Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Meet Me in Kansas City ...

Explorers and Wildcats descending upon Kansas City ...

Meet Me in Kansas City ...


Thanks to La Salle's 80-71 victory over Boise State, two Philadelphia teams will partake in separate NCAA Tournament games at the same site away from the city on the same day for just the ninth time in the 75-year history of the tourney.

And that doesn't include times when two schools have faced off against each other (Penn-Villanova, 1971 and 1972;Temple-Drexel, 1994) or when the site was the City of Brotherly itself (1964, 1970, 71, 1975 and 1978).

Our favorite of all these, was the 1979 Friday doubleheader in Raleigh, N.C., when Temple was dropping a 75-70 game to St. John's and the Owls' cheerleaders started a "Let's Go, Quakers" chant for Penn, which was to take on Iona in Game 2. Penn, of course, topped Iona and teamed with St. John's two days later to take down Duke and North Carolina in what ACC tradiltionists refer to as Black Sunday.

Our least favorite was Penn and Saint Joseph's dropping a pair in Uniondale in 1982, especially since a victory would have put the Hawks in a second-round game against Villanova.

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The teams will be playing in separate sessions (the Explorers will play at 3:40 against Kansas State; the Wildcats at 7:20 against the Tar Heels), but if both win ... well, a real-live, old-time Big 5 doubleheader will be the second Philadelphia icon to head to Kansas City in three months. (Andy Reid was the first.)

If that happens, someone be sure to leave a ticket for Yo-Yo ...

 Date  City  Round  Scores
 March 8, 1955
 New York
 La Salle 95, West Virginia 61
 Villanova 74, Duke 73
 March 16, 1962 
 College Park, Md.

 Wake Forest 96, Saint Joseph's 85 (ot) 
 Villanova 79, New York U. 76
 March 18, 1971
 Raleigh, N.C.
 Villanova 85, Fordham 75
 Penn 79, South Carolina 64
 March 17, 1978
 Providence, R.I.
 Duke 84, Penn 80
 Villanova 61, Indiana 60
 March 9, 1979
 Raleigh, N.C.
 St. John's 75, Temple 70
 Penn 73, Iona 69
 March 6, 1980
 West Lafayette, Ind. 
 Penn 62, Washington St. 55
 Purdue 90, La Salle 82
 March 12, 1982
 Uniondale, N.Y.
 St. John's 66, Penn 56
 Northeastern 63, Saint Joseph's 62
 March 16, 1995
 Baltimore, Md.
 Alabama 91, Penn 85 (ot)
 Oklahoma St. 73, Drexel 49
 March 22, 2013
 Kansas City, Mo.
 La Salle vs. Kansas St.
 Villanova vs. North Carolina
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About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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