While Cornell and Harvard wrapped up their regular seasons last night, it is known and assumed, respectively, that each team will continue playing basketball beyond this past weekend.
The Big Red now must anxiously watch Championship Week, hoping that the bubble will continue to weaken and that potential at-large teams from one-bid conferences fall in their tourneys, pushing new teams, lower on the S-Curve, into the Big Dance.
So far, nothing has broken Cornell’s way, but there’s still a long way to go, including today’s Missouri Valley Conference final between Northern Iowa and Wichita State. Both teams are likely ahead of the Big Red on the S-Curve, but Northern Iowa certainly is, making Wichita State the team to root for, if you’re a fan of the Big Red.
The worst Cornell could do is likely a 13 seed, but that would be a major disappointment for a Big Red squad which had dreams of a 7- or 8-seed just one month ago.
As for the Crimson, a win last night would have pushed the team solidly into the NIT field. Now, it’s a game of wait-and-see with the most likely result being a road-bid to the CBI or CIT. The profile is decent enough, especially if BC hangs on to its Top 100 RPI ranking, so as to not be out of place in the NIT. But the crucial determining factor will be how many No. 1 seeds lose their conference tournaments and thus take up spots in the NIT with automatic bids. That number already sits at two, and if it balloons to six or more, Harvard’s chances will likely trend toward zero.
The final Ivy postseason hopeful is Princeton, which did itself a huge favor by beating the Crimson last night. With a win over rival Penn on Tuesday night, the Tigers would sit around 130 in the RPI with 20 wins (19 Division I), which should be enough for a CIT or CBI bid.
RANK AND FILE
The major surprise from Saturday night was Columbia’s strong road win over Brown, which pulled the Lions even with the Bears to wrap up the league slate. It also sprung Yale free in solo fourth for the moment, but that could all change depending on the Penn-Princeton result on Tuesday night.
The Tigers are 96 percent to win at home, and if they do, the Bulldogs will retain solo fourth, while the Quakers, Bears and Lions will finish in a three-way tie for fifth. If Penn springs the upset, there will be two-way ties for second, fourth and sixth.
A win by Princeton would also mark the first time ever that three Ivy League teams have won 20 games in a season.
FINAL KNEE-JERK POWER RANKINGS
Brought Harvard and Princeton back in it with a stunning loss at Penn, then dispatched with both nicely down the stretch.
Completed the season sweep of the Crimson to keep its tenuous postseason hopes alive.
Jeremy Lin’s final regular season game was one of his most forgettable, but good news, he should get at least one more chance.
Nearly pulled off an incredible weekend sweep – a remarkable turnaround for a program that was 1-14 at one point.
Aside from a disappointing loss at Penn, the Bulldogs won the ones they should have to likely seal up solo fourth.
Knocked off Brown in Providence to complete a season sweep of the Bears and avoid a solo seventh finish.
Battled back from a 1-5 start to get to 5-7, but couldn’t get the W over the Lions which would have given it a share of fourth.
Mercifully the worst season in recent Ivy history drew to a close with a 78-68 loss at The Palestra.