With the exception of a few high-profile bloviators, most people around college basketball (and everyone that regularly reads this blog, for that matter) knew that Yale had a solid shot against Baylor on Thursday.
We all know that the Bulldogs delivered — and have about as favorable a matchup as they could possibly get in the round of 32, getting a Duke team they’ve already faced.
Having had the opportunity to watch both teams play in the round of 64 on Thursday in Providence, I’ve come up with a bit of a game plan for Yale to become the first Ivy team to reach the Sweet Sixteen since Cornell made its magical run in 2010.
As Brandon Sherrod iced Baylor from the foul line Thursday afternoon, two thoughts quickly popped into the minds of Ivy basketball enthusiasts. First, a sense of shock that Yale had actually pulled off the upset and second, that next in line for the Elis was Duke, one of the bluest of college basketball’s bluebloods.
The question posed to all non-Yale Ivy fans was, do we root for team loyalty or conference loyalty? You, the esteemed reader, might be dealing with this dilemma yourself. Is it really worth rooting for Duke (Duke!) just for the sake of hoping a conference rival doesn’t make it past the first weekend? Here to tackle this issue are two Columbia fans who are definitely not bitter that their team has not made the tournament in their lifetimes while others experience joy: Miles Johnson is taking the pro-Yale (or at least anti-Duke) side, and Sam Tydings would rather see Grayson Allen smile than Yale advance to the Sweet 16.
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.
We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Penn is next because SQUIRRELS
Do you know why the other seven Ivy schools will always suck even if they win? Because they play their games in high school gyms.
I ask you, would Duke still be “Duke” if they played at Levien, or the Alfred E. Newman Senior Citizen Center or that bullshit place where Harvard plays? (By the way, Cameron Indoor was designed by the same architectural firm as the Palestra. That’s why they look the same.) If clothes make the man, then the stadium makes the team. In this arena Penn has, and never will have, any competition. The Palestra is called “The Cathedral of Basketball” with good reason. Since it was built, Penn’s home court has hosted more games, more visiting teams and more NCAA Tournaments than any other facility in the country. It is unquestionably the “birthplace of college basketball.”
Kyle Smith reminded reporters Wednesday that Columbia jumped out to a 11-0 lead at still-undefeated Kentucky at Rupp Arena and led for nearly 27 minutes before losing to the Wildcats, 56-46.
“Hey, do you guys remember that game?” Smith said. “That was awesome, right? 11-0!”
Smith also let slip that the Lions will play at Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke and Wisconsin.
“I promise you, we will play our hearts out in those games come next season,” Smith said. “And we’ll make everybody forget about finishing 5-9 in conference play this year.”