Historians like to talk about the moments that changed the world, the ripple effect of small pieces of time and seemingly small twists of fate that eventually led to something much larger.
Sports are a microcosm of life, at least sometimes. So consider this: with 2:33 left in Saturday’s first Ivy League Tournament (ever) semifinal, a red-hot Ryan Betley lined up for an open three-pointer. At the time, he was 7-9 from the field, 2-3 from behind the arc, and the shot looked good from the time it left his hand.
Already leading 57-53 and with The Palestra crowd ready to explode, it might have been the fatal blow to the game and Princeton’s NCAA Tournament hopes, despite a 17-game win streak and a perfect 14-0 conference regular season record. It have turned the heat up on an already ready to boil debate about the merits of the Ivy Tournament and the now kinetic rather than potential inequities that lie within it.
To steal a phrase from Joe Sheehan, the least important words of any preview are the last ones. As is customary, I’ll make a prediction at the bottom, but we know Championship Week is a crapshoot; the value of a preview is in setting the stage and showing how the game will be decided.Continue reading →
With the 14-game Ivy League season fully in the books, it’s time to unveil our picks for the individual awards. This was the most wide-open year I can remember in several categories, so if you think we’re wrong, you’re probably not the only one.Continue reading →
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: Continue reading →
Columbia’s 70-67 win over Penn was huge on a number of levels: It was a tight, back-and-forth game in a fun atmosphere; it had an enormous impact on the Ivy League Tournament race; and it exemplified the post-14 Game Tournament era. John covered most of the action last night, but here are five leftover thoughts:Continue reading →
Columbia has a new lease on life. A five-game losing streak put the Lions in a must-win situation on Saturday night against Penn if they wanted to have any chance of reaching the inaugural Ivy League tournament, but they did win and they do have hope. Continue reading →
Even as things appeared to be spiraling out of control a month ago, Penn coach Steve Donahue continued to maintain that he believed in his team. Every coach says that, of course, but there was something a little different about the way Donahue said it. Or maybe he’s just more convincing than most.
Anyway, the facts (real ones) are that the Quakers were 0-6 in the Ivy League after a loss to Princeton at The Palestra on Feb. 7, some four games behind Columbia for the fourth and final conference tournament berth. The real culprits in that slide were not the defeats to Princeton, but a home loss to Brown and one at Dartmouth.