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Philly Phour Phocus: Madness Is Coming

Just a Philly team (who’s excited for Championship Weekend) covering Philly teams.

NCAA Basketball: Final Four Championship Game-Villanova vs North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

What are ya doing, Drexel?

Welcome to another edition of the Philly Phour Phocus, which is properly spelled for the occasion. Once again, we're following all four Philly teams throughout the season, and updating their chances of repping the great city in this year's Final Four in...Foxborough.

Last week, Penn upset Virginia, Villanova got their first win of the season over fellow Philadelphian Drexel, and St. Joe’s stuck it to New York and beat St. John’s, while Drexel is bad. Will Drexel finally get their first win of the season soon? To the Big Board we go! This week's Philly Phour Phocus Big Board is sponsored by Mount Airy. Mount Airy: The SEPTA station there is pretty cool, and it’s also home to Santigold.

Philly Phour Phocus Big Board

Team 2017 Overall Record 2017 Conference Record 2016 Conference Record Last Week Next Game
Team 2017 Overall Record 2017 Conference Record 2016 Conference Record Last Week Next Game
Drexel 3-4 0-0 2-3 (4th in CAA) W vs. St. Joe's, W @ St. John's Sun. @ Providence
Penn 3-3 0-1 4-2 (3rd in Ivy) L @ Michigan, L vs. Princeton Sat. @ Cornell
St. Joe's 3-5 0-0 5-1 (1st in NEC) L @ Drexel, L @ Delaware Sat. @ Bryant
Villanova 3-4 0-0 3-2 (3rd in Big East) L vs. Delaware, W @ Brown Tues. vs. Bucknell, Sat. @ Fairfield

Drexel

The Dragons continued to lose. They fell to Albany, 19-8, and then to Villanova, 15-13. In the Albany loss, Joe Rainoldi had three goals, while Chris McLallen had a pair of scores. Jimmeh Koita went 9-of-21 from the face-off X, and was not match for TD Irelan. The defense wasn’t good, as Jimmy Joe Granito made 10 saves, but gave up all 19 goals, and the defensive unit was torched by Connor Fields. He had six goals and four assists in the big win for the Great Danes.

In the Villanova game, the Dragons led 12-10 after the third quarter, but a 5-1 Villanova fourth gave the Wildcats their first win of the season. Attackman Cole Shafer had a game-high four goals, while Will Manganiello had a pair of goals and an assist. Robert Frazee and Reid Bowering had two goals each, and McLallen had a goal and two assists. Koita was much better in the face-off department, going 14-of-29 on draws, while Granito made 10 saves yet again. The Dragons play Marist today and Bryant on Friday.

Current Big Dance Chance: 25% (down from 35% last week). We had some decent expectations from the Dragons, and we saw some flashes against Virginia and Villanova. But they haven’t been able to play four full quarters yet. Marist and Bryant should be reasonable tests for the team this week.

Penn

The Quakers upset the Cavaliers in Virginia’s first ever trip to Franklin Field last week, 11-10. Penn got solid performances from their young core, led by Tyler Dunn’s three goals and one assist. Reilly Hupfeldt (2 goals), Kevin McGeary (1 goal, 2 assists), freshman Keyveat Postell (1 goal, 1 assist), and Simon Mathias (2 assists), also contributed in the effort. FOGO Chris Santangelo went 10-of-24 on draws, but also scored two goals of his own. Kevin Gayhardt scooped up five balls and caused four turnovers, and Reed Junkin stopped 16 shots on goal. The Quakers are in Happy Valley today for a big tilt against Penn State, before returning home to take on Navy on Tuesday.

Current Big Dance Chance: 65% (up from 55% last week). I’ll repeat what I said last week, I am a huge fan of this Penn team because of the young talent they possess. And it showed last week. Penn State is another explosive offense that’s led by Mac O’Keefe and Haverford School grad Grant Ament. If Penn is able to contain both of these stud players and limit the rest of Penn State’s offense, I think they’ll be able to pull out a win today. Things are bright in University City, at least for one team.

St. Joe’s

The Hawks got crushed by Duke in Durham last Saturday, 16-3. St. Joe’s gave up six goals in the first and second quarters against a Duke team filled with talent. Kevin Reidinger had two goals, and Patrick O’Brien had the other score. Danny Manning went 8-of-18 from the face-off X, which is pretty good against Duke’s Kyle Rowe. T.J. Jones still made 12 saves.

But in the win over St. John’s, St. Joe’s used a four-goal third quarter to fly away from the Red Storm for an 8-5 win. This time, Chris Blewitt led the offense with three goals and two assists, while O’Brien had a pair of goals along with an assist. Shane Taggert had three caused turnovers, while Manning went 11-of-15 from the face-off X, and Jones stopped 11 shots on goal. The Hawks take on Manhattan this afternoon, and host Monmouth on Friday.

Current Big Dance Chance: 58% (down from 60% last week). Yeah they got crushed by Duke, but the extremely tough portion of their schedule is over. Manhattan, Monmouth, Drexel, and Delaware aren’t cupcake games, but they’ll be easier games for the Hawks to win than Maryland, Penn, and Duke. If they get hot, they should be good for NEC conference play.

Villanova

The Wildcats lost to Penn State’s highly touted offense, 17-12, on the Main Line, but were in it for most of the game. The Nittany Lion offense lulled at points, and the Wildcats did convert on those opportunities. Jack Curran led the way for Nova with four goals and an assist on 10 shots, while Jake Froccaro, who also recorded 10 shots, was limited to just two assists. Nova had eight other goal scorers in the game, including Joey Froccaro, Christian Cuccinello, and Devin McNamara. Four different players took face-offs, including both Froccaro brothers, for a combined 15-of-32 effort against Gerard Arceri. The goalies are still a problem, as starter Nick Testa opened the first half and gave up seven goals on three saves, and Dan Willis gave up 10 goals, but saved seven shots.

At least Nova got their first win of the season to slow down their losing momentum! In the Drexel win, Danny Seibel had a hat-trick and an assist, while Jake Froccaro also had three goals. Cuccinello and Joey Froccaro recorded two goals each, and Curran had two goals and three assists in the come-from-behind victory. Connor Kirst went 8-of-14 from the face-off X, and Testa lasted into the fourth quarter. But he gave up 10 goals and made four saves. Willis gave up three goals and made three saves, so I think the goalie situation is still up in the air. Nova has Delaware at home today, and are at Brown on Tuesday.

Current Big Dance Chance: 40% (up from 35% last week). They got dominated by Penn State when the Nittany Lions felt like playing, and also were dominated by Drexel when Villanova decided not to play. They got a win against Drexel, which was kind of important, but that Monmouth loss is going to hurt them in the long run.

It’s March, and since everyone’s dancing, let’s also dance!