Yale all-time moment No. 1: Elis share the 2015 title

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We did Yale next by request of Justin Sears:

We all know the 2014-15 Yale men”s basketball season didn”t have a storybook ending. Just four months ago, Harvard edged out Yale at the Palestra, 53-51, in an already legendarily back-and-forth Ivy playoff game after the Bulldogs let a last-second lead literally slip away at Dartmouth that would have clinched the Elis” first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962. Then the NIT online casino inexplicably slipped away too.

But it was still a magical season, filled with ESPN appearances, All-Ivy recognition and dominating performances. Yale”s 66-52 win at Harvard on March 7 to clinch a share of the Ivy title easily remains one of the most impressive and exciting in-league Ivy victories in recent years. Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears, character-strong captain Javier Duren, clutch junior Jack Montague, Rhodes Scholar Matt Townsend and company gave Yale fans (and indeed many Ivy League fans) a balanced, thoroughly likable team it could appreciate and support all season long.

5 thoughts on “Yale all-time moment No. 1: Elis share the 2015 title”

  1. That the 2015 shared championship could be ranked as Yale’s Number 1 all-time moment speaks either to a severe recency bias or the fact that Yale’s basketball history is not very illustrious. (Given these two factors, when you post Harvard’s list of all-time moments, all ten will be from the last five years.)

    Yale may have won a co-championship in 2015, but they did not play in the NCAA tournament. More to the point, Yale couldn’t get it done against Harvard in the playoff and simply collapsed against Dartmouth. I think it’s an open question whether, when most serious Bulldog fans think of the 2015 season in retrospect, they think “success” or “failure.”

    You can’t say that, well, except for the final 2.3 seconds against Dartmouth, the season was a success. Taken in its totality, with all that happened and all that could have happened, the season was not a success.

    • Point taken (and thanks for commenting!), but I believe that in collegiate sports especially, seasons are most accurately remembered as a series of moments that stand out for better or worse. Doing these countdowns for each Ivy school has only reinforced that belief. There were plenty of highly successful and enjoyable moments for Yale’s players and student body that shouldn’t be wiped out by two very critical failures at Dartmouth and vs. Harvard in the playoff. You can’t consider a season in its totality without considering each of the major moments, good and bad, that led to a season’s conclusion.

  2. I almost gasped when I saw that sharing the title with Harvard was Yale basketball’s “all time greatest
    accomplishment.” While Yale had a good team (and will sadly miss Javier Duren), the loss to Dartmouth was a disaster and heartbreaking to those hardy souls who keep hoping for an Ivy Championship. Yale generally doesn’t win its must win games in basketball. Why is that?

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