A Wild and Crazy Couple of Days For Villanova Basketball

Holy sheep shit did we have a night to remember. Good, bad, ugly. Laughs, cries and trades.

Let’s start at the top. The Villanova Wildcats were playing host to the DePaul Blue Demons. Going into the game, Villanova had beaten DePaul in 22 of their last 23 meetings… all except the last meeting on January 10.

But it’s DePaul, right? They’re the perennial door mat for the Big East and again they are the worst team in the conference not named Georgetown. The game was scheduled to be played on campus in the Pavilion and it just so happened that the New York Knicks were in town to take on the 76ers tomorrow.

Playing a bad team? Game is on campus? Knicks are in town on an off day? Perfect day to retire Jalen Brunson’s #1 jersey.

Fuck it! Let’s get crazy. Midas whale honor former head coach Jay Wright as well! There were some star-studded names in attendance. Most of the Knicks were in attendance including Derrick Rose, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Jericho Sims, Miles McBride, Isaiah Hartenstein and the prodigal son Ryan Arcidiacono. National champions Eric Paschall and Daniel Ochefu were also in the building.

And as any bad gambler knowns, this is a huge play on Villanova. So I put together an elevator play on the favored (-9.5) Wildcats. We don’t unit shame here at LifeTakes, but I ended up with $432 on the line for a possible $224.37 at various point spreads ranging from -0.5 to -18.5. In layman’s terms, if Villanova loses, I lose all $432. If Villanova wins by 19 or more, I win $224.37. Anything in-between has different levels of profit or loss. The more the ‘Cats win by, the better. Long story short, I was physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially invested.

So before the game Nova Nation honored Jay Wright. If you’re unfamiliar with his work; 2x National Champion, 4x Final Four, 2x Naismith Coach of the Year, 6x Big East Coach of the Year, 8x Big East Regular Season Champion, 5x Big East Tournament Champion, Associated Press Coach of the Decade, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer. Decent career. Coach was there with his lovely wife Patty and his oldest son, Taylor. Side note, what was Taylor wearing? That sweater was absolutely awful. All those suits in that house and you went with that, huh? (Just playin’ T, miss ya dude.) But I digress.

Creighton beats Seton Hall, 75-62, and the Villanova game starts on time, 8:30pm, on FS1. The Wildcats open the game looking like they have the rest of the season. They gave up open dunks defensively, took tough, contested threes in isolation and were destined to be in a 40-minute dog fight with DePaul.

Then, Villanova just started playing better. Or DePaul started playing worse. Or both. The ‘Cats went on a 16-1 run to take a six-point lead, 28-22, on the second of two triples by Brendan Hausen. Inevitably, DePaul hits a miracle three to end the first half for what seems like the 12th-straight game against Villanova. Wildcats led by three at half.

At halftime Nova Nation honored Jalen Brunson. If you’re unfamiliar with his work; 2x National Champion, Naismith National Player of the Year, Consensus First-team All-American, Bob Cousy Award winner, Big East Player of the Year, 2x First-Team All Big East, Big East All-Freshman Team. Decent career. JB thanked the Knicks organization, which drew boos from the Philadelphia fans, but ended his speech with a “Go Birds”, which was cheered by the Eagles faithful.

Then, Villanova just started playing worse. Or DePaul started playing better. Or both. The Blue Demons rip off a 9-0 run to take a 43-30 edge. Meanwhile, I’m over here living and dying with every possession and mother-fucking players, coaches and officials.

Caleb Daniels and Justin Moore started taking over midway through the second half. Daniels jumper, Daniels three, Eric Dixon split two free throws, Daniels three, Moore layup, Daniels three, Moore three, Moore three. Just like that Villanova leads by seven, 68-61.

This is when shit gets fun. About 3,000 miles away, national champion Josh Hart was warming up for the Portland Trail Blazers and getting ready to take on national champion Donte DiVincenzo and the Golden State Warriors. That’s when we got our first Woj bomb or Shams bomb of the night. Some poor guy in the Blazers communications department then had to go down to the court and tell Josh that he should stop warming up because he had been traded to the New York Knicks.

…and Josh Hart’s parents, Moses and Pat, were at the Villanova game.

(Shoutout to Mike Sheridan, Jacob Whitten and Big Chuck)

Brunson’s reaction to the trade news back on the main line.

While all this was going on, DiVincenzo dunked on this guy’s head and got a delayed high-five from national runner-up Jordan Poole.

Back to the topic at hand. All of the Knicks are at the Villanova game and they make a trade for Josh Hart, reuniting him with Villanova teammates Jalen Brunson and Ryan Arcidiacono when Hart’s parent are in the stands at the game. Crazy. Wild. Everything in Nova-land is great. Vibes are immaculate.

Next Woj bomb or Shams bomb.

The details of the trade come out. Hart goes from Portland to the Knicks in exchange for Cam Reddish, some bum from Seton Hall, a protected first-round pick and… national champion Ryan Arcidiacono.

Gutted. This dude is at Villanova supporting his current NY Knicks teammate and his college roommate for his jersey retirement and gets traded away in exchange for another college teammate. That sucks.

But it’s a business. The dust settles. Villanova wins by a lot. I cash my bets for around $175 in profit. It’s close to 1:00am eastern, so I’m going to bed.


The Brooklyn Nets send Kevin Durant and something called TJ Warren to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jae Crowder, Cam Johnson, four first-round draft picks, additional draft capital and… two-time national champion Mikal Bridges.

Gutted. Gutted. Nicest dude you’ll ever meet. Kid was a huge part of the Suns making the NBA Finals in 2021. Kid played 365 games out of a possible 365 games. This year he took on a much bigger role and kept the Suns afloat with Chris Paul and Devin Booker down with injuries. Mikal played just well enough to be the keystone in a trade for Kevin Durant. Now he goes to Brooklyn where he has to put up with Ben Simmons’ cranky ass. That sucks sucks.

But it’s a business.

Happy for Jay Wright, his retirement from coaching and his new gig as a color commentator on television. Happy for Jalen Brunson, his jersey retirement and his great season with the Knicks. Happy for Josh Hart and his trade back to the east coast. Bummed out for Ryan Arcidiacono and him being shipped out west. Bummed out for Mikal Bridges and him being traded away from a contender to a shit-show of an NBA franchise.


Literally as I was looking up tweets to add to this blog, another trade has happened featuring a Villanova Wildcat. Saddiq Bey, at long last, after two and a half years of torture, has been traded out of the city of Detroit. Originally looked like he would be going to Golden State to team up with DiVincenzo but he will now be going to the Atlanta Hawks. Anywhere, anywhere but Detroit is a win for Bey. Happy for Saddiq, the trade to the Hawks and getting the fuck out of the Motor City.

This wraps an exciting 14-hour stretch for some Villanova legends. Now we focus our attention to Seton Hall, the last seven games of the regular season and four wins at Madison Square Garden in March.


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