There is so much on the line during the first week of march, with Temple stating its case for an NCAA Tournament berth, Villanova trying to preserve its shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and Drexel playing for survival. Eric Fisher also highlights Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard rising to the occasion, Saint Joseph’s sophomore DeAndre’ Bembry’s remarkable streak ending and Penn’s chances of notching a victory before the season ends.
A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…
1. Reports: Eagles trading McCoy Multiple reports say Eagles agree to trade running back LeSean McCoy to Bills for LB Kiki Alonso. McCoy, the franchise leader in career rushing yards, has 2 seasons left on a contract extension with a salary cap hit of $7.5 per season. Alonso, who played for Eagles head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, was named NFL Defensive Rookie of Year by Pro Football Writers Association for 2013, but missed 2014 season with torn ACL.
2. Eagles release Williams, maybe Cole, too Eagles release controversial CB Cary Williams, who has started every game past 2 seasons. Williams’ salary cap hit was supposed to be $8.1 million this upcoming season. There are also reports that Eagles plan to release veteran LB/DE Trent Cole and will allow LB/DE Brandon Graham leave via free agency. Safety Nate Allen, CB Bradley Fletcher also scheduled to become free agents this weekend.
3. Lightning strikes: Flyers trade Coburn Flyers trade defenseman Braydon Coburn to Lightning for 1st- and 3rd round picks in this year’s NHL Draft and 24-year-old defenseman Radko Gudas (6-4, 204), who is sidelined following knee surgery. Coburn has 1 year remaining on contract paying him $4.5 million per year. Coburn came to Flyers from Atlanta in terrific trade during 2006-07 season. Coburn at his best when paired with defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who was traded to Blackhawks last Friday for 2nd-round pick in 2015 NHL Draft and conditional pick (4th or 3rd round) in 2016 draft, but he never fulfilled the potential indicated by his size and skill. Flyers sign forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to 2-year contract extension.
4. Mason, Couturier boost Flyers Steve Mason, making 1st start since having arthroscopic knee surgery, turns away 34 shots as Flyers defeat visiting Rangers, 4-2. Flyers remain 6 points behind Bruins, 4 behind Panthers — who beat Lightning on Sunday — in race for final playoff berth from Eastern Conference. Sean Couturier registers 2 assists, including on Michael Del Zotto’s game-winning shorthanded goal 1:19 into 3rd period. Matt Read, Michael Raffl, Wayne Simmonds (empty net) also score for Flyers, who return to action Tuesday (7 p.m.) against visiting Flames, who learn that captain Mark Giordano needs season-ending surgery on biceps. Nicklas Grossmann suffers “upper body” injury while blocking shot during 2nd period, does not return. Flyers sign left wing Tyrell Goulbourne, a 3rd-round pick in 2013 draft, to entry-level contract.
5. Eagles don’t franchise Maclin Eagles choose not to use franchise tag on receiver Jeremy Maclin before today’s 4 p.m. deadline. If Eagles had used franchise tag to prevent Maclin from becoming free agent, his salary next season would have been approximately $12.8 million. If Eagles unable to sign Maclin, he can begin speaking with other teams Saturday. release offensive lineman Todd Herremans, who has played tackle and guard for Birds. Eagles would save $2.8 million under salary cap during upcoming season. Herremans, 32, has 2 years left on 5-year extension he signed in 2012. Herremans, a 4th-round draft pick in 2005, has started 124 games for Eagles, but has missed 8 games due to injuries each of past 2 seasons.
6. Eagles sign LB Jones Inside LB Brad Jones, who spent past 6 seasons with Packers, signs 2-year contract with Eagles. It’s unclear if Eagles are looking at Jones as backup or if his signing could lead to release of veteran LB DeMeco Ryans, who has a $6.9 million salary cap hit and tore Achilles tendon in November.
7. Phillies blow lead, settle for tie Phillies take 4-run lead into 9th inning, but Yankees score 4 times in top of 9th off reliever Mario Hollands to forge 5-5 tie in Grapefruit League opener for both teams. Ryan Howard, who tells reporters he’s focused on looking forward and staying positive, has 2 hits, RBI. Chase Utley, who sprained ankle during offseason, not in lineup Tuesday. Aaron Harang to miss scheduled start Wednesday (1 p.m.) in rematch with Yankees. Kevin Slowey will start instead. Alex Rodriguez may make return to MLB in that game.
