With back-to-back wins over No. 17 Arizona State and the defending Ivy League champion Penn Quakers, the Princeton men’s basketball team has their fans wondering whether the Tigers can contend for a league title.
A few weeks ago, thoughts of an Ivy League championship seemed wholly unrealistic. After an exhibition win over Division III DeSales, the Tigers opened their Division I season inauspiciously with double-digit losses at Lehigh and at home against Farleigh Dickinson. Princeton’s prospects brightened after three straight wins over Monmouth, Maine and George Washington; however, both Monmouth and Maine were winless when Princeton played them, and George Washington was 1-6 when the Colonials invaded Jadwin Gym.
Another pair of double-digit losses to St. Joseph’s and St. John’s suggested that Princeton hadn’t cured its defensive woes of a season ago when the Tigers allowed nearly 72 points per game, worst in the Ivy League. Then the Tigers suffered their most lopsided loss in program history, when the Duke Blue Devils thrashed Princeton by an astonishing 51 points at Cameron Indoor Stadium in a nationally televised game.