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.

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Penn men’s basketball data analyst dies in an apparent suicide

Nicholas Moya, a Penn senior who served as a data analyst for the Penn men’s basketball team, died Thursday, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported Friday. noting in an additional report the following day an obituary that cited Moya’s “long battle with depression.”

Moya, who was 21 years old, is likely the fourteenth Penn student since February 2013 to die by suicide, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian, which further noted that Moya’s family requested that mourners donate to the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting education and awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

Donations to the Kyle Ambrogi Foundation can be made here.

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Penn men’s basketball strives for stability and upper-division permanence in ‘17-’18

After then-sophomore guard Jackson Donahue hit his first shot of the game with 6.3 seconds left in Penn’s regular season finale against Harvard, the Quakers earned the hard-fought 75-72 victory, completed an improbable comeback in league play and secured the final spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.

One week later, Penn, playing on its home court as the No. 4 seed, held a two-point lead over top-rated Princeton with 12 seconds left.  Unfortunately for the Quakers, then-senior Matt Howard missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Tigers tied the game with 5.3 seconds left, sending the contest into overtime.  Princeton dominated the extra period, ending Penn’s up-and-down, yet ultimately successful 2016-17 season.

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O Tannenwald

Jonathan Tannenwald’s been an insightful reporter on Ivy League and Big 5 basketball for Philly.com, and before that, The Daily Pennsylvanian, for 15 years. He’s been a guest multiple times on our On the Vine podcast and he’s been a generous resource, mentor and friend to many at The DP, Penn’s student newspaper, over the years.

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Former Penn guard assists in suit against former Wharton student

On Monday morning, Attorneys General from Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump (Wharton ‘68) alleging he violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments.  While Brian Frosh, the Maryland AG, is known to be a fan of the Grateful Dead  (or at least one particular quote from Jerry Garcia), Karl Racine, the District’s AG, is known as a former member of Penn basketball.

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No. 12 Penn suffers largest collapse in NCAA Tournament history, loses to No. 5 Texas A&M, 63-61

Penn women’s basketball appeared to have its first NCAA Tournament win in program history in the bag, enjoying a 58-37 lead with eight and a half minutes to play.

But in the fourth quarter, Penn’s golden carriage turned jarringly back into a pumpkin and what looked to be a burgeoning Cinderella run worthy of Tinseltown became the largest collapse in NCAA Tournament history.

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Grading the inaugural Ivy League Tournament

After years of debating and voting on the efficacy of an Ivy League Tournament, the first one is in the books.

And it certainly has engendered much discussion amongst the Ivy faithful, given its prominence on the ESPN family of networks this past weekend (ESPNU for the semifinals and ESPN2 for the final).

From a national perspective, not so much, despite the fact that the venerable college basketball writer John Feinstein was one of the media members in attendance for the Saturday session. With that said, here is an attempt to grade the event in different categories:

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No. 12 Penn vs. No. 5 Texas A&M: NCAA Tournament preview

On Monday night, the Penn women’s basketball team (22-7, 13-1 Ivy) was selected to play Texas A&M (21-11, 9-7 SEC) in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. While the Quakers last two tournament appearances were in College Park, Md., Penn will travel out to Los Angeles for a Saturday 6 p.m. (9 p.m. EST) start.

Many bracketologists had listed Penn as a No. 13 or 14 seed, but the committee noted the team’s experience, conference strength (eighth in the nation), league record, Ivy Tournament win and strong out-of-conference schedule to move them up to a more favorable No. 12 seed. The Aggies, the No. 5 seed in the Bridgeport Regional were the No. 6 seed in the SEC Tournament and made it to the semifinals, before losing 66-50 to Mississippi State (No. 2 in the SEC; No. 6 in the nation). While this is Penn’s fifth overall appearance, it is the Aggies’ 12th straight trip to the Big Dance.

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No. 1 Penn defeats No. 2 Princeton, 57-48, earns third NCAA Tournament berth in four years

No. 1 Penn bested No. 2 Princeton, 57-48, at the Palestra Sunday, handing the Quakers the Ivy League Tournament title and their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the past four seasons.

Penn (21-7, 13-1) used a 14-4 second quarter advantage to create separation between itself and the Tigers (16-12, 9-5), who shot just 18-for-64 (28.1 percent) from the floor.

The Red and Blue were led by Michelle Nwokedi, who posted 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Anna Ross, who notched 17 points. Pacing the Tigers were Bella Alarie, who contributed 11 points and 11 boards, and Leslie Robinson, who registered nine points in 27 minutes of play.

Penn swept its three meetings with Princeton this season and has won its last five matchups with the Tigers.

Penn will hold a NCAA Tournament Selection Monday watch party at the Palestra. Doors to the Palestra will open at 6:15 p.m., and admission will be free to all for the show beginning at 7 p.m.