8. Raptors defeat Sixers DeMar DeRozan pours in 35 points, ex-Sixer Lou Williams adds 21 as Raptors snap 5-game losing streak with 104-103 victory over host Sixers, who were missing Robert Covington (elbow), Jason Richardson (knee). Ish Smith comes off bench to pace Sixers with career-high 19 points, 9 assists. Thomas Robinson comes off bench to score 13 points in 14:36 of action. Nerlens Noel leads starters with 17 points. Raptors guard and Philly native Kyle Lowry doesn’t play, Sixers return to action Wednesday (7 p.m.) against visiting Thunder, who will likely be without Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook. Sixers waive center JaVale McGee, acquired in trade deadline deal with Nuggets to help Sixers reach salary cap floor.
9. Wildcats win 10th straight Sixth-ranked Villanova storms back from 7-point halftime deficit to defeat host Xavier, 78-66, for its 10th straight victory. Dylan Ennis leads balanced attack with 16 points. Ryan Arcidiacono, Kris Jenkins contribute 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Wildcats. In other games Saturday, senior Freddie Wilson pours in career-high 24 points, Tavon Lee adds 22 as Drexel, with just 6 players, beats first-place William & Mary, 80-66; Rhode Island fends off La Salle, 59-56, despite 24 points by Jerrell Wright; Aaron Brown scores 15 points as Saint Joseph’s battles back to tie Richmond, only to see Richmond pull back ahead in final minutes and hand Hawks 63-57 defeat; and hosts Richmond (7 p.m.); and first-place Yale rallies to defeat Penn, 55-50, handing Quakers their 7th straight defeat despite 14 points by Antonio Woods.
10. Rangers get Yandle Defensemen at a premium at NHL trade deadline. Rangers acquire defenseman Keith Yandle, defenseman Chris Summers and 4th-round pick from Coyotes for defenseman John Moore, forward prospect Anthony Duclair, a 2nd-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft and conditional 1st-round pick next season. Ducks re-acquire defenseman James Wisniewski from Blue Jackets for forward Rene Bourque, prospect William Karlsson and 2nd-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Red Wings send 3rd-round pick in 2016 to Devils for Marek Zidlicky. Panthers, who are battling Bruins and Flyers for final playoff berth in Eastern Conference, acquire former Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr from Devils for 2nd-round draft pick this year and third-round pick in 2016. Bruins acquire former Flyers center Max Talbot from Avalanche. Blackhawks, who acquired Kimmo Timonen from Flyers, acquire forward Antoine Vermette from Coyotes for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and 1st-round draft pick this year. Defending-champion Kings acquire defenseman Andrej Sekera from Hurricanes for 1st-round pick and prospect Ronald McKeown, a defenseman selected with 50th overall pick in last year’s NHL Draft. Hurricanes also send defenseman Tim Gleason to Capitals for defenseman Jack Hillen and 4th-round draft pick this year. Capitals also acquire forward Curtis Glencross from Flames for 2nd- and 3rd-round picks in this year’s NHL Draft.
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Sixers 89, Wizards 81
Brown 75, Penn 69
Flyers 4, Rangers 2
R.Island 59, La Salle 56
Villanova 78, Xavier 66
Drexel 80, William & Mary 66
Richmond 63, St. Joseph’s 57
Yale 55, Penn 50
Pacers 94, Sixers 74
Raptors 114, Sixers 103
Flames at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(Spring Training opener)
Villanova at Creighton, 9 p.m.
Sixers at Okla. City, 8 p.m.
Phillies at Yankees, 1 p.m.
La Salle at St. Joseph’s, 7 p.m.
Blues at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Astros at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Temple at E.Carolina, 7 p.m.
Jazz at Sixers, 7 p.m. 89
Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Columbia at Penn, 7 p.m.
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
Drexel vs. Charleston, 8:30 p.m.
Flyers at Boston, 1 p.m.
Hawks at Sixers, 7:30 p.m.
Colorado at Union, 4 p.m.
Blue Jays at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Connecticut at Temple, 2 p.m.
Villanova vs. St. John’s, 2 p.m.
(at Wells Fargo Center)
St. Joseph’s at R.Island, 2 p.m.
Dayton at La Salle, 4 p.m.
Cornell at Penn, 7 p.m.
Flyers at New Jersey, 5 p.m.
Phillies at Rays, 1 p.m.
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