Once again, we were lucky enough to hear from IHO commenting veteran, The Ancient Quaker. This time, the AQ closes the door on an exciting season of Penn basketball and evaluates the state of the program going forward. We hope you have a dictionary handy. The author of this piece is not affiliated with Ivy Hoops Online, but we always welcome and encourage commenters, outside contributors, and readers to share their opinions and thoughts.
By The Ancient Quaker
I am OK. Thank you for your concern. Aside from a badly lacerated tongue and a rather embarrassing public loss of sphincter tone (both #1 and #2), I have been given the necessary intravenous anti-convulsives and all grand mal seizure activity has mercifully ceased. It feels good to be no longer foaming at the mouth and flopping on the floor like freshly landed mackerel. Although I am technically still post-ictal, I thought it only fair that I relate my feelings regarding Penn’s losing the Ivy title.
The Bulldogs finished the Ivy League season in disappointing fashion, meekly dropping their final games against Princeton and then Penn. Fortunately for Yale fans, Yale’s body of work as a whole (19-9, 102 RPI) was good enough to allow them a shot at redemption. Having made it through a selection committee that for some reason included Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson, Yale will travel to Fairfield at 7 PM on Wednesday night to take on the Stags in the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Bulldogs will be just the second Ivy League team to compete in the tournament in its four-year history (the first to play in the new 32-team field, up from 24 in 2011 and 16 the two previous years) and
the first since Jeremy Lin’s Crimson went one-and-done in 2010.
Penn has accepted a bid to the College Basketball Invitational Tournament and will host the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the first round on Wednesday night
at 7:30PM. Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernardini will get a well-deserved chance to play once more in front of the hometown crowd at the Palestra, and the underclassmen will get some helpful tournament experience. Quinnipiac
will be a tough opponent for the Quakers, as the NEC”s fifth-placed team led the nation in offensive rebounding percentage. The Bobcats are relentless on the glass, averaging 43 rebounds per game while playing at an average tempo. For dk – Denne side giver dig Iphone lobbyen, hvor du har oversigten over de spil du kan spille fra din Iphone. an undersized squad like Penn, it”s going to be a true challenge to compete on the boards. Quinnipiac is led by senior guard James Johnson and sophomore forward Ike Azotam, who is averaging nearly a double-double with 15.9 ppg and 9.5 rpg.
At Harvard’s first Selection Sunday, the Crimson found out that it would be the No. 12 seed in the East region. Its ranking met the low end of most bracket projections, leading some observers to feel that Harvard was underseeded. Personally, twelve is just a number. Far more compelling than the Committee’s opinion of the Crimson’s bona fides is the road that they have laid out for the Cantabs.
When the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, the message board Sons of Sam Horn had a thread entitled “Win It For” on which thousands
of posters listed the people for whom they wanted Boston to break the Curse. Unfortunately, I’m not the person to enumerate all of the deserving Harvard faithful. I’m too young to reach back that far in history, and even if I could, I’d be confronted by the relative poverty of the Crimson’s basketball tradition.
Still, I know this team. And the deeply satisfying part of earning the Ivy’s NCAA bid is not earning a ticket to the
Dance for the first time since 1946; it”s this team making that bit of history.
Princeton came out firing and Penn”s cold first-half shooting was too much to recover from, even for Zack Rosen, as the Tigers held off the Quakers 62-52 in the season finale at Jadwin.
With Penn”s loss, Harvard claims the Ivy throne with a 12-2 record and will represent the league in the NCAA Tournament for
the first time in 66 years. Various bracketologists have predicted that the Crimson will be given a 9 or a 10 seed, though anything between an 8 and a 12 seems plausible. The Cantabs will gather together for the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Sunday evening to find out exactly where they”re going and who they”re playing.
Harvard players, who have midterms this week, took a break from their studying to tweet celebratory Big Dance-related comments, including Keith Wright, who tweeted Whitney Houston”s iconic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” music video and Brandyn Curry, who tweeted “LET ME GET MY DANCING SHOES ON”. Surely, the celebrations will continue deep into the night in Cambridge.
Head Coach Jesse Agel was fired on Monday after four years as the head coach of Brown. Agel”s Ivy record was 14-42 during his tenure, winning 3, 5,
4, and 2 league games respectively in the years since 2008-09. The Bears struggled in all four seasons, especially on the defensive end, as Brown ranked 7th or 8th in defensive efficiency every year. The most frustrating part for Brown fans was that Agel did manage to attract some solid talent to Providence; he was simply unable to put it all together. This final year was a disaster for reasons at least partially beyond Agel”s control as the entire starting five of the Bears” squad suffered injuries that kept them out of games at some point in the season, including two projected starters being out for the whole season in Tucker Halpern and Rafael Maia.
