This game contains the weekend's biggest title implications. Of course, a loss would be less dire for undefeated Penn, as the Quakers would still technically control their own destiny with a loss, but I think even the most optimistic of Penn fans are seeing a Harvard season sweep as a significant long shot.
Given the heightened significance of this game, this one should be really fun to watch. Yale’s guard play this last weekend was highly inconsistent, and the turnover bug bit the Bulldogs about as badly as I’ve ever seen (ignoring Jake Delhomme’s 6 turnover playoff performance 4 years ago) in both games, resulting in 41 giveaways on the weekend. The Bulldogs have to feel fortunate to have come away with even the one win. I’m really interested to see if the Yale backcourt can rise to the occasion, particularly given the fatigue factor of the dozens of suicides they were likely required to run in practice this week.
Meanwhile, Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernardini have been on fire for Penn, with Rosen stepping up big in last week's win over rival Princeton with 28 points on over 50% shooting from the field. It’s been that type of year for Rosen, who has been making this Penn offense a force to be reckoned with. Rosen is averaging nearly 20 points per game and has been a real problem for opposing defenses throughout the year. He'll have the chance for another big performance tonight as Yale's defense has had the most trouble stopping opposing guards (for the Elis, every Ivy opponent's leading scorer this year has been a guard).
On the flip side, Penn should struggle to handle Yale’s bigs. I’m not really sure how Penn will try to defend the Bulldogs- they don’t seem to have the manpower to match up with the Bulldog frontcourt. They may try, like many others, to double Mangano and force the Yale guards to knock down jump shots. After a tough last weekend, the Yale guards should be motivated to step up and play well this weekend, especially with the tall task of matching the league’s best player in Rosen.
This game could be reasonably high scoring, especially compared to some of the Ivy games this year in which both teams struggle to break 50. Eventually Penn is going to drop a game in the league. The Quaker backcourt is bound to have an off shooting night and they're bound to lose possessions to a bigger team on the glass. With this matchup though, the Penn guards should be able to exploit Yale's turnover problem and get those possessions back, despite losing the battle of the boards. Penn pulls this one out late as the Zack
Rosen Farewell Tour continues.
Penn 75, Yale 70.