The Penn Quakers men's basketball team is the college basketball program representing the University of Pennsylvania. As the twentieth-winningest men's basketball program of all-time, the team from Penn had its greatest success from 1966 to 2007, a period of over 40 years. Penn plays in the Ivy League in NCAA Division I.
On March 20, 1897, Penn and Yale played in the first basketball game with five players on a team. Prior to the formation of the Ivy League in 1956 Penn was a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate League (EIL) from 1903 through 1955. Penn won 13 EIL Regular Season Championships – 1906, 1908, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1945, 1953. Penn was retroactively recognized as the pre-NCAA Tournament national champion for the 1919–20 and 1920–21 seasons by the Helms Athletic Foundation and for the 1919–20 season by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.
The Palestra, often called the Cathedral of College Basketball, is a historic arena and the home gym of the Penn Quakers men's and women's basketball teams, volleyball teams, wrestling team, and Philadelphia Big 5 basketball. Located at 235 South 33rd St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, near Franklin Field in the University City section of Philadelphia, it opened on January 1, 1927. The Palestra has been called "the most important building in the history of college basketball" and "changed the entire history of the sport for which it was built."
The arena originally seated about 10,000, but now seats 8,725 for basketball. The Palestra is famed for its close-to-the-court seating with the bleachers ending at the floor with no barrier to separate the fans from the game.