Big 5 adds Drexel, unveils new triple-header series

The Big 5 has officially welcomed Drexel and revealed details of the new Big 5 Classic at the New Wells Fargo Center.

excited cheerleaders and mascots cheering the Big 5 announcement.
Image: Penn Athletics

On Tuesday, the Big 5 officially welcomed Drexel and revealed details of a new series format where the Big 5 champion will be determined during a same-day, triple-header at the New Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. The announcement was made on the court at Wells Fargo Center, which has been home to numerous NCAA Tournament games and has featured all of the Big 5 teams in action during its more than 25-year history.
For the new series, the six schools will be separated into three-team pods: Pod 1 includes Temple, La Salle, and Drexel; Pod 2 will have Villanova, Saint Joseph’s, and Penn.

Each team will play the other two teams from their pod at their individual on-campus arenas. All teams will participate in the Big 5 Classic triple-header at the New Wells Fargo Center, with the first seed in each pod competing for the Big 5 championship, the second-place teams in each pod competing for third place, and the third seeds competing for fifth place in the Big 5.
“Drexel University is honored to become part of the Philadelphia Big 5,” says Drexel Director of Athletics Maisha Kelly. “The Philadelphia Big 5 is synonymous with basketball history in the city and it is exciting to have our brand now be associated with such a storied organization. As an institution of higher learning, prominently positioned in the city, we are proud to be aligned with these five schools that combine excellence in both academics and athletics. This is a historic day in Drexel basketball history. We look forward to making the Big 5 Classic at the Wells Fargo Center a marquee event for our program, our university, and the Philadelphia sports community.”

“Big 5 basketball and its traditions are a big part of the fabric of Philadelphia basketball,” says Fran Dunphy, former head coach at Penn and Temple, and current head coach at La Salle. “We look back on the Big 5’s history with great fondness, as we welcome a new member to our group in Drexel University and usher in a new era of Big 5 play. We are all excited to participate in this newly imagined format and the first Big 5 Classic at the new Wells Fargo Center next season.”