Around the Water Cooler: The Final Stretch

Published by Darren McLeod on February 23, 2011 at 3:11AM

around the water cooler

As midterms and papers slowly crush all of us, the athletes of Harvard are crunched for time as they battle to win not only Ivy League glory, but national recognition too. Basketball is coming to a close and a chance at making history is on the horizon. While women’s squash may have come to a close, the men’s team can redeem themselves after last week’s loss to Yale, and the women’s swimming and diving Ivy League Championships are on tap for this week. Take a break from your studies to check out what’s going on around the Ivy League in this week’s edition of Around the Water Cooler.

As the basketball regular seasons come to a close, both Harvard men’s and women’s squads have a chance at doing something that’s never happened in this history of Harvard: hold the Ivy League title at the same time. The men’s team has never won the title and currently sits atop the rankings alongside rival Princeton, while the women’s team is one game behind the Tigers. If it wins the Ivy League it will receive its first bid to NCAA March Madness tournament to compete for the national championship.  Princeton’s men’s team had sole possession of first place until this past weekend when the Tigers lost to Brown in a major upset.

Harvard’s women’s team won both of its games over the weekend against Columbia and Cornell. Similar fortunes of victory may be bestowed upon the Big Red’s squad when it hosts Princeton this coming Saturday. An unlikely win by Cornell over the Tigers would also place the Crimson in a tie for the number one spot.

In other women’s basketball news, Harvard freshman guard Christine Clark has earned recognition as Ivy League Rookie of the Week. This is her third time receiving the award and deservedly so after having a career-high 28 points against Columbia. Junior Brogan Berry also received recognition this weekend for scoring the 1,000th point of her career.

This week is also set to be dramatic with the Crimson women’s swimming and diving team at the Ivy League Championships on Feb. 24-26. Princeton has been picked as the favorite to win the championships due to the fact that they were dual-season champions after remaining undefeated in the Ivy League. Last year’s championships were the closest in the Ancient Eight’s history after the Tigers narrowly beat Harvard by 30 points. The Crimson’s only loss this year came at the hands of Princeton, making for a mighty rematch this coming weekend.

In squash, the Yale women were able to defeat Harvard, the defending national champion, for the Ivy League title last week. This week, the Bulldogs were once again pitted against Harvard for the Howe Cup—the award given to the CSA National Team Champion—and came out victorious, remaining undefeated throughout their entire season.

Yale also asserted itself in men’s squash last week by defeating the Crimson at Harvard for the Ivy League Championship. They are to return to Cambridge yet again this week on Feb. 25-27 to battle for the Howe Cup on the men’s side.