LISTEN: Princeton men’s basketball press conference after 79-77 win over Cornell

Tigers senior guard Matt Allocco, senior forward Zach Martini and coach Mitch Henderson take stock of a 79-77 win qualifying as an instant classic for Princeton men’s basketball (23-3, 11-2 Ivy) over Cornell (21-6, 10-3) Saturday at a sold-out Jadwin Gym:

LISTEN: Princeton women’s basketball press conference after 68-42 win over Dartmouth

Tigers freshman guard Skye Belker, senior forward Ellie Mitchell and coach Carla Berube reflect on a 68-42 win for Princeton women’s basketball (22-4, 12-1 Ivy) over Dartmouth (7-18, 1-12) Saturday at Jadwin Gym:

For Princeton women’s basketball, now is the time to regroup, refocus and regain the hunter mentality

Is there such a thing as a good loss in college basketball?  If you’re a top-25 team riding a 15-game winning streak, probably not.  

And yet …  

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Thoughts on the upcoming showdown between No. 25 Princeton and Columbia women’s basketball

The No. 25 Princeton women’s basketball team travels to New York City on Saturday to face the Columbia Lions in a marquee showdown at Levien Gymnasium at 2 p.m. Here are three thoughts on the most anticipated clash of the season so far in the Ivy League:

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Why the Ivy League isn’t getting fair NCAA Tournament consideration

Princeton coach Mitch Henderson was asked after the Tigers’ 73-62 win over Yale Saturday night by Asbury Park Press college basketball writer Jerry Carino what it says about the NCAA’s system for selecting NCAA Tournament teams that there’s no hope for an at-large Ivy League bid.

“These guys signed up knowing we’ve got to win the league and we’ve got to win the [Ivy League] Tournament,” Henderson said.

Perhaps Henderson was trying to be politically correct or keep his team’s focus on winning the Ivy tourney. But the discussion about a two-bid Ivy is far from closed.

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Yes, Virginia, there is a two-bid Ivy – but only for Princeton women’s basketball

Two weeks ago, Joe Lunardi of ESPN wrote that the Princeton men’s basketball team was on track to become the first team in history to earn a second Ivy League bid to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.  

“Conceivably, the Tigers could be 27-1 or thereabouts heading into the Ivy League championship game on Selection Sunday,” Lunardi wrote. “What would the committee do if Princeton drops that last game? Could the Ivy League really be a two-bid league? The answer from this seat is clearly ‘yes.’ And the uniqueness of it all is worth watching and even rooting for.”

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Not just nitpicking over NET-picking

NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt (MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference)

Editor’s note: Dan Gavitt is NCAA senior vice president of basketball.

Hey Dan, I’m back. It’s been a few weeks since my last note to you on the repugnant new NIT policy eliminating the automatic bid for mid-major conference champions who do not win their conference tournaments.

I have another request. It’s about that NET thing. Time to scrap it, or at least modify it. It only favors the big boys. You know that. We know that. Everyone knows that.

The biggest problem is the TVI (team value index), which is meant to reward teams for beating quality opponents. How does it work with teams who can’t get quadrant-one and even quadrant-two-type games out of conference, even on the road?

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Yale men outlast Fairfield, 77-64

Remember Yale’s romp over Vermont last month?

Yale was down at the half by 30-27 and blitzed Vermont 46-14 in the second half. The Elis played a similar game against Fairfield at the Leo D. Mahoney Arena last night, winning 77-64 after being down 29-24 at intermission.

In a game marred by 41 foul calls and 55 free throws, Yale shot 62% in the second half in an eventually dominant win.

Fairfield (4-7) opened up a 14-5 lead, and it looked like the Bulldogs were still jet-lagged from their long trip back from Lexington, Ky. after a loss to the Wildcats, which included a three-hour layover in Raleigh, N.C.

”We got off to another slow start and we didn’t react well to it,” coach James Jones said. “[In] the second half, we got to play more Yale basketball.”

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Absent Chris Lewis, Harvard stuns Saint Mary’s with impressive road win

Harvard took the floor on Saturday night with an immediate disadvantage: already 8.5-point underdogs on the road against the Gaels, the Crimson had arguably their three best players donning street clothes. On the far right side of their bench sat Bryce Aiken, Seth Towns, and, to the surprise of many, Chris Lewis, Harvard’s leading scorer.

After earning Ivy Rookie of the Year honors in his freshman campaign, Aiken battled knee ailments all of last year and missed an extended amount of time. When he did play, it was clear that he wasn’t at full strength. The former top-100 recruit underwent surgery this past offseason, and was expected to be healthy by the start of this year. However, Aiken has yet to see action in the 2018-19 season.

It’s been an eerily similar journey for Towns, whose breakout sophomore season earned him the 2017-18 Ivy League Men’s Player of the Year award. The lanky sharpshooter scored just under 23 points per 40 minutes last year, shooting more than 44 percent from deep. His impact on Harvard’s offense was especially noticeable late in the shot clock; when the Crimson had no open looks and the clock was nearing zero, Towns would often create shots on his own via isolation play.

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