It’s never easy to go on the road in college basketball. This is a top 25 breakdown of some of the toughest and most intimidating venues in college basketball.
Venue: The Palestra
School Name: University of Penn
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It has held more regular season and post season games than any other venue in college basketball. It has seen more visiting teams than any other gym. It has hosted more NCAA tournaments than any other event center in the country. It is the "Cathedral of College Basketball."
The historic features and NCAA records are why the Palestra is No. 25 in this countdown.
The Palestra has been home to one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball history. The Philadelphia Big 5 includes five programs; Penn, Temple, St. Joseph’s, LaSalle, and Villanova, all of which have called the Palestra home at one time or another. Today, the University of Penn is the only team to play their home games there, but the excitement and history that the gym has brought to basketball in Philadelphia is already spoken for.
Although the University of Penn no longer offers much of a threat to some of the nation’s top teams, the history of the program itself adds to the excitement during the college basketball season. The Quakers have made one Final Four in their history and have qualified for the NCAA Tournament more times than any other Ivy League school. Currently sitting as the eighth winningest program in NCAA history, the University of Penn has no trouble filling up the historic Palestra with fans.
Along with the regular season home schedule for the Quakers, the Palestra is home to the Philly Hoop Group Classic. Which in 2009, features teams such as Virginia Tech, St. John’s, Siena, and Temple. The round robin tournament takes place in mid-to-late November.
With the Palestra being a cornerstone in the evolution of venues and excitement in college basketball, what remains is a storied past in NCAA history and a bright future for one of college basketball’s greatest gyms and programs.