Saturday, March 5, 2011

Harvard earns a share of the Ivy title, puts the pressure on Princeton

Harvard won a share of their first ever Ivy League crown tonight, beating Princeton 79-67 on the strength of 24 points from a yet-to-be-fully-healthy Kyle Casey and 10 points and 10 assists from Brandyn Curry.

I say that they won a share of the title because there is still a chance that the Crimson can win the outright title. Princeton is a game behind Harvard in the win column as they travel to the Palestra to take on Penn on Tuesday.

It sets up an interesting scenario.

The Ivy League is the only conference in the country that doesn't have a tournament. Their at-large winner is determined by the regular season champion. If Princeton beats Penn, the Tigers and the Crimson will be tied for the Ivy League title, setting up a situation where the two would be forced to play a third rematch, essentially what amounts to an Ivy League title game.

I know what you are thinking.

Its the Ivy League. Why should I card about who gets in as the appetizer for a No. 1 or No. 2 seed?

Because both Princeton and Harvard have the horses to spring an upset in the NCAA Tournament.

The Crimson have a front line that can compete with the high-majors in Casey and Keith Wright. Their back court, led by Curry, Oliver McNally, and Christian Webster, is better than you think. Remember how Tommy Amaker made some headlines with recruiting violations a few years back? Well, it paid off.

Princeton has four players averaging between 12.1 ppg and 14.0 ppg, but they too have a nice blend of size and perimeter players. On Saturday, it was the 25 points that Dan Mavraides scored that kept the Tigers close.

But most importantly, you should care because these are two rivals and two quality basketball teams playing for the right to get into the NCAA Tournament.

If you can't get excited about that, feel free to mail in your fan card. I'll pay for the postage.

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