Brown’s men’s basketball’s future is less clear than expected, but there’s still reason for optimism

Mar. 20, 2019: a sparse but committed crowd enters the Pizzitola Sports Center as Brown men’s basketball hosts a playoff game, its first in five years. Hosting the UAB Blazers, the event is part of the College Basketball Invitational, a minor national tournament. The event is meant to mark the end of a historic season for Brown. Though it ended in disappointment, the regular season yielded 19 wins, tied a program record, so the event should be fun and happy.

But the atmosphere is muted because the situation is more complicated than that.

Read moreBrown’s men’s basketball’s future is less clear than expected, but there’s still reason for optimism

Brown bows out of CBI with 81-63 loss at Loyola Marymount

Brown couldn’t extend its historic 2018-19 season with another win at Loyola Marymount, fading quickly in the second half en route to an 81-63 defeat in Los Angeles.

The loss dropped the Bears to 20-12 on the season, after Bruno already set a single-season record for wins and won a postseason tournament game for the first time in school history by topping UAB at the Pizzitola Sports Center Wednesday.

Read moreBrown bows out of CBI with 81-63 loss at Loyola Marymount

Brown defeats UAB, 83-78, in CBI first round for Bears’ first postseason tournament win ever

Eighty years after Brown’s appearance in the first ever NCAA Tournament, the Bears won their first postseason tournament game Wednesday night, also setting a program record for wins in a single season.

Brown defeated UAB, 83-78, at the Pizzitola Sports Center in the first round of the CBI, with senior guard and Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Obi Okolie extending his collegiate career at least one more game with a career-high 26 points on the strength of 7-for-14 shooting from three-point range.

Read moreBrown defeats UAB, 83-78, in CBI first round for Bears’ first postseason tournament win ever

Ivy League announces conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025

On Wednesday, the Ivy League office announced that Harvard will host the 2020 Ivy League Tournaments on Sat., Mar. 14 and Sun. Mar. 15. In addition, the league also scheduled the tournament locations through the 2024-25 season, with each of the conference’s schools that haven’t already hosted getting a turn.

After holding the first two Ivy tournaments at Penn’s Palestra (seating 8,722) and scheduling this year’s event at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,800), the league has elected to follow a southern-central-northern pattern for future sites.  After Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion (1,636), Ivy Madness will travel down south to Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) in 2021, followed by trips to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) in 2022 and Cornell’s Newman Arena (4,473) in 2023.  The event will move to the northern-most site at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena (2,100) in 2024, before finishing the rotation at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium (2,700) in the spring of 2025.

Read moreIvy League announces conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025

Ivy hoops weekend takeaways – Jan. 18-19, 2019

Women’s

Brown’s offense is too potent to miss Ivy League Tournament again 

If Brown misses the Ivy League Tournament for a second straight season with as much offensive firepower as it has, it’ll really be a shame.

Brown senior guard Shayna Mehta’s career-high 37 points led the way, and the Bears’ elder Mehta has been one of the league’s standout scorers for a long time now, going back to her Ivy Rookie of the Year campaign in 2015-16.

But Mehta wasn’t alone in gouging a strong Yale defense in the Bears’ 86-71 win over the Bulldogs Friday. Seniors Erika Steeves and Taylor Will, who missed Ivy play last season due to injury, and junior Justine Gaziano combined for 43 points on 18-for-34 shooting. The Bears overwhelmed Yale inside and out, topping Yale by double digits at Pizzitola Sports Center while scoring 80-plus points for the second straight season.

Read moreIvy hoops weekend takeaways – Jan. 18-19, 2019

Ivy weekend roundup – Feb. 9-10, 2018

Some unexpected contributors carried their teams on their backs this weekend, yielding varied results.

In Harvard’s 66-51 win over Princeton Friday night, the Crimson offense flowed through sophomore guard Christian Juzang, who posted 20 points – 12 more than his career high up to that point – on 6-for-10 shooting alongside four assists. Columbia rookie guard Gabe Stefanini notched a career-high 20 points in just 27 minutes in the Lions’ wild overtime loss at Brown Saturday night, 17 of them coming in the second half or extra period. After scoring just 26 points in the previous five games, Yale freshman guard Azar Swain registered 25 this weekend, his 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) clip from deep lifting an Elis squad that had been hurting from three-point range.

Read moreIvy weekend roundup – Feb. 9-10, 2018

Ivy Power Poll – Jan. 28, 2018

1. Penn (13-6, 3-0 Ivy)

After Penn let Temple slip away at the Palestra last weekend, it got Big 5 revenge Saturday with a 67-56 win over St. Joseph’s, displaying a stout defense that had Steve Donahue singing its praises after the game.

“The story of our team, and our season, is our defense,” Donahue said according to The Daily Pennsylvanian. “Playing two bigs, with the defensive numbers we have right now … we’re way different than last year, and way ahead.”

Read moreIvy Power Poll – Jan. 28, 2018

Brown men’s basketball revamps its roster for a challenging 2017-18 season

Last season, the Brown men’s basketball team went 9-7 in nonconference action.  The nine wins tied the program’s record for non-league victories with the 2001-02 and 2014-15 teams.  The Bears’ 8-0 start at home was the best beginning since the 1934-35 squad. In league play, Brown appeared to get a boost of confidence from its nonconference schedule, dominating Penn and Cornell on the road and losing by one at home to Yale. With a 2-3 start in Ivy competition, the Bears were looking good for the fourth spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.  

Unfortunately, Brown lost its next five matches, derailing its hopes for an upper division finish. Despite beating Dartmouth on the road to start the next to last weekend of the season, the loss to Harvard the following evening eliminated the Bears from postseason play.  The team did bounce back in its penultimate game, beating Columbia by 20 and damaging the Lions’ hope for the league’s final four. A Senior Night loss to Cornell left the Bears with a 4-10 record (13-17 overall), tied for sixth in the Ancient Eight.

Read moreBrown men’s basketball revamps its roster for a challenging 2017-18 season

Brown punches last ticket to women’s tourney

After Brown’s victory at Dartmouth on February 12, the Bears were in fourth place with a 5-3 record and a two-game lead on fifth-place Cornell.  With four games in a row at home, things looked positive for Brown to hold onto fourth and claim a spot in the Ivy League Tournament.

Read moreBrown punches last ticket to women’s tourney

Ivy weekend roundup – Feb. 27, 2017

One impressive Ivy winning streak continued this weekend, while another very consequentially ended.

Princeton upped its consecutive win total to 15, effectively clinching the No. 1 seed in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament, to be played March 11 and March 12 at the Palestra. The last four Tiger victories have been by double digits, and Princeton’s defense is shutting down opponent after opponent.

Penn, though, couldn’t escape the Empire State unscathed, suffering a crucial 70-67 defeat at Columbia that snapped both the Red and Blue’s five-game winning streak and the Lions’ five-game losing skid, keeping Columbia very much in the race for the inaugural Ivy League Tournament’s No. 4 seed.

But that race isn’t what most Ivy supporters thought it was as recently as this past weekend. On Sunday morning, in response to a question from Mike James (@ivybball), the Ivy League confirmed that second tiebreaker for the No. 4 seed doesn’t just take into account the No. 4 candidates’ records versus tournament qualifiers from No. 1 through No. 3, which is how most Ivy observers interpreted the tiebreaker (which can be read at the #IvyMadness site here). Instead, the tiebreaker would be the highest Ivy that one No. 4 candidate beat that other didn’t, even if that tiebreak goes as low as Brown or Cornell.

Read moreIvy weekend roundup – Feb. 27, 2017