NCAA Tournament not just a hoop dream for St. Joe's

PHILADELPHIA - March 5, 2014

Everybody is talking about Villanova who is ranked 6th in the nation, but there something else to ponder. In the past 20 games, while the Wildcats have gone 17 and 3, so has the St. Joseph's Hawks.

The Hawks are the other hottest team in town, and Phil Martelli can pinpoint the exact moment things turned around.

"We were 4 and 4. We had been annihilated by Villanova, we had lost to Temple in the same week. There were many that thought, why don't you disband your program right now? Why would anybody continue their season? I took the players into the video room, and I said, 'As long as you believe in each other, and you don't let outside people get to you and you don't let voices get you, and you trust in what we are doing, then good things are going to happen,'" said Martelli.

And they have been.

The Hawks have won 21 games, and the teams says it is much like a pitcher pitching a no-hitter. They feel like they are in a zone right now.

"It is definitely a great feeling. You feel it, you get on a run, it is just one of those things. You have confidence in yourself every single game," said Halil Kanecevic.

This run is extra special for the seniors especially Langston Galloway and Halil Kanecevic because they have never been to the big dance. Now they are so close they can taste it.

"It will be great," said Kanecevic. "I think that everyone that plays Division 1 basketball wants to make the NCAA Tournament. I don't care what school you play for you want to play."

"I would be big, and a lot of excitement," said Langston Galloway. "And we know what the end-goal is, and that is to get to the tournament."

"What I want from these seniors is to have an experience and to experience the best basketball of their lives, and that's what they are doing," said Martelli.

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