PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Big 5 has expanded with the addition of Drexel this season in women’s basketball, the sixth Division I program to join the famed Philly hoops tradition.

Drexel will now make up the rest of the city series teams with Penn, La Salle, Temple, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova. The Dragons joined the Big 5 in men’s basketball last season. The women’s city champion will be crowned in the Big 5 Classic tripleheader at Villanova on Dec. 6.

The men’s Big 5 Classic will be held Dec. 7 at the Wells Fargo Center. The Big 5 and the city’s NBA arena announced an agreement Thursday to hold the Classic for the next three seasons.

Saint Joseph’s won last season’s Big 5 championship. The Big 5 listed total attendance of 15,215 for the first Classic.

The Big 5 — the name was coined by Philadelphia Inquirer sports writer Herb Good — was officially formed in 1954, and the schools started round-robin play for “City Series” bragging rights in 1955. The first game was 69 years ago when Saint Joseph’s beat Villanova 83-70 on Dec. 14, 1955, in front of 2,636 fans at the Palestra.

The women’s and men’s pods will have Penn, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova in one section, and Drexel, La Salle and Temple in another. The winners of each pod will meet in the Big 5 Classic championship game. The site of the Women’s Big 5 Classic will also rotate on a yearly basis to other sites that will be determined another time.


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