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AROUND THE IVIES: Men's Basketball Faces Challenging Home Slate

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However, this article is not to draw parallels between a team that just won a Super Bowl in historic fashion to a team that had back-to-back losses to Fairfield and La Salle earlier in the season. Yes, the Quakers have been playing the best basketball of anyone in the Ivy League and looked dominant in the second half against Princeton on Tuesday night.

But there’s still a lot of basketball to be played and even more questions to be answered. Penn has played just one road game in the last two months, has struggled at times to play defense, is just over a year removed from a weekend in which it dropped its road contests to Harvard and Dartmouth, its two opponents this weekend, and has an extremely creepy (but peaceful) mascot.

Yes, the Penn men’s basketball team and the Eagles both finished below .500 last season and yes, Steve Donahue and Doug Pederson look alike if you cover one eye and squint, and yes, both teams play in the same city. The Quakers will probably beat Harvard this weekend, but come on, it’s still Penn men’s basketball. On to the picks:

COLUMBIA AT YALE

Both of these institutions struggle to have redeeming qualities.

For its part, Columbia has what may very well be the worst band in collegiate sports. On our road trip to Morningside Heights last week, we had the misfortune of being placed right in front of the band. After a few mediocre renditions of some traditional melodies, the band—which endearingly refers to itself as “the maggots of Columbia College” in its constitution—decided to take on Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”.

We wish they hadn’t.

If you’ve ever had the fortunate of seeing that video where they replace the “oh’s” in that song with goats screaming, that’s a lot what it sounded like. If you haven’t, just Google “Taylor Swift goat” and turn up the volume.

Reading further into the band’s constitution, we found some language that explained it all—the band will, “take anyone who shows up.” I guess they took a page out of the playbook of Cornell’s admissions office.

For its part, Yale is located in New Haven.

The reason for all this is to say that with their lack of enviable qualities, this should make for a pretty close matchup. Given that the Lions won’t have their trusted band in New Haven, though, it’ll be tough for them to find the inspiration necessary out in Connecticut.

Pick: Yale

CORNELL AT BROWN

While Cornell struggles to earn any semblance of respect from its Ivy League counterparts, another Ithaca institution has done just that for us.

That’s right, the Ithaca Police Department.

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