PHILADELPHIA - For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Penn men's basketball team will play a postseason game. For just the third time in program history, and the first time since 1978, the Quakers will host a postseason contest.
Penn will host Quinnipiac at The Palestra on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m., in a first-round game of the College Basketball Invitational Presented by Zebra Pen. Fans can listen to the game on WXPN (88.5 FM).
"We are excited to have the opportunity to continue our season with the College Basketball Invitational," said Penn's John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men's Basketball, Jerome Allen. "This will provide us with more chances to play quality opposition and work toward the goal of a championship. We are looking forward to extending this season a few more weeks, and we are especially excited to play the first game of the CBI in front of our own fans."
Tickets for Wednesday's game will be sold via the Internet at PennAthletics.com -- which now gives fans the ability to print at home -- over the phone (215-898-6151), and during regular business hours at the Penn Athletics Ticket Office located in Weightman Hall (10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Chairback seats will be available for $20, general admission will be sold for $12, students can purchase their tickets for $5, and Penn faculty and staff can get general admission tickets for $6 each.
The College Basketball Invitational Presented by Zebra Pen, or CBI, is a 16-team tournament. First-round games will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, with quarterfinals taking place on campus sites next Monday. Semifinal games will be played on campus sites next Wednesday, March 21.
A unique feature of the CBI Presented by Zebra Pen is the final, which is a best-of-three series. That will begin on Monday, March 26, with Game 2 taking place on Wednesday, March 28. If a third game is needed, it will be played on Friday, March 30. All three games would be played on campus sites.
Penn finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 19-12 overall record, its best win total since the 2006-07 team went 22-9. The Quakers went 11-3 in Ivy League play and finished second in the conference, behind Harvard. This will be Penn's third game against a Northeast Conference team this season; the Quakers defeated Robert Morris 66-60 on Nov. 19, but lost 71-65 to Wagner three days later.
Quinnipiac finished the season with an 18-13 record, and went 10-8 in the Northeast Conference to tie for fifth place. The Bobcats lost in the NEC Tournament semifinal to eventual champion Long Island University-Brooklyn, 78-75. Quinnipiac is led by senior James Johnson, who averages 16.6 points per game and recently became the program's all-time scoring leader since Quinnipiac moved to Division I. Sophomore Ike Azotam averages 15.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. The Bobcats won their only game against an Ivy League team this season, knocking off Yale 68-62 on Nov. 15.
This will be Penn's 25th postseason appearance; the Quakers have previously played in 23 NCAA Tournaments as well as the 1981 National Invitational Tournament (NIT). In addition, the Quakers have hosted a pair of NCAA Tournament games at The Palestra. The first came in 1975, when they lost in the first round to Kansas State, 69-62. The second came in 1978, when the Red and Blue knocked off St. Bonaventure in an East Regional preliminary game, 92-83.