Men’s basketball (12—5 overall, 4—0 Ivy), currently in first place and undefeated in the Ivy League, will play Yale (13—4, 3—1) and Brown (13—7, 1—3) this weekend in what will be a crucial test to its Ivy League domination.
Princeton faces Yale on Friday in New Haven in what should be a contentious match between the two top teams of the Ivy League. Last year, both of the Tigers’ games against the Bulldogs headed into overtime and were very close until the end. When the two teams met at Jadwin Gymnasium last year, Princeton rallied in OT to defeat Yale 76–73. In the last game of the season at Yale, however, the opposite happened. After senior guard Myles Stephens tied the game with a last-minute drive, the Tigers pulled ahead in OT, only to be overcome by Yale and lose the game 94–90.
Friday’s game against Yale presents one of the biggest challenges for the team this season. Yale currently sits in second place in the conference, and a loss would mean both teams would be tied for the top spot. The all-time record between the two teams is 150–89 in Princeton’s favor, although the Tigers remain negative in their record of games played away versus the Bulldogs: 59–60.
The next day, Princeton will head to Brown University, tied for fifth in the Ivy League, to close out its doubleheader weekend. Last year, like with Yale, the Tigers went 1–1 with the Bears. Princeton lost its first match in a hotly contested OT at home with a score of 102–100. It was the second-highest scoring game for the Tigers in the regular season. A few weeks later, though, the team followed up with a sweeping 78–63 win in Providence, R.I., Brown’s hometown.
Princeton and Brown first met in 1908 and have an all-time record of 106–28 in Princeton’s favor. If history is on the Tigers’ side, they should have no problem in Providence with an away record versus the Bears of 44–22.
The Tigers’ 4–0 run in the Ivy League this season brings back memories of their championship 2017 season, which saw a NCAA tournament appearance and was the last time the team had an Ivy League record as good as this. Head Coach Mitch Henderson ’98 has seen three of these 4–0 runs in his eight-season tenure at Princeton, the other being in 2013.
Even if the Tigers topple both teams this weekend, they still have to face every single Ivy League team again, including Harvard (10–7, 3–1), who is tied for second in the League with Yale, and Dartmouth (10–10, 1–3), who is tied for fourth in the League, twice more in the regular season.
Tip-off at Yale on Friday is 7 p.m., and on Saturday at Brown is 6 p.m.