Battle of 33rd Street

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Battle of 33rd Street
Sport Basketball
First meeting January 15, 1997
Drexel 58, Penn 52
Latest meeting November 17, 2012
Drexel 61, Penn 59
Next meeting December 22, 2015
Meetings total 16
All-time series Tied: Drexel-8, Penn-8
Largest victory Penn, 81-50 (2004)
Longest win streak Drexel, 5 (2007-Present)
Current win streak Drexel, 5 (2007-Present)

The Battle of 33rd Street rivalry refers to the men's college basketball rivalry between Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania. The rivalry is fueled by the proximity of the schools to each other, as the rivalry is known for being the closest geographical rivalry in college sports. The team's home courts are merely blocks away from each other, as Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center is located at 33rd and Market Street, and Penn's historic Palestra is located just south of 33rd and Walnut Street. The series was originally played at the Palestra every year until 2015 with the exception of the 2008 game, when Penn played at Drexel University for the first time in team history. Beginning in 2015, the location began alternating between the two schools.

The teams began playing against each other annually during the 1996-97 NCAA basketball season. Previous to this season, the teams faced each other only eight times. Seven of those games were during the 1920s, where Penn won all seven, and the eighth game was in 1988, where Drexel won 70-69.


Drexel victories shaded in ██ blue. Penn victories are shaded in ██ red.

# Date Arena Winning team Losing team Series
1 January 15, 1997 The Palestra Drexel 58 Penn 52 Drexel 1–0
2 February 20, 1998 The Palestra Penn 79 Drexel 65 Tied 1-1
3 January 21, 1999 The Palestra Penn 75 Drexel 65 Penn 2–1
4 January 25, 2000 The Palestra Penn 54 Drexel 46 Penn 3–1
5 January 10, 2001 The Palestra Drexel 68 Penn 63 Penn 3–2
6 November 28, 2001 The Palestra Penn 89 Drexel 80 Penn 4–2
7 November 25, 2002 The Palestra Drexel 71 Penn 62 Penn 4–3
8 November 24, 2003 The Palestra Penn 79 Drexel 73 Penn 5–3
9 November 23, 2004 The Palestra Penn 81 Drexel 50 Penn 6–3
10 November 26, 2005 The Palestra Penn 68 Drexel 60 Penn 7–3
11 November 21, 2006 The Palestra Penn 68 Drexel 49 Penn 8–3
12 November 9, 2007 The Palestra Drexel 57 Penn 49 Penn 8–4
13 November 18, 2008 Daskalakis Athletic Center Drexel 66 Penn 64 Penn 8–5
14 November 24, 2009 The Palestra Drexel 58 Penn 49 Penn 8–6
15 November 20, 2010 The Palestra Drexel 77 Penn 56 Penn 8–7
16 November 17, 2012 The Palestra Drexel 61 Penn 59 Tied 8-8
17 December 22, 2015 Daskalakis Athletic Center
  • In 2008, at the first game in the series to be played at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, the game was featured on ESPN Hoops Marathon and tipped off at 10 a.m.

Hiatus in 2011, 2013, and 2014[edit]

In the 2011-12 season Drexel and Penn did not play against each other, ending a 14 year streak, due to a dispute over where the annual game was to be played. Initially in 1997, the teams agreed to play all of the rivalry games at the Palestra, as this is where the Philadelphia Big 5 and City 6 games are generally played at; however, since then Drexel's basketball has greatly improved and Drexel favored changing the rivalry so that the location is alternated between the schools every season. The teams resumed play in the 2012-13 season at The Palestra, but did not play again the following season. In the 2015-16 season, Penn agreed to resume the series at Drexel after a 2 year hiatus. From that point forward, it appears that the location of the game will alternate between The Palestra and Daskalakis Athletic Center each season.

Other Events[edit]

The schools also occasionally face each other in other sports, including lacrosse, women's basketball, and field hockey.

On March 11, 2014, Drexel and Penn faced each other in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship. The teams earned automatic bids by winning each of their conference tournaments, and marked Drexel's first invitation to the national championship. The game was played at Franklin Field, and the Dragons defeated the Quakers by score of 16-11 to advance to the tournament quarterfinals.