Drexel Dragons burst through Big 5 Classic with 57-55 win over No. 18 Villanova

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Amari Williams blocked a shot that ignited a Drexel celebration — yellow and blue streamers were chucked on the court — decades in the making for a program long the outsider on the Philly hoops scene.

Let the old-timers spin tales about the old, glory days of the Big 5.

The Dragons — with all of five total NCAA Tournament appearances — crashed the City Series this season and showed life in a reimagined pseudo-conference can be pretty glorious in the present, too.

Williams scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked No. 18 Villanova’s tying-attempt with 3 seconds left to help Drexel upset the Wildcats 57-55 on Saturday in the inaugural Big 5 Classic at the Wells Fargo Center.

Turns out, the sixth team in the Big 5 can play some ball.

“We weren’t in awe,” Drexel coach Zach Spiker said, “at all.”

With good reason, perhaps.

Villanova (6-3) didn’t just lose, it fell to 0-3 in a series of Big 5 games that was designed to crown a city basketball champion.