Friday, February 29, 2008

Big 5 in Decline

The Globe's Mark Blaudschun notes this morning -- after summarizing the generally down year for men's college basketball in Massachusetts and New England -- that Philadelphia is also suffering. The City of Brotherly Love has a long tradition of great college basketball -- the city rivalries in hoops often surpass the local rivalries of the Beanpot -- through the "Big 5." The Big 5 has been around since 1955, and has always had at least one representative in the NCAA field.

This year, Villanova (17-10, #59 on KenPom, #64 on RPI) and St. Joe's (17-9, #63 Kenpom, #59 RPI) are on the outside of the bubble right now. Temple (15-12, #81 KenPom, #80 RPI), Penn (10-16), and LaSalle (13-13, #158 RPI) are dead, or in need a "Championship Week" miracle to make the Field of 65.

Ah for the glory days of the Palestra.

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