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What the Rutgers-Princeton rivalry means to me

Personal reflections for Episode No. 200.



Dec 11, 2013; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Princeton Tigers guard T.J. Bray (5) works against Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Jerome Seagears (1) during the second half at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Princeton Tigers defeat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 78-73. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers men’s basketball will open the 2023-2024 season against a familiar foe on Monday, November 6. After a decade long break, the Scarlet Knights will play Princeton on the hardwood. It will be the 121st meeting in the series history, the most RU has played any opponent. The series began in 1917 and the Tigers hold a 75-45 series lead.

I’m running a promotional giveaway for two tickets to Monday’s game at Cure Arena. Details in this tweet:

Growing up in New Jersey near Princeton and my father working at Rutgers, this game means something special to me. I also know this rivalry is special to many fans on both side for many different reasons. As for the state, this game is great to promote basketball in a positive way.

Hopefully, this game is the start of an annual matchup between Rutgers and Princeton. Regardless, Monday’s game should be a tremendous atmosphere and test for both programs.

Listen and watch below to episode No. 200 of The Scarlet Faithful podcast. I discuss some personal memories, discuss the importance of this game for both teams, a shift in the Steve Pikiell era and more. Thank you to all who have followed the podcast over the past year plus.



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  1. pj43

    November 2, 2023 at 3:38 pm

    You had to do it, Aaron, didn’t you?! Talking about your Rutgers v Princeton memories brought flashbacks to bygone days on into the present. Back in 1962, as a NOVA soph, I went to the season opening game on NOVA’s campus against Princeton (coached then by Butch van Breda Kolff) and watched some soph named Bill Bradley play his first varsity game (frosh were not eligible back then to play varsity). I became a Princeton follower because of Bradley, who put on a shooting & touch passing show that night that had us mesmerized as Princeton spanked NOVA. Thereafter, as years went by, I followed Princeton under Pete Carril and came to love the match ups between Princeton & Rutgers (as well as NOVA) including the 1976 season. I had the good fortune to win tix to the Final Four in Philly that year, pulling for Rutgers in the semi finals when they lost to (ugh!) Michigan. Then in 2003, my oldest son began studies as Rutgers followed by my other son in 2006. Needless to say, I’m now a full blown Rutgers supporter with a 20yr history. So, yeah, I now have great memories of three schools and I’m excited for this game on Monday as you are. Let’s hope there’s more to come and more great memories to experience!

  2. Henry Rutgers

    November 5, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    It’s a forgotten rivalry, Aaron. For my father’s era and those before him the single most important game of the year in every sport was Princeton. RU battled them every year in every sport for almost two centuries. They were our most despised and respected rival.

    For the post 1970’s era our nemesis is PSU. I’d like to see Princeton on the football schedule 43 more times (assuming we win each game) and 31 more times in Men’s basketball (assuming we win all games) before we end the series and rivalry.

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