Thursday, March 10, 2011

The 14-Game Tournament's 2011 All-Ivy Team

The Ivy coaches have spoken, and their results have been posted here.

Now it's time for The 14-Game Tournament's All-Ivy Teams and Individual Awards. The awards listed below are based, exclusively, on performance during the Ivy League season and, unlike those from the league office, will come with some brief explanations. Also, the teams will be restricted to the same size as the Ivy office's (4 Honorable Mentions, 5 First- and Second-Teamers).

With that housekeeping out of the way, let's reveal the picks:

Ivy League 2011 All-Ivy Release

Player of the Year
Keith Wright, Harvard (Jr., F, Suffolk, Va.)

Rookie of the Year
*Sean McGonagill, Brown (Fr., G, Brookfield, Ill.)

Defensive Player of the Year
Kareem Maddox, Princeton (Sr., F, Oak Park, Calif.)

First Team All-Ivy
Noruwa Agho, Columbia (Jr., G, New City, N.Y.)
*Keith Wright, Harvard (Jr., F, Suffolk, Va.)
Zack Rosen, Penn (Jr., G, Colonia, N.J.)
*Kareem Maddox, Princeton (Sr., F, Oak Park, Calif.)
*Greg Mangano, Yale (Jr., C, Orange, Conn.)

Second Team All-Ivy
Chris Wroblewski, Cornell (Jr., G, Highland Park, Ill.)
Kyle Casey, Harvard (So., F, Medway, Mass.)
Brandyn Curry, Harvard (So., G, Huntersville, N.C.)
Ian Hummer, Princeton (So., F, Vienna, Va.)
Dan Mavraides, Princeton (Sr., G, San Mateo, Calif.)

Honorable Mention
Tucker Halpern, Brown (So., F, Brookline, Mass.)
Brian Barbour, Columbia (So., G, Alamo, Calif.)
Christian Webster, Harvard (So., G, Washington, D.C.)
Jack Eggleston, Penn (Sr., F, Noblesville, Ind.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And Now It's Official: We're Playoff Bound

Behind a huge second half from Kareem Maddox, Princeton defeated rival Penn 70-58 last night and earned its own share of the Ivy League title.

The Tigers, which scored just four points over the final 10 minutes of the first half, exploded for 51 points after the intermission, as Maddox dropped in 21 of his 23 in the second stanza.

After Princeton took an early 15-4 lead, the Quakers ripped off a 23-4 run to grab a 27-19 advantage with 19 minutes left to play. From there, it was all Tigers, as it took Princeton just two minutes and an 8-0 run to pull even. The two sides traded baskets until the eight minute mark, when the Tigers used a 13-2 run to put the game away for good.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Potential Ivy League Playoff Game Announcement

If Princeton defeats Penn at The Palestra tomorrow night and forces a tie with Harvard a top the Ivy League, then a playoff would be held this Saturday at 4 p.m. at Yale's Payne Whitney Gym. The game will be streamed live on ESPN's online content provider, ESPN3 will also be streaming the matchup between the Quakers and Tigers tomorrow night.

More information, including how to get tickets for the playoff game, will be made available on Wednesday morning.

NOTEBOOK: Harvard Clinches Share, Princeton Can Join Tomorrow Night

From the moment Tommy Amaker was hired at Harvard in April 2007, this moment was seen as a foregone conclusion - a point in the future that existed without a definite date, but with a definite presence.

Amaker would lead the Crimson to an Ivy title, at some point, and Harvard's big gamble would pay off. At least a few people, however, would have been skeptical that it would happen this soon.

The progression has been steady each year, starting even from the first. With a young, but ultimately decently talented roster, recovering from loss of All-Ivy talents Brian Cusworth and Jim Goffredo, Amaker led Harvard to its first marquee win, knocking off Michigan at home, during a tough 8-22 campaign.

The following year brought the Crimson's first win over a ranked opponent (Boston College) and Harvard's first win at The Palestra in 18 years. Last season brought the Crimson's first 20-win campaign ever and its first postseason tournament berth since 1946. In year number four, Amaker delivered on his initial promise and brought Harvard its first ever Ivy League title.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

14-Game Tournament: ESPN The Ocho (err, 3)

The back-and-forth continues.

A week after Princeton took a tumble in the final game of its four-straight road contests, Harvard did the same, dropping a 70-69 decision at Yale. The Tigers' loss dropped Princeton from two-thirds to win the Ivy title to just one-third. The Crimson's defeat the following weekend deadlocked it with the Tigers right at 50/50.

