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.

The victory means that the Ivy League will see its first playoff since 2002, when Yale defeated Princeton at The Palestra, before Penn knocked off the Bulldogs at Lafayette to settle the three-way tie. Both Yale and Princeton made the NIT field that season, while the Quakers went on to the NCAA tournament as an 11 seed.

The site for the tiebreaker will be Yale's Payne Whitney Gymnasium on Saturday at 4 p.m. ESPN3 will carry the game and tickets went on sale to the general public today at noon.

Initial projections have the game relatively close to a toss up, as Ken Pomeroy's site gives Harvard a one-point edge and a 56 percent chance of winning while Jeff Sagarin's site lists the Crimson as two-point favorites.

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