Yale, Princeton and Pennsylvania — the top three contenders for the Ivy League men’s basketball championship — combined for a 6-0 record this weekend, rendering next Friday’s and Saturday’s matchups crucial in determining final league standings.
With road wins at Cornell and Columbia, Yale stayed atop the Ancient Eight standings with a 9-1 record. Princeton, 7-2 in the league, stayed in second with wins of 79-68 and 70-59 over Dartmouth and Harvard, respectively. The Penn squad, despite its three league losses, showed that it is still a force to be reckoned with, beating the Big Green and the Crimson by a combined 65 points to improve to 6-3 in Ivy League play.
Harvard’s losses to Penn and Princeton, dropping its record to 5-5 record, eliminated the Crimson from title contention. Despite Brown’s victories at Columbia and Cornell, the Bears’ hopes are slim with a 6-4 league record.
Next weekend, Yale will travel to Princeton and Penn for matches whose outcomes can either simplify or complicate the title race for the remainder of the season.
If Yale wins both games:
The Elis will automatically clinch at least a share of the Ivy League championship, eliminating Penn in the process. If Princeton beats Brown, one Eli win at home against Harvard or Dartmouth the following weekend will give Yale the outright championship. If Princeton loses to Brown, Yale will have the outright chamionship no matter how it fares in its final two games.
If Yale goes 1-1:
If Yale beats Princeton and loses to Penn, a sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth at home the next weekend will give Yale the outright title. If Yale beats Penn and loses to Princeton, a Harvard-Dartmouth sweep will give Yale at least a share of the championship.
If Yale loses both games:
A host of different scenarios could occur, but the Elis should aim to beat Harvard and Dartmouth at home and then get some help from the rest of the league. The result could be an outright champion, a two-way tie for the league title, or a three-way tie between Penn, Princeton and Yale.