Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Big 5 is an informal association of college athletic programs formed in 1955. This Philadelphia program is a group of NCAA Division 1 basketball schools. No other city has a long-standing rivalry and tradition of playing against each other like Philly's Big 5.
While the Big 5 was coined in the 1950s, they are still a thing today. You can use the best sites for March Madness betting to wager on your favorite team. According to the 2023 report from The Athletic, Drexel will join the Big 5 in the 2023-2024 season and be renamed the Philly Six.
Learn More About The Big 5 In Philadelphia College Basketball Below.
1. Villanova University Wildcats
Villanova University is a prized college basketball team of the Big East conference. Undoubtedly, this team has a trail of success regarding recognition and achievements. Villanova University is a top team, with three NCAA national championships in 1985, 2016, and 2018.
Also, the Wildcats have six appearances at the Final Four, including their championship. Likewise, the Wildcats have won multiple conference championships, like 5 Big East tournament championships and 11 Big East regular-season titles. Overall, in the NCAA Division 1 men’s history, Villanova has the highest all-time winning percentage of .766 at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
2.Temple University Owls
Temple University's athletic programs have multiple titles across multiple sports. And one of its most prominent, the men's basketball team, has up to 33 NCAA tournament appearances with eight conference championships. The Owls also had a one-time appearance at the Final Four in 1956.
Also, the Owls women's basketball team is doing well for themselves, with three conference championships and 18 NCAA tournament appearances. Likewise, Temple has produced several successful athletes, including NFL Pro Bowl players like Haason Reddick, Muhammad Wilkerson, Paul Palmer, and Olympic gold medalist Bob Seagren.
3. The University of Pennsylvania Quakers
The Penn Quakers have some notable achievements, like the men's basketball team's 25-time appearance at the NCAA Tournament, with the most recent in 2018. Also, the Quakers made 2-time Final Four appearances in 1971 and 1979. Likewise, the Quakers have up to 26 conference championships.
The Quakers have also won up to 26 Ivy League championships, the most won by any team. The Penn women's basketball team has had several successes, including 2 NCAA Tournament appearances and 4 Ivy League championships.
4. Saint Joseph’s University Hawks
The Saint Joseph’s University Hawks is a member of the Big 5 and one of the basketball teams with a strong history of success. The hawks have up to 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, with their more recent in 2016. Furthermore, the Hawks have won 8 conferences, including 2 of the Philadelphia Big 5 and 6 of the Atlantic 10 Conference championships.
Overall, the Hawks have the most all-time wins of any Philadelphia Big 4 program. Moving on to 2004, the Hawks made it to the Elite Eight before falling out to Oklahoma State. Also, the Hawks made it to the Final 4 one time in 1961.
5. La Salle University Explorers
La Salle University Explorers is another basketball team in the Big 5, although it has been years since anyone has heard from them. But the Explorers have made it to the NCAA tournaments 12 times, with their most recent appearance in 2013. The Explorer's best playing times were in 1954, when they got to the championship but lost to Bradley.
Furthermore, the Explorers won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) two times in 1952 and 1954, and were the runner-up in 1955. Also, La Salle University has several conference championships, including the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Atlantic 10, and so on.
These five schools have been the Big 5 for decades, keeping the tradition alive. Even though a new format with a new school will be added to the mix and split into two three-team pods, we can still expect the best. So, take advantage of this information when placing wagers on any of these schools for optimal results.