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The Good And Bad From The Opening Round Of March Madness 2016

Bronson Koenig's buzzer beating three pointer defeated Xavier to cap an incredible opening four days of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

The Good And Bad From The Opening Round Of March Madness 2016

The 2016 version of March Madness has been just that: Madness. Brackets were busted early and then completely blown up by the end of the first round. For as much fun as the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament has been, there have been some bad parts of it as well. Below we will take a look at the good and bad from the first four days of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament

The Good

  1. Upsets Galore – #15 Middle Tennessee defeated one of the National Title favorites and #2 seed Michigan State in the first round. Double digit seeds won left and right (#13 Hawaii over #4 Cal, #11 Wichita State over #6 Arizona, #12 Yale over #5 Baylor, #11 Northern Iowa over #6 Texas, #10 VCU over #7 Oregon State, #10 Syracuse over #7 Dayton, #11 Gonzaga over #6 Seton Hall, #12 Arkansas-Little Rock over #5 Purdue, and #14 Stephen F. Austin over #3 West Virginia). That all made for some great action, particularly on Friday.
  2. The ACC – The Atlantic Coast Conference has put a record 6 teams through to the Sweet 16 (Miami (FL), North Carolina, Notre Dame, Duke, Syracuse, and Virginia). That is incredible to have 38% of the remaining field, but it also came down to some favorable matchups like Syracuse against Middle Tennessee. However, that is no fault of the ACC as their teams delivered.
  3. “Mid-Majors” – This was a good tournament for the upsets (see above), but the “Mid-Majors” got plenty of support in close games and some great stories. Stephen F. Austin got 33 points from Thomas Walkup, who played incredibly against West Virginia and had a solid game against Notre Dame. Yale won their first ever Tournament game against Baylor. Hawaii defeated Cal. Northern Iowa captivated the nation not once, but twice against teams from the state of Texas. First it was Texas and this buzzer beater, but then it was their collapse against Texas A&M. Saint Joseph’s played a great second round game against top seeded Oregon. Finally, Middle Tennessee going toe-to-toe with Michigan State was easily the biggest story of the first round. Mid-Majors should not be discounted in the future when picking brackets.
  4. The #1 Seeds – The top four seeds in the Tournament all looked good on the first weekend, but also faced some competition at times. Kansas took a big lead against UConn before that dwindled, but the Jayhawks fended off that challenge. North Carolina had a close first half against Florida Gulf Coast and Providence, but dominated the second half of those games to pull away. Virginia and Oregon had tough second round games against Butler and Saint Joseph’s, respectively. However, they were able to get through those games and move to the Sweet 16. The top seeds look mighty tough, but this is March Madness afterall and we have seen that anything is possible.

The Bad

  1. Brackets – Michigan State was picked to win a lot of brackets and their upset loss ended any hopes of a prefect bracket on CBS Sports. The Spartans’ loss did other damage to Final Four picks as well according to CBS Sports. Here is my 2017 New Year’s Resolution: Do not fill out a bracket.
  2. The Referees – The inconsistency of the officials calling the Tournament made it frustrating to watch at times. Between Duke and UNC-Wilmington, the referees called every soft foul imaginable while other games would let them play. Constant foul calling stems the flow of the game for TV viewers, but how frustrating must that be for a player on the floor? One thing that needs to be looked at is how much contact to allow. It does come down to each referee, but how can one game have a foul called 80 feet from the basket for putting a hand on a player’s hip and another not call a push off?
  3. Game Management – You can call this the Northern Iowa Special. The Panthers blew a 12 point lead with 35 seconds left in the game and then lost in double overtime to Texas A&M. They are not the only team to make questionable calls though. Xavier was up three in the final 10 seconds, but opted not to foul the Badgers’ shooters. Wisconsin subsequently tied the game and then Bronson Koenig hit a three at the buzzer to end Xavier’s season. Purdue deserves mention as well for letting Little Rock comeback late in the game and losing in double OT. There was also near comebacks by Wichita State (trailed 27-6 to Miami) and Yale (down as much as 27 to Duke), but those two were not able to complete the miracle comebacks.
  4. Seeding/Selection Committee – The NCAA Basketball Selection Committee did a bad job selecting teams last Sunday. It turns out they did a bad job of seeding the teams as well. Stephen F. Austin deserved better than a 14 seed as did Middle Tennessee at 15. And this was before the games were played. It is easy to pile on the Committee after the fact, but some of the seeding was questionable beforehand. In addition, the scheduling for Wichita State was brutal. The Shockers had a late game on Tuesday, late game on Thursday, and an early game on Saturday, which may have contributed to them starting as flat as they did.
  5. Wisconsin versus Pittsburgh – This was about as ugly a game to watch in recent tournament memory. The Badgers won 47-43 after scoring only 16 points in the first half. The teams combined to go 35 of 101 from the field and 7 of 30 from beyond the arc. The 90 total points were the fewest since 2000 in the NCAA Tournament. The game was wretched, but Badger fans felt greatest about the result and were lifted in the second round too.

