Ivy news roundup – Apr. 23, 2017

Brown

Marketing hoops in China

Sophomore forward Erika Steeves was named one of five Brown student-athletes who earned a Royce Fellowship, which will support Steeves as she works with the NBA, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), and Chinese sport officials to study the growing market for amateur and professional basketball in China.

Columbia

Columbia women to go south of the border in November

The Columbia women’s basketball team has been invited to participate in the 2017 Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula.  In the 10-team tournament, they will be in the 4 team Mayan Division along with Arizona State, Green Bay and 2016 national runner-up Mississippi State.  Each of these teams had 20-plus victories in their 2016-17 seasons.  While the schedule for the November 23-25 Challenge does not come out until June, the four teams in last year’s Mayan Division played three games in three days against each of the teams in the group.  So, the Lions should get their chance to beat the team that ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak.

Read moreIvy news roundup – Apr. 23, 2017

ALL FOOLS’ DAY: Kyle Smith reminds us that Columbia played Kentucky close for a while

Kyle Smith reminded reporters Wednesday that Columbia jumped out to a 11-0 lead at still-undefeated Kentucky at Rupp Arena and led for nearly 27 minutes before losing to the Wildcats, 56-46.

“Hey, do you guys remember that game?” Smith said. “That was awesome, right? 11-0!”

Smith also let slip that the Lions will play at Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke and Wisconsin.

“I promise you, we will play our hearts out in those games come next season,” Smith said. “And we’ll make everybody forget about finishing 5-9 in conference play this year.”

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Jesse Agel Out at Brown

Jesse Agel leaves Brown with a 39-79 overall record in four disappointing seasons. (Photo Credit: brownbears.com)

Head Coach Jesse Agel was fired on Monday after four years as the head coach of Brown. Agel”s Ivy record was 14-42 during his tenure, winning 3, 5,

4, and 2 league games respectively in the years since 2008-09. The Bears struggled in all four seasons, especially on the defensive end, as Brown ranked 7th or 8th in defensive efficiency every year. The most frustrating part for Brown fans was that Agel did manage to attract some solid talent to Providence; he was simply unable to put it all together. This final year was a disaster for reasons at least partially beyond Agel”s control as the entire starting five of the Bears” squad suffered injuries that kept them out of games at some point in the season, including two projected starters being out for the whole season in Tucker Halpern and Rafael Maia.

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Postseason Projections

We're back with an updated version of Postseason Projections as four Ivy teams fight it out for a slot in a March tournament.

The top half of the Ivy marched on towards the postseason last weekend, as Penn and Yale picked up important sweeps. Penn”s huge victory over Harvard gives the Quakers are real shot at stealing the NCAA bid, while Yale now sits one win away from that 20-win mark that historically has meant an invite to play somewhere in March. (Only two teams hit 20 wins and were not invited to a postseason tournament last season, and neither had an RPI as high as Yale”s.) For Harvard, the upset loss at home means that the Crimson need to go to New York and get two W”s to ensure that, at worst, they”ll get a shot at revenge against Penn in a playoff. Princeton”s loss at Harvard all but ended their NCAA hopes, though a strong finish could still propel them onto the NIT bubble. Let”s look at what some smart people around the Internet are saying about Ivy postseason chances, and then I”ll give my updated projections on where each top half team will end up.

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