Learning to love the “new” Princeton Tigers

I didn’t like this Princeton basketball team at first. In fact, I found it infuriating. At the start of the season, these Tigers seemed to affirm my fears that the classic “Princeton System” was dead at Old Nassau.

Growing up less than two miles from Jadwin Gym, I was raised on the pure form of Princeton Basketball. My parents took me to see the Tigers win the NIT at the Garden when I was 10 and I was hooked for life. My Dad taught me to watch the players without the ball and to observe the players’ feet, not their hands. A good pass is not just one that reaches the open man, because the player needs to land the ball in a teammate’s hands in perfect position to shoot.

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Craving Madness, if not the Ivy kind

It’s back. That deliciously dizzy feeling that madness is coming. As a rabid Princeton basketball fan of a certain age, I got used to this feeling years ago when the Tigers charged into the NCAA Tournament with regularity. Twice in the late ‘70s, four times in the ‘80s, six times in the ‘90s, and twice in the early 2000s, the orange and black danced “bigly,” as a certain Penn graduate might say.

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Enough already with the ‘new Ivy League’ narrative

The Yale Bulldogs terrific showing in this year’s NCAA Tournament has inspired a new national narrative. As a Wall Street Journal headline put it, “The Ivy League finally merits your respect.”

But as someone who has been following Ivy League basketball for more than forty years, the story that’s being promoted in certain circles is revisionist history that just makes me want to scream.

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