College GameDay at the Palestra: Tyrone Garland will have 'no mercy,' but you can have this T-shirt for 20 bucks

College GameDay at the Palestra: Tyrone Garland will have 'no mercy,' but you can have this T-shirt for 20 bucks

You might have forgotten about it. Enrico did. They announced it like five months ago. But tomorrow is finally the day College GameDay comes to you from the Palestra.

Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas and my close, personal friend Jalen Rose will be on the air leading up to the Temple-La Salle tip at Noon. The ESPN crew is in town honoring the Palestra as part of the network's week-long "My Home Court" series, showcasing famous arenas around the county.

For those interested in attending the GameDay portion of the program and holding up some ridiculous signage, the Palestra doors open at 8 a.m. The show starts at 10 a.m. I'd give you plenty of poster suggestions, but I'd probably get fired so maybe just DM me.

Should you feel the need to drop funds on a commemorative T-shirt, the Temple bookstore is hawking that T-shirt you see on the right for 20 bucks. Temple will also be -- unsubstantiated tweets have led me to believe -- selling them at the Palestra tomorrow. I have not seen any game-specific La Salle threads, but if they exist and someone wants to send a pic our way, we'll put it up.

Also, the bus is here:

As for the game itself, the Owls' eight-game winning streak over the Explorers is certainly in jeopardy. La Salle has won its last four straight, while Temple has dropped its last five in a row and may or may not be without starting point guard Will Cummings Saturday. Tyrone Garland, of Southwest Philly Floater and Dunk fame, cares not:

"[If Cummings doesn't play] that'd be a good advantage for us," Garland said. "I have no mercy for them. … We haven't beaten them in about five years. So we really want this one for the university. Whatever it takes. If they don't have all their players, we have all ours, so we're just going to come to play."

Actually, since the game is on ESPN 2, there will be plenty of commercials. Temple coach Fran Dunphy mentioned it as part of his strategy. If he only has eight healthy bodies, he'll be utilizing frequent commercial breaks to rest his guys. Temple sophomore Quenton DeCosey has played 197 of his team's last 200 minutes. He hasn't come off the floor in the last three games. Thursday at practice he was wearing an Under Armour Batman t-shirt. I was psyched for him. It was awesome.

Quotes on the Palestra because everybody loves the Palestra:

Asked if he was pleased to see the Palestra getting national attention, Dunphy responded: "Oh sure. It's part of the fabric of Philadelphia basketball, and that's why ESPN asked us to play this game there. It wouldn't be College Gameday if it was at the Liacouras Center or the Gola Arena."

To Dunphy's point, his counterpart up on Olney Ave. thinks all the Big 5 schools should be making arrangements like this more often.

"I hate to politicize," Giannini said, "but I think all the Big 5 games should be at the Palestra. It's neutral court, so no one's at a disadvantage, it keeps alive an incredible tradition, and frankly the atmosphere is far better than anything you're gonna get on a home court. When the house is split, there's a reaction every single play and it makes it really unique.

"I would move any home-and-home series to the Palestra on a consistent basis."

::Everyone excluding the Villanova fans nodding::
::Drexel fans sitting in the corner looking pissed off::
::Jalen Rose and I having just a fabulous time::
::End scene::

Pregame reading:
>>Garland, La Salle will have 'no mercy' for Temple [CSN]

NFL Playoffs: Matt Ryan, Falcons dismantle Packers to reach Super Bowl LI

NFL Playoffs: Matt Ryan, Falcons dismantle Packers to reach Super Bowl LI

The Atlanta Falcons are headed to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history after routing the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC championship game.

Matt Ryan threw for four touchdowns, including a 73-yard catch-and-run for a highlight-reel score by star receiver Julio Jones. The defense played just as crucial a role in containing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense.

Rodgers had 287 yards with three touchdown passes and an interception. But the Falcons got to Rodgers with pressure and forced two Green Bay turnovers. Rodgers was outplayed by Ryan, who even ran for a 14-yard touchdown.

Atlanta will play either New England or Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 in Houston.

The only other time that Atlanta made the Super Bowl was in the 1998 season. The Falcons lost 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.

The Packers fell in the NFC title game for the second time in three seasons.

2017 NBA draft prospect watch: Jonathan Isaac has a banner week

2017 NBA draft prospect watch: Jonathan Isaac has a banner week

Two of the country's top prospects faced off in the Pac 12 this week while a top 10 forward saw his season come to a premature close. However, we begin this week with the breakout performance by Jonathan Isaac.

