Three Ancient Eight stars selected in the 2024 WNBA Draft

McKenzie Forbes, Abbey Hsu and Kaitlyn Davis each heard their name called during Monday’s WNBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Ivy League)

While most of the nation’s attention was focused on Caitlin Clark being selected by the Indiana Fever at the top of the WNBA Draft, Ivy League fans celebrated the selection of Columbia’s Abbey Hsu and Kaitlyn Davis and Harvard’s McKenzie Forbes in the third round of Monday night’s event.

Hsu was a senior guard for two-time regular-season champion Columbia and the 2023-24 Ivy League Player of the Year, while Davis, who played with Hsu at Columbia for three seasons and was a two-time First-Team All-Ivy forward, spent her graduate transfer season as a starter for Southern California. Forbes, a 2021-22 Second Team All-Ivy guard/forward who started her career at California before transferring to Harvard for her final three undergraduate years, joined Davis in the starting lineup for the Trojans. 

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Danny Wolf enters transfer portal after standout season for Yale men’s basketball

Danny Wolf averaged 14.1 points and 9.7 rebounds as a sophomore forward in 2023-24 before entering the transfer portal. (Yale Athletics)

Danny Wolf, a 2023-24 First-Team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore forward for Yale, has become the latest top-shelf Ivy talent to enter the transfer portal, extending a string of standouts leaving or poised to leave the Ivy League.

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Columbia women’s basketball comeback falls just short, 72-68, in NCAA Tournament loss to Vanderbilt

The Columbia women’s basketball team didn’t defeat Vanderbilt in its first-ever NCAA appearance, but it made history and a lot of fans across the nation this week. (Photo by Columbia Athletics)

Columbia women’s basketball twice cut a 10-point second-half deficit to two, but the Lions couldn’t make that final push to get ahead of Vanderbilt and lost the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game, 72-68, at the Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. Wednesday evening.

Winning the First Four matchup between two No. 12 seeds, the Commodores move on to face No. 5 seed Baylor on Friday, while the historic Columbia season comes to a close.

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Reporter’s Notebook: Ivy Madness day four

The final remnants of the 2024 Ivy Tournament being packed away for another year (Photo: Rob Browne)

The final day of the 2024 Ivy League Tournament was an incredibly chaotic one, which started hours before the noon tipoff of the thrilling men’s championship and ended with a near-midnight zoom celebratory conference call with Columbia women’s basketball coach Megan Griffith.

For the second day in a row, the tournament provided its fair share of emotional highs and lows. There may still be people who haven’t taken to the thought of Ivy Madness, after eight years and six events, but it is an amazing weekend to celebrate the talented players and coaches and showcase this shouldn’t-be-under-the-radar conference to the nation.

I’m still in a bit of a stupor from the last few days, but I’ll try my best to recount scenes from a lengthy final day:

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#2BIDIVY! Princeton and Columbia women’s basketball both earn bids to the NCAA Tournament

Princeton’s Carla Berube and Columbia’s Megan Griffith talk prior to Saturday’s Ivy League championship (Photo: Rob Browne)

Following Princeton’s victory over Columbia in Saturday night’s Ivy League championship, the thought of two conference teams making into the field of 68 seemed improbable.  However, Sunday night’s selection show provided a pleasant surprise for everyone connected to the Ancient Eight, with the announcement of an automatic qualifier spot for the Tigers and an at-large bid for the Lions.

This year’s decision marks the second time the Ivies have sent two teams to the Big Dance, with Princeton claiming the second bid and Penn taking the automatic spot in 2016.

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No. 4 Brown men’s basketball loses glass slipper in last-second Ivy League Tournament final loss to No. 2 Yale

Kino Lilly Jr. and the rest of the Brown starters get ready to take on No. 1 Yale in Sunday’s Ivy League Tournament final. (Photo: Rob Browne)

NEW YORK – With 27 seconds to go and a 60-54 lead, Brown appeared destined to punch its first NCAA Tournament ticket since 1986.

But Yale finished the game on an 8-1 run, punctuated by a short jumper by senior forward Matt Knowling at the buzzer, to end Brown’s season and claim the Bulldogs’ third Ivy League Tournament championship since the tourney was installed for the 2016-17 season.

While the future is bright for a team that returns its entire starting lineup in 2024-25, it doesn’t remove the  pain felt by the coaches, players and fans.

“Obviously, there is a lot in front of our people, but not this team, so that’s really hard,” the Brown alum and 12th-year head coach told the media immediately following the hard-fought battle “I felt like I let them down in the last minute of the game.”

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No. 2 Yale men’s basketball nips No. 4 Brown, 62-61, in instant classic to win Ivy Leagye

NEW YORK –  By the slimmest of margins, Yale eked past Brown to win the Ivy League Tournament in an instant classic at Levien Gym Sunday afternoon.

Reporter’s Notebook: Ivy Madness day three

The Madness lived up to its name on Saturday, with No. 4 Brown pulling off the biggest upset in Ivy League Tournament history. (Photo: Rob Browne)

NEW YORK – In the immortal words of Ron Burgundy, “That escalated quickly.”

Two-plus hours into Saturday’s Ivy League Tournament tripleheader, the No. 4 Brown Bears shocked No. 1 Princeton, sending the regular-season champions on their way back to Old Nassau and a probable date with the NIT.  The Tigers’ faithful, which certainly left the afternoon’s game with great disappointment, could take comfort in the fifth straight Ivy tournament championship for the women’s team.

Some thoughts from a long and exciting day at Levien Gymnasium.

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No. 2 Columbia’s Ivy League Tournament title reach falls short again in 75-58 loss to No. 1 Princeton

The Columbia women prepare to battle Princeton in the Ivy League Tournament championship on Saturday evening. (Photo: Rob Browne)

NEW YORK – Even though the Columbia women were the No. 2 seed for the 2024 Ivy League Tournament, the Lions felt everything was going their way as team continued its quest for its first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately for the team and Light Blue fans, No. 1 Princeton used a strong inside game to cruise to a 75-58 victory and secure its five straight conference postseason title.

Columbia coach Megan Griffith’s crew graduated seven players, including three starters, from last year’s Ivy League regular season champion, and still captured its second straight league title. 

While last year’s squad buckled just enough from the end-of-season pressure, including an overtime win to close out the season against lower division Cornell and an overtime loss to Harvard in the Ivy tournament semifinal, to lose out on a chance to get to March Madness, this team seemed to embrace the challenges. 

First, Columbia beat Princeton at Levien by two on Feb. 24. Second, the Lions ran Cornell out of Newman Arena by 36 on the last day of the season. Third, they took down Harvard in a two-point win, which was not as close as the score would indicate, in the Ivy semifinal.

After the Tigers were taken to the wire by No. 4 Penn in Friday’s first semifinal, Columbia, buoyed by its passionate fanbase and home surroundings, appeared to be the slight favorite in the battle for Ancient Eight supremacy.

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