Yale at Princeton: A monumental matchup

Yes, it should go a long way, perhaps all the way to determining the Ivy champion. If Yale beats Princeton at Jadwin Gym Friday, game over.

If Princeton wins, the Tigers are slightly in the driver’s seat, because Yale still has to play at Columbia after a tough trip back from Cornell, while Princeton gets Columbia at home for their second meeting.

Yale beat Princeton narrowly in January, 79-75, and it took 61 percent shooting from three and a very hot Makai Mason to accomplish that feat.  It also took yet another dominant performance by Justin Sears against the Tigers, to the tune of 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and three steals. Princeton is a better team today than it was on that cold night in New Haven. Frosh Devin Cannady has emerged as a legit scoring option, leading the conference in offensive rating among players using at least 20 percent of team possessions. Henry Caruso is still the most productive player on the team, but he was shut down against Columbia and the Tigers still won. Amir Bell is regaining the touch which torched Penn early and often. In the previous matchup in this series, the Tigers neutralized Yale on the offensive boards and outscored the Elis 24-3 off the bench.

Is there a key player? Yes, especially with sharpshooter Jack Montague taking leave due to “personal issues,” according to the Yale Daily News. As usual, it is Yale senior guard Nick Victor. Victor needs to stay out of foul trouble and rebound with the same tenacity which he did at Harvard last week, when he snared 12 boards in 34 minutes and added six assists. Victor is the unsung glue of this team, just as Isaac Cohen is for Columbia. After Cohen fouled out against the Tigers last Saturday, the Lions never recovered. The foul issue holds true for both Mason and Sears as well, especially since Princeton is averaging 17.5 free throw attempts on the season, if Yale (which has a 36 percent chance of beating Princeton according to KenPom) is to win at Jadwin. KenPom also has Princeton winning out the rest of the way, so the pressure is on Yale to nick the Tigers again.

6 thoughts on “Yale at Princeton: A monumental matchup

  1. If the Bulldogs shoot 60% from anywhere, let alone from beyond the arc, all we can do is say “Good luck in the NCAA tournament” and hope we don’t get lost in the NIT shuffle the way Yale did last season. John Templon selects the Tigers as a #2 seed in one of his four eight team NIT brackets. A long way to the Garden but what a thrill that would be!

  2. Hopefully, Montague’s personal issues are not serious and he can get them resolved as quickly as possible.

    With his absence, Yale loses one of its two main three-point shooters. While Yale, unlike Princeton and Columbia, are not as focused on the three, it is still a huge blow to its offense. More importantly, this will shorten the bench of an already thin team.

    Looks like it will be hard for Yale to come away with a road win against a Tiger team that is playing its best ball of the season.

  3. In the 2011 WNIT(womens NIT), the Toledo Rockets led by guard Naama Shafir won the tournament,, along the way beating Syracuse in the round of 8 in overtime. In that game, Syracuse’s Rachel Coffey, in overtime shot a 3 to tie at the buzzer and missed! .In the next years, WNIT, the exact same contest happened in the round of 8 and Toledo up by 3 elected not to foul Coffey at the end of regulation and Coffey hit a distant 3 to put the game into overtime and Syracuse won it in overtime.This lengthy introduction, serves to lead into the prediction that when Columbia plays Princeton at Princeton, Columbia will be up by 3 close to the end of regulation and will choose to foul Kevin Canaday and win the game by 1 or 2. The Lions have already switched outcomes with a game ending shot by Alex Rosenberg, at Harvard why not again?

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