Best (Share of) Title Clincher: While Harvard rode its big men on the block to a close victory on Friday, it was the Crimson”s perimeter play that won the game on Saturday at Cornell. Harvard shot 12-26 from three, led by four second-half triples from Brandyn Curry. Up 12 with eight minutes to play, it looked like the Crimson would be able to coast to a share of the conference title, but Cornell made a late 16-6 run behind Chris Wroblewski that got the Red within two at 57-55. Wroblewski missed a tough layup with 3:20 left though, and Cornell only managed two stops the rest of the way as Harvard got nine straight points from Oliver McNally to finish off the game (including another impressive 4-4 performance at the line). McNally led the Crimson with 17 and Curry added 12. Kyle Casey pitched in with 11, while Keith Wright had 8 points and 11 rebounds. For Cornell, Wroblewski had a great night in his finale at Newman, finishing with 19 points and 7 assists in the upset bid. Galal Cancer looked under control and more mature in his final game as a freshman, notching 8 points, 3 assists, and just 2 turnovers in 26 minutes against the league”s best defense. With the close victory, Harvard earns at least a share of the Ivy title. Crimson eyes will be glued to ESPN3 on Tuesday night as a Penn loss to Princeton will hand the Cantabs their first NCAA bid in 66 years. A Penn victory will force a playoff (most likely next Saturday at Yale from what we hear)
for the second straight year. Would Harvard”s 26-5 at-large profile with five Top 100 wins be enough to garner an at-large bid if Penn wins the playoff? The Crimson would prefer not to find out.
A truly dramatic Friday night in the Ivy League ended with all the favorites pulling out victories.
Best Game: We were treated to a classic Ivy battle at Levien Gymnasium last night as Harvard prevailed 77-70 over Columbia in overtime. A packed gym that included Jeremy Lin and Spike Lee created a raucous atmosphere for a contest with massive title implications and the Crimson and Lions did not disappoint. Harvard jumped out to an early ten-point lead behind easy inside scores from Keith Wright and Kyle Casey. Late in the first half, Columbia settled down and started taking away the inside pass, creating turnovers that helped the Lions get back in the game. Freshmen Alex Rosenberg and Cory Osetkowski combined for 12 critical first-half points to bring the Lions within 34-30 at the half.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair as Harvard alternated between the block and the perimeter, showing their versatility. Columbia countered with Brian Barbour, who solidified his spot on the All-Ivy First Team with a jawdropping performance down the stretch against the League”s best backcourt defender in Brandyn Curry. Time after time, Barbour managed to penetrate, get to the bucket and finish from tough angles at the rim.
With four minutes to go, Harvard led 59-53. With Columbia on the ropes and needing a bucket, Harvard forced the Lions into a long possession. As the shot clock wound down, Cisco kicked the ball to the top of the key to Cory Osetkowski, the 6″10″ big man who had yet to hit a three all year. Osetkowski banked home the critical trey ball and Levien erupted. Columbia
added a Barbour jumper on its next trip down the floor before Brandyn Curry nailed a three to push the lead back to four with less than two minutes remaining. Columbia got it down to two and got the ball back after a Wright travel, and Barbour found a way to tie the game with another shifty drive. Harvard held for the final shot, but McNally”s three didn”t fall.
In overtime, the teams traded defensive stops for three minutes before Laurent Rivard and Kyle Casey hit two dagger threes that gave Harvard an advantage that they wouldn”t relinquish. The result was a clutch, hard-fought victory for Harvard, drawing them within one win of another Ivy title, and yet another heartbreaking loss for Columbia. Harvard now faces Cornell. A win gives the Crimson at least a share of the league championship, while a win coupled with a Penn loss to Yale would give Harvard the outright title and the NCAA bid. Columbia will host Dartmouth on Senior Night.
First he scored Penn’s final 16 points in a narrow victory over Dartmouth, and then he followed that performance by tallying the Quakers’ final nine points in a colossal road upset of Harvard. I don’t know how Rosen will top his most recent display, but I don’t doubt that he will. He’s a superhero. He’s making red hair cool again. I spent 10 minutes brainstorming
ways that the Penn captain could lose Player of the Year in the next three games. Could he poop into his hand and throw his feces at a referee for three straight games and still take home the POY title? Probably. Let’s just say I couldn’t think of any.