Let’s hope the final two weekends give us as much entertainment as the first weekend provided.

2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 6

2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 6

Welcome to the 2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 6 edition! Yet again, it was a slow week for the Ivy League with only 8 games played. Here is a look back at Week 5’s power rankings.

 

Week 5 (12/14 – 12/20)
Rank Team Record Previous Week
1 Yale 9-4 1
2 Harvard 7-1 2
3 Columbia 6-3 3
4 Cornell 5-4 4
5 Brown 5-6 5
6 Dartmouth 5-5 6
7 Princeton 4-8 7
8 Penn 3-5 8

 

In Week 5, there was no change in the rankings due to the small amount of games played. Even with the teams that did play, they did not do enough to move up (or down). Five teams are now at or above .500 with Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, and Brown as the teams to reach that mark. Dartmouth dropped below .500 but they are within a game of getting back to even. Only Yale did not play a game in the last week. Here are the 2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 6:

1. Yale Bulldogs (9-4) – As previously mentioned, Yale was inactive for the week and their only real danger of losing the top spot was if Harvard beat Virginia on the road, but that did not happen.

2. Harvard Crimson (7-2) – As mentioned above, Harvard faced Virginia in their only game of the week. And it was horrendous for Harvard. They scored 8 points in the first half and 27 for the game. They made 1 bucket in that first half out of 20 attempts (5%). It was a terrible showing for Harvard and the Ivy League. Harvard faces Arizona State on Sunday, December 28 in trying to save face.

3. Columbia Lions (6-4) – Columbia played on game, which was against Connecticut in Bridgeport. The Lions played well against UConn for most of the game until a late surge by the Huskies made it an 80-65 win. Maodo Lo continued his excellent season with 24 points. Lo has scored at least 20 points in 5 of his last 6 games while Columbia is 3-2 in those 5 games.

4. Cornell Big Red (6-5) – The only team to play multiple games was Cornell and they split their two games. They lost to Radford 74-61 in the first game with their second worst shooting game of the season (32.7%). They rebounded to defeat Siena with a big second half in their other game. Cornell still looms dangerous to the top three if they have a poor showing in the conference portion of the season.

5. Brown Bears (6-6) – After a two-week hiatus, Brown followed up their big upset win over Providence with a win over Central Connecticut State on the road. The Bears built a 15 point halftime lead before winning 67-55. They Bears were not great in the win with 21 turnovers, but they got the job done.

6. Dartmouth Big Green (5-6) – The Big Green played one game against Penn State and their poor first half led them to defeat. They were out-scored 41-16 in the first half and made only 7 of 24 buckets (29.2%). The hot-shooting of Penn State in that half (57.7%) ended up being the difference. The Big Green looked better in the second half, but the hole they dug was too much to get out of.

7. Princeton Tigers (5-8) – Princeton played one game against Liberty and they were solid. They recorded a season high 7 blocks and recorded their second highest steals in a game with 10. The Tigers have progressed nicely after a poor 1-5 start to the season.

8. Penn Quakers (3-6) – Penn had a 13 day break since playing Marist on December 9. They traveled to face Vanderbilt on December 22 and played arguably their worst game of the season in a 79-50 loss. They shot a season low 34.6% from the field and recorded only 24 rebounds, also a season low. The loss also snapped a three game win streak for the Quakers.

