Around the Ivies: Men's Basketball
The Ivy League standings look like they did last week, but some of last weekend’s games may have been crucial in determining where teams end up. Below The Daily Princetonian fills you in on the race for an Ivy championship that may come down to a photo finish:
1. Harvard (15-7 overall, 7-1 Ivy League)
The Crimson never sat easily atop the Ivy League after a loss to Columbia and close calls with Brown and Dartmouth, but they shut down Princeton and won relatively easily in Cambridge on Saturday, 69-57.
2. Princeton (12-9, 5-2)
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Tigers, who thought they had found their form before a loss to Yale in Jadwin Gymnasium knocked them off track. Since then, the Tigers have beaten Dartmouth, but Harvard was able to stop sophomore forward Denton Koon’s recent hot streak, limiting him to seven points in the Tigers’ loss.
3. Cornell (13-12, 5-3)
Like Harvard earlier this season, Cornell barely squeaked by Brown last weekend, but the Big Red is still very much in the mix. It came within two points of knocking off the Crimson and has hung around in every Ivy League game so far, and with four home games left on its schedule — including the Tigers — it has a decent shot at the title.
4. Yale (10-15, 4-4)
Yale was not able to build upon the momentum it gained after beating Princeton, as it lost to Cornell at home before dominating Columbia. The win over the Lions kept the Bulldogs in the top half of the Ivy standings, but they will have to have a lot fall their way if they hope to still be relevant near the end of the season.
5. Penn (6-18, 3-4)
Penn did not do anything surprising this past weekend to cause a shift in how it is viewed within the conference — it lost to Harvard in what was never a close match before beating lowly Dartmouth. It can increase its stock with wins over Columbia and Cornell this weekend but will need to rely on its three-point shooting in order to make that happen. The Quakers rank third in three-point percentage in the league during conference play, behind Harvard and Princeton.
6. Brown (9-13, 3-5)
The Bears have not looked like an Ivy contender this year but could easily play spoiler. They played Cornell well and will host Harvard, whom they took to double overtime earlier in the year, and Princeton before the season is out, making them very relevant down the stretch.
7. Columbia (10-12, 2-6)
Tied for last in the standings with Dartmouth, Columbia will have to work to do damage next weekend to a Princeton team that only has two Ivy League losses. The Lions have seen some impressive play from sophomore Steve Frankoski in recent games against Brown and Yale, but at this point in the season, it is too little, too late to save the Lions’ record.8. Dartmouth (6-16, 2-6)
The Big Green enjoyed two straight Ivy wins earlier in the month, but February has turned sour for Dartmouth after it lost three in a row. With a rough two weeks on the road ahead, ending with a visit to Jadwin Gymnasium, ahead, Dartmouth’s hopes for a .500 league record are essentially done.
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