The Michigan Wolverines and the Penn State Nittany Lions may be playing a game at a neutral site next season, head coach Juwan Howard hinted at on a recent radio show.
On his weekly appearance on the Inside Michigan Basketball radio show Monday night, Howard said the two teams are working on a potential matchup at the Palestra, which is the home of the Penn Quakers. If this happens, the game would be a fun one for associate head coach Phil Martelli, who’s from the Philadelphia area and coached at Saint Joseph’s University for 24 seasons.
“That’s the plan for next year, playing Penn State,” Howard said. “We’re working on that, where we can play that game possibly in the Palestra, for coach Martelli. He deserves it, he really deserves it.”
According to VisitPhilly.com, the Palestra opened in 1927 and, “is now the oldest major college arena still in use today and has hosted more games, more visiting teams and more NCAA Tournaments than any other facility.”
This wouldn’t be the first time in Howard’s tenure Michigan has played a neutral site game. Earlier this season, they won against Eastern Michigan in downtown Detroit at Little Caesar’s Arena and lost against North Carolina at the Spectrum Center in downtown Charlotte. The Wolverines also traveled to London to play against Kentucky in December.
Michigan also faced Rutgers at Madison Square Garden back in 2019-20, a game in which Brandon Johns Jr. showed out and scored 20 points in a Michigan win.
Michigan and Penn State split their series this season, with both teams winning their respective home games. At this time, it’s unclear who would be giving up a home game in this neutral site match-up, but odds are it would be the Nittany Lions since this game would still be played in Pennsylvania.