The long-awaited Ivy League basketball season finally got underway last weekend, with most teams winning their opening-day matchups. Here’s how the Ancient Eight stacks up as the action begins again:
1. Harvard, 136 points (17 first-place votes) (1-0) This year’s loaded Crimson team is sitting at the cusp of being ranked in the AP preseason poll. Siyani Chambers, last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year with a nasty three-point shot, is just getting started under the mentorship of last season’s Ivy League Coach of the Year, Tommy Amaker. Don’t forget about Wesley Saunders either.Back for his final season, it’s no surprise that the sharp shooter got six preseason votes for Ivy Player of the Year.
3. Yale, 96 points (1-1) Sophomore forward Justin Sears was on fire in the second half of the Bulldogs’ opener against Central Connecticut State. The co-Ivy League Player of the Week pulled Yale out of a 17-point second-half deficit as he scored 16 points and snagged 10 rebounds in the last 20 minutes to earn his team the 93-77 win. The Bulldogs led the league in rebounds last season, and with the 13 players on their roster listed as 6-foot-5 or taller, Yale will be looking to control the boards again this time around to be a menace on both offense and defense.
5. Brown, 74 points (1-0) Like many Ivies, the Bears dominated a much weaker opponent to begin their season, downing Binghamton 74-57. Though the Bears are by no means a powerhouse, they piled on the offense on Sunday. Guard Sean McGonagill put up 22 points, going 4-6 from beyond the arc while forward Rafael Maia added 14. Brown will now face five straight road games before returning to Providence Nov. 30.
6. Cornell, 38 points (0-2) It’s been a rough start for the Big Red, which has faced serious competition in its first two games and come up short each time. Cornell opened its season against Syracuse, another inhabitant of the frigid upstate New York region, losing 82-60. The Big Red returned to Ithaca and played a much closer game against Loyola, leading throughout before falling to 93-89 in overtime. Rookie guard Robert Hatter put up a maddening 32 points in his second collegiate game.
7. Dartmouth, 38 points (1-0) The Big Green went a long way toward building its self-esteem this weekend, putting up 100 points and winning by 39 over Lyndon State in Hanover. Everyone on Dartmouth’s roster had at least one point, and five players went over double digits in the blowout, and the Big Green out-rebounded the Hornets 48-29.
8. Columbia, 37 points (1-0) The Lions forgot about last year’s terrible 4-10 Ivy season when they put up 73 points to Maryland Eastern Shore’s 54 on Saturday. Columbia’s performance in the second half especially gives it hope for the upcoming weeks—the Lions sunk seven of 12 three-point balls and hit 63 percent of their shots. If Columbia can turn this kind of an offensive performance into a regular show and shore up its defense, the Lions may very well end up much higher in the standings this year.