Game 20: Penn vs. Saint Joseph's

Penn coach Jerome Allen and St Joseph's coach Phil Martelli lead their teams into a Big 5 showdown. (Staff Photos)

Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Venue: The Palestra, Philadelphia, Pa.
TV/Radio: Comcast Network/WNTP 990-AM/WPEN 950-AM

It's amazing to me that this blog is now in its fifth year of existence.

When I started it in January of 2007, I don't think I had any idea how long it would last or where it would go. I knew that didn't have much of a college sports presence at that time, but at that point I had only just started working here.

Now we have multiple college sports blogs on the site, as well as photos, videos, audio tracks and all kinds of other cool stuff. My work is just a fraction of the entire package that you see on the site every day.

I know you've all seen that I've been devoting a lot of time to soccer lately. But we always celebrate this blog's birthday at the Penn-Saint Joseph's game, and for good reason. Nights like this one always get the basketball juices in me flowing.

It's not going to be pretty. It's not going to have the kind of star power that Villanova-Syracuse did this afternoon, or even Temple-Xavier. But it's going to be as fiercely contested as any major-conference game you watched on national television today.

The stakes could not be clearer, especially for Penn. Jack Eggleston and his fellow Quakers seniors have one last chance to get their first ever taste victory in a Big 5 game. No graduating class in Penn history has ever gone winless in City Series play.

Saint Joseph's comes in on a five-game losing streak. The Hawks are young and raw, but a win tonight could give them just the kind of boost they need to start growing up.

The Palestra will be hot, loud, and split right down the middle. Just the way it ought to be. I was told yesterday afternoon that around 7,000 tickets had been sold, which is a pretty good number. But there will still be just enough space for fans who decide at the last minute that college basketball's most historic gym is the best place to be on a Saturday night in the heart of winter.

It's been 52 days since a Division I men's college basketball game was played on the lower half of 33rd Street. In so many ways, this has been a long time coming.

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