When Jim Rullo settled into his chair Monday evening at the Palestra, old but vivid memories followed him in from the concourse and grabbed a seat alongside.

“I just got thinking, how timeless this was,” Rullo said Tuesday morning. “A lot of memories come floating back.”

Like that Christmas present Rullo and his brother got from their parents as teenagers … Penn-Notre Dame in the afternoon, then La Salle-North Carolina at night. A keeper of a memory — it just moves further down the list now.

“Not a bad 48 hours,” Rullo said of more recent family basketball highlights.

On Saturday, Rullo’s Neumann University team earned a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament when it came from behind against Marymount in the Atlantic East championship game, its top scorer hitting a shot with 3.8 seconds left for a 61-59 victory in Arlington, Va. Welcome to March Madness.

Monday night, Rullo was a spectator, watching his daughter Molly play for Cardinal O’Hara in the Philadelphia Catholic League title game – make that win a Catholic League title. Just a freshman, Molly scored 11 points for O’Hara.

“If you were to tell me all this would happen, I would have to tap my heels like Cinderella,” Rullo said Tuesday.

Which feeling was more satisfying? Coach or parent?

“The answer is the same,” Rullo said, relating how maybe the stress is higher watching his own daughter out there, but to see his Neumann players celebrating a lifetime achievement — “to replicate that, to have your own child do it, is just as neat.”

Rullo, who lives in Drexel Hill, had experienced it himself as a Drexel captain, the Dragons reaching the NCAA Tournament in 1994 when he was a senior. His late father, Jerry, starred at Temple and played for the Philadelphia Warriors, so family memories long ago reached the highest levels.

The women in the family have some of the top highlights. Rullo’s wife Maureen was herself a 1,000-point scorer at Drexel. Maybe his mother has top high school bragging rights, as a three-time Catholic League champion in the 1950s at Hallahan.

Eileen Rafferty Rullo also was a high school and college referee for years — her nickname was “Irish,’ her son said — so the Palestra memories extend in all sorts of directions as she sat watching her granddaughter. (Molly’s sister Megan, headed for O’Hara in the fall, had a CYO region title this winter to add to the mix.)

While O’Hara moves on to the PIAA state tournament, Neumann (21-7) will get on a bus to face perennial D3 power Williams (17-4) on Friday in Alliance, Ohio.

I’d seen Neumann early in the season, taking on local D3 standout Swarthmore, another team that has moved on to the NCAA Tournament. Playing such games was intentional, Rullo mentioned, with four eventual NCAA teams on this year’s nonconference schedule, in addition to Marymount also making it from the league. Rullo knew he had a pretty talented squad. Made sense to test it.

Rullo talked about how early in his career, then a Drexel assistant, “making my rounds,” he went to a John Chaney Temple practice, and got to talking to Chaney afterward about scheduling, since Chaney famously played anybody anywhere anytime.

“We want to measure ourselves against the best,” Rullo remembers Chaney telling him. “Then when we play these teams [in March], our players are going to have a reference point.”

Jalen Vaughns is currently a reference point for Neumann’s opposition. It was his “drop-step, mid-lane” shot that proved to be the game-winner Saturday. Vaughns, a 6-7 sophomore out of Pocono Mountain West High, led Neumann with 23 points.

“Great entry pass,” Rullo said of getting the ball to the right player at the right time.

Rullo must have felt like he knew half the people in the packed Palestra hallways Monday night, and plenty knew what Neumann had just achieved. That’s part of the fabric of local basketball ... it all gets wrapped around regardless of level of play. A great entry pass is a great entry pass.

“Just nice to experience good things again like the Palestra — win or lose,” Rullo said.

Of course, you get asked more about such things after the wins.