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NCAA Tournament appearances by Temple’s Fran Dunphy, tied for most by Big 5 head coach

Bill O’Brien deserves some credit, but his success at Penn State has been overstated. The Nittany Lions will be better off with a head coach fully committed to the program and university.

The Sixers’ season isn’t all about Joel Embiid’s health. The performances of guards Ben Simmons (pictured) and Markelle Fultz, the top overall picks in the last two NBA drafts, will have a major impact on the Sixers’ fortunes.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Eagles’ early-season success, the anticipation for the Sixers’ season and Penn State’s upcoming challenge.

First-and-10

A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Flyers dig deep to shock Pens in OT James van Riemsdyk scores with 18.8 seconds remaining to force overtime, then Sean Couturier scores with 3.4 seconds left in overtime to lift Flyers to 2-1 triumph over host Penguins. Flyers, who snap 2-game losing streak, move within 3 points of Canadiens and 6 points of Blue Jackets, who occupy final playoff berth in Eastern Conference. Flyers have 10 games remaining in regular season. Carter Hart makes 41 saves, some of them spectacular. Penguins finally get puck past Hart when Teddy Bleuger scores on rebound 2:07 into 3rd period. But, after Ivan Provorov dives to prevent empty-net goal, JVR scores tying goal, with Couturier and Travis Konecny picking up assists. On winning goal, Couturier makes moves around Sidney Crosby at center ice along right-wing boards to set up 2-on-1, then beats Penguins goal Matt Murray. Flyers to host Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m.).

2. Bucks stop here Joel Embiid pours in 40 points, grabs 15 rebounds, dishes out 6 assists as Sixers post 130-125 victory over host Bucks, who have best record in NBA. Sixers (45-25), in sole possession of 3rd place in Eastern Conference, clinch playoff berth with their 4th straight win. Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick contribute 27 and 19 points, respectively. Giannis Antetokounmpo scores career-high 52 points for Bucks. Embiid, who scores 18 points in 4th quarter against Bucks, will rest Tuesday (7 p.m.) when Sixers visit Hornets.

3. Owls are in! Wildcats seeded 6th Temple one of last 4 teams to make cut for NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Owls will face Belmont in “first four” game Tuesday (9:10 p.m.) in Dayton, Ohio, with winner to battle 6th-seeded Maryland in East Region on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.. Villanova, the defending national champion, receives 6th seed in South Region, will meet 11th-seeded St. Mary’s on Thursday in Hartford, Ct. Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, Gonzaga receive top seeds.

4. Eagles sign safety Sendejo Eagles continue to bolster secondary by signing veteran safety Andrew Sendejo, who spent last 8 seasons with Vikings, to 1-year contract. Eagles recently re-signed CB Ronald Darby to 1-year contract reportedly worth $8.5 million. Darby is Eagles’ top CB, but he has missed nearly half of last 2 seasons due to dislocated ankle (2017) and torn ACL (2018). Eagles sign DT Malik Jackson to 3-year, $30 million contract,. Jackson, a former Pro Bowler, spent last 3 seasons with Jaguars, who cut him last week. Eagle trade DE Michael Bennett, 2020 7th-round draft pick to Patriots for 5th-round draft pick in 2020. Bennett, 33, was Eagles’ most productive DE last season. He has 2 years, at $6.2 and $7 million, remaining on his contract. Bennett tells NFL Network he would like raise. Eagles re-signed DE Brandon Graham to 3-year contract worth reported $40 million. Graham, 30, was a 1st-round draft pick in 2010. Eagles sign offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo to 3-year contract extension, keeping him under contract through 2022 season. Eagles sign center Jason Kelce to 1-year extension, keeping him under contract through 2021 season.

5. Cardinals defeat Phillies Starter Zach Eflin allows 3 runs (2 earned), including pair of home runs, in 5 innings as Phillies drop 4-1 decision to host Cardinals in Grapefruit League game. Phillies produce just 6 hits. Bryce Harper gets his 1st unofficial hit of spring training, but it comes in minor-league game. Phillies to visit Astros on Tuesday (1 p.m.).

6. Harper returns to lineup Bryce Harper returns to lineup during Sunday’s 7-3 loss to Yankees in Grapefruit League game, 2 days after being hit by pitch in right ankle Friday during Phillies’ 3-2 win over visiting Blue Jays. Serving as designated hitter, Harper goes 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts, 1 walk. He is still hitless during spring traning. X-ray reveals no break in ankle or foot.  Kapler confident Harper will be ready for Opening Day.