Here are the Week 6 Power Rankings:

Week 6 (12/21 – 12/27)
Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Yale 9-4 1
2 Harvard 7-2 2
3 Columbia 6-4 3
4 Cornell 6-5 4
5 Brown 6-6 5
6 Dartmouth 5-6 6
7 Princeton 5-8 7
8 Penn 3-6 8

 

Here is the weekly ranking for each team going back to the preseason. (The table is sortable).

 

TeamPreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Yale Bulldogs3221111
Harvard Crimson1112222
Columbia Lions2333333
Cornell Big Red8444444
Brown Bears6656555
Dartmouth Big Green4767666
Princeton Tigers7575777
Penn Quakers5888888

 

 

Please feel free to comment below and come back next Sunday for the Week 7 rankings!

2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 5

2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 5

Welcome to the 2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 5 edition! It was a slow week for the Ivy League with only 7 games played, but there were some very close and thrilling games (Yale at Vermont  on Thursday and Northern Illinois at Dartmouth on Friday). Before we reveal the Week 5 power rankings, let’s take a look back at the Week 4 Power Rankings.

Week 4 (12/7 – 12/13)
Rank Team Record Previous Week
1 Yale 8-3 1
2 Harvard 7-1 2
3 Columbia 5-3 3
4 Cornell 5-4 4
5 Brown 5-6 6
6 Dartmouth 3-4 7
7 Princeton 3-8 5
8 Penn 3-5 8

 

We finally have more than 4 teams at or above .500 this week. Five teams are at that point with another team, Brown, just a game below the .500 mark. With only 7 games this past week, that means at least one team did not play. In fact, there were four teams who did not play a game; Harvard, Cornell, Brown, and Penn. Below are the week 5 Power Rankings.

 

1. Yale Bulldogs (9-4) – Yale played two games and split them with a win at Vermont on Thursday and a loss on Saturday to Albany at home. Matt Townsend’s late jumper beat Vermont, but the Bulldogs could not hold on to a late 7 point lead in the loss to Albany. Yale does not play again until December 30 with a road game at Sacred Heart.

2. Harvard Crimson (7-1) – Harvard did not play in the past week, but they have a big game on Sunday, December 21 at Virginia. A win there would probably vault them back into the top spot.

3. Columbia Lions (6-3) – Columbia played in just one game and it was far from a typical performance. They needed their offense to show up against Hofstra and it did with Maodo Lo scoring 29 points. The Lions posted season highs in points (82),  three pointers made (13), and assists (17). It is scary to think about the Lions potential in 2014-15 if they are able to score a lot of points and play stifling defense.

4. Cornell Big Red (5-4) – The Big Red have not played a game since December 6 when they faced UMass Lowell at home. They will play two games in the next week (Dec. 21 and Dec. 23) as they get back on the court after a break.

5. Brown Bears (5-6) – Yet another team that was not in action in the past week. They play on Monday afternoon at Central Connecticut State.

6. Dartmouth Big Green (5-5) – It was a busy week for Dartmouth as they played three games in a five day span. They started with a loss on the road to Jacksonville State (79-67) before rebounding to win their last two games at Mercer (67-51) and Northern Illinois at home (58-55). Despite going 2-1, the Big Green do not move up because of how they blew a double digit lead in regulation. Both Gabas Maldunas (27 points and 10 rebounds against Jacksonville State) and Alex Mitola (18 points against NIU) had big games this week.

7. Princeton Tigers (4-8) – The Tigers played one game and destroyed Lipscomb at home 77-55 on Friday night. Princeton hit a season high 14 three pointers with Clay Wilson scoring a season high 19 points on 5 of 6 three pointers. The Tigers face Liberty on December 22 at home.

8. Penn Quakers (3-5) – Penn was inactive this past week and still occupy the cellar in the Ivy League Power Rankings.

 

Here are the Week 5 Power Rankings:

Week 5 (12/14 – 12/20)
Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Yale 9-4 1
2 Harvard 7-1 2
3 Columbia 6-3 3
4 Cornell 5-4 4
5 Brown 5-6 5
6 Dartmouth 5-5 6
7 Princeton 4-8 7
8 Penn 3-5 8

 

Here is the weekly ranking for each team going back to the preseason. (The table is sortable).