And so we venture into the league's final weekend - the ultimate outcome in severe doubt for the first time since 2002. Both teams seem to have their own advantages - Harvard merely needs a home sweep for a share and in so doing, would force Princeton to win at Penn for its share. Meanwhile, the Tigers only need to win in Boston on Saturday night to clinch a share and only take one of their other two road games (in Hanover and Philly) to take the league outright.

Both the Penn and Princeton games at Lavietes are sold out and have been for weeks now. ESPN3 hopped on board to broadcast the Saturday night showdown between the Crimson and Tigers over the internet. If Harvard survives Friday night unscathed, it could be the most consequential night in the Ivy League in nine years, only to be topped, in the event of a Crimson victory, by a potential playoff game the following weekend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NOTEBOOK: Week 17 Powerpoll, Adjusted Efficiency Margin

The second straight league leader couldn't survive the Saturday night portion of the Connecticut/Rhode Island road trip.

This time it was Yale doing the damage, as it dropped then-Ivy leading Harvard 70-69 at Payne Whitney Gym. A Brandyn Curry layup at the buzzer never quite made it over the heel of the rim, allowing the Bulldogs to hang on and with the Cornell win at Penn, seize control of third place in the league.

Now the table is set for an interesting final (extended) weekend. Harvard can clinch a share of its first ever Ivy title with a home sweep of Penn and Princeton. The Tigers can clinch the title outright by sweeping the road trip or can clinch at least a share with a loss at Dartmouth and a win at Harvard.

If the Crimson sweeps or splits but beats Princeton, then the Tuesday showdown between the rival Quakers and Tigers would suddenly add a level of intensity, as Princeton could either clinch its share of the title or the outright NCAA berth at The Palestra.


Princeton 10 1
Harvard 10 2
Yale 7 5
Penn 6 5
Columbia 5 7
Brown 4 8
Cornell 4 8
Dartmouth 1 11

Team OffEff DefEff AdjEff
Brown 1.007 1.054 -0.047
Columbia 0.945 1.010 -0.065
Cornell 1.040 1.097 -0.058
Dartmouth 0.871 1.069 -0.198
Harvard 1.082 1.001 0.082
Penn 0.987 0.978 0.009
Princeton 1.009 0.929 0.080
Yale 0.974 0.994 -0.020

The Adjusted Efficiency Margin didn't change at all from last week, despite the shakeup in the standings. Harvard and Princeton remain a tight 1-2 at the top, while Penn and Yale are a tight 3-4 after a pretty significant gap.

The next bunch - Brown, Cornell and Columbia - remains clumped together in the same order as last week - 5-6-7, respectively. Finally, despite its strong showing at Yale, Dartmouth remains mired in a distant last.

While the Crimson remains in the lead for now, given the razor-thin margin, it is likely that whichever team wins the league will also win the conference-only adjusted efficiency margin race. The Ivy adjusted efficiency margin leader has won the league every year since 2004, when Penn's +7.5 stunningly lost out to Princeton's +3.1.


8. Dartmouth (8)
Looked frisky in New Haven and could have sprung the upset. Have to balance that against the stinker in Providence the next night, though.
7. Columbia (4)
The Lions are 3-7 now in their last 10 with two of those victories coming against the aforementioned Big Green.
6. Brown (6)
Can't take away the talking points of "Beat Princeton" and "Led Harvard by 39 points combined over two games." Would have been better if the Bears had nailed down a 2-2 record against the league's top two, though.
5. Penn (3)
Embarrassing and costly mistake at home against Cornell. Now the Quakers must win out to extend their season - a highly unlikely proposition.
4. Cornell (7)
Probably a spot too high for the Big Red, but it has gone 4-3 after a rough league start and could save a miserable season with a home sweep to reach the 10-win mark.
3. Yale (5)
Don't look now, but with two RPI Top 50 wins, the Bulldogs could be a road sweep away from the CBI or CIT.
2. Harvard (1)
The Crimson better hope that 80% Opponents FT percentage regresses to the mean hard this weekend. It's making an otherwise above average defense look very average.
1. Princeton (2)
The team with the easiest path to the title. Beat Harvard on Saturday night for a share and pick one of at Dartmouth or at Penn for the outright NCAA bid.