St. Joe’s and Temple tangle at The Palestra in 2004
The Palestra in West Philly has been home to some of the greatest college basketball ever played.
The traditional home to Philly’s “Big Five” basketball schools: Penn, Villanova, St. Joe’s, Temple and LaSalle, will be rockin’ this winter as the rivalry celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary.
The annual “Big Five Classic” will take place in December as a doubleheader tips off at the venerable old building, with LaSalle taking on Drexel (considered by many the 6th member) followed by Penn taking on Temple.
It all starts tonight with “Midnight Madness”.
The rules of the NCAA allow teams to begin practice at midnight tonight, and so many teams kickoff their seasons at that point with traditional opening celebrations.
Villanova has national championship aspirations. Penn will once again be a contender for the Ivy League title and its accompanying automatic berth in the NAAA tournament.
St. Joe’s and Temple, led by veteran coach’s Phil Martelli and John Chaney respectively, are always strong clubs. LaSalle has 9-straight losing seasons, but has reasonable hopes at finally reaching the .500 mark.
The men’s basketball teams of Philly’s Big Five schools should prove to be tough on any opponent that they come up against, and should provide a nice amateur sporting alternative to the higher-priced pros this winter.