No. 6 Princeton to play at No. 3 Virginia Tech in NIT first round

Princeton (22-6, 12-2 Ivy) was projected by Big Apple Buckets analyst John Templon to get a No. 4 seed in the National Invitational Tournament, but the Tigers got a No. 6 seed instead, setting them up to travel to No. 3 Virginia Tech (19-14, 10-8 ACC) for a matchup with the Hokies Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

Princeton enters as the road team despite having a RPI of 39 and Virginia Tech having a RPI of 90, and both teams having virtually identical KenPom rankings (66 for Princeton, 63 for Virginia Tech).

The Tigers turned down a CBI bid after finishing 16-14 last season, and the women Tigers got a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament after going undefeated in the regular season a year ago.

 

The monkey on Mitch Henderson’s back

With its season-ending defeat of the Penn Quakers last night, the Tigers ran their record to a gaudy 22-6 (12-2 Ivy), their best 28-game record in this century (when you are as old as Toothless you think of these things in terms of centuries). On only two occasions, 2004 (13-1) and 2011 (12-2) did a Tiger team win at least 12 Ivy League games, and both of those squads won Ivy titles.

It took Yale’s historic run, in which the Bulldogs suffered but one loss, to deny the Tigers another Ivy crown. (That one defeat came at the hands of Princeton.)

Read moreThe monkey on Mitch Henderson’s back

Penn-Princeton Tuesday roundup

Penn 62, Princeton 60 (Women)

Where to begin? With another storybook ending for the Quakers on Princeton’s home floor, and some delightful deja vu for coach Mike McLaughlin’s Red and Blue.

Two years after upsetting Princeton in stunning fashion with an outright Ivy League championship on the line at Jadwin Gym, 80-64, the Quakers toppled the Tigers again in the same scenario, clinching their second Ivy title in three seasons as Jadwin guests. Penn’s win followed another two-point victory over Princeton this season, a 50-48 overtime triumph at the Palestra.

Read morePenn-Princeton Tuesday roundup

Ivy 60 for 60: Frank Sowinski

Frank Sowinski Princeton Varsity Club
Frank Sowinski helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back Ivy League championships in 1975-76 and 1976-77. The “Polish Rifle” was the 1976-77 Ivy Player of the Year. (Princeton Varsity Club)

Frank Sowinski was one of the more productive Tigers over his stellar three-year career in the orange and black.

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A substantial sweep for Princeton

The Tigers’ weekend sweep of Yale and Brown at Jadwin gave them control of their destiny in the hectic Ivy race and tied them with the Bulldogs in the all-important loss column.

The largest Jadwin crowd in the Mitch Henderson era, bolstered by a beer-soaked cadre of undergraduates and Garden State chief executive Chris Christie, Delaware ’84, was on hand for Friday’s matchup with Justin Sears and company. Yale controlled the backboards and the game in the early going, taking an 11-6 lead after six minutes. Two Sam Downey free throws gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game, 19-13, with nine minutes to go in the first period. The key statistic was Yale’s six offensive rebounds while shutting the Tigers out in that category. At the five-minute mark the margin remained six, 27-21.

Read moreA substantial sweep for Princeton

Princeton’s midseason report card

Saturday’s heart-stopping overtime victory at Columbia gave the Tigers at least temporary control of their destiny for the balance of the Ivy League campaign. Princeton’s 6-1 first half record puts the denizens of Old Nassau firmly in second place, trailing only the unbeaten Yale Bulldogs. This week’s Game Of The Year is set for Friday night when the Tigers seek to avenge their only loss, a four-point nailbiter at Yale three weeks ago. IHO presents a midseason report card on the Tigers, a fascinating story of a team very deliberately assembled by Mitch Henderson to withstand and even flourish in the nightmare of Ivy League back-to-backs.

Read morePrinceton’s midseason report card

Ivy 60 for 60: Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson was the first two-time recipient of the Ivy Player of the Year award. (Princeton Athletics)
Craig Robinson was the first two-time recipient of the Ivy Player of the Year award. (Princeton Athletics)

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, three IHO writers give their individual perspectives of Craig Robinson, one of the greatest players in Princeton basketball history… 

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Q&A with Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff

Now that's a clever book title.
Now that’s a clever book title.

Alexander Wolff, Princeton ’79, has a new book out that studies Barack Obama through his love of basketball, and that’s good news for anyone who likes sharp biographical and political writing. Wolff, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated who has been on the publication’s staff longer than anyone else (since 1980), was kind enough to answer a few questions from IHO about that book, The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama.

Ivy Hoops Online: What was your first exposure to Ivy basketball?

Alexander Wolff: I grew up in Princeton until age 12. I remember as a six-year-old being sent to bed by my parents on a December night in 1964 and understanding that they, and not I, would be watching Princeton and Bill Bradley play Michigan and Cazzie Russell in the Holiday Festival later that night. It made a huge impression on me because, even then, I knew my parents didn’t care at all about sports, yet Bradley and the Tigers had so captured the community that even they had gotten hooked. A few years later I sat right behind the bench at a Princeton freshman game in Dillon Gym and watched Geoff Petrie and John Hummer play. I also caught the occasional Les Keiter telecast on Channel 17 from the Palestra . . .

Read moreQ&A with Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff

Princeton vs. Yale: A crucial showdown in New Haven

January 30 is a bit early for one of the three top most significant Ivy games of the year. But here it is. Princeton at Yale.

Last year, Yale beat Princeton on the road, 81-73, and smothered the Tigers at home in February, 81-60. Justin Sears had a total of 53 points on 19-for-26 shooting. Princeton simply had no one to contain him.

Read morePrinceton vs. Yale: A crucial showdown in New Haven