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Around the Ivies: Men's Basketball

The men’s basketball season in the Ivy League is in the middle of its most exciting portion, as all the teams of the Ancient Eight continue to duke it out for a chance to go to the Big Dance in March. The race for the top remains competitive, with no one team able to break away from the pack.

Yale Bulldogs (13-5 overall, 4-0 Ivy League)

A roaring hot start to Ivy League play is certainly a great sight to behold for the men of New Haven. They’ve been clamping down on teams, leading the league in fewest points allowed at just a hair under 64. As they ride their current eight-game winning streak, they give thanks not just to perennial star Justin Sears but also to high-scoring Makai Mason in giving them the boost.

Columbia Lions (15-6, 4-0)

One of the surprises of the season, the Lions’ perfect start is a stark contrast to their 4-10 finish against their fellow Ivies last year. The second highest-scoring team in the league continues to live and die by the play of star forward Maodo Lo, who averages just under 16 points per game. Highly encouraging is their play on the road — three of their four league wins were in the gyms of their opponents.

Princeton Tigers (12-5, 2-1)

The Tigers stand where they’ve finished the last two years: third place. Despite having been dealt their first loss in league play against Yale, the Orange and Black have to be pleased with the players they’ve had step up throughout the year. Junior forward Henry Caruso and rookie forward Devin Cannady both continue to impress — the former having a breakout season and leading the team in scoring, the latter serving as an offensive dynamo off the bench.

Cornell Big Red (9-9, 2-2)

Standing in the middle of the league isn’t too shabby for a program continuing to make its climb back to relevance in the league. The Big Red stands in a solid fourth after finishing eighth and fifth in the league the past two seasons. The backcourt duo of Robert Hatter and Matt Morgan are keeping this team in the thick of things, as they rank first and second in the league’s scoring leader.

Harvard Crimson (9-11, 1-3)

With the loss of Wesley Saunders due to graduation and Siyani Chambers due to injury, the Crimson knew the battle was to be uphill all season. Junior forward Zena Edosomwan has stepped up and is the only player in the league to average a double-double (14.2 points, 10.5 rebounds).

Dartmouth Big Green (7-11, 1-3)

It’s defensively been one of the poorer teams in the league so far, ranking sixth in points allowed and last in blocks per game. The Big Green did not help its case by giving up 77 points in both of its most recent losses against Cornell and Columbia. The strong play of Evan Beaudreaux alone, who just put up a dominating effort against Cornell with 24 points and 16 boards, won’t be enough to lift this team to higher ground.

Brown Bears (6-12, 1-3)

While they snapped the 0-3 start to league play with the victory against bottom-dweller Penn, the Bears will have to make some changes if they want to avoid finishing joint last once again in the league. Big man Cedric Kuakumensah swats shots away well, but he’ll need more help to lift a team currently dead last in points allowed per game.

Penn Quakers (6-11, 0-3)

Like Brown, a repeat season at the bottom of the league could be in the Quakers’ future if they don’t right the ship as soon as possible. Finding the net itself has been a struggle all year — they’re second to last in both shooting percentage and points per game. It’s the exact dilemma they found themselves in last year, when they finished dead last in PPG as well.