 

TeamPreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Yale Bulldogs3221111
Harvard Crimson1112222
Columbia Lions2333333
Cornell Big Red8444444
Brown Bears6656555
Dartmouth Big Green4767666
Princeton Tigers7575777
Penn Quakers5888888

 

 

Please feel free to comment below and come back next Sunday for the Week 6 rankings!

Ivy League Basketball Roundup: 12/20/2014

Ivy League Basketball Roundup: 12/20/2014

Below is the Ivy League Basketball Roundup for Saturday, December 20, 2014. Yale and Columbia were both in action and like Friday’s games, they were both at home.

 

Yale Falls To Albany For First Home Loss Of The Season

Yale held a 7 point lead with six minutes to play, but they were unable to hold it in a 64-60 loss to Albany.

A series of three pointers between both teams made it 16-10 at the under 12 TV timeout. The Bulldogs kept it close never letting the lead get larger than 6 points. Javier Duren’s bucket with 1:56 tied the game at 25. Khaliq Ghani’s three pointer as time expired for Yale made it 29-28 in favor of Albany at the break.

Evan Singletary led all scorers in the first half with 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting. The Great Danes shot 48.1% from the field and hit 3 of 8 three pointers (37.5%). Yale was led by Javier Duren and Justin Sears both with 8 points in the first half. The Bulldogs shot 50% from the field and hit 4 of 10 three pointers (40%).

Yale came out strong in the second half by taking the lead in the first minute. They continued to hold the lead and built upon it leading as much as 8 points. Jack Montague’s three pointer with 6:10 remaining made it 56-49 Yale, but that lead dwindled away. A 12-2 run by Albany gave them a 61-58 lead before several free throws allowed Albany to hold on for the four point win.

Sam Rowley and Peter Hooley both had 11 points for Albany in the second half. The Great Danes shot 42.9% in the second half and hit 1 of 5 three pointers. They also hit 16 of 17 free throws (94.1%). Yale was led by Justin Sears, Jack Montague, and Greg Kelley with 6 points apiece. They shot 45.5% in the second half while making 4 of 10 three pointers.

For the game, Evan Singletary had 19 points on 6 of 8 shooting and made 3 of 4 three pointers. Sam Rowley finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds while Peter Hooley had 13 points. The Great Danes went 22 of 48 from the field (45.8%) and made 4 of 13 three pointers (30.8%). They went 16 of 18 from the charity stripe, out-rebounded Yale 27-26, had 10 assists, 8 steals, and committed 12 turnovers.

Yale was led by Justin Sears with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Javier Duren scored 11 points, Jack Montague had 9 points, and 8 points came from Matt Townsend. They went 22 of 46 from the field (47.8%) and hit 8 of 20 threes (40%). They went 8 of 12 from the free throw line (66.7%), had 15 assists, blocked 7 shots, and grabbed 15 turnovers.

Albany (4-6) faces Fairfield (4-6) on Monday night on a two game win streak. Yale (9-4) has lost two of their last three games and faces Sacred Heart (6-4) on the road December 30.

 

Columbia Rallies In Second Half To Beat Hofstra

Columbia got into a high-scoring game with Hofstra and won it with 29 points from Maodo Lo. Columbia improved to 5-1 at home with the victory.

The teams were deadlocked at 9 before Columbia went on an 11-5 run with all the points scored by Steve Frankoski and Jeff Coby. The Pride rallied to make it 22-21 and eventually claimed the lead at 32-30. The Pride led 38-34 at the end of the first half.

Dion Nesmith led Hofstra in the first half with 13 points. Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley both had 7 points. The Pride shot 40% from the field and hit 4 of 12 three pointers (33.3%). They also hit 14 of 16 free throws. Jeff Coby and Steve Frankoski both had 9 points to lead Columbia. The Lions shot 35.7% from the field and hit 6 of 18 three pointers (33.3%).

