With one regular-season night remaining, the Ivy League Tournament race remains wide open. Penn lost a 76-74 nailbiter at home to Dartmouth, while Columbia was blown out 88-68 at Brown (which was playing without point guard Tavon Blackmon). Here’s how the scenarios break down, with three teams still alive:
Princeton, Harvard and Yale have will be the top three seeds, in that order. (The Bulldogs clinched a postseason bid with their 90-63 blowout of Cornell on Friday night.)
The 4-seed race is much more complicated. Four sets of scenarios hinge on how Penn (vs. Harvard) and Columbia (at Yale) fare Saturday.
Penn wins, Columbia loses: Penn is the 4-seed, alone at 6-8.
Penn loses, Columbia wins: Columbia is the 4-seed, alone at 6-8.
Penn wins, Columbia wins: Penn and Columbia are in a two-way tie for fourth at 6-8. Who wins the tiebreak depends on the results of the other two games:
Explanation: Penn and Columbia split head-to-head. The second tiebreaker is determined by who has the best record against the first-place finisher, then second-place, etc. down to last place. Penn and Columbia would have the same record against all teams except Dartmouth (Penn 0-2, Columbia 1-1) and Cornell (Penn 2-0, Columbia 1-1). Dartmouth is currently one game ahead of Cornell, so the Big Green will finish higher (and give Columbia the tiebreaker) UNLESS Dartmouth loses and Cornell wins. In that case, Penn and Columbia go to the ratings tiebreaker, which Penn will win.
Penn loses, Columbia loses: Penn and Columbia are in a tie for fourth at 5-9, but they may be joined by Brown and/or Dartmouth. Who wins the tiebreak depends on the result of Princeton-Dartmouth:
Explanation: Dartmouth has the best head-to-head record in any tiebreaker (3-1 vs. Penn-Columbia, 4-2 vs. Penn-Columbia-Brown), so it will win any tiebreaker at 5-9. If Dartmouth is not involved: Penn, Columbia and Brown all split head-to-head. All three are 0-2 against #1 Princeton, but in this scenario Columbia is the only team to have beaten #2 Harvard, so it wins the tiebreak (whether or not Brown is involved).
Dartmouth-Princeton and Cornell-Brown both start at 6 p.m., while Harvard-Penn and Columbia-Yale tip at 7, so we’ll know the exact stakes for both the Quakers and Lions in the second half of their games.
(CORRECTION: images originally had Dartmouth-Princeton results reversed.)
On the women’s side:
Penn (11-1) and Princeton (9-3) will be the top two seeds. Penn will be #1 unless it loses its last two games (at Harvard and vs. Princeton) AND Princeton also beats Dartmouth.
Cornell (7-6) and Brown (6-7) have a de facto play-in game at 5 p.m. Saturday. (Brown would have the head-to-head tiebreaker with a win.)
Harvard (8-5) is the #3-seed UNLESS it loses to Penn AND Cornell beats Brown, in which case Cornell would be #3 and Harvard #4.