7. Wildcats win 3rd straight Big East title Villanova survives late Seton Hall surge to post 74-72 victory in Big East championship game, becoming 1st team to win 3 straight Big East titles. Eric Paschall scores 17 points to lead Wildcats, who receive 16 points apiece from senior Phil Booth, freshman Saddiq Bey. In another game Saturday, Harvard defeats Penn, 66-58, in Ivy League semifinals despite 25 points, 10 rebounds by Quakers’ AJ Brodeur ending Quakers’ hopes for NCAA Tournament berth. On Friday, Villanova erases 7-point deficit in final minute of regulation while posting 71-67 triumph over Xavier in Big East semifinals. Phil Booth scores 28 points, Jermaine Samuels adds 17 and Eric Paschall scores tying basket at end of regulation for 25th-ranked Villanova. In other conference tournament games Friday involving local teams, Temple must hold its breath Sunday during NCAA Tournament selection show after losing to Wichita State, 80-74, in American Athletic Conference quarterfinals despite 20 points from Shizz Alston Jr. and 16 points, 19 rebounds by center Ernest Aflakpui, and Charlie Brown and Lamarr Kimble score 16 and 15 points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough for Saint Joseph’s in 70-60 loss to Davidson in Atlantic 10 quarterfinals.

8. D-Jax is back Eagles bring WR DeSean Jackson back to Philly through trade with Buccaneers. Eagles giving up 6th-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft for Jackson, Bucs’ 7th-round pick next year. Eagles, LT Jason Peters agree on 1-year contract for next season. Peters, 37, was slated to make $13 million if Eagles picked up his option, but will make $10 million, with $5.5 million guaranteed, according to Peters’ agent. Eagles sign veteran LB L.J. Fort, who played last 4 seasons for Steelers, to 3-year, $5.6 million contract. Eagles also decide to release offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, according to multiple reports. Eagles will save $3 million under salary cap by releasing Wisniewski. No word from Eagles about WR Nelson Agholor, who could be expendable due to Jackson’s return.

9. Giants trade Beckham, sign Tate Giants trade WR Odell Beckham Jr., DE Olivier Vernon to Browns in exchange for 1st-round (No. 17 overall) and 3rd-round pick (No. 95) in this year’s NFL Draft, safety Jabril Peppers, guard Kevin Zeitler. Giants sign WR Jets sign WR Golden Tate, who played 2nd half of last season with Eagles, to 4-year contract reportedly worth $37.5 million. Nick Foles agrees to 4-year, $88 million contract with Jaguars, who release QB Blake Bortles. B Jordan Hicks also leaving Eagles, signing 4-year, $36 million deal with Cardinals. RB Le’Veon Bell to 4-year, $52 million contract and LB C.J. Mosley to 5-year, $85 million contract. Ravens sign safety Earl Thomas to 4-year, $55 million contract and RB Mark Ingram to 3-year, $15 million contract. Bills sign WRs Cole Beasley, John Brown. Former Eagles WR Jordan Matthews signs with 49ers. Steelers agree to trade disgruntled WR Antonio Brown to Raiders in exchange for 3rd-round and 5th-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft. Brown signs contract with Raiders for reported $51 million over 3 seasons. NFL suspends Browns RB Kareem Hunt 8 games for altercation with woman in hotel while he was member of Chiefs.

10. Union tie Atlanta Brenden Aaronson, making his MLS debut, scores in 47th minute, but defending MLS champion Atlanta rallies to forge 1-1 tie. Union pick up 1st point of season. Atlanta scores in 70th minute. Union without midfielder Marco Fabian, the Union’s marquee offseason addition, due to red card he received during 2-0 loss to Kansas City. Union to host Columbus on Saturday (7:30 p.m.).

