The five biggest Ivy upsets of the season

Does what it says in the headline…
1.Yale 45, UConn 44- Yale was up most of the game at Gampel and it took a three from the corner by Jack Montague with 1.7 seconds remaining to seal the victory over the defending national champions.
2.Brown 77, Providence 67- This was a beatdown against a very good Providence team who could see the postseason. Brown was 12-for-13 from the free throw line to close out the game.
3.Penn 56, St. Joe’s 52-This is a bad Penn team, no doubt about that. But when Tony Hicks is playing well, the Quakers can compete with decent teams. Hicks notched 13 of his 15 points in the second half of a game in which Penn led for 29 minutes.
4.Brown 70, Saint Peter’s 58- This was a Saint Peter’s team which beat Rutgers, and Brown thoroughly outplayed them. Now former Bear Leland King had 16 points.
5.Cornell 68, George Mason 60- Sure, George Mason is no power, but this game was played on the road in November and few knew if Cornell was going to duplicate its inept effort of last season. Shonn Miller and Robert Hatter both posted 21 points.

Things we learned about the Ivy League in a crazy day

Justin Sears notched 27 points and nine rebounds in Yale
Justin Sears notched 27 points and nine rebounds in Yale”s 69-65 win over Brown. (ivyleaguesports.com)

Since I practice law by day, let”s enter into a few stipulations:

1. Yale is what we expected Yale to be. The UConn win was no fluke.
2. Harvard is not that good. Losing to Holy Cross, BC and Dartmouth at home just doesn”t work.
3. No team is going undefeated in the Ivies.
4. A three-loss team may casino win the Ivies.
5. Princeton and Columbia will each beat either Yale or Harvard at least once.
6. The home team always has trouble in the Yale-Brown games.

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Surprise Ivy team of 2014 – Cornell

(collegebasketball.ap.org)
(collegebasketball.ap.org)

Sure it was close. Dartmouth own the better record at 6-6, but Cornell sits at 6-7, after going 2-26 last year.

Who expected wins over George Mason, Canisius and Siena, a close call with Penn State and a semi-competitive battle with national power Syracuse?
Many considered that last season would be the last for coach Bill Courtney, but the athletic director saw some fire in the fifth-year head coach, recognized that Cornell had some key injuries last season and gave him another season to right the ship. And right it he has.

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Q&A with Princeton women’s hoops coach Courtney Banghart

(goprincetontigers.com)
(goprincetontigers.com)

Our Richard Kent caught up with Princeton women’s basketball coach Courtney Banghart, who has led the Tigers to the NCAA tournament in four of the last five years, making Princeton the gold standard of women’s hoops in the Ancient Eight during that stretch. While Princeton relinquished the Ivy crown to Penn last year, the Tigers are back with a vengeance so far in 2014-15, currently boasting a 15-0 record with an average margin of 25.5 points per victory. After the jump, check out what Banghart had to say about the prospect of starting up new in-state rivalries with Rutgers and Seton Hall, her team’s recent visit to the White House and much more.

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“A signature win” for Yale basketball

Yale's victory over UConn marks a signature win on the Elis' resume. (yalebulldogs.com)
Yale’s victory over UConn marks a signature win on the Elis’ resume. (yalebulldogs.com)

Yale had a Montague, but UConn had no Capulet to defend. And as such, Yale defeated UConn, 45-44, at Gampel Pavilion, in a stunner to most of the 9,538 in attendance.

Jack Montague hit a three-pointer from the left corner with 1.7 remaining on the clock to give Yale the win. Montague was 50-95 in threes entering the game but had not made one against the Huskies. The Elis were only 3-for-21 from three for the game.

If there was any doubt about how good, tough and athletic Yale is, it was answered by the middle of the first half, when the Elis held a 22-9 lead over the defending national champions.

