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.

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