This is a pretty depressing week to have an Ivy League Weekly Roundup column. We entered the preseason with hopes of a multi-team title race, star power throughout the conference, and realistic chances for quality wins. But on the first day of basketball, the league lost three potential All-Ivy candidates — one indefinitely, one for the season, and one for good. That set the stage for a weekend in which the Ancient Eight nearly went winless in D-I play, an inauspicious start to the season.
The Ivy League isn’t alone. Friday’s top games nationally were Texas A&M-West Virginia, which had two key players suspended, and Georgia Tech-UCLA, which was overshadowed by alleged NCAA violations, LaVar Ball and Louis Vuitton. The biggest college basketball story throughout the season will be an FBI investigation. Sports are never just about actual sports, but it feels especially so right now. Continue reading
Outlook: This year could start a new Harvard dynasty, but the young Crimson still must prove themselves in a competitive Ivy League. Continue reading
Let’s start with that Miye Oni dunk. If you’re reading this, you’ve almost surely seen it already, but you’ll click below to watch it again, because it was that good. Giving credit for the circumstances — 1:30 left in a one-possession game, national TV on Championship Week, and a chance to play for an NCAA tournament bid on the line — I’d wager that it was the biggest dunk in Ivy League history. Continue reading
It was every Columbia fan’s recurring nightmare: Siyani Chambers was dribbling down the left-hand side of the court as the final seconds ticked away. And as he took a three from the left wing, the crowd at Levien Gymnasium collectively held its breath. Continue reading
Tommy Amaker has taken Harvard – a program where basketball success was not only non-existent, but largely unfathomable – to four NCAA Tournaments, actually winning games in two, over the last six seasons. Prior to last season, he had led the Crimson to six straight 20-win seasons, five consecutive Ivy League titles, and a 59-15 league record.
So while no one is immune from any questioning or criticism of his methods or substitution patterns, certainly Amaker has more than earned the benefit of the doubt.
But coming off a 14-16 (6-8 Ivy) season, where the Crimson lost seven of eight conference games at one point, Harvard still looks to be a work in progress. It was picked second in the Ivy League largely due to a heralded recruiting class, but mixing and matching the new guys with the veterans has proven problematic with only five players allowed on the court at one time per current basketball rules.