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Syracuse vs. Villanova: Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters From Philadelphia, FYI

I'm surprised you didn't know this, but Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Rakeem Christmas are from Philadelphia.

Can't believe no one ever told you that.

You'd think it would have come up. Maybe during a TV broadcast. Or something, you know?

Just weird that such an uninteresting and obvious piece of information wouldn't be beaten into the ground by now, Scoop's fifth season with the Syracuse Orange.

At this point, I'm sure it won't come up when Syracuse visits Philadelphia to play the Villanova Wildcats, but, it's just nice to know before it's all over.

Oh well.

Anyway, it's Scoop's last chance to play in front of a Philly crowd in an SU uniform. Unfortunately, someone may have confused Scoop and told him this is the last game he'll play...point blank period.

"I don’t want to put pressure on myself by making the game harder than what it is," said SU’s point guard. "You know, it’s my last game, I want to play good."

We all know Scoop loves a good cheesesteak. However, we all know how much trouble a cheesesteak can get Scoop into. And so...get terrified...

Jardine, the fifth-year senior, loves Philadelphia. Before Monday’s Syracuse practice, he talked with Michael Carter-Williams about getting haircuts in Philly and stopping for a decent cheesesteak.

In fact, the Syracuse - Philly connection is so strong that we're apparently thinking of re-naming the university.

"We call Syracuse ‘South Philadelphia University.’ We’re all from South Philly. To have three guys from the same neighborhood go to the same school, that’s (unusual). Especially a prestigious school like Syracuse," Jardine said of himself, Jackson and Waiters. "We all could have stayed home and made our Philly schools really good. We got some guys in Philly who could make one great school. But Syracuse is a 4-hour difference. It’s close to home but far enough away that you can go get a great college experience. You’re playing for a Hall of Fame coach. You know, the stuff we get up here, it’s not the real world."

I can only imagine the logistical nightmare that's gonna be for DOC Gross. "South Philadelphia University: New York's College Team."

Speaking of Philly guys, Dion Waiters Mania is gripping the nation. Or, at least, folks are starting to recognize that he's quite the talent, starter or not. Surprisingly, it's been his defensive prowess that's made people notice.

"I'm the type of guy, I get mad if I see you keep dribbling in front of me," Waiters said. "I'm going to try to get it eventually. I just got a knack for the ball, I guess."

And if you've ever wondered what eventually made Dion re-focus and return to SU this season, you can officially thank his mama:

"She told me, 'I didn't raise no quitter,'" Waiters said, staring across the darkened hardwood floors of the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center before the lights were turned on for a recent practice. "That coming from your mom, that's powerful words. That's all I needed to hear. That just drove me. I just took it in and ran with it."

As for Villanova, this game will be their 20th against the No. 1 team in the nation. They're 5-14 in their previous tries, which includes a win over No. 1 Syracuse when Rollie Massimino's Cats beat the Orange, 93-74 in 1990. Their last No. 1 win came over UConn in 2006. Syracuse leads the all-time series 36-31.