Road to redemption: A look ahead to 2023-24 for Penn men’s basketball

Penn gets to benefit from Jordan Dingle’s dynamic scoring prowess again next season. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

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:

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Five thoughts on Princeton men’s exit from the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

Princeton senior point forward Tosan Evbuomwan may have lost in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Friday night, but he still walked off the court at the KFC Yum! Center a champion. (Steve Silverman)

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:

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Eight reasons to savor Princeton men’s NCAA Tournament run with Elite 8 a win away

Princeton Athletics’ pinned tweet on Twitter borrows the Sacramento Kings’ rallying call referring to a purple beam of light that comes from the Golden 1 Center after a team win. Princeton men’s basketball’s two wins at the Golden 1 Center lifted the program to its first Sweet 16 appearance of the modern NCAA Tournament era. (Princeton Athletics)

With the Elite 8 just a win away for No. 15 Princeton as it prepares for No. 6 Creighton in Louisville Friday, here are eight reasons for not only Tiger folk but the entire Ancient Eight to savor the Tigers’ historic Sweet 16 run:

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No. 15 Princeton men dominate No. 7 Missouri in 78-63 triumph to advance to NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

No. 15 Princeton men’s basketball made history with authority Saturday, emphatically dispatching No. 7 Missouri in a 78-63 win at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to advance to the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance in the modern NCAA Tournament era. Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps the action of a lifetime:

No. 15 Princeton claws past No. 2 Arizona in NCAA Tournament win for the ages

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.

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Princeton men triumph over Yale to win Ivy League Tournament, clinch NCAA Tournament berth

Princeton men’s basketball celebrates winning the Ivy League Tournament on its own floor at Jadwin Gym to clinch the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2017 Sunday. (Steve Silverman)

Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps Princeton’s 74-65 win over Yale at Jadwin Gym to punch a ticket to the NCAA Tournament:

Princeton men overpower Penn in Ivy League Tournament semifinal

Senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan recorded a game-high 21 points in 37 minutes in Princeton’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal win at Jadwin Gym Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps Princeton’s 77-70 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Penn at Jadwin Gym Saturday:

Two takeaway quotes:

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Three Quakeaways from Penn men’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal loss to Princeton

Ivy Player of the Year Jordan Dingle’s 19 points and six assists in 37 minutes weren’t enough to push Penn past Princeton in their Ivy League Tournament semifinal clash at Jadwin Gym Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

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:

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Ivy League Tournament men’s semifinal preview: No. 3 Penn vs. No. 2 Princeton

Ivy League Tournament – at Jadwin Gymnasium (Princeton)

Saturday, March 11: Semifinal at Jadwin Gym
No. 2 Princeton (19-8, 10-4 Ivy) vs No. 3 Penn (17-12, 9-5 Ivy) at 11:00 a.m. (available on ESPNU and ESPN+)

Game #1, 1/16/23: Princeton over Penn (home), 72-60
Game #2, 3/4/23: Princeton (home) over Penn, 77-69 (OT)

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Script flipped: How Princeton men pulled off Ivy title-clinching comeback over Penn

Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps what Princeton coach Mitch Henderson called the best win he’s ever had, a 76-69 victory over archrival Penn to clinch a second straight Ivy League title and the 29th in program history: