With that being said, I do want to raise one quick issue about the Ivy League Tournament. I will still gripe that it should be just three teams, but if that had been the case going into tonight, we would have been robbed of a pretty fantastic moment.
No, my issue is with the tiebreaker. Obviously, it didn’t come into play with Columbia’s loss. But if Columbia had won, Penn would have gotten the Ivy tournament bid not because they had a better record, or had won the head-to-head, or even because they had more wins against the top teams. Instead, it would be Cornell’s win over Brown in a meaningless game Saturday night that would have been the difference.
And that just doesn’t make sense. The Ivy League’s tiebreakers make some sense overall. Head-to-head should, of course, be the first tiebreaker and, sure, having the next tiebreaker decided by wins over the top seeds in the conference is pretty sensible. Got to beat the best to be the best, right? But having that second tiebreaker carry throughout the standings to even the teams hovering above last? That’s a huge mistake. A game that was essentially for a share of sixth place has no business deciding important who’s in/who’s out issues.
I’d propose cutting that tiebreak at the teams slated to take part in the Ivy tournament and then let any subsequent knot be brought to the third tiebreaker. I personally enjoy the idea that the Ivy League could have its seeds chosen by a combination of metrics, pretty fitting for a league that prides itself on GPA.
I understand that the aforementioned metrics factor in out-of-conference play, and that isn’t ideal. But I think a tie shouldn’t be broken by choosing between whether a team split with Cornell and swept Brown or vice versa.
And if you don’t like the third tiebreak, the fourth tiebreak is the perfect one: a coin flip. What is better than a coin flip? Tails never fails would be put to the ultimate test in a due-or-die 50-50 chance. No, that wouldn’t be exactly fair, but when you’re deciding between decidedly even teams, you’re not going to get true fairness. The only true fair thing would be to have a one-game playoff (I would highly advocate for this on the Monday or Tuesday before the tournament). In the end, I am team entropy and would also enjoy a coin flip.