Villanova’s No. 21 ranked men’s basketball team made the short trip on Monday to take on another one of Philadelphia’s Big Five, the Penn Quakers. The trip didn’t go particularly well for the Wildcats.
The rivalry has generally been dominated by Villanova over the years and particularly recently, with the Quakers’ most recent victory over the Wildcats coming in 2018. At least, that was Penn’s most recent victory in the series. That changed on Monday night.
Penn’s Clark Slajchert made a layup at the end of the first half, giving his team a 32-30 halftime lead. The Quakers maintained that lead through the second half, taking a 10-point lead with less than three minutes remaining. And while the Wildcats closed that gap over the final minutes, Penn maintained the lead and finished with a 76-72 victory.
As one might expect, the fans at Penn’s fabled home gym, the Palestra, stormed the court after the victory.
Penn pulls the upset of No. 21 Villanova, beating the Wildcats 76-72. pic.twitter.com/rGLcWr9KTG
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) November 14, 2023
Villanova and Penn were both undefeated on the young season coming into the game, sitting at 2-0 and 3-0, respectively. Despite that, expectations for the Quakers this year were quite modest.
Penn was picked 5th in the Ivy League Preseason Poll after it lost Jordan Dingle — the second-leading scorer in the country last season — to the transfer portal.
It just beat Villanova at The Palestra.
Nope. Just College Basketball.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 14, 2023
So, college basketball fans had a lot to say about Penn’s significant upset of its nationally ranked crosstown rival.
— LA Rams Fan Zone (@LARamsFanZone) November 14, 2023
The Palestra! https://t.co/O9DRVq9igV
— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) November 14, 2023
Congrats Penn on your upset of Villanova! The Palestra is a magical place! pic.twitter.com/RGBsUfx6Re
— Sean Sullivan (@sullman89) November 14, 2023
PENN TAKES DOWN #21 VILLANOVA!
Is the Big 5 back? pic.twitter.com/rO0lw8HZoy
— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) November 14, 2023
#CollegeBasketball never disappoints!
— Ryan McIntyre (@Moneyline_Mac) November 14, 2023
[Photo Credit: Sean Sullivan on Twitter/X]