The majority of the second half was a back and forth affair. Maodo Lo came out with 8 points in the first six and a half minutes to help Columbia lead 49-46. The Lions led for good at the 10:38 mark with the score 53-51. However, the Lions would not have an easy to the victory despite holding a 10 point lead with 4:34 left to play. In the final minute, the Lions hit 7 of 10 free throws to seal the win.

Juan’ya Green led the Pride in the second half with 12 points while Ameen Tanksley scored 11 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. They shot 41.2% from the field and they hit 4 of 12 three pointers (33.3%). Maodo Lo was the top scorer in the second half with 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting (5 of 10 on three pointers). Columbia shot 50% from the field and hit 7 of 17 three pointers (41.2%). They out-rebounded Hofstra 23-16 in the final 20 minutes.

Four Hofstra players ended up scoring in double figures. Green had 19 points and 6 rebounds and Dion Nesmith had 18 points as did Tanksley. Malik Nichols finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds for the Pride. The Pride went 24 of 59 from the field (40.7%) and hit 8 of 24 three pointers (33.3%). They shot well from the free throw line going 21 of 25 (84%). They had 8 assists, 6 steals, and committed 12 turnovers.

Maodo Lo finished with a game-high 29 points on 10 of 21 shooting including 7 of 15 from beyond the arc. He also grabbed 7 rebounds. Steve Frankoski scored 14 points while grabbing 4 rebounds and having 4 assists. Kyle Castlin finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. The Lions shot 25 of 58 from the field for the game (43.1%) and hit 13 of 35 three pointers (37.1%). They made 19 of 27 free throws (70.4%), out-rebounded Hofstra 41-35, had 17 assists, and committed 14 turnovers.

Hofstra (7-3) faces La Salle (6-5) Tuesday afternoon at home. Columbia (6-3) faces Connecticut (4-4) in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Monday evening.

Ivy League Basketball Roundup: 12/18/2014

Ivy League Basketball Roundup: 12/18/2014

Below is the Ivy League Basketball Roundup for Thursday, December 18, 2014. Yale was the only team to play from the Ivy League as they went on the road to face Vermont.

 

Yale Wins On Late Bucket From Matt Townsend

A back and forth affair between Yale and Vermont provided a thrilling finish with Matt Townsend hitting a jumper with 5 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs the 57-56 victory.

Yale fell behind 7-2 early on, but a quick rally made it 8-7. Vermont was able to lead 19-13 at the under 8 TV timeout, but Yale had a strong finish to the half. The Bulldogs went on a 15-5 run in the final 7:52 to end the half. Yale led 28-24 at the break.

The second half was another even battle between the two teams. The Catamounts reclaimed the lead with a 9-2 run to start the half, but a three pointer from Greg Kelley tied the game at 33. That three pointer started a 13-5 run for Yale, but Vermont would not go away. Vermont trailed 50-47 with 8 minutes remaining, but both teams went cold from the field. In fact, it would be 4 minutes and 3 seconds between points with Vermont’s free throw at 3:57.

The Bulldogs took a 55-53 lead on Javier Duren’s three pointer, but Kurt Steidl’s three pointer for Vermont made it 56-55 with 1:34 left in the game. After a couple of missed shots, Vermont turned it over. With 5 seconds left, Townsend drained a jumper to take a 57-56 lead. Vermont had one last chance, but Justin Sears stole the ball to preserve the win.

Jack Montague led Yale with 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting while Justin Sears finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Matt Townsend, Greg Kelley, and Javier Duren all ended with 8 points apiece while each grabbed at least 4 rebounds. Yale went 20 of 42 from the field (47.6%) and hit 6 of 10 three pointers (60%). They went 11 of 15 from the charity stripe (73.3%), had 11 assists, had 8 steals, blocked 7 shots, and committed 11 turnovers.

Kurt Steidl finished with 18 points to lead Vermont. He went 7 of 12 from the field and grabbed 6 boards. Ethan O’Day finished with 10 points as well. The Catamounts went 21 of 53 from the field (39.6%) and hit 7 of 16 three pointers (43.8%). They went 7 of 12 from the free throw line (58.3%), out-rebounded Yale 31-27, had 13 assists, and committed 13 turnovers.

