A quiet week in the Ivy still features some subtle movements in the rankings.
As previously noted, while one loss used to eliminate teams from NCAA Tournament contention, this year is vastly different.
With the inclusion of the Ivy League post-season tournament, after two, three, or even four losses, everyone is still realistically in the race.
- Princeton Tigers: 3-0 (Last Week: 1)
At home, Princeton boasts an overall 6-1 record, while on the road their 4-5 mark keeps them grounded. Feb 3rd, they take on Dartmouth, which kicks-off a three-game road trip for the Tigers.
Proving they can be just as effective on the road will be important moving forward. While the Tigers did not play this past week, they remain the top team in the Ivy.
- Harvard Crimson: 2-0 (Last Week: 2)
Bryce Aiken, along with the rest of the freshmen, has led the way for the 10-5 Crimson. Harvard has quietly given up the fewest points in the League, and have held opponents to 39 percent shooting, which is another league-best mark.
Staying cautious and careful on offense should keep the Crimson rolling. An 82-68 win over Dartmouth was their only game this week, but will carry them into Friday’s clash with Cornell.
- Yale Bulldogs: 2-1 (Last Week: 3)
Miye Oni hit 4 threes over the last four minutes to help cap-off the Bulldogs’ comeback win over Brown. Alex Copland’s free-throws with 2.9 seconds left put the Bulldogs on top for only the fourth time in the game. Yale took the victory, but will have to replicate their success Friday when Brown comes into town for a rematch. Moving forward, late game heroics will only do so much for the young Bulldogs.
- Brown Bears 1-2 (Last Week: 5)
Although the Bears added another game to the loss column, great progress is being made up in Providence. A 75-74 heart-breaking loss to Yale was tough, but the Bears will get another shot this Friday in New Heaven.
Steven Spieth, a budding star for the Bears, scored 33 points for Brown in the loss. With a high-flying offense averaging 77 points per-game, and enough veterans on the team, the Bears have what it takes to get to the play-off in March.
- Cornell Big Red 1-1 (Last Week: 7)
The Big Red failed to capitalize on a go-ahead shot opportunity last week against Columbia. This week, they made sure that situation would not present itself again. Matt Morgan scored 5 key points in the last minute and a half, adding to his impressive total of 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists. After Luke Petrasek torched the Big Red for 33 points in their first meeting, the third leading scorer in the Ivy only managed 8 this time around.
Cornell’s defense has struggled with big men this season, so the adjustments made by the team are encouraging to see. In their two meetings, Cornell outscored Columbia by one, giving them the edge in our power rankings. Back-to-back games against Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend will help show how Cornell stacks up against other Ivy League teams.
- Columbia Lions 1-1 (Last Week: 4)
The Lions dropped a close one in their only game this week. In a loss to Cornell, Columbia forced 22 turnovers and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds.
Freshman Mike Smith stood out with 24 points. The lowly Lions are only ahead of Dartmouth in points scored in League play. Upcoming games against Dartmouth and Harvard will need to feature scoring from more than just the Lions’ three stars if they want a play-off spot.
- Penn Quakers 0-3 (Last Week: 6)
The Quakers did not play this last week but will return to action against Harvard Feb 3rd.
Until then, Penn has some work to do if they want to get back into the race. They sit near the bottom of the league in points allowed and although Penn has faced some tough opponents, in a competitive Ivy League, things wont get much easier.
- Dartmouth Big Green 0-2 (Last Week: 8)
The Big Green fell for a second time to Harvard after going 1-1 against them the previous two seasons.
The team continues to trail the League in points and assists per game. Dartmouth will play Columbia and Cornell this week. Wins might need some special inspiration given their average game loss margin of 13 points.
– M. Roitman