The day Big 5 fans have long hoped to see is finally coming.
ESPN is bringing its "College GameDay" show to the Palestra on Saturday, January 18 for the Temple-La Salle game.
That means a two-hour morning show live from 33rd Street: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on ESPNU, and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on ESPN. The game will tip off at noon on ESPN or ESPN2.
In addition to showcasing college basketball's most historic gym, the game will have a true Big 5 feel as well. Ticket sales will be split down the middle, just like they used to be (and as plenty of people think they still should be).
As part of the ticket sales agreement, Temple will move its home game against La Salle next season from the Liacouras Center to the Palestra.
This will be the second time that the the basketball version of College GameDay has come to our region. Villanova hosted at the Pavilion in 2011 when Pittsburgh visited the Main Line. The football version of GameDay came to Philadelphia back in 2002 for Penn-Harvard.
Rece Davis is the show's host, with Jay Bilas, former Penn assistant Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose as analysts.
Now, we all know that it wouldn't be a true Big 5 spectacle without more than one game on 33rd Street. Penn will host Saint Joseph's that night, but it's not known yet whether ESPN will stick around to air it. The GameDay crew will leave the Palestra after its morning show and head up to Storrs for Louisville at Connecticut.
I also don't know how ticketing for the event will work. It would be great for all of the City Six schools to be represented in some form, but with the show leading straight into a game that might be difficult.
Here's the full GameDay schedule:
January 18: Temple at La Salle and Louisville at Connecticut
January 25: Michigan at Michigan State
February 1: Duke at Syracuse
February 8: Gonzaga at Memphis
February 15: Florida at Kentucky
February 22: Arizona at Colorado or UCLA at Stanford (to be decided a few weeks before)
March 1: Kansas at Oklahoma State
March 8: North Carolina at Duke