What happened last year: A season after Harvard was a hard-fought one and done in the NCAA Tournament and Yale was snubbed by the NIT, the Ivies had a much better go of the postseason in 2016. Yale earned a No. 12 seed in the Big Dance and upset No. 5 Baylor before nearly sustaining an incredible comeback against No. 4 Duke in round two. It made for a memorable narrative – the Elis, absent from the NCAA Tournament, beat the Bears at their own rebounding game, with a meme-friendly moment after the game.
Yale’s win marked the fifth NCAA Tournament win for the Ivy League since 2010, bringing the league to an impressive 5-7 mark (.417) against substantially higher-seeded competition. The Ivy has proven it can hang with high-majors time and time again, and analytic databases such as KenPom have shown that the league should be nabbing higher seeds in the tourney than it has been this decade.