August 16, 2013 |
LA SALLE and Temple have agreed to move their games to the Palestra the next two seasons. This season's game (Saturday, Jan. 18, noon) will be preceded by ESPN College GameDay. Tickets will be split evenly between the schools. The game, which will be on ESPN or ESPN2, would have been at Gola Arena this season and at the Liacouras Center next season. The Palestra game will be the culmination of ESPN's "My Home Court" initiative - a weeklong celebration of college hoops' best venues.
May 2, 2013 |
Commissioner Mike Aresco and some staffers of the newly named American Athletic Conference were in Philadelphia on Tuesday, stopping at member school Temple, then touring the Palestra, a possible site for the postseason conference basketball tournament. "We're definitely interested," Aresco said in a phone call from 30th Street Station after seeing the Palestra. "It's a revered place in college basketball. Given our druthers, we're looking for a smaller arena, more intimate, at least in the beginning.
April 26, 2013 |
AS A COLLEGE basketball fan in the early 1970s, maybe you went to the Palestra to see Joe Bryant or Mike Bantom or Ron Haigler. But a friend and I would go there for another reason - to watch Temple's Joe Rymal. Joe wasn't the Owls' leading scorer or top rebounder. No he was something more important than that, he was the older brother of my friend and classmate Tom Rymal. And having a relative playing in the Palestra at that time was the Hoops Holy Grail. Tom, who played at North Catholic, Community College and Drexel, was the best basketball player I ever appeared on a court with regularly.
March 30, 2013 |
If Duke basketball is a religion, its sanctuary is a quirky campus arena located 350 miles south of Philadelphia, where the Blue Devils made yet another NCAA tournament appearance this weekend. Thanks to Duke's prolonged run of excellence, 73-year-old Cameron Indoor Stadium - quaint, intimate, home to a noisy and whimsical student section - has become the most ballyhooed symbol of history and charm in a sport that typically pays little attention to either. Classically Georgian in design, Cameron has girdered ceilings, a utilitarian pre-World War II elegance, and an acoustical magic that can transform several thousand voices into an earthquake.
March 28, 2013 |
Somewhere, as his former team prepares to face La Salle on Thursday in their unlikely West Regional matchup, Gary Thompson must be thankful the NCAA conducts its tournament at neutral sites. In Philadelphia basketball's long and rich history, it's doubtful any coach ever enjoyed a visit here less than the late Wichita State mentor. After his No. 2-ranked Shockers were upset by St. Joseph's in the 1964 Quaker City Tournament final, Thompson called Palestra fans "horrible," the officials "atrocious," and the whole experience "a damn farce.
March 22, 2013 |
It's fitting that a chunk of this 75th version of the NCAA tournament will be contested in Philadelphia. It was here, after all, on St. Patrick's Day 1939, that March Madness began with barely a nervous twitch. The 68-team basketball behemoth that now commands billion-dollar TV contracts, sells out domed football stadiums, and captivates millions of amateur and professional bracketeers debuted modestly at a sparsely occupied Palestra. That cold night, before a disappointing gathering of 3,500 and very little national notice, Villanova defeated Brown in the opener of a doubleheader that marked the dawn of what The Inquirer termed the "National Collegiate A.A. basketball championship.
March 18, 2013 |
Seventy-four years ago, to the day, on March 17, 1939, the NCAA men's basketball tournament held its first game, on 33d Street, in a brick palace opened a dozen years earlier. A mere 3,500 people - unaware then and probably for years afterward that they were watching sports history unfold - showed up at the Palestra to watch Villanova beat Brown in the first game of what was then an eight-team tournament eventually won by Oregon. Bonds between this city and that tournament were forged, and continue with NCAA games at the Wells Fargo Center this week, looking to add to a tradition that saw title games played at the Palestra and the Spectrum, with Bob Knight coaching at the height of his powers, and then the NCAA tournament game considered the greatest ever.
March 10, 2013
* La Salle plays at Saint Louis on Saturday afternoon in a nationally televised game. The Billikens had won 11 straight until losing in OT Wednesday at Xavier. La Salle, which has won seven of eight, could tie for the Atlantic 10 regular season with a win and a VCU loss to Temple on Sunday. This is win-and-you're-in game for La Salle, which has already clinched a first-round tournament bye. If their ninth road win of the season is at Saint Louis, La Salle is an NCAA lock. If they lose, it won't hurt them, but when you get these kinds of chances, you want to take advantage of them.
February 22, 2013 |
THERE'S REGULAR fuming, and then there's the William "Speedy" Morris version. Morris, St. Joseph's Prep's basketball coach, was livid Thursday afternoon upon learning that his Hawks might not represent the Catholic League in next week's game (M.L. King will be the Public League's representative) to decide the Class AAAA City Title. "It's moronic. Idiotic. How the hell can that happen?" he said. "Tell me, what possible sense does that make? "There's always talk about 'Only in the Pub.' This is 'Only in the Catholic League.' " The CL, according to basketball moderator Joe Sette, has a power-points system based on average, not the total number.
February 22, 2013 |
Neumann-Goretti's bid for area boys' basketball supremacy took a severe hit when it was throttled by Chester earlier this month. With that 17-point loss behind them, the Saints, as they showed in Wednesday night's Catholic League semifinal vs. Archbishop Carroll, are ultra-focused on claiming the other prizes available to them. Fueled by a 15-0 explosion at the start of the second quarter, N-G, using its speed to the utmost, stormed past helpless Carroll, 57-34, at the Palestra.