IHO Power Poll: February 27, 2014

After Columbia cooled off Yale at Levien, where did the Lions and Bulldogs stack up in this week's edition of the Power Poll?
After Columbia cooled off Yale at Levien, where did the Lions and Bulldogs stack up in this week’s edition of the Power Poll?

On January 25th, the chances that the Yale Bulldogs would win their next seven games were less than 1%. Of course, the Elis bucked the odds and rode the unlikely string of victories into a tie for first place heading into Sunday’s showdown with Columbia. But Yale’s good fortune crashed more violently than the NBC Sports Network video truck outside Levien as the boys of Morningside Heights methodically stifled Justin Sears and Co. And now, we are faced with the prospect of a final weekend with little drama if Yale can’t bounce back and pick up a win or two on the always-challenging southern road trip.

Still, all the credit goes to Harvard for storming into a loud, defiant Jadwin and tossing off the shackles of history in an impressive second half defensive effort that sealed the Crimson’s pivotal ninth win.

Let’s get to the rankings.

Read moreIHO Power Poll: February 27, 2014

Weekend's Winners

Harvard and Columbia both swept their weekends and did some rewriting of the history books.
Harvard and Columbia both swept their weekends and did some rewriting of the history books.

Two teams gained ground in the standings this weekend with historic sweeps. Harvard opened up a one game lead on second-place Yale after bulldozing Penn at the Palestra and earning its first victory since 1989 at Jadwin. Meanwhile, Columbia swept an Ivy weekend for the first time in five years and moved into a tie for third, edging Brown on Friday and stopping Yale on national TV on Sunday. Let”s take a look at the weekend”s big winners.

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Another Split for Princeton

Five losses-- two in overtime-- by a total of 20 points have left a talented Princeton squad on the outside of the title chase looking in.
Five losses– two in overtime– by a total of 20 points have left a talented Princeton squad on the outside of the title chase looking in.

Princeton’s lost Ivy League season reached its mid-point this weekend with a tough battle at Brown on Friday, resulting in a rare road win, and an even tougher struggle at Yale, the next evening, resulting in a heartbreaking OT loss, 66-65. The Tigers’ record is a disappointing 2-5, better only than Dartmouth, where the Tigers also lost in overtime, and Cornell.

T.J. Bray hoisted the Tigers on his broad shoulders this week, scoring 46 points on the road, vaulting his name into the center of the POY discussion. In his head-to-head confrontation with Brown’s All-Ivy candidate, Sean McGonagill, Bray emerged the clear winner. His 26 points led all scorers, while McGonagill managed a respectable 16, but shot only 4-15 from the field.

Read moreAnother Split for Princeton

Weekend's Winners

Harvard and Yale extended their lead on the rest of the pack with sweeps, and Cornell finally got into the win column during another exciting February Ivy weekend.
Harvard and Yale extended their lead on the rest of the pack with sweeps, and Cornell finally got into the win column during another exciting February Ivy weekend.

For every Ivy weekend up until this one, we entered the weekend with a certain narrative that was turned upside down by surprising results. Finally this weekend, the narrative held up and we can move forward knowing that– barring someone else winning out– the Ivy League is now a two-team race between the Harvard Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs. The two conference leaders held serve, sweeping the weekend and extending their lead on the rest of the pack to two games behind one thrilling overtime victory each— both marked by controversial officiating decisions. Let”s take a closer look at this weekend”s big winners.

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IHO Power Poll: February 12, 2014

One team shoots up the poll; one team continues to tumble. It's a new edition of the IHO rankings, for your consumption before the weekend.
One team shoots up the poll; one team continues to tumble. It’s a new edition of the IHO rankings for your consumption before the weekend.

