What Is the History of University of Pennsylvania Basketball?


Quick Answer

The University of Pennsylvania basketball program is one of the first two competitive collegiate basketball programs in history. The program was founded in 1897, when the Penn Quakers were defeated by Yale, 32-10, in the first men's intercollegiate basketball game in history.

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Full Answer

Since this inception, the University of Pennsylvania basketball program has an all-time record of 1,723 wins, 1,060 losses and two ties. A member of the Ivy League, Penn has won 25 conference championships. In addition, they have made 23 NCAA Tournament appearances, with a record of 13-25, and one NIT Invitational appearance.

The University of Pennsylvania's two best basketball teams took the court in 1970-71 and 1978-79. In the 1970-71 season, the Quakers had an undefeated regular season, going 26-0. The team was led by Coach Dick Carter, guards Dave Wohl and Steve Bilsky, and forwards Bob Morse and Corky Calhoun. While Penn had national title hopes due to its regular-season success, the team lost in the Regional Finals of the NCAA tournament, as rival Villanova easily defeated them 90-47.

While the 1978-79 team had a worse regular-season record at 21-5, it experienced far greater postseason success. Led by high-scoring forward Tony Price, the Quakers upset top-seeded North Carolina on the way to their first Final Four appearance. Penn was defeated in the national semifinal by Magic Johnson and Michigan State, finishing the season at 25-7.

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