Philly Could Have Zero Men's Teams in March Madness for the First Time Since 1977
Big win for the Cats NIT chances last night against Xavier, but there’s bad news. Barring Temple, Nova, St. Joes, La Salle, Penn, or Drexel winning their conference tournaments, March Madness will be without a men’s college basketball team from Philly for the first time since 1977:
It’s depressing to realize no local men’s team is going to be dancing in March. That hasn’t happened- according to @BoopStats – since 1977
— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) February 21, 2023
I mean, our best hope for a tourney team is Penn. PENN! I know they’ve won seven straight. I’d still rather no team from Philly make the Big Dance than have to watch the Quakers get their doors blown off by a #1 seed. They’ll get that Thursday mid-afternoon time slot against Houston that the bar you’re at doesn’t even waste a TV on. Nobody outside of 33rd through 37th street will even notice they played.
Philadelphia has a college basketball competition problem right now. Villanova was expected to compete in the Big East, even with the Justin Moore injury, due to the fact they had a lottery pick in Cam Whitmore. Kyle Neptune ended up being the best-dressed .500 coach in the nation. I know I had Temple, like a lot of alum wearing cherry-colored goggles, penciled in as a double digit seed before the season and now it looks like their best player might’ve been dismissed from the team. La Salle and St. Joes are La Salle and St. Joes. They haven’t sniffed the tournament since 2013 and 2016. Drexel is young, but playing tough in a stacked CAA.
It might happen again next year.
Every Villanova fan believes they’ll be back at the mountaintop, and how can you blame them after 20+ years of dominance? Only problem is Jay Wright ain’t walking through that door. He had the ability to make four and three-star recruits into NBA role players. Can Neptune do that? Whitmore is leaving for the draft and the only commit they have next year is a three-star small forward to pair with four-star guards Mark Armstrong, Jordan Longino, and Brendan Hausen. Justin Moore’s decision is up in the air and former four star Trey Patterson can’t get off the bench and could transfer. Temple has relied heavily on the transfer portal in the last couple of years and will need to again with Damian Dunn and Khalif Battle likely walking. I don’t know who is scoring next year for the Owls if their names aren’t Hysier Miller and Jamille Reynolds. Zach Hicks is streaky and Jahlil White is a black hole on the offensive end. McKie did actually recruit a kid from Philadelphia now twice in three years in All-Catholic first teamer Zion Stanford, so we have to give credit where credit is due. Little wins. Only problem is his job is in limbo. Did I mention La Salle and St. Joes are La Salle and St. Joes? Drexel has been to the tourney once since 1996. Only positive take away from this is maybe the Big 5 will be more competitive going forward. Too bad they changed the Big 5 format.
If you do want college basketball in March? Swarthmore is #15 in the nation right now in D3 hoops. Pack the kiddos in the car, head out to Good Delco, and get some of that sweet, sweet Centennial Conference basketball played below the rim.
EDIT: This article would lead you to believe Villanova is a Philly school. It is in fact not.