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WEEKEND RESULTS

Friday
Sixers 123, Kings 114
Toronto 7, Flyers 6
Phillies 3, Blue Jays 2
(
spring training)
Men’s Basketball
Big East Tournament
Semifinals
Villanova 71, Xavier 67 (OT)
(at Madison Square Garden)
Atlantic 10 Tournament
Quarterfinals
Davidson 70, St. Joseph’s 60
(at Barclays Center in Brooklyn)
American Athletic Conference

Quarterfinals
Wichita St. 80, Temple 74
(at Memphis)

Saturday
Astros 13, Phillies 5
(
spring training)
Wings at San Diego, 10 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Big East Tournament

Championship game
Villanova 74, Seton Hall 72
(at Madison Square Garden)
Ivy League Tournament
Semifinals
Harvard 66, Penn 58
(at Yale)

Sunday
Sixers 130, Milwaukee 125
Flyers 2, Pittsburgh 1 (OT)
Union 1, Atlanta 1
Yankees 7, Phillies 3
(split squad, 
spring training)

LOCAL SCHEDULE

Monday
Cardinals 4, Phillies 1
(spring training)

Tuesday
Canadiens at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Sixers at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
Phillies at Astros, 1 p.m.
(spring training)
Men’s Basketball
NCAA Tournament
First Four (play-in)
Temple vs. Belmont, 9:10 p.m.
(at Dayton, Ohio)

Wednesday
Celtics at Sixers, 7 p.m.
Tigers at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(spring training)

Thursday
Flyers at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Blue Jays at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(
spring training)
Men’s Basketball
NCAA Tournament
First round
Villanova vs. St. Mary’s, 7:20 p.m.
(at Hartford, Ct.)

Friday
Phillies at Yankees, 6:30 p.m.
(
spring training)
Men’s Basketball
NCAA Tournament

Saturday
Islanders at Flyers, 1 p.m.
Sixers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus at Union, 7:30 p.m.
Phillies at Pirates, 1 p.m.
(
split squad, spring training)
New England at Wings, 7 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
NCAA Tournament

Sunday
Flyers at Washington, 12:30 p.m.
Union at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Orioles at Phillies, 1 p.m.
(split squad, 
spring training)
Men’s Basketball
NCAA Tournament

FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE

Wildcats long shots to repeat as champions

Phil Booth (pictured) and Villanova begin defense of their national championship as a sixth seed in the South Region. The Wildcats will face St. Mary's on Thursday in the first round. Temple to battle Belmont on Tuesday in the "first ...
Wildcats long shots to repeat as champions

Phillies expectations

With Bryce Harper added to all of the Phillies’ other offseason acquisitions, how far can they go? Will they win the National League East this season? Will they reach the World Series? Will we have a parade? Share your thoughts in Voice of the Phanatics.

Everyone into the pool!

Get your brackets in for PhillyPhanatics.com’s Bracket Madness! Entering the contest is free! Click on the headline to find out the rules and how to fill out your bracket.

Fish ‘n Chips

Eric Fisher’s notes-style column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions about the Eagles’ offseason moves, how Bryce Harper’s spring training slump could become a problem and which Pennsylvania team has the best chance to repeat as NCAA national champion (it’s not Villanova).

Worst Sixers draft picks

Now that Markelle Fultz’s career with the 76ers is over, where does the top overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft rank on the PhillyPhanatics.com’s list of the worst Sixers draft picks of the past 50 years? Click on the headline to find out.

Flyers Notebook: Tough road ahead

March - 12 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Flyers and Jakub Voracek (pictured) have come a long way, but they still have work to do to get into position to secure one of the final playofff berths in the NHL. Eric Fisher also comments on Voracek’s 2-game suspension, Michael Raffl’s contributions and improved play from Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov.

Busy Eagles bring back Jackson

March - 11 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Eagles agree to a trade with the Buccaneers that will bring wide receiver DeSean Jackson back to Philadelphia after a five-year absence. The Eagles also will sign former Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson, according to multiple reports.

Heel Turns: Fast Lane part of journey

March - 10 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling explains why WWE’s Fast Lane is a transition show — and that doesn’t mean it will be bad. Achilles Heel also explains what Ring of Honor must overcome on Friday’s anniversary show, congratulates Samoa Joe on winning the United States Championship and bids farewell to King Kong Bundy and The Destroyer.

Sixers Notebook: Long absence raises issues

March - 9 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The prolonged absence of center Joel Embiid due to soreness in his left knee, an absence that has lasted eight games, raises questions for both Embiid and the Sixers as they attempt to get ready for the postseason.

Fish ‘n Chips

March - 6 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s notes-style column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the frenzy surrounding Bryce Harper, the Eagles’ moves along their offensive and defensive lines and Temple legend Al Shrier, who died on Monday.

College Notebook: Positioning for postseason

March - 5 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

the final week of the regular season poses a lot of challenges. Penn is battling to get into the Ivy League Tournament, Temple is trying to improve its chances of getting an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, and Villanova is attempting to wrap up the Big East championship.

Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal