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SPORTS
January 22, 2016 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Columnist
An hour before tipoff, the front doors were open and a cold wind, more than a breeze, blew in from 33d Street down to the floor of the Palestra, where La Salle warmed up on the west end, Temple to the east. The building filled up, four schools getting their own quadrants. The place warmed up. The hoops ran hot and cold, but you didn't hear complaining. A Big Five doubleheader at the Palestra, once held twice a week, has come along once a decade lately. "Sitting in the huddle - I wanted to get out of the huddle," said Temple coach Fran Dunphy, mentioning how his old high school coach, Dan Dougherty, was in a group of former Big Five stars introduced during a timeout.
SPORTS
January 22, 2016 | By Dick Jerardi, Staff Writer
MY FIRST TIME was on a late winter Saturday evening. The details remain hazy. Two of my high school friends from Baltimore were at Villanova and had been telling me I needed to get up to Philadelphia to see a Big 5 doubleheader at the Palestra. I got on a bus from College Park, Md., one Friday afternoon and somehow ended up on a train out to the Main Line. The next night, the first game, a k a the prelim, was already on when we got to the Palestra. Villanova was in the second game.
SPORTS
January 21, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, Staff Writer
DREXEL The Dragons had high hopes for Ahmad Fields, but the 6-foot-5 sophomore wing has played only three games because of a knee injury. A transfer from Utah who sat out last season, Fields played in the opener, missed 10 games, played two more, and has been idle since seeing 18 minutes in a Jan. 2 loss to Elon. Coach Bruiser Flint said that Fields won't be redshirting this year, and he hopes Fields will be back at some point. The Dragons have missed him. "We thought he would be a big part of things," Flint said.
SPORTS
January 21, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, Staff Writer
Devin Coleman understands that when his Temple team meets La Salle in a Big Five game at the Palestra, there will be added excitement in the place known as the cathedral of college basketball. To celebrate the Big Five's 60th anniversary, the Palestra will host a doubleheader Wednesday night, paying homage to the old days when these events were commonplace and gripped the basketball community. After the Temple-La Salle game at 7, St. Joseph's and Penn will meet at 9:30. "It's my first time playing in a doubleheader there and it will be a good experience," Coleman said.
SPORTS
January 21, 2016 | By Dick Jerardi, Staff Writer
GIVEN THE differing Big 5 constituencies, making Wednesday night's doubleheader at the Palestra a reality was not easy. Eventually, the schools agreed to put self-interest (giving up home games) aside to make it happen. "The last question was getting leagues willing to create byes," said Steve Bilsky, the executive director of the Big 5, who was a driving force behind the DH. "In the end, they all did and it came together. " Whatever it took, the night with La Salle playing Temple, followed by Saint Joseph's-Penn, will be glorious, a perfect celebration on the 60th anniversary of the first Big 5 season.
SPORTS
January 21, 2016 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Columnist
The noise didn't stop at the locker room door. Two teams would be playing, two would be waiting underneath the stands, which often seemed to shake, the vibrations carrying right into the room. "You'd be peeking out, trying to see who was playing well," Fran Dunphy said this week. "Because you knew every player. " Wednesday night at the Palestra, four teams will play basketball and also offer a nod to the past. Temple will face La Salle, and then St. Joseph's takes on Penn, and Dunphy hopes the fans for the second game get there early and the fans for the first game stay to the end. Because there is nothing exactly like this anywhere else in college basketball.
NEWS
January 18, 2016
B.G. Kelley is a Philadelphia writer Butterflies as big as bats seized my stomach as I sat in the Palestra locker room waiting to lead the Temple Owls onto the court to meet the Villanova Wildcats in a City Series Big Five game. I could hear the nearly 10,000 fans screaming, anxiously anticipating the arrival of both teams to the polished floor of the Palestra. It was Jan. 16, 1965, and it was the most important game of the season for my teammates and our coach, Harry Litwack, a seminal figure in Philly basketball who would later be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
NEWS
January 18, 2016 | Bill Lyon, Staff Writer
Mid-January. Colder than a graveyard. The worshipping pilgrims shuffle in small circles and stomp their feet against the frosted night, and at the first sign of movement inside they look hopefully. Expectantly. Anxiously. Prayerfully. Waiting for the doors to swing open and grant them entrance to the Holy Place . . . to the Cradle of College Basketball . . . to the Cathedral of Hoops . . . to . . . The Palestra. There's not a better place to be in the dead of winter than here, right here, on 33d Street, on the fringe of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, just above the railroad tracks and the Schuylkill, and cheek by jowl to Franklin Field, that wonderful old dinosaur, repository of great and glorious deeds.
SPORTS
January 12, 2016 | By Dick Jerardi, Daily News Columnist
MY TOP four NCAA Tournament seeds if the selections were today: East - Maryland South - Oklahoma Midwest - Michigan State West - Kansas If Penn had held on against Princeton at the Palestra, it would have been a rare perfect Saturday in the city, with three of the wins being upsets, two by teams that had to be wondering when (or if) they were going to win again. La Salle, a 12-point underdog, did exactly what it was supposed to do against Dayton at Gola Arena, play a low-possession game to keep its six-man team as fresh as possible and not give the superior forces any more chances than necessary.
SPORTS
January 11, 2016 | By Mike Kern, Staff Writer
A win would have been some way for Penn, one of the youngest teams in Division I, to begin its first Ivy League season under coach Steve Donahue, who was by Fran Dunphy's side for a bunch of championship moments in the 1990s. The Quakers, picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll, had lost six of the last seven to Princeton and 11 of 13. But Saturday at the Palestra - without sophomore Antonio Woods, their fourth-leading scorer, who is lost for at least a year due to academic reasons - they had their chances.
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