Harvard rolls over Cornell, 74-55, into Ivy title game

The Crimson entered the Ivy League Tournament semifinals as favorites over the fourth-seeded Big Red. This made sense. While Harvard arrived on a roll, Cornell needed a Yale overtime win against Princeton to even earn a trip to the Palestra. But after two hard-fought games in the regular season between these two teams and memories from last year’s tough Ivy Tournament semifinal lingering in Harvard’s mind, the game was far from a sure thing for either side.

Early on, both sides were jumpy and cold from the floor, especially Harvard. After the game, Tommy Amaker attributed this to nerves, but added that after a few shots went in, all that nervousness went away. He also noted the importance of Rio Haskett’s three-pointer late in the first half. In many ways, this shot, a Haskett wing three with 2:45 to play in the first half as the Crimson trailed by seven, was the turning point in the game.

Read moreHarvard rolls over Cornell, 74-55, into Ivy title game

2018 Ivy League Women’s Basketball Tournament preview

No. 4 Yale

15-12 Overall (7-5 Home; 8-5 Away; 0-2 Neutral)

8-6 Ivy (5-2 Home; 3-4 Away)

2-4 vs Ivy Tournament Teams (1-1 vs Princeton; 0-2 vs Penn; 1-1 vs Harvard)

RPI #125; Sagarin #135

Preseason Rank: #5

Projected Starters: Jen Berkowitz (Sr, C), Megan Gorman (So, F), Ellen Margaret Andrews (1st Yr, F/G), Tamara Simpson (Sr, G), Roxy Barahman (So, G)

Read more2018 Ivy League Women’s Basketball Tournament preview

Celebrating Penn’s regular season title with a shower of realism

For more than half a decade, I’ve spent my Fridays and Saturdays checking Ivy basketball scores, waiting for Penn to get another Ivy title (on the men’s side at least, I’ve seen the women do it a few times!). However, on one of the more consequential weekends in that pursuit, I was struck with a bout of indifference and a twinge of disappointment.

As you surely know reading this site, Penn clinched a co-regular season championship with Harvard on Saturday, ending an 11-year drought between Ivy crowns. It’s been way too long and there’s certainly some satisfaction as a fan watching them pull it off.

The disappointment is understandable: The Quakers had blown their opportunity to win the outright title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Ivy League Tournament, which would have not only given them a chance to play a No. 4 seed they had swept in the regular season but also an automatic bid into the NIT if they didn’t win the tournament.

Read moreCelebrating Penn’s regular season title with a shower of realism

Can Penn women’s basketball three-peat in 2017-18?

With 8:59 to go in the fourth quarter of its first-round NCAA Tournament game against fifth-seeded Texas A&M, the Penn women’s basketball team found itself up 21 points, heading for its first-ever March Madness victory and a second-round matchup with UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.  

What happened next was the biggest collapse in NCAA Tournament history, as the Quakers succumbed to the Aggies’ full-court pressure, were outscored 26-3 and lost the game 63-61.  With the Hollywood heartache fresh in their minds, the two-time defending Ivy champs will attempt to to claim their third straight title, second straight postseason Ivy Tournament championship and fourth appearance in five years in the NCAA Tournament.

Read moreCan Penn women’s basketball three-peat in 2017-18?

Ivy League Tournament to return to the Palestra in 2018

The Ivy League’s athletic directors just couldn’t pass up the Palestra – again.

They announced Thursday that the 2018 Ivy League Tournaments will be held at the Palestra in Philadelphia, the same site that hosted the inaugural league men’s and women’s tournaments in March.

The 2018 Ivy tournaments will be featured on the ESPN family of networks, the league announced, adding that ticket and specific broadcast information will be announced at a later date.

“The Inaugural Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments were an unequivocal success,” conference Executive Director Robin Harris said in the league’s press release. “We featured the tremendous talent of our basketball student-athletes in an electric atmosphere, and we look forward to an even better event in 2018.”

Read moreIvy League Tournament to return to the Palestra in 2018

Ivy League announces addition of men’s and women’s conference tournaments

The Ivy League announced Thursday it will add men’s and women’s basketball tournaments beginning with the 2016-17 season. It’s a historic move since the Ivy League was the last of the 32 Division I conferences that did not hold a conference tournament to determine its automatic NCAA Tournament representative.

The League’s Council of Presidents approved four-team tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball, with a one-game reduction for each team in the regular season. The tournaments will determine the conference’s automatic bids to the NCAA Division I Basketball Championships. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be held at the Palestra on March 11 and 12, 2017.

Read moreIvy League announces addition of men’s and women’s conference tournaments

How to represent the Ancient Eight

With the impending Harvard/Yale playoff on Saturday at the Palestra, we are bound to hear even more in the coming days about how the Ivy League is the one conference that stands alone in lacking a conference tournament. Proponents of the current system argue that it guarantees that the best team represents the league following the double-round robin, while proponents of a playoff argue that it will better position the league to get an elusive second team into the big dance (#2bidivy!) and allow teams to fight their way into the tournament despite not being one of the best.

The problems facing the implementation of a playoff are numerous, most notably the staunch opposition of many on the administrative side as well as fans who believe in the league’s tradition as the most virtuous of all virtues.

Read moreHow to represent the Ancient Eight