Whether it’s fair or not, we’re often defined in life by how we finish. How we finish relationships. How we finish jobs. How we finish thoughts.
For Penn at John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday night, the finish wasn’t worthy of the start.
Penn appeared to deliver the coup de grâce to Yale when senior guard Devon Goodman hit a three-pointer, his sixth of the night on seven attempts, to put the Red & Blue up 73-63 with 2:52 remaining.
Then the long nightmare casting a longer shadow over Penn’s Ivy League Tournament hopes began.
No team in the Ivy is playing even close to the level of Yale and that was exemplified on Friday night before a huge throng at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs played their patented suffocating defense and defeated a talented Brown squad, 70-56.
While Harvard and Yale were fighting for their March Madness lives in New Haven several months ago, I was flying (first class, of course) towards Asia in a hurtling, subsonic piece of aluminum. As we chased the sun eastward, I indolently pulled up my window shade and looked out upon the vast, barren, frigidness that is the Arctic Ocean. Then, through the miracle of Wi-Fi (you know, that powerful, invisible force that allows our planet to torment one another through magic), I proceeded to watch the Bulldogs dismantle their arch rivals before a, well, ”mostly filled” John J. Lee Amphitheater. Regardless of how the crowd appeared on site, I can assure you it did not “show well” at 33,000 feet on a 15-inch screen. In fact, the view from my window of Arctic Ocean seemed to be an appropriate metaphor for the vast sea of empty seats above the hardwood. (I exaggerate, naturally, but not too much.)
Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.
He is the only player in the history of Yale basketball to be Ivy Player of the Year two years in a row. He was a fan favorite at John J. Lee Amphitheater throughout his career. He hails from Plainfield, N.J. He was a high school star with scholarship offers from many high level D-1 teams, but he chose academics first, much to the satisfaction of his parents.
His name is Justin Sears.
Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.
There was a time when Yale basketball games were played at Payne Whitney Gymnasium.
The Yale men’s and women’s basketball teams now play at John J. Lee Amphitheater.