A History of the Big 5Robert S. Lyons
The most famous basketball tournament in the history of college basketball is the Big Five. And the Big Five was played in the most hallowed halls of college play: the Palestra. Now, for the first time, a complete story of this Philadelphia rivalry is revealed.
Robert Lyons offers the story of the Big Five from its very beginnings in 1955. At that time, many of the Big Five schoolsLa Salle University, University of Pennsylvania, St. Joseph's University, Temple University and Villanova Universityweren't even talking to each other, and everyone predicted the tournament would end before it began. Conducting interviews with coaches and playersincluding famed Temple coach Harry Litwack's last interview before his deathLyons offers the play-by-play on the how the Big Five became an institution, and how it was ultimately undone by college basketball's own success.
Lavishly illustrated with photographs of players, teams, coaches, and the Palestra itself, Palestra Pandemonium is an immediate classic, offering a chronicle of the most monumental college basketball tournament. Anywhere.
"Big 5 fans young and old will delight in Bob Lyons' Palestra Pandemonium: A History of the Big 5 , an anecdote-filled, school-by-school journey from 1955 to the present. You name him in Big 5 history, and Lyons, a lifelong Big 5 fan and former La Salle news bureau director, will probably have interviewed him. It's a fabulous read."
—Philadelphia Daily News
Mr. All-AroundDavid Grzybowski