In the NBA, it's the same thing every year. Put Boston and L.A. in the post-season tournament, and they will meet in the finals.
Lately, the same has been the case for the Harvard and Brown men's water polo teams.
At the New England Water Polo Championships this weekend, both the Crimson and Bruins steamrolled over their opening-day opponents. Freshman John Marshall's four-goal effort gave Harvard a 15-6 victory over Yale, and Eric Bentley's fourth-period hat trick led the Crimson to a 9-3 triumph over UMass, setting up a championship showdown with Brown.
The Crimson's Kyle Enright broke the ice 19 seconds into the game, but the Bruins responded with a pair of tallies to grab a 2-1 lead after one period.
One minute and 45 seconds into the second period, Marshall picked up a Bentley pass and shoved the ball behind Brown goalie Dan Tapiero to even the game, 2-2.
But 32 seconds later, Harvard netminder Don Benson got caught out of the net helping out one of his teammates, and Brown scored to take a 3-2 lead into the lockerroom.
The Crimson knotted the contest at 3-3, but a pair of Bruin goals in less than a minute and-a-half gave Brown a two-goal advantage heading into the final frame.
Harvard closed to within one score when Tri-Captain Bill Wolff converted a nice Bill Kaiser pass into a goal in a man-up situation, but Brown's Steve Halus scored two goals in the game's final three minutes to ice it.
"The credit goes to the seniors," Harvard Coach Chris Hafferty said. "These are the same guys who would get beaten by Brown, 24-2, that are now pressing the Brown guys hard."