Yale (9-3) faces Albany (3-6) Saturday night at home. Vermont (5-5) plays Saint Louis (7-4) Sunday on the road.

2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 4

2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 4

As we approach mid-December, the college basketball season has been full of surprises and that extends to the Ivy League as well. The past week provided a few surprises and a few duds as well. The schedule has become sparse for the Ivy League due to finals, but we still had some great action. Let’s take a look back at week three’s power rankings before we get to the 2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 4.

 

Week 3 (11/30 – 12/6)
Rank Team Record Previous Week
1 Yale 8-2 2
2 Harvard 6-1 1
3 Columbia 5-2 3
4 Cornell 5-4 4
5 Princeton 3-6 7
6 Brown 4-6 5
7 Dartmouth 2-4 6
8 Penn 2-5 8

As noted the last few weeks, the top four teams have been at or above .500 while the bottom four teams are still languishing below that .500 mark. That remains in effect in Week Four’s power rankings as well. It is also worth noting that there were only 8 games played by Ivy League teams this week. The Ivy League went 4-4 in those 5 games. As such, there was not a ton of movement in the Power Rankings. Here are the 2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings Week 4.

1. Yale Bulldogs (8-3) – Yale played only one game and it was quite the dud. They went on the road to face the Florida Gators and got obliterated 85-47. Yale was expected to play much better, but the Gators were returning home after losing back-to-back games to North Carolina and Kansas. It was easily Yale’s worst performance, but it was exacerbated by Florida’s hot-shooting of 64% for the game. Yale hangs on to the top spot by virtue of their overall season performance thus far.

2. Harvard Crimson (7-1) – Harvard played only one game as well and they handled Boston University with a big second half from the free throw line. They knocked down 16 of 17 free throws to win 70-56. The Crimson did not do anything to harm their standing overall and continue to limit their turnovers.

3. Columbia Lions (5-3) – As with the top two teams, the Lions also played only one team. They lost, but their loss was impressive given it was on the road against the top ranked Kentucky Wildcats. They played their usual stingy defense and actually led 11-0 before Kentucky was able to score a point. They led at halftime 25-23, but the Wildcats’ talent would show through in the end. Maodo Lo played very well with 16 points and and 7 rebounds. It is clear who the top three teams in the Ivy League are.

4. Cornell Big Red (5-4) – Cornell did not play a game last week, which leaves them in the fourth spot.

5. Brown Bears (5-6) – The biggest win of the week for the Ivy League went to the Brown Bears with their 77-67 victory over Providence on the road. The Bears hit a season high 10 three pointers in the win and were impressive in repelling every run by Providence. The Bears are quickly finding their groove having won 4 of their last 5 games.

6. Dartmouth Big Green (3-4) – The Big Green played one game as well with a win over UMass Lowell, 69-48. They tied a season-high with 9 three pointers and Alex Mitola continued his streak of scoring at least 10 points in every game. He finished with 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting and 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.

7. Princeton Tigers (3-8) – Princeton was the only team to play two games and they lost both of them. The first game against St. Peter’s provided the lowest point total (46), the lowest field goal percentage (30.8%), and the lowest amount of field goals in a game (16) this season. The only reason they are not at the bottom is their game on Saturday evening at California. They looked excellent in the first half by shooting 61.9% and hitting 8 of 14 three pointers (57.1%) while holding a 37-28 lead at the break. They ultimately lost 67-57 after a poor second half, but it was a better performance than their midweek game. Nevertheless, the Tigers are in serious danger of dropping to the bottom if they continue to play poorly.

8. Penn Quakers (3-5) – Penn played one game and won against Marist 59-42. Sam Jones had a season-high 19 points off the bench on 7 of 10 shooting and made 5 of 6 three point shots. The Quakers had only 6 three pointers as a team. The Quakers collected a season-high 45 rebounds plus they had 16 assists. One area of concern for the Quakers is the turnover department. They had 20 turnovers against Marist and their season low is 14. However, the Quakers have a chance to move up if Princeton continues to struggle.

