A take on the top 10 teams in Ivy men’s hoops history

Editor’s note: Ivy Hoops Online writer Richard Kent has followed Ancient Eight men’s basketball for decades and after consultation with players, coaches and fans has compiled his personal list of the top 10 men’s hoops teams since the formation of the Ivy League as we know it in 1955. No top 10 list in this category is going to look the same, so if you have a top 10 of your own that you’d like to share, please share it in a comment below. 

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Yale men continue success against Princeton, remain atop Ivy standings

NEW HAVEN – The hegemony over Princeton continues for Yale at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The Elis defeated the Tigers, 66-63, Yale’s sixth straight win in the series. The win also marks the ninth home weekend sweep of Princeton and Penn. To put this into historical context, Penn leads the overall series by 151-82 and Princeton leads it now 150-84.

Read moreYale men continue success against Princeton, remain atop Ivy standings

How the Yale men pulled off an improbable comeback to upend Penn

In a game strewn with improbabilities, the most improbable stat was Yale rallying from down 10 with 1:38 remaining to upend Penn, 76-73, before 2,106 screaming fans at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Sure, AJ Brodeur had 25 points and Devon Goodman 23 for Penn in a losing effort, but the number which jumps off the page from the stat sheet is five.
That’s how many steals Yale defensive specialist Jalen Gabbidon pocketed, three of which came during the final 98 seconds.

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Yale avoids letdown at Columbia in 83-65 win

 It had all the makings of a perfect storm.
The almost five-hour drive from Cornell to Columbia at 10 p.m. The double overtime expenditure of energy in Newman Arena that preceded it. Yale was ripe for the taking.
Until it wasn’t.

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Yale completes season sweep of Cornell, takes sole possession of third place

If revenge was the motive, then call it mission accomplished for Yale.
Cornell swept Yale last season to knock the Bulldogs out of Ivy League Tournament contention. Yale completed this season’s sweep of the Big Red last night at John J. Lee Amphitheater, 65-51.
The game was nip and tuck early on, but Yale (16-6, 6-3 Ivy) ended the half with a 32-27 lead behind the clutch shooting of Ellen Margaret Andrews. The Bulldogs were 4-for-6 from 3 in the first half. Andrews posted 18 points for the game to lead her squad.

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Penn bests Yale at the Palestra

No one has ever pretended that the Princeton-Penn road trip is an easy one. Not even for the Ivy League leader.
Yale fell victim to a noisy and boisterous Palestra and too much AJ Brodeur and Eddie Scott, as the Quakers upset the Elis, 69-61, Saturday night.

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No. 25 Princeton stymies Yale, 55-39

There are 13 people on a basketball court at any one time. One never should focus on three of them.
Unfortunately, the focus was on them in the first half of the Princeton-Yale battle at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
And they were equal-opportunity malfeasants. You won’t hear that from Princeton coach Carla Berube or Yale coach Allison Guth. They are too classy.
But the officials made some mind-jarring calls which led to both Yale standout Roxy Barahman and Princeton star Bella Alarie ending up on the bench early.
Princeton, ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll, beat Yale, 55-39, before a sparse crowd of 551 at JLA. Princeton (18-1, 6-0 Ivy) had a large and vocal following behind its bench. Former UConn great and National Player of the Year Kara Wolters was present to support her former college teammate Berube.

Read moreNo. 25 Princeton stymies Yale, 55-39

Yale rebounds against Dartmouth, 75-57

It would have made sense if Yale had come out with a hangover Saturday night against Dartmouth at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
It would have made even more sense if Azar Swain missed his first few shots after missing a would-be game-tying free throw against Harvard and having 24 hours to think about it.
Neither happened as Yale raced out to a 23-9 lead. James Jones is strong-willed, and Swain also shares this attribute. Swain came out hot and Yale beat the Big Green, 75-57.

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Yale comeback falls just short versus Harvard

It was an ending that even the great Steven Spielberg could not have scripted.

Harvard traveled to John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday night in desperate need of a win after losing to Penn and Princeton on the road last weekend. The Ivy schedule makers dealt the Crimson a very tough early-season hand.

Harvard eked out a dramatic 78-77 win after Azar Swain hit a clutch three with one second left, was fouled by Rio Haskett and after a seemingly endless wait on the free throw line due to an official review of the time remaining, missed the free throw.

Harvard’s Rio Haskett after being called for what could have been a game-changing foul on Azar Swain as Swain hit a three with Yale trailing 78-74 with 0.9 seconds left at Yale Friday. But Azar Swain couldn’t complete the four-point play after a four-minute-long official review resulted in the addition of 2.1 seconds to the game clock, and the Crimson left New Haven with a victory by the slimmest of margins. | Photo by Erica Denhoff
Swain was brilliant in the second half ,scoring 27 of his game-high 33 points in that stanza. He almost single-handedly brought Yale back from a 13-point deficit in the last five minutes of the game resulting from a 9-0 run in a game played before a boisterous and student-laden sellout crowd of 2,706.
Harvard led 45-32 at the half, fueled by 19-for-33 (57.6%) shooting from the field, including 6-for-11 (54.5%) from three en route to an 8-for-19 (42.1%) showing from long range on the night. Yale finished the game just 7-for-22 (31.8%) from deep.
Harvard standout big man Chris Lewis (0) s scored just four points Friday at Yale, but Robert Baker scored 10 points and was one of five different Crimson players to hit at least one three-pointer in Harvard’s 78-77 win. Harvard shot 42.1% from outside, besting Yale’s clip of 31.8%. | Photo by Erica Denhoff
Noah Kirkwood had 18 points and Danilo Djuricic posted a pivotal 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
Paul Atkinson had a career-high 28 points on an efficient 11-for-16 from the field predicated upon fleet footwork which consistently befuddled numerous Harvard defenders.
Jordan Bruner was held to three points.
Harvard outrebounded Yale, 35-30, a feat almost never accomplished at JLA. The Elis trailed 71-59 with 5:42 to play but clawed back with 11 points from Swain the rest of the way, including three triples in the final 2:25. Yale had just dug too deep a hole.
“We need to get contributions from everyone,” Yale coach James Jones said.
 “It was hard-fought,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “We were fortunate to win.”
Yale now sits at 16-5 and 4-1 in the Ivy and Harvard at 14-6 and 3-2.
Noah Kirkwood celebrates after Harvard completed a 78-77 victory at Yale Friday. Kirkwood notched a team-high 18 points for the Crimson. | Photo by Erica Denhoff