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]

Eagles-Vikings predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Vikings predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles are coming off two straight losses and the slate doesn't get any easier with the 5-0 Vikings coming to town.

It also marks the return of Sam Bradford, who was traded just before Week 1, paving the way for rookie Carson Wentz to start.

The Eagles kick off against Minnesota at the Linc on Sunday at 1 p.m., so it's time for our (cough) experts' predictions for the Week 7 matchup.

Dave Zangaro (2-3)
I'll admit, this game just has a weird feel. It has the feeling like the Eagles might be able to catch the Vikings sleeping after their bye week and hand them their first loss of the season.

I was almost tempted to pick the Birds in this one.

But I'm not.

Ultimately, the Vikings are just the better team. I'm not sure how the Eagles are going to put up points against them. And I'm not convinced the Eagles' defense will be able to stop anyone after what we saw last weekend.

They keep it close, but the Birds fall to 3-3.

Vikings 20, Eagles 17

Derrick Gunn (2-3)
The good news is Minnesota's offense is ranked 30th in the league and the Vikings' run game is dead last averaging 70.6 yards per game. 

The bad news is the Vikings' defense is a monster, ranked 2nd overall and first in points allowed at 12.6.

There is not a weak link in the Vikings' D and they are fundamentally sound across the board. The Eagles' defense vows that what happened to them at Washington — allowing 230 rushing yards — won't happen again. 

Carson Wentz got roughed up by the Redskins' pass rush, and unless the Eagles' offensive line plugs the leaks, more of the same could happen this Sunday. The Birds have every reason to rebound at home, but I just don't like the overall matchup. 

Vikings 20, Eagles 13

Ray Didinger (2-3)
The Vikings aren't going undefeated. You don't go 16-0 in the NFL with a 30th ranked offense which is what the Vikings have. Yes, their defense is very good. Going back to last season they have held each of their last nine opponents to 17 points or less. They are deep, fast and well-coached by Mike Zimmer. But the offense led by Sam Bradford coughs and sputters a lot.
As a result, the Vikings will play a lot of close, low-scoring games and somewhere along the line they are going to lose. It could even happen this week when they play the Eagles. Special teams could be huge. The Eagles have a big edge with kicker Caleb Sturgis. Vikings kicker Blair Walsh has already missed three field goals and two PATs. However, the Vikings return men -- Marcus Sherels on punts, Cordarrelle Patterson on kickoffs -- are very dangerous. I expect the Eagles to keep it close but in the end I have to go with the superior defense.
Vikings 21, Eagles 16

Andrew Kulp (2-3)
Which Eagles defense shows up on Sunday? If they can limit Minnesota's anemic ground attack, which ranks dead last in the NFL, this should be a close game. Sam Bradford is playing really well, but it's not like he's airing it out all over the place.

Then it becomes a question of how Halapoulivaati Vaitai responds to a rough debut. The Vikings pass-rush is fierce, so it doesn't get any easier this week. As long as the protection gives Carson Wentz a chance, that will at least give the rookie signal-caller a shot at making a few big plays.

For some reason, I like their chances at both. It's going to be another ugly one, but the Eagles do just enough to squeak by.

Eagles 20, Vikings 19

Corey Seidman (2-3)
I foresee a low-scoring game in which the Eagles are more competitive than some might think.

But in the end, the Vikings have the personnel and the defensive-minded head coach (Mike Zimmer) to get key stops down the stretch.

Vikings 20, Eagles 16

Andy Schwartz (1-4)
You’re still reading? 

Well good for you. Much appreciated. 

Because clearly I certainly don’t know what to expect from this team. 

But let’s forget all that for the moment and look at the Bradford Bowl. 

The Vikings’ offense is hardly scary (30th in the league in yards per game behind the Rams and Niners), but their defense is (second in yards per game behind Seattle).

The Eagles’ offense is hardly scary (22nd in yards per game), and their defense (sixth in yards per game) was pretty scary a few weeks ago.

So let’s look at the intangibles. Which team needs this game more? The Eagles. And they’re at home. 

But given the outcomes the last two weeks and that Minnesota is unbeaten and coming off a bye, it certainly makes sense to pick the Vikes, who are favored by 2.5.

Then again, the Eagles not too long ago were unbeaten and coming off a bye … and we all know what happened.

So I’ll say the Birds pull off another upset and remain unbeaten at the Linc. 

Just don’t bet on it.

Eagles 6, Vikings 5

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.