Dartmouth (47) vs. Princeton (64) 02/24/18

#64 of 351  18% complete

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I nominate the Jadwin Gymnasium at Princeton as the most interesting arena that I have visited to date. I felt like I was walking into Space Mountain at Disney. The basketball court occupies just one piece of this huge structure. The orange seating in contrast to the whiteness of the lights and ceiling made a cool contrast.

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I learned two interesting rules about Ivy League competition from my fellow college BB traveler Greg. I was flipping thru channels on Friday night before my trip to New Jersey on Saturday. I see Princeton playing at home on ESPNU. This was indeed a LIVE game. I immediately panicked and went to check my ticket for Saturday. I verified that Princeton is playing Saturday night as well.

So I learned that the IVY League plays their games on Friday through Sunday. I also learned that the home team on Friday will switch colors (dark/white) for its Saturday home game because there is not enough time to wash the uniforms. Thanks Greg!

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I always search out the Hall of Fame at the older schools. The Hall of Fame area always brings up one of my heroes from the past.  I came across Princeton graduate Bill Bradley who was the unsung hero of the 1969 champion New York Knicks. I can still hear Marv Albert saying “Bradley from the top of the key. YES!!!”

I always take a picture of a mascot statue whenever I see one. Many of statues would stand on their own as museum pieces. I present to you the Princeton Tiger.

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Both Princeton and Dartmouth were out of the running for the top four playoff spots in the Ivy League. It was senior night which is always emotional even if you are not familiar with the players. Princeton dominated the whole game led by Amir Bell of Princeton playing his last game before the Princeton crowd.

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Okay I have to show one more cool statue in the lobby.2018-02-24 18.46.53.jpg

From the Princeton web site:

“The life-size bronze statue, depicting an under~graduate in football uniform, an academic gown slung over his shoulder, a pile of books in his left arm, was a memorial likeness of W. Earl Dodge 1879, leader of a group of students who formed the Intercollegiate Y.M.C.A. in 1876 in nearby East College. Remembered by his classmates as “79’s great hero of college days,” captain of the championship football team, president of the student religious organization, the Philadelphian Society, an honor student who graduated near the top of his class, Earl Dodge died suddenly at the age of twenty-five. “The statue was given by his brother Cleveland H. Dodge 1879.

Rest in peace W. Earl Dodge.

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Next game: Iona at Rider 02/25/18

 

 

 

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Princeton (64) Vs. Penn (49) 02/06/17

#46 in Operation 351.  13% complete.

 

Happy 90th Birthday to the Palestra! Opening night was on January 1, 1927 with Yale playing Penn. A celebration was also held for one for college’s longest rivalries – Princeton and Penn. The night started off right with a piece of birthday cake served in the lobby. I circled the entire gym taking in the numerous pictures of coaches and players who graced the Palestra over the years. It was especially satisfying to see Uconn’s own Jimmy Calhoun, Geno Auriemma and  Toby Kimball honored on the walls.

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To mention all the greats who played here would take pages but I did feel the ghost of Wilt Chamberlin from Overbrook High dunking as I headed to my seat. For those on a similar mission to mine, the Palestra is on our bucket list as a must see. This is Penn’s home court and located right in the middle of the campus. Some tidbits to note:

  1. Penn has had 22 undefeated Ivy League seasons in the Palestra.
  2. There are just two NCAA Division 1 programs that entered this year with more wins in their current home venue (Washington and Butler).
  3. Penn and/or Princeton won at least a share of the Ivy League title all but three years from 1959 to 2007.

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This was an 3 day/2 night trip that included some sightseeing of the historical venues that are a must see in Philly. The Liberty Bell, U.S. Mint, Independence Hall and the Philadelphia Art Museum were on the docket. Below is a picture of the famous Rocky scene where he runs up the steps of the art museum. A recreation from these tired legs from walking for two days prevented me from recreating the scene.

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Heading into the game, Princeton was 3-0 in the Ivy while Penn was 0-3. Despite the loud Penn crowd, the results were as expected. Princeton is a very good three point shooting team. I would not want to meet this club in March. Though lacking a true big man underneath (aren’t all IVY teams lacking this?), they pass the ball around quickly looking for an open three. Spencer Weiss of Princeton was on fire with 22 points hitting numerous threes.

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Kudos to the large Penn student section who were cheering loud to the end. I like to highlight “firsts” as I see them. This was the first time that both pep bands showed up for a game. There is always a lesson in geography on these trips. I did not know how close Princeton in New Jersey was to Penn with less than an hour drive between the schools.

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It was very cool that a souvenir poster was handed out to celebrate the birthday. Cross this one off my bucket list!

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That is a wrap!

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