No. 12 Yale defeats No. 5 Baylor, 79-75, notches first NCAA Tournament win ever

Sophomore guard Makai Mason posted 31 points, six rebounds, four assists and just two turnovers in 39 minutes. (Fansided)
Sophomore guard Makai Mason posted 31 points, six rebounds, four assists and just two turnovers in 39 minutes. (Fansided)

Yale made history just by showing up. Then the Bulldogs made a whole lot more.

In Yale’s first NCAA Tournament game since 1962, the Bulldogs won their first contest in the tourney ever, besting the Bears, 79-75, after leading most of the way in front of a Yale partisan crowd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.

Read moreNo. 12 Yale defeats No. 5 Baylor, 79-75, notches first NCAA Tournament win ever

No. 12 Yale vs. No. 5 Baylor: What to watch for

Here we are.

Yale makes its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1962 Thursday at 2:45 p.m., a virtual home game for the No. 12 Bulldogs against the No. 5 Baylor Bears. The Bears will be attempting to gain revenge from a first-round upset at the hands of upstart Georgia Southern last year. The Bears have enjoyed success in the Big Dance under 13-year coach Scott Drew, going to the Elite Eight in 2010 and 2012. But then-No. 3 Baylor got upset by No. 14 Georgia State in Athens, Ga. in the Bears’ first NCAA contest last season, an eerily similar virtual road matchup with an underdog foe to the threat posed by Yale in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center this season.

The game should be low-scoring, which will favor the Elis. Both teams turn the ball over too much (Yale ranks 296th in the country in turnover percentage, Baylor ranks 228th), but Yale has shot the ball better, especially from two-point range against high-major competition.

Read moreNo. 12 Yale vs. No. 5 Baylor: What to watch for

No. 12 Yale to play No. 5 Baylor in NCAA first round

No. 12 Yale (22-6, 13-1 Ivy) will play No. 5 Baylor (22-11, 10-8 Big 12) Thursday at 2:45 p.m. in the West Region in Providence in the Bulldogs’ first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962. The game will be televised on CBS.

The site of the game is most favorable to Yale, which has only a 100-mile distance to Providence, where the Elis trounced Brown in January, 90-66.

If Yale were to upset Baylor, it would likely face No. 4 Duke in the second round four months after the Blue Devils defeated Yale at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 80-61, even after the Bulldogs grabbed an early 9-0 lead and impressed Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski enough for him to say that Justin Sears would start for his team.

Read moreNo. 12 Yale to play No. 5 Baylor in NCAA first round

Former Yale captain Jack Montague reportedly expelled for sexual misconduct

The Yale Daily News confirmed Wednesday what many already suspected: Jack Montague, former captain of the Yale men’s basketball team, was expelled from the university for sexual misconduct on Feb. 10.

The student who filed the November complaint declined to comment to the News for its story, as did Montague, the publication said.

Read moreFormer Yale captain Jack Montague reportedly expelled for sexual misconduct

Yale basketball apologizes “for the hurt we have caused” in show of support

In a statement released by Yale Assistant Director for Sports Publicity Tim Bennett Wednesday, the Yale men’s basketball team apologized “for the hurt we have caused” in its show of support for Jack Montague, who was supposedly expelled from the university last month:

Yale Men’s Basketball fully supports a healthy, safe and respectful campus climate where all students can flourish,” the statement said. “Our recent actions to show our support for one of our former teammates were not intended to suggest otherwise, but we understand that to many students they did. We apologize for the hurt we have caused, and we look forward to learning and growing from these recent incidents. As student representatives of Yale we hope to use our positions on and off the court in a way that can make everyone proud.

Read moreYale basketball apologizes “for the hurt we have caused” in show of support

Public criticism of Yale basketball team continues on campus

The Yale Daily News is reporting another round of posters showing up on campus criticizing the team’s reaction to Jack Montague’s departure from campus last month.

