Friday, October 14, 2005
The Palestra in West Philly has been home to some of the greatest college baseketball ever played. The traditional home to Philly's "Big Five" basketball schools: Penn, Villanova, St. Joe's, Temple & 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 have a typically strong Ivy League team, and both St. Joe's & Temple, led by veteran coach's Phil Martelli & 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.