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Credit: Son Nguyen

Penn men’s basketball has now released its full season schedule, including the dates of its away games. Only 11 of the Quakers’ 27 games will be played at the Palestra this season. 

Penn will open its season against Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Penn has faced Alabama twice in the past, the Crimson Tide having won both meetings. That weekend, the Quakers will travel to Houston to play Rice. After these two away games, the Quakers will finally return home to the Palestra for their home opener against La Salle. 

The Red and Blue will then have a string of road games. They face Lafayette on Nov. 19 and Providence on Nov. 23. In the Penn-Providence series, Providence holds more wins with the record standing at 6-3. Penn has not won against the Friars since 1975.

Next, the team will head out west to compete in the Wooden Legacy tournament in Anaheim, Calif. over Thanksgiving weekend. Unlike the past two years, this year the Quakers cannot count this as an exempt event, which is why the regular season has only 27 games scheduled as opposed to 30. 

"Every year, the goal in putting together our schedule is to give our student-athletes a first-class experience while also putting them in the position to have success," coach Steve Donahue said in a statement. "I am excited about the opportunities we will present our players with early-season road games at Alabama, Rice, and Providence. 

"The Wooden Legacy affords us another opportunity to play top-level talent, but it's an event in which I think we can succeed. We are always cognizant of our regional rivalries, especially the Big 5 games. And, of course, anyone who follows Ivy League basketball knows that the League just gets better every year. This schedule is challenging, but I believe we have a team that can navigate it with success."

Returning to Philadelphia, the Red and Blue will face Villanova on the Wildcats’ home court on Dec. 4. This is the only away game the Quakers have in Big 5 play; they will host the other three at the Palestra. Last year, the Quakers won the Big 5 title for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

One final away game at Howard on Dec. 30 will round out 2019 for Penn.

The Quakers’ first Ivy League game will take place on Jan. 4 against Princeton. Just a week later, the team will travel to Princeton to face the Tigers again, finishing the Penn-Princeton series before it plays any other Ancient Eight opponents. This is only the second time in history this has happened, the first being last season.

In addition to the game against Princeton in January, Feb. 7-8, 21-22, and 28-29 are Penn’s away weekends in Ivy play, which will pick up again after Penn plays Saint Joseph’s and Temple at home on Jan. 18 and 25, respectively. Ivy play will end with two home games for the Quakers against Cornell and Columbia. The Red and Blue finished with a record of 7-7 in the Ivy League last season.

Penn’s Ivy League games will be its most important contests this year if the Quakers hope to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

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