Before their game against Harvard at Payne Whitney Gym on Senior Night Feb. 26, members of the team took the court wearing shirts with Montague’s jersey number and nickname, “Gucci,” on the back and “Yale” spelled backwards on the front, which Justin Sears characterized as a show of support for Montague after the game. The YDN reported posters featuring a picture of the team dressed in the shirts and asking Yale men’s basketball to “stop supporting a rapist” appeared all over campus, including at the entrance of Payne Whitney Gym.

Read morePublic criticism of Yale basketball team continues on campus

Yale clinches first NCAA Tournament berth since 1962

The wait is over for Yale. After 54 long years without a NCAA Tournament appearance, including last year’s heartbreaking finish, the Yale Bulldogs put on their blinders, ignored the off-court events of this tumultuous week and buried the Columbia Lions with a focused 40-minute performance that left no doubt that they are finally the kings of the Ivy League.

Makai Mason started off hot with 13 first-half points, nailing his patented elbow jumper while Columbia looked for an answer. The Bulldogs threatened to run the Lions out of the building as Brandon Sherrod had his way on the glass inside, but Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg fought hard to keep the game tight going into the half at 41-27.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair as Columbia cut the lead to single digits and came within four at 49-45 before two huge corner threes from Mason and Khaliq Ghani (who had a huge weekend off the bench for the depth-depleted Bulldogs) stretched it back out to a 10-point margin.

It never got closer than eight points the rest of the way, as Yale, poised and determined to Dance for the first time in over a half century, closed out the Lions on the road.

Read moreYale clinches first NCAA Tournament berth since 1962

Yale can clinch first NCAA Tournament berth since 1962 at Columbia

Few Ivy writers and commentators doubted when the 2015-16 Ivy League schedule was released that March 5 would have significance to the Ivy race. Some felt that it would feature two teams tied at the top, Yale and Columbia.

It does have significance but Columbia was eliminated from Ivy contention by Yale’s win over Cornell Friday night. But the Elis now have to face a rugged Columbia team before a sold-out crowd at Levien Gym. The Elis won at Levien last season, 63-59, but there is a lot on the line this trip, which could give Yale its first outright Ivy championship since 1962 after a Princeton loss at Harvard Friday night that gave the Bulldogs their second consecutive share of a league title. A playoff at the Palestra on March 12 to determine if Yale or Princeton receive the automatic NCAA Tournament bid will take place only if the Bulldogs lose Saturday night and Princeton wins its final two contests, at Dartmouth and hosting Penn.

Read moreYale can clinch first NCAA Tournament berth since 1962 at Columbia

Controversy over Yale basketball team’s support of Jack Montague erupts on campus

On Tuesday, the Yale Daily News reported that the Yale basketball program is facing backlash on campus for its show of support for former team captain Jack Montague, who the News reported had withdrawn from the school on Feb. 10.  On Thursday, the Yale Daily News further reported that that backlash is escalating.

Before their game against Harvard at Payne Whitney Gym on Senior Night last Friday, members of the team took the court wearing shirts with Montague’s jersey number and nickname, “Gucci,” on the back and “Yale” spelled backwards on the front, which Justin Sears characterized as a show of support for Montague after the game.

“‘Yale’ spelled backwards wasn’t to make a statement. It’s just because Yale is a brand and there was a copyright,” Sears told the News postgame. “It was just convenient, at the last minute. Everyone on the team supported it and wanted to show our support for Jack.”

But Tuesday, the YDN reported posters featuring a picture of the team dressed in the shirts and asking Yale men’s basketball to “stop supporting a rapist” appeared all over campus, including at the entrance of Payne Whitney Gym. The majority of the posters had been taken down by 8 a.m. that same day, most by members of the team, according to the Yale Daily News. Sears said told the News Sunday that Yale athletic director Tom Beckett and coach James Jones did not have “any say” in the shirts, declining to say whether the staff knew about the shirts in advance.

Then Thursday, the YDN reported a second wave of posters appearing on campus:

Read moreControversy over Yale basketball team’s support of Jack Montague erupts on campus