Your 2008 Philly Classic field will be.. (according to this guy)
Now this is a pretty unique tournament. All 8 teams will come together at the Palestra over Thanksgiving and play in two separate tournament brackets. But before all of that, there will be two ‘preliminary rounds’. Now first off, I’m basing these tournament projections off of last year’s tournament. Penn State and Villanova should get two home games. One against Towson/Hartford and the other against Monmouth/NJIT (hopefully, because playing both NJIT and Monmouth would be a rip off). Rhode Island, Niagara, Towson and Hartford should all get one home game and one away game. NJIT and Monmouth most likely will have to travel for both of their games. Now, back to the tournament brackets at the Palestra. There will be the championship bracket and the who cares bracket. The 2 preliminary games I just mentioned will have to be against whoever’s in the other bracket PSU is not participating in at the Palestra, which is why I mentioned Towson, Hartford, NJIT and Monmouth as possibilities. Penn State and Villanova are definitely in the championship bracket, along with Rhode Island and my guess, Niagara. If I had to guess, the ‘semifinals’ matchups would be PSU/Rhode Island and Villanova/Niagara. I think it’s safe to say that the only way we play Villanova is in the Championship game.
So to recap. PSU will get 4 games out of this tournament. Two home games against pretty weak competition and two neutral games at the Palestra against quality competition. Now the good news for PSU. Both Niagara and Rhode Island lose their top players to graduation. Superstud Will Daniels for Rhode Island and the former country’s 2nd leading scorer (27.6 ppg), Charron Fisher for Niagara. Both players are trying to get a roster spot in the NBA. So both teams most likely won’t be near-NCAA teams like they were last year. This is set up perfectly for PSU. All they have to do is beat Niagara or Rhode Island on the first day at the Palestra and they set themselves up with a golden opportunity. A chance to play the best college team in Philadelphia (one that will be ranked and returning everyone from a Sweet 16 squad a year ago) on a historic, neutral court, over a holiday break. That should be fantastic exposure for the program to the recruits in Philadelphia. Hopefully we don’t blow it like we did in our last Thanksgiving tournament….