Jonathan Isaac, forward, Florida St. (6-11/205)
Isaac's potential had everyone in the basketball world's curiosity. Now his play on the court has their attention. The Seminoles hosted No. 15 Notre Dame, which had yet to lose in ACC play before the Wednesday game. 

The freshman forward dominated in the 83-80 win. He had 23 points on 7 for 9 shooting from the field. He made both his threes, all seven of his free throws and also had one assist. His other stats were also otherworldly. He picked up 10 rebounds and had seven(!) blocks, including one on a late Notre Dame shot to get back into the game after he'd put the Seminoles ahead with a three. All this was in just 25 minutes

He followed it up with a similar game against Louisville. In 28 minutes, he had 16 points on 4 for 7 shooting, making one three and, again, all seven free throws. Add in two assists and two blocks to aid in the 73-68 win. Isaac has shown himself to be an athletic freak, a potential stretch-four at the next level and one with tremendous defensive potential, displayed with his nine blocks this week.

OG Anunoby, forward, Indiana (6-8/235)
Anunoby has had an uneven season, but he, at the very least, showed flashes of the ability that make him a top player for this year's draft class. However, a knee injury suffered on Wednesday finished off Anunoby's season, forcing him to undergo surgery that will keep him off the court for the rest of Indiana's schedule.

This may knock him out of the 2017 draft entirely. As a freshman last year, his NCAA Tournament performance was enough to make him a lottery pick in an even weaker draft field than the upcoming one. He chose to remain in school and it isn't farfetched to believe he will return to Indiana for his junior year to get more seasoning, a better draft field and another year of education.

Lonzo Ball, guard, UCLA (6-6/190)
There are going to be quite a few marquee matchups in the Pac 12. One of the first this year came in the form of UCLA-Arizona in Los Angeles on Saturday. The No. 3 Bruins lost, 96-85, but that had nothing to do with Ball's standout performance (more on the Wildcats below). He pushed the ball in transition, drove to the hole with ease and made 4 of 8 threes with his quirky shot. 

He had 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and had eight assists, six rebounds, two steals and a block. When you watch Ball score so naturally, it's easy to forget his potential as a point guard, but then he whips up beautiful assists as he did many times on Saturday. The freshman has everything you want in a point guard.

Lauri Markkanen, forward, Arizona (7-0/225)
The No. 14 Wildcats picked up their biggest win of the year, moving to 7-0 in conference play. As you can expect, Markkanen had a big game to push Arizona past UCLA. He had 18 points on 6 for 10 shooting, was 3 for 3 from three and made three free throws, all which grabbing seven boards. Like Isaac, he is a tantalizing talent as a stretch-four, hanging out around the perimeter and spotting up for threes well.

He now has 16 made threes in his last four games and has averaged over seven boards in that stretch. He's not unbelievably thin like many fours his age. The freshman really can battle down low and get his shot, and he justifies his prospect status on a game-by-game basis with his ability.

Markelle Fultz, guard, Washington (6-4/195)
Washington lost on Saturday, moving to 9-10 and 2-5 in conference. But it's worth talking about Fultz's standout Wednesday night. The freshman willed his team back from 17-points down with a 37-point performance en route to an 85-83 OT win over Colorado. In 43 minutes, he was 13 for 24 from the field and 11 for 15 from the free throw line.

Don't think he's just a scorer, though. He had eight assists, five rebounds, three steals and three blocks, doing it all for the Huskies as he usually does. The freshman sensation was 0 for 2 from three, but he is normally efficient from beyond the arc. He alone is the reason to watch the under .500 Huskies.

While the 9-10 Huskies are unlikely to make a late run towards March Madness, the strong Pac 12 should provide many marquee matchups for Fultz. He faces off vs. a stout Arizona team next Sunday afternoon. Six days later, the long awaited matchup between Fultz and Ball up in Seattle goes down with presumably many scouts in attendance.

Quick Hits

Malik Monk, guard, Kentucky (6-4/185)
Twenty-seven points on 9 for 14 shooting, 4 for 7 from three, 5 for 6 on free throws, three rebounds, one assist, two steals and four turnovers in an 85-69 win over No. 24 South Carolina.

Josh Jackson, guard/forward, Kansas (6-8/203)
Fifteen points on 6 for 14 shooting, 2 for 5 from three, 1 for 3 on free throws, five rebounds, two assists, four steals and six turnovers in a 79-67 win over Texas.

Jayson Tatum, forward, Duke (6-8/204)
Fourteen points on 4 for 9 shooting, 1 for 4 from three, 5 for 6 on free throws, three rebounds, one assist, three turnovers and five fouls in a 70-58 win over Miami.