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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Philadelphia's Big Five and the NCAA Tournament

Quick, tell me when was the last time that Philadelphia's Big Five did not have a member get a berth in the NCAA tournament?

The Big Five consists, of course, of Temple, Penn, Villanova, St. Joe's and LaSalle. I don't have time to hyperlink text here, but is there a chance this year that the Big Five could get shut out from the Big Dance?

Penn is not the favorite in the Ivies and has a very young team.

LaSalle is on the rebound, so to speak, but far away from the national strength it demonstrated more than 10 years ago.

Temple, under Fran Dunphy, is a good team, but probably not a tournament team.

St. Joe's is a good team, but can they win the A-10 or get an at-large berth if they fail to do so?

Villanova dropped out of the Top 25, and the Big East is very tough. Sure, the Big East will get numerous at-large bids, but will the 'Cats prove that they have more prime-time players right now than just Scottie Reynolds?

Lots of you Big Five fans have more knowledge than I do on the subject, and many read this blog. Please weigh in and tell me which team or teams will make it and why. No, as a Princeton fan I have not counted Penn out and respect the Quakers too much to do so. From my vantage point, the Quakers, the defending champs, are the favorites until some other team takes the title from them. Villanova isn't to be readily dismissed, Temple has some good wins and St. Joe's is playing well.

But does any of that mean that at least one of these teams will be dancing come March?

The floor is all yours. Weigh in.

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