One of the most exciting moments of the preseason is the one where we finally get to see all 12 schedules for the City 6 men’s and women’s teams revealed.
With the CoBL calendar of college hoops laid out in its entirety, it’s hard not to take a look and get excited about some of the most action-packed days of the season.
We pared through every day between Nov. 7 and March 5 and pulled out the days that really caught our eyes:
La Salle head coach Fran Dunphy, above, will debut with the Explorers against Villanova on Nov. 7. (Photo: Mike Jordan/CoBL)
Mon., November 7
Temple vs. Wagner (M), Villanova vs. La Salle (M), Temple @ Princeton (W), Penn @ Iona (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. Bucknell (W), La Salle @ Howard (W), Villanova @ Marist (W)
There are three new faces leading the city’s programs and all three make their debuts on Nov. 7, including two against each other. Temple women’s coach Diane Richardson leads the Owls against a Princeton team that ranked in the Top 25 last season, while Kyle Neptune leads the Villanova men at home for the first time against La Salle and Fran Dunphy, who will make his debut on the sidelines at his alma mater. The St. Joe’s women also get a good home test against Bucknell on this date.
Fri., November 11
Temple vs. Villanova (M), Saint Joseph’s @ Houston (M), Drexel vs. Old Dominion (M), Penn @ Missouri (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. Yale (W), Villanova @ Princeton (W)
The first Friday of the season is a great one, with quality action both in and out of the city. The first Big 5 game of the year takes place at Liacouras Center as Aaron McKie and the Owls will hope to prove themselves early in Kyle Neptune’s first road game as the Wildcats’ head coach. Also in the city are quality non-league games at Drexel and Saint Joseph’s, while a quick trip up to Princeton gets you a terrific matchup between the ‘Nova women and the Tigers, who won 25 games last year and upset Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. On top of all that, St. Joe’s and Penn’s men both have road games at high-major competition.
Tues., November 15
La Salle vs. Drexel (W), Temple vs. Vanderbilt (M), Drexel vs. Penn (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. Penn (W), La Salle vs. Queen’s (N.C.) (M)
Three City 6 matchups (two women’s, one men’s) and the Temple men host an SEC school? Should be a good day of hoops in Philly.
Fri., November 18
Penn @ West Virginia (M), La Salle @ Wake Forest (M), Temple vs. Rutgers (M), Drexel vs. Arcadia (M), Villanova @ Michigan State (M), La Salle @ Pepperdine (M)
The majority of action on Nov. 18 doesn’t take place in the city, but there are four high-major matchups on the men’s side early in conference play. Temple against Rutgers at Mohegan Sun Area in Uncasville, Conn. and Villanova at Michigan State in East Lansing as part of the Gavitt Games highlight the list as non-conference matchups could loom large for the NCAA Tournament hopefuls.
Sun., November 27
Drexel @ Buffalo (W), Temple vs. Drexel (M), Colgate vs. Hartford (M), Temple @ Bucknell (W), Penn vs. Delaware (M), Saint Joseph’s @ North Florida (W), Villanova @ TBD (M), Villanova vs. TBD (W)
The Sunday after Thanksgiving is filled with holiday tournament games so we’re not 100 percent sure what this slate will look like as the Villanova men’s and women’s squads don’t know their opponents, but there will be plenty going on in the city to keep us occupied. A Temple vs. Drexel men’s matchup has some intrigue, but what really has us excited is the final day of the inaugural Cathedral Classic at the Palestra. Colgate faces Hartford before Penn hosts Delaware to finish off a three-day tournament featuring squads with plenty of unique Philly hoops ties.
Weds., November 30
Drexel vs. Lafayette (M), La Salle vs. Temple (M), Penn vs. Saint Joseph’s (M), Drexel @ Longwood (W), Temple @ Old Dominion (W)
Five games on this November Wednesday, and they’re all good ones. The main headliners are the Big 5 contests, which according to reports that came out last week might be a doubleheader at the Palestra, which would be a win for all four fanbases. Just a few blocks away, former Penn star Mike Jordan makes his first trip back to Philadelphia as a head coach as he brings his new-look Leopards to face his former boss in Zach Spiker. The two teams on the road, Drexel and Temple’s women squads, both are facing 2022 NCAA Tournament squads, and either of those wins would be quality ones.
Sat., December 3
Villanova vs. Oklahoma (M), Temple vs. VCU (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. FDU (M), Drexel vs. Princeton (M), Penn vs. La Salle (M), Temple vs. UMBC (W), La Salle vs. Lehigh (W)
This one will have the CoBL staff busy with seven home games on the slate, including a Big 5 men’s game between Penn and La Salle. Villanova hosts Oklahoma at the Wells Fargo Center and Temple hosts VCU at the Liacouras Center, which mark two of the top non-conference games on the men’s schedule. The Owls’ game will be a doubleheader with the women’s home game against UMBC.
Sat., December 10
Penn vs. Temple (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. Saint Peter’s (M), La Salle vs. Drexel (M), Villanova vs. Saint Joseph’s (W), La Salle @ Maryland-Eastern Shore (W), Villanova vs. Boston College (M)
There’s three City 6 matchups (two men’s, one women’s) and some interesting non-conference games as St. Joe’s men host last season’s Cinderella story Saint Peter’s and the Villanova men host former Big East rival Boston College at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. A Big 5 matchup between the Hawks and Wildcats highlights the women’s slate of games.
