Around the Ivies
Before covering last week’s Harvard football game at Lafayette, I made the very fortunate decision to spend the night in New York City rather than in Easton, Pa.
About 45 minutes before last Saturday’s game, we asked where we could get a bite in town. The locals were very friendly to their Harvard visitors, but after a solid 30 seconds of thinking and conferring between the three people running the student give-away table, they couldn’t really think of any place for us to go.
Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah. And we all know what that means—Ivy League football is starting to heat up.
Well, that’s not entirely true. But as it so happens, this year, the start of 5772 coincides with some of the first meaningful games of the Ancient Eight season.
Hide your kids. Hide your wife. And hide your husband, because the Ivy League is getting fratricidal this weekend. Judgment Week has come for the Ancient Eight.
Three teams—three-and-a-half if you count Dartmouth—have a shot at killing the dreams of a title hopeful. Penn has a crack at Harvard tonight and Princeton next Tuesday, and the Tigers and the Crimson throw down tomorrow evening, likely for the top spot in the conference (the Big Green also has a statistically insignificant chance at beating Princeton tonight).
One thousand fifty minutes played, 1870 points scored, and 873 rebounds grabbed. After 26 games, the final outcome of a remarkable season will rest in the Harvard men’s basketball team’s own hands.
After overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit to snatch a thrilling comeback victory against Brown and enduring a heartbreaking one-point loss at Yale on last weekend’s two-game road trip, the team returns to Lavietes Pavilion this weekend, where it is 12-0 this season.
Among all the Ivies, Yale and Brown, at least in my mind, are Harvard’s neighbors. The three New England universities live on the same road, I-95, and the green quads of each punctuate semi-urban communities.
The Bears did the Crimson a big favor last weekend by beating league-leading Princeton, and perhaps the neighborly thing to do would be to show Brown some gratitude. But I won’t, because in my experience, neighbors are rarely neighborly.