First Time Since 1977: No Big 5 in NCAA Tournament Field

no big 5 team on fire for 2023
Image via iStock.
No Big 5 teams generated enough heat this season to qualify for NCAA Tournament play.

Philadelphia‘s Big 5 won’t be there for the most prestigious men’s college basketball tournament for the first time in over 40 years, reported Dave Uram for KYW Newsradio.

None of the Philly-area teams — Villanova, Saint Joseph’s, Temple, La Salle, Penn or Drexel — made it to the NCAA Tournament field of 68, owing to a down year in their programs. The last time that happened was 1977.

Villanova’s feeling the brunt of it, having to deal with no Justin Moore for most of the season. He’s been sidelined by injury. And the new regime of Kyle Neptune replacing Jay Wright is still working its way out.

“It’s a transition year, and every league has them,” said Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, mayor of Philadelphia, and ongoing Big 5 fan as a Penn alum. “In fact, Villanova will be stronger next year,” he predicted.

Former Saint Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli, now associate head coach at Michigan, said it’s a new time “and hopefully this is abnormal that there are no city schools in the NCAA Tournament.”

He added, “Philadelphia basketball — college basketball — is envied across this country, and we cannot let that slip away.”

Read more about changes for the Big 5 in men’s basketball at KYW Newsradio.


CBS Sports outlines the 2023 upset picks from each region in the NCAA tournament.

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