Ivy Hoops Online contributor George “Toothless Tiger” Clark shares his takeaways from Saturday’s 77-70 win for Princeton men’s basketball (17-3, 5-2 Ivy) over Penn (9-3, 1-6), including why the Tigers are sophomore guard Xaivian Lee’s team now:
With the season a few weeks away, the Ivy League hosted its Men’s Basketball Media Day on Thursday. the second of two hoops-themed media availabilities. The event was hosted over Zoom for media members and is available on the conference’s YouTube channel.
The preseason media poll was released on Tuesday with Yale, last year’s regular season co-champions, securing the top spot. Princeton, which used its Ivy League Tournament title victory as a springboard to a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament run, was picked second.
The Bulldogs received 14 of 16 first-place votes, while the Tigers earned the other two top votes.
As we enter the July 4th holiday weekend, we at Ivy Hoops Online wanted to round up some postseason updates:
Newcastle, United Kingdom / D.O.B: 02.16.2001 / 6-foot-8, 219 pounds
2022-23 stat line: 15.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.9 apg / 51.5% FG, 32.4% 3P, 65.5% FT, 1.68 A-TO ratio / 31.4 min in 32 GP
Bankable skills: versatile tweener, playmaking
Defensive matchup versatility: 2 to 4 spots
Swing factor: 3pt-ball + jump shot
They say March is Madness, and we couldn’t agree more watching Princeton going to the Sweet 16 in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2017. Great news for the Ivy League champions and for Tosan Evbuomwan, the senior from Newcastle, England, who just declared for the NBA Draft after powering the Tigers’ Sweet 16 and Ivy Madness runs.
Evbuomwan has deservedly gained the national attention amid that run, but his performances in the spotlight shouldn’t have been a surprise given that the wing/forward has been a genuine offensive motor for the last couple of seasons and earned almost every award available in the Ivy League in the process.
What’s to like about Evbuomwan? Everything, starting with his physical profile.
March is defined by thin margins.
Penn’s season collapsed with the blow of a referee’s whistle with 90 seconds to go in its Ivy League tournament semifinal against Princeton. If Nick Spinoso’s charge on the Tigers’ Keeshawn Kellman in a one-point game had been ruled a no-call or a flop, would Penn have advanced?
Yale can ask itself a similar question. If August Mahoney — the third-best free throw shooter in the country — converted his one-and-one with 2:18 to go in a three-point game in the Ivy League Tournament final against Princeton, would the Bulldogs have completed their furious second-half rally?
Both those teams could only watch as Princeton went on to go on a magical run to the Sweet 16, the deepest an Ivy League champion has gone in the NCAA Tournament since 2010.
Plenty of Penn fans are probably still bitter, and could you blame them?
But a look at the Quakers’ returning roster indicates that fans’ high expectations for redemption in 2023-24 will be well-justified:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There is much to digest as Princeton Nation reacts to a tough 86-75 loss by the men’s basketball team to Creighton in the Sweet 16 on Friday night. Here are five reactions from a courtside perspective at the KFC Yum! Center:
#15 PRINCETON TAKES DOWN #2 ARIZONA.
THIS IS MARCH.
— Overtime (@overtime) March 16, 2023
A paltry 4-for-25 from three-point range.
Just three points from the foul line.
A major size disadvantage against the No. 10 KenPom team in the country 2,800 miles from home.
None of it stopped No. 15 Princeton from stunning No. 2 Arizona at the Golden1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. Thursday to advance to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 in a winning effort for the ages.
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:
Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps Princeton’s 77-70 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Penn at Jadwin Gym Saturday:
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: