Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony and IHO writer Rob Browne discuss memorable postseason runs for Princeton men’s and women’s basketball and Columbia and Harvard in the WNIT, the new “Big 5” (really City 6) Classic, the prospect and potential impact of athletic scholarships for Ivy hoopsters and much more:
The Princeton men’s and women’s basketball teams did more than punch tickets for the NCAA Tournament by winning championships at the Ivy League Tournament over the weekend. They also made history for the university and the Ivy League.
By winning both the men’s and women’s regular season and tournament titles, Princeton became the first school in Ivy League history to win four conference basketball championships in the same season. It’s a record that may be tied someday, but it can never be broken.
As the Princeton basketball community basks in the glory of this unparalleled success, here are three reflections from the perspective of a long-time follower and admirer of Princeton basketball:
“I think we are definitely playing our best basketball.”
— Princeton Men’s Basketball (@PrincetonMBB) March 12, 2023
Since the 95th Academy Award airs Sunday night, here are my choices for the Ivy Madness Oscars from day two of the Ivy League Tournament:
PRINCETON, N.J. — Penn and its fans will be replaying the final two minutes of Saturday’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal against Princeton for a long time.
What was setting up to be a thrilling finish ended only in deflation and disappointment, as a late series of critical 50-50 situations all broke the wrong way in a 77-70 loss to the hated Tigers.
Penn had the ball down 71-70 with 90 seconds left when junior guard Jordan Dingle made a pass out of a double team to sophomore forward Nick Spinoso at the top of the key.
Spinoso faked a pass to a cutting Dingle, then tried to spin off Princeton senior forward Keeshawn Kellman in the lane. Kellman flew backwards as if he had been hit by sniper fire, and the officials obliged with a charge call that mystified even the ESPN broadcast team. Penn never had the ball with a chance to take the lead again.
One call, of course, does not define a game. Penn had plenty of self-inflicted wounds on Saturday, one of many dispiriting Quakeaways:
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Harvard Crimson put an abrupt end to anticipation of a rubber match between regular-season co-champions Princeton and Columbia by defeating the latter in the second of two Ivy League Tournament semifinal games played at Jadwin Gym in an overtime thriller, 72-65.
The No. 3 Crimson advance to face No. 1 Princeton, which defeated Penn earlier Friday, 60-47. The tournament final will be played Saturday at 5 p.m. at Jadwin Gym.
PRINCETON, N.J. – What looked like a rout for the top-seeded Princeton women turned into a close game, but they stopped a Penn comeback and took their semifinal game Friday in the Ivy League Tournament semifinal, 60-47.
The morning of day two of Ivy Madness had more people in the media room and arena as the men’s teams took the stage for their interview sessions.
It’s certainly worth noting the empty media room seat left unoccupied as a tribute to Grant Wahl, the award-winning college basketball and soccer journalist who died a few months ago due to complications associated with Marfan syndrome. Wahl attended Princeton from 1992 to 1996 and began his career as a reporter for the Daily Princetonian. A very nice touch by everyone at the Ivy League office and Princeton Athletics.
Some more observations from the pre-semifinal part of the day:
Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark caught up with Princeton men’s coach Mitch Henderson ahead of Princeton’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal matchup with Penn. Henderson reflects on his deep connection with Pete Carril, the importance of blending old and new coming off last season’s Ivy League championship in this year’s Ivy title run, the emergence of Ivy Rookie of the Year Caden Pierce, the coaching approach to Ivy Madness and more: