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Men's hoops Marches into Madness

PHILADELPHIA – Over the years, the Ivy League men's basketball race has almost always come down to two teams: Princeton and Penn. This season, Princeton sits alone atop the Ivies, having won every league game this season by double digits, heading into last night's clash against Penn.

So, it should have gone something like, "No. 8 Princeton routed an outmanned Quaker squad to make a bold statement to the NCAA tournament selection committee." After all, Princeton had won 18 straight games entering last night, and its only loss of the season was to then-No. 2 North Carolina.

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But someone forgot to tell the Quakers, who gave Princeton the game of the year – an overtime thriller in front of 8,722 raucous fans at the Palestra in Philadelphia.

Despite an early 18-point lead, the score was tied at 66 when the Tigers almost lost the game on a last-second three-pointer by Penn's Michael Jordan. When Jordan's desperation heave sailed long, Princeton (26-1 overall, 14-0 Ivy League) took advantage of its new life and took control in overtime for a thrilling 78-72 win over the Quakers (17-12, 10-4).

Test of wills

"I'm glad the game was here instead of Jadwin, because I wanted us to suffer a little bit, to see if it would help us," head coach Bill Carmody said. "But it was just a little too much of it."

Princeton jumped out to a 13-point halftime lead on Goodrich's 18 first-half points. But Penn stormed back in the second half, tying the game twice, at 44 and 58, before taking a one-point lead on Matt Langel's layup with only 27.4 seconds remaining.

Princeton responded as senior forward James Mastaglio ran a back-door cut with 12.1 seconds on the clock. Mastaglio missed his shot, but he was fouled and hit his first free throw to tie the game. Mastaglio then missed his second free throw, setting the stage for Jordan's last-ditch try for the monumental upset.

Unstoppable

In Goodrich's final Ivy game, in front of his hometown fans, he was simply amazing, tallying a career-high 33 points. His offensive barrage came in just 36 minutes of action on 11-for-13 shooting, including a perfect 3 for 3 on three-pointers. In the post, Goodrich showed off his arsenal of offensive weapons, including both leftand right-handed hooks and a quick dribble-and-scoop shot.

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But in the second half, Penn found a way to stop Goodrich. And it was not on its defensive end, but on the offensive side. In the first 6:58 of the second half, Penn repeatedly got the ball inside to center Paul Romanczuk, who succeeded in drawing four fouls on Goodrich, forcing him to the Tiger bench until the end of the game.

With 2:34 remaining in regulation and Princeton up by one, junior forward Gabe Lewullis made the play of the game. Jordan had found fellow Quaker Jed Ryan wide open under the Penn basket for what appeared to be an easy layup to take the lead. But out of nowhere came Lewullis, who blocked the ball, preserving the Tiger lead.

"I guess I had some adrenaline or something," Lewullis said. "I usually don't get up that high."

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