Hoops fans who stayed up late Friday to catch the final games of the NCAA tournament’s second round saw a familiar face on the CBS Sports Network: Penn men’s basketball coach Jerome Allen.
Allen, who was enlisted by CBS as a tournament analyst, will be working double duty until his Quakers finish their run in the College Basketball Invitational. After his broadcast shift from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in CBS’ New York studios, he was back at the Palestra for a 10 a.m. practice Saturday.
“It was fun to watch the games and sit around and talk shop and try to represent the program and university as best as I possibly could,” he said.
However, he added he was “jealous” watching teams compete in the big dance. “I’d much rather be playing than in the studio talking about the games.”
Allen said he had assistant coach Dan Leibovitz to thank for pushing him to do it.
Sophomore guard Miles Cartwright said his coach was the “best-dressed analyst on TV.” That’s quite a compliment, considering the always-well-groomed Jay Wright from Villanova is also moonlighting for CBS.
Both Cartwright and Allen enjoyed a wild Friday in the NCAA tournament that saw seven upsets.
Cartwright said he enjoyed seeing teammates and opponents from years past playing in the tournament. He played AAU ball with a sophomore at Norfolk State, which shocked No. 2 Missouri, and also knows players at Colorado and UNLV. “They’ve experienced a lot of success,” Cartwright said. “It’s great.”
“It just goes to show that nowadays in college basketball there’s not too much separation between certain conferences or teams considered high majors and mid-majors,” Allen added. “I think it’s fun. It was a great day for college basketball in general.”
Pack the Palestra.
Tickets for Monday night’s game are still available on a limited basis. The Red and Blue Crew/Penn Athletics will continue to hand out free student tickets on Locust Walk Monday and tickets can also be purchased at Penn’s box office at Franklin Field.
Additionally, free student tickets can be printed online. Contact Red and Blue Crew members for more information on how to do so.
The Red and Blue crew also asks fans to wear red to the game.