Princeton’s basketball dominance in the Ivy League this year is not an outlier. The Daily Princetonian analyzed over 1,400 Ivy League championships over the past 50 years, beginning in 1974, when the Ivy League began hosting championships for women’s sports. Women began competing in several sports after Yale and Princeton began admitting women in 1969 with the other Ivy League schools following over the next decade.
There have been 156 ties for titles in the past 50 years, when the champion is based on a team’s record and not a tournament, such as in football. Of these, there have been 30 three-way ties and four four-way ties. Each counts as a full title.
Our analysis didn’t account for non-Ivy League sponsored sports such as women’s lightweight rowing, men’s volleyball, women’s water polo, and men’s water polo.
Princeton has won the most Ivy League championships since 1974. Dartmouth and Brown are the only schools with more women’s titles than men’s. Despite having the second-fewest total titles, Brown ranks fourth for women’s titles, after Princeton, Harvard, and Penn. Columbia has the highest ratio of men’s to women’s titles at 3.2:1, while Brown has the smallest, at 0.6 men’s titles per women’s title.
Cornell University’s ranking changed most dramatically in the League between 2000 and 2023. Cornell began the 2000–2001 academic year with 73 Ivy League titles since 1974, the seventh most in the league. They currently hold 182 titles, the fourth most in the league.
Princeton and Harvard are consistently at the top of the cumulative counts each year, with Princeton remaining ahead of Harvard every year following the second year of this analysis. Princeton currently leads the Ivy League with 27% of the total titles. Brown, with 6.8% of total titles, and Columbia, with 6% of total titles, currently trail the League.
Princeton is the only school to have won titles in all 21 sports, as well as the only school to have won a championship in all 17 men’s sports and all 16 women’s sports.
Men’s swimming and diving has seen the least diversity of championship winners, with Harvard winning 48.2% of titles and Princeton winning 44.6% of titles. Yale, Cornell, and Columbia have taken the remaining 7.2% of titles, with Columbia winning the most of these schools with 3.6% of titles.
Among the 33 men’s and women’s sports, Princeton holds the most or second most titles, with 10/17 men’s sports and 14/16 women’s sports. The only women’s sports in which Princeton trails are soccer, with 19.6% of titles, behind Brown’s 29.4% and Harvard’s 25.5% and ice hockey, with 16% to Harvard’s 24% and Cornell’s 30% of titles.
For combined men’s and women’s sports titles, Columbia has yet to win a title in nine sports, Brown and Dartmouth in five sports, Penn in two, and Harvard and Yale in one.
Harvard’s best sport is women’s squash, winning 64.1% of Ivy League titles and Cornell’s best performing sport is men’s wrestling with 60.8% of titles. Princeton does best in women’s field hockey, winning 51.0% of titles and Columbia’s best sport is men’s fencing, securing 38.5% of League championships. Penn’s best sport is men’s basketball and Dartmouth’s is men’s cross-country. The best performing sport for Yale is women’s golf and Brown’s is women’s soccer.
The next championship will be for men’s and women’s golf, taking place April 21–23, followed by men’s and women’s lacrosse tournaments on May 5 and May 7. Princeton leads the League in men’s golf titles since 1974; Harvard leads in women’s golf titles. Cornell currently has the most men’s lacrosse titles in the past 50 years and Princeton leads in women’s titles.
Andrew Bosworth is a Data contributor for the ‘Prince’.
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