Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guru Report: Welcome to the NCAA Philadelphia Regional

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA –
So far the mix of teams that advanced here to the Guru’s and virtually Geno Auriemma’s hometown formally named the Philadelphia Regional at Temple’s Liacouras Center is also being called the UConn invitational because of the overall No. 1 seed, the Geno regional because of all his local affiliations from growing up in Norristown,the Big East Regional because of three of the powerful conference’s teams here,and,of course the Guru Regional because of the expected hosting job outsiders want him to pull the next several days.

Well here at the blog there will be all kind of treats, including some analysis from a local coach at the host school, if the Guru can close the deal, that has 14 years of familiarity with the UConn program (wink, wink).

For now here are some fun odds and ends for the visitors on the streets and the visitors who come to this site throughout the year.

No one has yet noticed that Duke-DePaul after the Connecticut-Georgetown game Sunday means Blue Devils and Blue Demons are matching up.

Although the Guru has never dined there, appropriately for fans of both teams Devil’s Alley can be found in center city at 1907 Chestnut Street, which is five blocks West of Broad Street, the main North-South route that crisscrosses East-West Market Street at City Hall.

Georgetown fans, appropriately, can dine at the Capital Grille on Broad Street.

The media will be hanging out at a place to be determined Friday night on a makeshift basis and then solidified Saturday during the press conferences. The Guru will tweet on the go with his trusty ipad.

That’s @womhoopsguru if you haven’t joined the following on his twitter account.

In Chinatown, the Guru usually dines at the Imperial Inn on 10th street below Race.

You are on your own for cheesesteaks because the Guru usually frequents places in the suburbs.

The UConn contingent is likely to land at an Italian Restaurant due to Auriemma’s heritage and there are many notable places in South Philadelphia. The coach has also stated he may go somewhere with his Philly buds away from the team on the weekend besides joining them for a team meal.

Maggiano’s Little Italy usually does the trick for many people and is located on 51 N. 12th Street near the Marriott on Market Street. There is another one out in King of Prussia on the rich side of the tracks from where Auriemma grew up.

You are more likely to find Villanova’s Harry Perretta out there since he ventures into the city on rare occasions beyond the Wildcats playing other Big Five schools in the city.

Actually, now that the Guru thinks of it, there are several fun places near the communities of Penn and Drexel in West Philadelphia near the train station. In fact the Landmark, which is part of the renovation in Drexel’s arena – they forgot to do the gym, though – between 33rd and 34th on Market Street has been one of the newer attractions. Mikey’s on Chestnut Street at 32nd near the Palestra is another good sports bar, though family of Penn coach Mike McLaughlin were disappointed the place did not get named for him after his hire a year ago.

By the way for those staying in center city, you can take the Broad Street subway at various stops straight to the Liacouras Center. Unlike DePaul’s familiarity with the Loop in Chicago, two lines run in adjoining directions. The other train, the Market-Frankford subway-elevated begins near the Guru’s neighborhood in the Northeast and runs to center city, where is submerges under Market Street and then heads out to the edge of the Western suburbs, emerging into daylight at 46th street.

At 30th Street Station, you can catch a Jersey Transit train to Atlantic City but a casino now exists off Delaware Avenue on the Waterfront.

The Guru has been busy doing a few things since the trek from Penn State back home and then to Maryland but he will be back on the case the rest of the way.

-- Mel

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