What you knew was going to happen finally did on Friday night, although it was a little earlier than expected. Princeton wrapped up its third consecutive Ivy League title with its 56-33 win over Columbia, leaving the rest of the Ivy League coaching staffs a long, long time to ponder what it is going to take to wrest the title from the Tigers. The Tigers are the first team to "three-peat" since Pennsylvania won three straight from 1978-80.
Princeton's remaining league games are against last-place Pennsylvania, seventh-place Dartmouth and now third-place Harvard, affording the Tigers a legitimate shot at becoming the first undefeated Ivy League champion since their 1975-76 version ripped through the league. Princeton, which moved up to number 21 in this week's Associated Press college basketball top 25, has the third-best overall record (20-2) of those teams ranked, and the second-longest winning streak (12) in the nation, second only to the number-one ranked UNLV Runnin' Rebels.
The Tiger's dominance this season, and early clinching of the title (this is the first season since 1978-79 that the championship has not been decided on the final weekend of play) got Brown Coach Mike Cingiser thinking about the possibilities of an Ivy League tournament.
"I told my guys that there was a vote last night," Cingiser said after Brown's 115-91 demolishing of the Crimson, "and there is going to be an Ivy League post-season tournament this year. They're very naive, though, and they believed me.
"The point is, this year would be a great year to have it, because if anybody did beat Princeton, we would have two Ivy representatives in the NCAA tournament."
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Falling Fast: And then, what you thought could never happen did on Saturday night. After jumping out to first-place and a 5-0 Ivy League record, it didn't seem possible that Harvard could finish any lower than second in the Ancient Eight. But the Crimson fell into third-place on Saturday when Brown kicked Harvard all over the Pizzitola Center in Providence, R.I., and Yale knocked off Dartmouth in New Haven. The Elis (7-5 Ivy) took over sole possession of second-place with the win.
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Rodd Knows Harvard: Brown's Rodd Torbert is now a certified Crimson-killer. The Bruins guard had a career-high 16 points in Brown's blowout on Saturday night, including four three-pointers. Harvard fans may remember the name, because Torbert is also a standout tight end on Brown football Coach Mickey Kwiatkowski's soda-can brigade, and was named to the first-team All-Ivy squad. In Brown's 52-37 demolition of the Crimson at the Stadium on November 3, Torbert had 156 yards on 11 receptions.
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Mr. Short-Term Memory: Yale Head Coach Dick Kuchen was understandably pleased after his Bulldogs downed Harvard Friday night in New Haven to complete a series sweep.
"I can't remember the last time we beat them twice in one season," Kuchen, who is in his fifth year at Yale's helm, gushed after the game.
Well, Coach, it was only four years ago, in the 1986-87 season, that the Bulldogs ousted Harvard in New Haven, 106-95, and then stole an 88-76 victory at Briggs Cage.