Hart’s Villanova, Pelinka’s Michigan poised for dust-up


Josh Hart grew wistful remembering it.

In 2016, he was part of a Villanova team that won the men’s college basketball national championship.

“It’s incredible,” Hart said. “Might be the most fun you ever have playing basketball. Especially when you win it. Just going through, when we won, we played, we beat probably ... five out of the six teams that we played, five of them were top-five teams at some point in the season. We beat them, and how we beat them. We were just having fun. The Final Four can be a circus at times but that’s some of the most fun basketball you’ll ever have.”

On Monday, Villanova will play Michigan in the championship game, pitting Hart’s alma mater against Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s alma mater. Pelinka also won a championship with Michigan in 1989.


His schedule is busy, but Hart wants to try and make it to the game. On Twitter, he asked if anyone had a private jet headed to San Antonio.

Hart stopped short of making any predictions to avoid jinxing Villanova. He and Pelinka don’t have a wager on the game. Yet.

“We will though,” Hart said. “Best believe. We had to make sure we were both in it first before we did that. We’re both in it, so we’ll talk a little bit.”

Hart enjoys trash-talking with anyone he can find. Is that allowed with the general manager?

“That’s allowed,” Hart said. “I can talk trash to anybody. Besides Jesus Christ, that’s the only one I will not talk trash to.”

Randle rises

Julius Randle continued a strong second half of the season with his play against Sacramento.

He led the Lakers in scoring Sunday night and did most of it in the fourth quarter. Randle went nine of 12 from the free-throw line in the fourth and scored 11 points during that period. Regardless, the Lakers struggled to hold their lead during the fourth.

They led by six points early, but trailed with 9 minutes 30 seconds left.

Three-point woes

The Lakers made only seven of 32 three-point shots Sunday, for a 21.9% success rate.

That is their third-worst three-point shooting percentage in a game since the start of January. On Jan. 19, the Lakers made only two of 25 three-point shots. On March 24, they made five of nine.

Familiar face

Nigel Hayes spent 10 days with the Lakers, during which time there was little playing time for him. Once his 10-day contract expired, the Lakers didn’t bring him back. He spent two 10-day stints with the Toronto Raptors. The Kings signed him Saturday for the rest of the season.

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli