Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Notebook: Two Horse Town

After Harvard finally put Yale away with a Keith Wright dunk off of a press break, the Crimson joined Princeton as the second member of the breakaway pack that is now two or more games ahead of the rest of the field.

While the Tigers might only be a game ahead in the loss column, Princeton has carved out a huge lead in the adjusted efficiency margin at +12.3 points per 100 possessions as compared to Harvard's +6.6. The Tigers still have the tougher remaining schedule with six more road games to the Crimson's four, but given how easily Princeton dispatched Columbia at Levien last night, the home/road split might not matter to the Tigers.

The odds are dead even at this point, with both teams winning the league 61 percent of the time (49 percent on a tie-allocated basis).

  • The Penn/Cornell game last night was a wild one with the Big Red taking a 16-point first half lead, only to watch the Quakers march off a 39-14 run to go up nine with under nine to play. Cornell used a 12-3 run to bring it back even with 5:39 to go. Penn would push its advantage back to five before the Big Red pulled even again. Penn's Conor Turley had a 1-and-1 with one second remaining to give the Quakers the game, but missed the front end. Cornell took over with a 13-2 run to open the extra session and never looked back en route to an 82-71 win.
  • Brown pushed its lead to double-digits on a few occasions against Dartmouth, but the Big Green made things interesting by narrowing the lead to four with under three minutes to go. Freshman guard Sean McGonagill went 6-for-6 from the line down the stretch to seal the victory for the Bears.
  • The Quakers and Lions are facing off tonight to gain the inside track to the final upper division spot. If Penn wins, it would open up a two-game lead in the loss column over the fifth-place Lions. If Columbia wins, it will sneak ahead of the Quakers by a half-game for fourth.

Princeton 6-0
Harvard 6-1
Yale 4-3
Penn 3-3
Columbia 3-4
Brown 2-5
Cornell 2-5
Dartmouth 1-6

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