Columbia guard Kyle Castlin commits to Xavier as grad transfer

Looks like Xavier will get an Ivy grad transfer after all.

A week after former Dartmouth standout Evan Boudreaux committed to Purdue following a decommitment from Xavier, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported Sunday that Columbia guard Kyle Castlin is headed for Xavier.

Castlin will play for new Xavier coach Travis Steele, who was hired Mar. 29 following the departure of Chris Mack, who left for Louisville (thereby prompting Boudreaux to reopen his recruitment).

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NYC Buckets list

Now that the dust has settled on the 2017-18 season and the curtain has closed on NYC Buckets, I thought now would be as good a time as ever to look back and honor a site that covered Ivy League basketball (among other conferences) so well for seven years.

NYC Buckets, formerly Big Apple Buckets, has been done since UMBC bowed to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament several weeks ago. But several schools covered by NYC Buckets have been in the news lately (Siena for men’s coach Jimmy Patsos denying allegations of abusing a team manager and Marist hiring John Dunne away from St. Peter’s after firing Mike Maker), driving home the reality that the mid-major programs that NYC Buckets dutifully covered will move on while the website won’t.

Site founder John Templon and Ivy beat writer Kevin Whitaker both graciously guested on our On the Vine podcast several times. Even though it’s sunken in these past few weeks, NYC Buckets shuttering is still a tremendous loss for Ivy League basketball.

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Ivy League announces long-term media rights deal with ESPN

Goodbye Ivy League Network, hello ESPN.

The Ivy League on Wednesday announced a 10-year media rights agreement with ESPN to show Ivy athletic events on a variety of ESPN platforms, including all Ivy League-controlled men’s and women’s basketball games.

The men’s basketball conference tournament semifinals and championship game will continue to air on an ESPN linear (non-streaming) network each year. The women’s basketball conference tournament championship game will still air on an ESPN linear network each year as well.

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Ivy League announces all men’s and women’s basketball conference games to be held at Palestra in 2019

The Ivy League announced Monday that all regular season men’s and women’s conference games will be played at the Palestra in 2019, in addition to the Ivy League Tournament in March.

“The Palestra is the league’s most storied venue, and we want the kind of electric atmosphere all season long that Ivy tournament games with Penn playing in them has given us,” an Ivy League official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Ivy League hasn’t yet finalized details of a forthcoming press conference about the move at the Palestra likely to be conducted by Penn Athletic Director Grace Calhoun.

“This is a great win for the Ivy League,” Calhoun said. “It’s a real game-changer. Almost like when the Missouri Valley Conference got Loyola-Chicago, you might say.”

“All conference tournaments are gimmicks when you think about it,” the Ivy League official said. “Why not extend the gimmick the whole season long? We want an amped-up atmosphere at all games, not just a couple hundred people in Hanover wearing flannel or fans having to sit through technical difficulties up in Ithaca.”

The Ivy League and its athletic directors are looking forward to season-long continuity throughout its women’s and men’s basketball schedules and reclaiming the league’s reputation for doing things differently from the other Division I conferences, one cultivated by years of being the only league without a conference tournament, per league sources.

The league initially wanted a neutral site for all conference games and the league tournament, but shied away after a league analysis found that the equidistant point among all eight Ivy schools is a broom closet on the campus of Western Connecticut State University.

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Princeton discovers that its 2018 Ivy League slate was doomed by tiki curse

Princeton men’s basketball coaches and players think they’ve discovered what caused a previously inexplicable seven-game losing streak in Ivy play this past season.

Coach Mitch Henderson discovered that one of his players had unearthed a small tiki idol during the team’s stay in Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic in December and took the idol back to Princeton as a good luck charm.

It wasn’t a good luck charm.

Instead, it turned out to be the same tiki idol worn by Greg Brady in an episode of the fourth season of The Brady Bunch.

“And it turned the rest of our season into Cousin Oliver,” Henderson lamented.

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Rick Pitino getting “whanau” tattoo as New Zealand job offer awaits

Rick Pitino is seeking a cover-up that won’t get him into trouble.

Pitino is set to get a tattoo to replace one that he received five years ago on his upper back celebrating Louisville’s national championship, since Louisville was forced to vacate that championship in February following an NCAA appeals panel’s decision to uphold sanctions against the men’s basketball program in its sex scandal case. Pitino was fired in October amid a federal investigation resulting in corruption and bribery charges.

So Pitino is looking for a fresh start, and he’s got an opportunity with the New Zealand Breakers, who offered their vacant head coaching position to Pitino, per the New York Times.

Pitino hasn’t said whether he will take the New Zealand offer, but he made a telling move Monday by announcing that he plans to get a tattoo of the word “whanau,” a Maori word for extended family that is a part of New Zealand English.

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Yale to replace Rutgers in Big Ten Conference

It was announced yesterday by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany that the composition of the Big Ten Conference was going to change.

Rutgers, a member since 2014, has been asked to leave the conference effective Jan. 1, 2019 and Yale will be joining the conference on that same date.

Rutgers has finished near the bottom in football, men’s and even women’s basketball since joining the conference.

The New Jersey school has suffered some humiliating defeats in football, including but are not limited to a 58-0 loss to Ohio State, 58-0, a 78-0 loss to Michigan and a 49-0 loss to Michigan State, just in 2016 alone.

Yale, on the other hand, is coming off of highly successful seasons in all three sports, highlighted by the 2017 Ivy championship.

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Cornell to merge men’s and women’s basketball programs

In the winter of 2016, Cornell University took the controversial step of merging its School of Hotel Administration, Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management, and the Johnson Graduate School of Management into a new College of Business.  

This past week, the University’s Committee on Organizational Structures in the Social Sciences announced another contentious recommendation to merge the College of Human Ecology, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences’ Communication and Developmental Sociology departments.  

Buried deep within the report was another idea that received no attention from the campus or the Cornell Daily Sun: the combination of the Big Red men’s and women’s basketball programs.

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Yale senior guard Tamara Simpson steals Handsome Dan

Yale announced Monday that women’s basketball senior Tamara Simpson has stolen the school’s beloved mascot, Handsome Dan.

Simpson stole Handsome Dan XVIII from caretaker Kevin Discepolo over the weekend, in a move that her coach Allison Guth said was an attempt to train the dog, given Simpson’s interest in personal training.

“She just wanted to make sure Handsome Dan didn’t have cardiovascular issues like some of his predecessors did,” Guth said. “While I don’t condone it, it was a commendable motivation.”

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Former Dartmouth standout Evan Boudreaux to transfer to Purdue instead of Xavier

Former Dartmouth forward Evan Boudreaux announced in December that he would attend Xavier next year.

Now he’s set to become a Boilermaker instead.

Boudreaux announced Thursday on Twitter that he would attend Purdue next season, having reopened his recruitment after Xavier coach Chris Mack left for Louisville:

 

Boudreaux ranked second in the Ivy League in scoring, first in rebounding and second in minutes played as a sophomore in 2016-17. The 6-foot-8 Lake Forest, Ill. native has two years of eligibility remaining.

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