Yale’s upset over Harvard eliminated the possibility of an unblemished run for the talented Crimson, but it wasn’t enough to bump Harvard from the top spot in the Power Poll. Meanwhile, Princeton’s final minute meltdown against Columbia has relegated the Tigers to their lowest position in the history of the Power Poll. Wild times as we approach the midway point of the conference season…

Read moreIHO Power Poll: February 12, 2014

Weekend’s Winners

Yale and Penn pulled off improbable sweeps this weekend to throw a little chaos into the Ivy picture.
Yale and Penn pulled off improbable sweeps this weekend to throw a little chaos into the Ivy picture.

Another Saturday night, another surprise: James Jones’ squad brings a level of defensive intensity previously unseen, while putting together a shooting performance for the ages. Yale outplayed Harvard for 40 minutes at Lavietes and now brings a share of the Ivy League lead back to New Haven at 5-1.

Meanwhile, a fan base that was calling for Jerome’s head one week ago will be a little quieter this week, as the Quakers rode a huge performance from Fran Dougherty to a big win over Columbia.

Elsewhere, Princeton and Brown salvaged splits against two teams destined for the bottom half.

Let’s get to the weekend’s big winners…

Read moreWeekend’s Winners

Book Review: The Divine Nature of Basketball by Ed Breslin

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Breslin”s book, released this week, chronicles Yale”s 2011-12 season under coach James Jones.

Guest Post by Wesley Cheng

Friend of the site, Wesley Cheng, from over yonder at SUJuiceOnline.com, was nice enough to review Ed Breslin”s new book about the 2011-12 Yale basketball season. Neither Wesley nor IHO received any compensation for this review.

Let me be clear before the outset of this review: I did not attend an Ivy League school, nor did I previously have an appreciation for it. Save for a few friends who worshiped Penn hoops, my loyalties remain in the old Big East and the current ACC. So it is with that lens that I review Ed Breslin”s The Divine Nature of Basketball: My Season Inside the Ivy League, his look at the 2011-12 Yale Bulldogs basketball team, led by head coach James Jones. Breslin petitioned Jones to be a special assistant coach, essentially shadowing the team throughout the entire season. What follows is an insider”s look at one of the more entertaining Yale basketball seasons in recent memory.

Read moreBook Review: The Divine Nature of Basketball by Ed Breslin

Weekend’s Best

Spring cleaning came early in New England as Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Yale got out the brooms and swept away the rest of the league.
Spring cleaning came early in New England as Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Yale got out the brooms and swept away the rest of the league.

 

Please put your hand up if you had Dartmouth sweeping the weekend without Gabas Maldunas and Columbia dropping two at Yale and Brown. You in the back? No, you’re just scratching your head? Yeah, me too. It was that kind of weekend in the Ivy League. On to the weekend’s big winners…

Home Court Advantage: We know it’s hard to win on the road in the Ivy League, but wow. Home teams went 8-0 this weekend as all four New England teams swept their back-to-backs. Through 15 Ivy contests, only two away teams have come away victorious (Columbia at Cornell and Harvard at Dartmouth).

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IHO Power Poll: January 30, 2014

The true Ivy season finally begins in earnest tomorrow with all teams entering back-to-backs. Can IHO's unanimous #1 Harvard hold serve at home against the Old Guard?
The Ivy season finally begins in earnest tomorrow with all cialis online pharmacy teams entering back-to-backs. Can IHO’s unanimous #1 Harvard hold serve at home this weekend against the Old Guard?

After the Crimson’s surprising loss to FAU, some have suggested that the Ivy title race may not be as cut and dry as everyone expected. And in some sense, that’s fair. Harvard certainly doesn’t look like a team that’s going to run the table and finish the season in the Top 25. But 12-2 seems about right at this point for a team getting back one of the nation’s best shot blockers and otherwise loaded with talent at every position. And yet the best thing going for Harvard is the strength of the middle of the league. It seems increasingly unlikely that another team will be able to navigate the minefield of teams 2 through 6 and win even 10 league contests. But that’s why they play the games. Things could look a lot different on Sunday if Penn or Princeton can tag Harvard with a home loss, or if Columbia can sweep the second leg of its three-weekend road trip.

Let’s get to it…

Read moreIHO Power Poll: January 30, 2014