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Q&A with former Princeton athletic director Gary Walters

Gary Walters and his classmates celebrate Princeton's Final Four bid in 1965.(paw.princeton.edu)
Gary Walters and his classmates celebrate Princeton’s Final Four bid in 1965.(paw.princeton.edu)

Very few people have had a stronger impact on Princeton basketball than Gary Walters, who served as his alma mater’s athletic director for 20 years before retiring earlier this year and was a point guard for the Tigers from 1964-67. He was starting point guard on Princeton’s 1964-65 Final Four Team, and we caught up with the Ford Family Athletic Director Emeritus to ask him about his memories of that legendary squad for its 50th anniversary.

Q: What were your expectations going into the 1964-65 season?
A: Very high based on any number of factors, including having the national player of the year and Olympic captain in Bill Bradley and a strong sophomore class, all recruited by coach Butch van Breda Kolff.

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50th anniversary of 1965 Princeton Tigers’ Final Four berth

Bill Bradley still owns the top 11 scoring games in Princeton history 49 years after graduating.
Bill Bradley still owns the top 11 scoring games in Princeton history 49 years after graduating.

This is the 50th anniversary of arguably the greatest Ivy League basketball team of all time, the 1964-65 Princeton Tigers.

Princeton was coached by the legendary Butch van Breda Kolff and was led by one of the five greatest players in college basketball history, Bill Bradley, as well as a host of other complementary players.

The Tigers finished the season at 23-6 and 13-1 in the Ivies, suffering only an upset loss on the road to a strong Cornell team. They had a stirring 109-69 NCAA win over No. 4 Providence on the road and finished third in the country with a 118-82 win over Wichita State and future New York Knick Dave Stallworth in a game in which Bradley scored 58 points to set an NCAA tournament record. We will be providing our readers with weekly capsules of significant games in conjunction with interviews with key players on that team.

Stay tuned.

Yale wins Men Against Breast Cancer Classic

Yale did something this weekend it hasn’t done in years. It won a basketball tournament. The Bulldogs, playing as well as any Ivy team right now, handed the home team, Kent State, its first loss to win the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic.

Yale had defeated Illinois-Chicago, 70-58, and Illinois State, 53-46, to reach the final. It took an heroic performance from senior Matt Townsend, who flew in from New York after being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, to seal the victory. Townsend had 12 points, including the go-ahead basket.

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Too early for Ivy rankings?

  1. Harvard – Despite the narrow loss to Holy Cross, they are still the cream of the crop and merit the number one spot.
  2. Yale – The Bulldogs lost to Quinnipiac without Nick Victor and with him, probably would have beaten the Bobcats on the road.
  1. Princeton – The Tigers had a nice win over Rider led by Spencer Weisz, with 18 points.
  1. Brown – The Bears stand at 1-1 and despite a blow-out loss to Northwestern, they are a talented team with Cedric Kuakumensah at the forward spot.
  1. Columbia – Obviously the early season injury to star Alex Rosenberg did not help and the Lions fell to not that strong Stony Brook by one point on the road.
  1. Penn – Tony Hicks lit it up for 31 points in a narrow loss to Delaware State. Rider handled the Quakers easily last night.
  1. Cornell – The Big Red had a strong win on the road against George Mason in what can definitely be considered an upset, not to mention their comeback win over Colgate.
  1. Dartmouth – The Big Green were blown out by St. Bonaventure but showed some life on the boards, outrebounding their foes, 41-39.Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter (@IvyHoopsOnline).

Yale vs. Quinnipiac: Previewing the Grudge Match

Author Richard Kent, whose basketball work includes Big East Confidential and Lady Vols and UConn: The Greatest Rivalry, previews Yale’s season-opening Connecticut 6 Classic matchup with Quinnipiac, who the Bulldogs eliminated in last year’s CIT. 

There is a changing of the guard in the Ivies and nowhere is that more obvious than in New Haven. Yale has been picked by many to finish second only to Harvard by many preseason magazines. Over Princeton and Penn no less.

 James Jones, the dean of the Ivy coaches, is not surprised. He is a confident guy to begin with, also noting that “top to bottom [this is] the best the league has been in my tenure.” That says a lot, considering Jones has helmed the Bulldogs since 1999.
Yale is coming off a loss in the finals of the CIT at Murray State. The Elis won 19 games in 2013-14 and if they take a page from Mercer, the CIT winner the year before, Yale could see NCAA action in March.

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