Inside the Ivy

Game of the Week
Brown (14-8, 6-2 Ivy) at Cornell (16-5, 8-0 Ivy) – Saturday, February 23, 7:00 pm ET
Assuming Brown can find a way to win at Columbia the previous night, the Ivy race will come down to Saturday’s showdown between first and second in Ithaca. If the Bears can avenge their February 1 home loss to the Big Red, we could have a bona fide, down-to-the-final-weekend Ivy race on our hands for the first time since 2001-02. A victory for the hosts will mean a final two weeks that consists of the familiar talk of magic numbers and seeding predictions, with the only change being the fact it will a school not beginning with a “P” making postseason plans. Cornell had some good fortune in the first meeting, as Brown suffered its second-worst shooting performance of the season and Damon Huffman uncharacteristically shot just 2 of 12 from the field and missed all five three-point attempts. The Big Red is going to need to do a better job of taking care of the ball this time around, after having some problems against the Bears’ press, resulting in an alarming 21 turnovers. It’s a shame the game won’t be televised via traditional television, though Cornell’s excellent Redcast Internet video broadcast is there for fans who want to catch the game of the year in the league.

Line of the Week

2.15.2008 at Penn TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
Skrelja, Chris………… 4-5 0-0 1-3 0 7 7 9 8 5 2 0 36

Cornell digs deep for sweep. The Big Red found itself in unexpectedly tough battles both nights, but did what it had to get back to Ithaca with its undefeated league mark intact. John Feinstein was sufficiently impressed, giving Cornell his 25th-place vote in the Associated Press media poll normally reserved for a Patriot League team playing well.
John Baumann. The Columbia senior is making a serious run at Ivy Player of the Year with his recent play, putting some earlier consistency issues behind him with three straight stellar weekends. In the last six games, Baumann is averaging 19.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest to lead the resurgent Lions, who have gone 5-1 in that span, mostly on the road.
Brown’s historic sweep. Penn and Princeton certainly are way down this year and the feat may soon be duplicated, but the Bears swept the Ps on their home courts for only the fourth time in Ivy history. Brown became the first Ivy League school to win at The Palestra since the 2003-04 season — snapping the Quakers’ 24-game home league winning streak.
Alex Tyler steps up. With his team’s unblemished Ivy record in serious peril, the sophomore registered his first collegiate double-double against Harvard. In addition to scoring the decisive final six points for Cornell, Tyler set new career highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds while, most impressively, playing some defense and staying out of foul trouble.
Penn’s youth is served. Quaker fans haven’t had much to cheer about during this rebuilding season, but in the second half of Saturday’s game against a veteran Yale squad, they caught a glimpse of the program’s promising future. Freshmen and sophomores scored 17 points during the 23-1 Penn run, as the hosts rolled to a very unexpected blowout win.

Who knocked the ‘Dogs out? Hanging around until the penultimate weekend last season was supposed to be a good omen for a Yale program looking to contend after a series of disappointingly early eliminations. However, midway through the Ivy season, the senior-laden runner-up in the preseason media poll is playing for pride already.
Lincoln Gunn demoted. Early on, it looked like Gunn might be the most improved player in the league and was threatening to lead Princeton in points, rebounds, and assists. However, the sophomore wing has gone very cold from the outside, hitting just 5 of his last 26 attempts from three (19.2 percent) and losing his starting job this past weekend.
Crimson-faced. On the verge of a huge upset that could have given it a major shot in the arm, Harvard fumbled away a win in painful fashion, letting Cornell off the hook. With the Crimson turning over the ball on its final three possessions and giving away easy buckets inside defensively, it should be getting a thank-you card from the Big Red come March.
Alex Barnett sidelined. Dartmouth has leaned so heavily on Barnett for scoring and rebounding, Big Green fans at Leede Arena had to be dismayed on Saturday night to see him on the bench in sweats. Remarkably, Terry Dunn’s undermanned squad gave Cornell a tough battle, leading in the second half before ultimately succumbing.
Losing streaks. For a league supposedly blessed with parity, we’re seeing some disturbingly lengthy losing streaks at the bottom. Princeton fans are flashing back to the non-league schedule after suffering their fifth-straight defeat, while Dartmouth has dropped six in a row and Harvard takes the unwanted cake with seven consecutive setbacks.

Jake Wilson

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Basketball U.

Jake Wilson wrote 754 posts

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