bold step of naming Wright as the head coach of the national team prior to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

That’s because for the first time since 2006, USA Basketball’s gold medal chances in a major tournament went bust. Or more appropriately, they went Pop — as in Gregg Popovich.

In his first run of games as national team head coach, Popovich lost twice as many games in a month as Mike Krzyzewski did in a decade at the helm of USA Basketball. The Pop/NBA apologists will be quick to point out Coach K had more talent at his disposal than Popovich did for this World Cup.

That’s true. But it points to why a college coach should always lead the national team. The No. 1 job (and probably No. 2 and No. 3) for the national team coach is to convince the best players to play. You know who has experience at convincing good players to play for them? High-level college coaches. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Popovich would be interested in sending the texts and making the phone calls necessary to convince top NBA players that were on the fence to participate. But that is second nature to Jay Wright.

Additionally, Wright is unencumbered of the NBA rivalries that can make it a challenge to build the type of relationships necessary to ensure enough frontline stars are willing to give their offseasons to USA Basketball.
 
Another reason why a college coach, specifically Wright, should lead the national team is the nature of the task. Beyond the one-and-done nature of international tournament play, the expectation is for USA Basketball to win every game. When you run a big-time college program, that is a familiar pressure. Any time a Duke or Villanova loses, it’s newsworthy. On the road, it likely means a court storm. When an NBA coach loses a game on the road, he gets on a charter flight and coaches again the next night.

You can argue that Popovich understands that expectation. And I’m sure he thinks he did. But I’d rather roll the dice with someone that lives that pressure every night of their season and plays in a one-and-done setting every March. And no coach has been better in the NCAA Tournament in recent years than Wright. Look at those two trophies on Villanova’s campus for proof of that.

Lastly, a college coach has more time at their disposal to devote towards the USA Basketball program. An NBA season can run from late September to early June. A college campaign goes from mid-October until the first Monday in April. That’s extra time for Wright, relative to an NBA coach, to dedicate to preparation, scouting and recruiting.

Wright — for his part —has been a constant for USA Basketball. He’s serving as an assistant for Popovich currently. He’s presumed by many to be next in line for the role after Popovich coaches the Olympic team next summer.

Maybe USA Basketball can afford to wait until 2021 to hand the reins to Wright. Maybe more All-Stars will agree to take part in a showcase event like the Olympics. Maybe this was just a one-game fluke.

But USA Basketball’s expectations leave no room for doubt.

Wright’s the best man for the job right now.

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