 

Here are the Week 4 Power Rankings:

Week 4 (12/7 – 12/13)
Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Yale 8-3 1
2 Harvard 7-1 2
3 Columbia 5-3 3
4 Cornell 5-4 4
5 Brown 5-6 6
6 Dartmouth 3-4 7
7 Princeton 3-8 5
8 Penn 3-5 8

Finally, there is this sortable table that incorporates each team’s rankings by week.

 

TeamPreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6
Yale Bulldogs3221111
Harvard Crimson1112222
Columbia Lions2333333
Cornell Big Red8444444
Brown Bears6656555
Dartmouth Big Green4767666
Princeton Tigers7575777
Penn Quakers5888888

 

Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree with the rankings and check back next Sunday for the Week 5 edition!

Ivy League Basketball Roundup: 12/8/2014

Ivy League Basketball Roundup: 12/8/2014

Below is the Ivy League Basketball Roundup for Monday, December 8, 2014. Three Ivy League teams played – Harvard, Yale, and Brown. All of the games were intriguing with Yale going on the road to face the Florida Gators as the most intriguing given their upset of UConn on Friday night.

 

Harvard Pulls Away From Boston U Late

Wesley Saunders nearly put up a triple-double to help Harvard put away Boston U in the final 5 minutes. Harvard went on to win 70-56 on Monday evening.

It was an even first half for both teams. Harvard led 12-8 after seven and a half minutes, but Boston came back with an 11-2 run to lead 19-14. Harvard would battle back to lead a few minutes later. Late in the half, Corbin Miller hit back-to-back three pointers and Harvard clung to a 34-33 lead at the break.

Boston U was led in the first half with 7 points from Nathan Dieudonne and Blaise Mbargorba. Dieudonne grabbed 7 of Boston’s 13 rebounds in the first half. The Terriers hit 48% from the field while making 50% of their three pointers (3 of 6). Harvard was led by Wesley Saunders with 8 points and 6 assists. Zena Edosomwan and Corbin Miller both contributed 6 points apiece. The Crimson shot 44% from the field and hit 33.3% on three pointers (5 of 15).

Harvard gained the upper hand early in the second half with a 9-2 run in the first 5 minutes to lead 43-35. The Terriers fought back to knot the game at 45 on John Papale’s three pointer with 11:19 left in the game. After a timeout, Saunders responded with a three pointer of his own while Harvard ripped off a 12-2 run to take control of the game. The closest Boston got in the final 5 minutes of the game was 8 points at 57-49.

In the second half Boston shot 32% from the field and hit 2 of 7 three pointers (28.6%). John Papale had 8 points in the second half. Harvard was led by Corbin Miller in the second half with 8 points. Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders both scored 7 points. Harvard shot 34.6% from the field in the second half and hit only 2 of 8 three pointers. Their main advantage was from the charity stripe where they went 16 of 17 in the second half (94.1%).

For the game, Boston was led by Blaise Mbargorba with 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting. Also chipping in 10 points and 4 assists was John Papale. The Terriers went 20 of 49 from the field (40.8%) and hit 5 of 13 three pointers (38.5%). They went 11 of 20 from the free throw line (55%), had 7 steals, and committed just 8 turnovers.

Harvard was led by Wesley Saunders with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. Corbin Miller scored 14 points while Siyani Chambers finished with 10 points and 7 assists. The Crimson went 20 of 52 from the field (38.5%) and hit 7 of 23 three pointers (30.4%). The Crimson shot an excellent 92% from the free throw line by hitting 23 of 25 attempts. They out-rebounded Boston 37-27, had 17 assists, 6 blocks, and committed 9 turnovers.

Boston U (2-6) faces Quinnipiac (3-4) Sunday afternoon at home. Harvard (7-1) is sporting a 6 game win streak going into a nice 13 day break. However, they will be faced with a tough game at Virginia (9-0) on December 21.

 

Florida Obliterates Yale

Just three days after pulling a stunning upset of UConn, Yale got their doors blown off by the Florida Gators and it was not even close. Florida dominated 85-47.

Yale struggled mightily on defense in the first half. Yale led 5-4 at the first TV timeout before the Gators took over with a 15-4 run to make it 19-9 halfway through the first 20 minutes. It did not get any better as the Bulldogs gave up bucket after bucket. Florida led 46-20 at halftime.

