On Wednesday, Columbia Athletics announced that the basketball court at Levien Gymnasium will be named for alumnus Jonathan Schiller.
Saturday night could be Yale’s coronation, a moment of pure joy even while a big black cloud slowly forms above the program.
The team standing in its way still has plenty to play for.
For Columbia, Saturday night’s game at Levien Gym will be the end of an era. It’ll be the final regular season home game for Isaac Cohen, Grant Mullins, Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg, a senior class that revived a struggling program and brought it to contender status.
We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Columbia is next because 1968 was a good year to wear Light Blue.
The rest of Columbia’s top moments all revolve around the incredible 1968 team in some way. Today’s entry is the 16-game win streak that propelled the Lions to national relevance and ultimately put them in position to play and win a one-game playoff to reach the NCAA Tournament.
The team did not get off to a very good start, which is odd considering the talent on the squad and where it would end up by March. The team won its first four games but then immediately dropped three in a row, including getting blown out in the Ivy opener against Cornell in Ithaca. It would not get easier for the Lions, as their next matchups would be in the prestigious Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. The Lions would face three top opponents in quick succession at a tournament in which Bill Bradley and Cazzie Russell among others had made their mark on the national stage with strong performances.
We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Columbia is next because why pass the buck when you can pass to the Buck?
We have back-to-back Buck Jenkins moments on the countdown! The most prolific point scorer in Columbia history has not just the all-time scoring record as we mentioned last week but set the Lions’ single game scoring record with 47 points as a sophomore on Feb. 15, 1991, a record which stands to this day. As the Lions defeated Harvard, 92-77, Jenkins accounted for more than half the team’s points and just barely broke Chet Forte’s record of 45 points in a game in the process. On the evening Jenkins went 15-for-23 from inside the arc, 17-for-21 at the line, and incredibly did not attempt a three-point shot, despite the line being a foot closer than it is today at the college level. Jenkins was one of two players to score more than 40 points in 1991 without attempting a three-pointer. The other? LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal.