PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's basketball team is playing in the postseason for the first time since the 2006-07 season, and is hosting a postseason game for just the third time in program history and the first since 1978. It's the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Presented by Zebra Pen and it begins on Wednesday at The Palestra, as the Quakers entertain Quinnipiac from the Northeast Conference.
GAME 32 - PENN (19-12) vs. QUINNIPIAC (18-13)
Opening Round, CBI Presented by Zebra Pen
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Wednesday, March 14 * 7:30 p.m.
Radio: WXPN 88.5 FM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
The Penn-Quinnipiac Series
*The Quakers and the Bobcats have met one time before, on Nov. 16, 2004 at The Palestra as part of the Preseason NIT. Penn won that game, 74-60.
*The winner of Wednesday's game will meet the winner of the Butler-Delaware game in the second round next Monday. The Bulldogs and Blue Hens will play their opening-round game Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Bobcats 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.
Penn vs. the NEC
*Penn is 14-2 all-time against the teams that currently play in the Northeast Conference (2-0 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-1 vs. Monmouth, 1-0 vs. Quinnipiac, 1-0 vs. Robert Morris, 1-0 vs. St. Francis (N.Y.), 5-0 vs. Saint Francis (Pa.), 0-1 vs. Wagner).
*This will be Penn's third game against an NEC team this season, all of which were played at The Palestra. The Quakers defeated Robert Morris 66-60 on Nov. 19, but lost 71-65 to Wagner three days later. Wagner finished second in the NEC regular-season standings, while RMU -- coached by former Penn player Andrew Toole -- placed third.
*Quinnipiac won its only game against an Ivy League team this season, knocking off Yale 68-62 on Nov. 15. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the Ivy standings.
Penn in the Postseason
This marks Penn's 25th appearance in the postseason. The Quakers have participated in 23 NCAA Tournaments -- the most recent coming in 2007 -- as well as the 1981 National Invitational Tournament (NIT). This is Penn's first appearance in the CBI.
Penn Hosting in the Postseason
Penn has hosted two postseason games at The Palestra, both of them NCAA Tournament games. The first came on March 15, 1975, when the Quakers lost in the first round to Kansas State, 69-62. The second came on March 12, 1978, when the Red and Blue knocked off St. Bonaventure in an East Regional preliminary game, 92-83.
It Should Be Noted...
*Penn had won seven games in a row -- its longest win streak since the 2006-07 Quakers ended the regular season with 10 straight wins -- eight of nine, and 12 of 14 before its loss to Princeton in the regular-season finale.
*Penn has won 19 games, after winning just six two years ago and 13 last season. The last time the Quakers won 20 was 2006-07, when they went 22-9.
*In the last 11 games, Penn has held eight opponents to 60 points or less, six to 55 points or less, and three below 50
*Penn is 6-1 in games decided by three or fewer points, 9-1 when holding opponents below 60 points, 12-1 when leading at the half, and 10-2 when putting three or more players in double digits.
*Penn has held 21 of its 31 opponents below 45-percent shooting from the field (including 12 at 40 percent or lower); last year, the Quakers held just 14 of their 28 opponents below the 45-percent mark, and only eight below 40 percent.
*Penn has shot better than 45 percent from the field in five of the last seven games, including three at 50 percent or better.
*Penn has been held to single digits in free-throw attempts in six of the last 11 games.
*Rosen has scored 20 or more points in four of Penn's last seven games (averaging 20.6 ppg during that stretch) and has been in double figures in 15 straight (18.5 ppg).
*Rosen has led Penn in scoring 20 times in 31 games this season, including each of the last seven and eight of the last nine.
*Senior Rob Belcore has scored in double figures 11 times in Penn's last 24 games; prior to this run, his last double-figure outing came March 5, 2010 at Harvard.
*Sophomore Fran Dougherty has averaged 5.3 rebounds per game over the last nine contests.