Molly Masciantonio, above, and La Salle take on Villanova, Dec. 21, a day the CoBL staff will be buzzing around the city. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Weds., December 21
Drexel vs. Delaware State (W), La Salle vs. Lafayette (M), Temple vs. Ole Miss (W), Saint Joseph’s vs. Eastern Michigan/James Madison (W), Villanova vs. La Salle (W), Villanova vs. St. John’s (M)
Dec. 21 includes six home games across the city, so mark it as another day where the CoBL staff will be buzzing around the city. On the women’s side there’s a Big 5 matchup between Villanova and La Salle, an SEC matchup for Temple and St. Joe’s hosting its Hawk Classic. The men’s side features an early Big East matchup for Villanova and La Salle coach Fran Dunphy matching up with his former player, the previously mentioned Mike Jordan, and Lafayette.
Sat., January 7
La Salle vs. Rhode Island (M), Saint Joseph’s @ Fordham (M), Penn @ Columbia (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. Saint Louis (W), Temple @ Cincinnati (W), Drexel vs. Monmouth (M), Temple vs. Tulane (M), Penn vs. Columbia (W), Villanova vs. Xavier (M)
The first Saturday of the conference slate sees 75% of the City 6 squads in action, with at least one team from each school playing that day, including six games at home. Villanova/Xavier at the Pavilion is sure to be a great matchup, while La Salle/Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s/Saint Louis and Penn/Columbia are all rivalries that go back a decent ways. On the flip side, Drexel welcomes a new CAA foe to the DAC in Monmouth, which makes the trip down from New Jersey as a league mate for the first time. And if you’re a City 6 fan in NYC, you’ve got a couple games to choose from in the Penn and St. Joe’s men.
Sun., January 8
Drexel vs. Stony Brook (W), Penn State vs. Purdue (M), Villanova vs. Butler (W), La Salle @ Rhode Island (W)
There’s nothing too special about this slate on the local side, but Penn State brings its slew of local products to the Palestra for a ‘home game’ against Purdue. Nittany Lions seniors Seth Lundy (Roman Catholic) and Andrew Funk (Archbishop Wood), a transfer from Bucknell, both won PCL titles at the Cathedral of College Basketball during their high school careers. Penn State defeated Michigan State in 2017 and Iowa in 2020 at the Palestra.
Mon., January 16
MBB: Villanova vs. Georgetown (M), WBB: Penn @ Princeton (W), MBB: La Salle vs. Saint Joseph’s (M), MBB: Penn vs. Princeton (M)
There are some great rivalry matchups on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including some Monday afternoon hoops. Villanova hosts Georgetown at noon and the Penn women travel to Princeton for a 2 p.m. contest before the Quakers men host the Tigers at 7 p.m. The day’s action also includes Big 5 and A-10 rivals La Salle and St. Joe’s matching up at Hagan Arena.
Weds., February 1
Villanova @ Marquette (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. Rhode Island (M), Saint Joseph’s @ Rhode Island (W), La Salle @ VCU (W), La Salle vs. George Washington (M), Temple vs. Wichita State (W), Villanova vs. Marquette (W)
There’s a couple conference swaps here as Villanova/Marquette and St. Joe’s/Rhode Island both get played on different campuses, and all should be meaningful games as conference races heat up. Also in the city is Temple/Wichita State, which has tended to be a good matchup since the two became conference foes last decade, and the Explorer men against George Washington up at Gola Arena.
Sat., February 11
Drexel vs. Towson (M), Villanova vs. Seton Hall (M), Saint Joseph’s vs. George Washington (M), La Salle vs. UMass (M), Penn @ Harvard (M), Penn vs. Harvard (W), Temple vs. Cincinnati (W), Villanova vs. Seton Hall (W), Saint Joseph’s @ Dayton (W)
Like Dec. 3 and 21, this is another date littered with home games in the city (six, to be exact). There are plenty of conference matchups to keep an eye on, including the La Salle men hosting UMass and local products Rahsool Diggins (Archbishop Wood) and Ta’Quan Woodley (Camden). The Villanova women met up with Seton Hall in the Big East semifinals last season, so that could be a game of significant importance and Penn-Harvard matchups on both sides are usually impactful on the standings as well.
Sat., February 18
Drexel @ Hampton (M), La Salle @ George Mason (M), Saint Joseph’s @ Davidson (M), Temple vs. Houston (W), Villanova @ Providence (M), Penn @ Brown (W), Penn vs. Brown (M), Villanova vs. UConn (W)
There’s one single game that made this one stand out: Villanova’s women hosting UConn, which is always one worth circling on the calendar. The Wildcats’ pulled off a stunning win against the Huskies last year, UConn’s first conference loss in 170 games. Whether or not they’ll be able to replicate the feat a year later remains to be seen, but there’s going to be more confidence there, for sure. On top of that, Temple and Houston’s women do battle at Liacouras and the Penn men host Brown, while five others are in action on the road.
Sat., March 4
CAA Tournament (M), Big East Tournament (W), Drexel vs. North Carolina A&T (W), Villanova vs. UConn (M), La Salle vs. Loyola Chicago (M), Penn @ Princeton (M)
The final day of the regular season for some and the first day of the postseason for other City 6 programs has a little bit of everything. The Drexel men could be in the second round of the CAA tournament, while the Villanova women could be in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. The Drexel women host new conference member North Carolina A&T for the first time, and the La Salle men welcome Loyola Chicago, the newest member of the A-10, to Tom Gola Arena for the first time. That’s not it as the Penn and Villanova men’s programs wrap up their regular seasons with rivalry games against Princeton and UConn, respectively. The Quakers will be on the road in New Jersey, but the Wildcats and the Huskies meet up at the Wells Fargo Center.