Justin Sears had 9 first half points for Yale with the Bulldogs shooting 30.4%. They went 1 of 7 from beyond the arc (14.3%) and committed 9 turnovers. The Gators were on fire shooting 67.7% from the field (21 of 31) and hit 4 of 9 three pointers (44.4%). Michael Frazier II had 15 points in the first half on 6 of 8 shooting (3 of 5 from deep) while Jacob Kurtz came off the bench to contribute 8 points.

The second half was not much better for Yale. The Gators opened with an 11-5 heading into the first TV timeout to lead 57-25. The Gators continued to dominate with another run of 15-4 nearly halfway through the second half. The Gators continued to pour it on, before the Bulldogs scored 8 points in the final two minutes to make the score look only slightly better.

Justin Sears finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Jack Montague and Armani Cotton both added 8 points. Yale went 16 of 47 from the field for the game (34%) and hit 4 of 13 three pointers (30.8%). They made 11 of 15 free throws (73.3%), but committed 15 turnovers.

The Gators were scintillating the entire game. Michael Frazier II had 18 points, Dorian Finney-Smith scored 14 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, Chris Walker scored 13 points and grabbed 6 boards, and Jacob Kurtz had 10 points and 6 rebounds. The Gators went 37 of 58 for the game (63.8%) and hit 10 of 19 three pointers (52.6%). They attempted only 4 free throws, hitting one, out-rebounded Yale 33 to 23, had 10 steals, blocked 6 shots, and committed 11 turnovers.

Yale (8-3) has 10 days off before traveling to face Vermont (4-4) on December 18. Florida (4-4) faces Texas Southern (1-6) on Friday.

Brown Pulls Off Road Shocker At Providence

Brown went into the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and shocked Providence 77-67 on Monday evening. Five Bears finished in double figures and the Bears used 10 three pointers to help them pull the upset.

Providence took a slim lead at 7-2 in the opening three minutes before ripped off a 15-0 run led by Cedric Kuakumensah’s 10 points in that run. Providence was able to make a little head way by going on a 10-2 run to trail 19-17 past the midway point of the first half. The Friars would eventually tie the game by going on a 13-5 run to end the half. Tyler Harris scored 5 of the last 7 points and the game was all square at going into halftime.

Brown was led by Cedric Kuakumensah’s 10 early points in the first half. He also grabbed 5 rebounds. The Bears shot 39.3% from the field and hit 38.5% of their three pointers. The Friars shot 39.3% from the field as well, but hit just 1 of 11 three pointers (11.1%) in the first half. LaDontae Henton had 9 points and 4 rebounds while Kris Dunn scored 7 points.

The second half remained even until nearly three quarters of the clock was gone. Back-to-back three pointers by JR Hobbie made it 58-53 then came a heads up play by Hobbie to push the ball up the court quickly and he found Leland King for an easy layup and a 60-53 lead. Henton responded with a three of his own to cut it back to a 4 point deficit. However, the Bears were too much on the free throw line hitting their last 13 in a row to seal the game.

Leland King led Brown with 16 points for the game. Cedric Kuakumensah scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds while Steven Spieth also had 15 points and grabbed 7 boards. JR Hobbie had 13 points while Tavon Blackmon had 11 points and 7 assists. The Bears shot 24 of 55 from the field for the game (43.6%) and hit 10 of 23 three pointers (43.5%). Brown hit 19 of 24 free throws (79.2%) and committed 13 turnovers.

Both LeDontae Henton and Kris Dunn scored 16 points for the Friars. Henton also had 8 rebounds while Dunn had 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Tyler Harris scored 13 points and grabbed 6 boards. The Friars went 25 of 63 from the field (39.7%) and hit only 4 of 19 three pointers (21.1%). Providence went 13 of 21 from the free throw line (61.9%), out-rebounded Brown 39 to 36, had 7 steals, blocked 7 shots (Carson Desrosiers had 5), and committed 12 turnovers.

Brown (5-6) has won 4 of their last 5 games and does not play again for two weeks. They face Central Connecticut State (1-7) on December 22 on the road. Providence (6-3) has now lost three in a row and face Rhode Island (5-2) Wednesday at home.