Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Ivy League showdown looms between old rivals

February 18, 2012 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments
ivy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The stage is set. Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion will be a potentially epic battle with first place on the line after Friday night’s results. Harvard blew out Brown 69-42 at home, while Yale held off Dartmouth 70-61 in Hanover to take care of their end. Harvard will come in with an 8-1 Ivy League record, while Yale is on its heels at 7-2.

In theory, there should not have been much doubt about the games on Friday night. Brown was already under-manned, especially up front, and then had to go without Andrew McCarthy due to a back injury, thinning the frontcourt further against a Harvard team that can punish opponents inside. Dartmouth came in as the league’s only winless team, although they were at home. But there’s a reason why we play the games, and it isn’t because Brown had big halftime leads over Harvard in both meetings last season or Dartmouth’s reputation for playing teams tough in Hanover.

Saturday night’s game is also noteworthy in that this is a major rivalry, although one known more in football with “The Game”. Last year, Yale dealt a big blow to Harvard, knocking them off in New Haven, a loss that set the stage for the tie atop the league that led to the one-game playoff with Princeton. The Crimson haven’t forgotten that, and it’s one reason they understand that they have to play their best every game.

“We’re just looking at this as we’re pitching it up for 40 minutes and we have to come out of here with a win,” said junior forward Kyle Casey.

When the two teams met over three weeks ago, it was all Harvard as the Crimson drubbed the Bulldogs 65-35. They forced 22 turnovers, something that has plagued Yale teams over the years, and dominated for much of the game. The Bulldogs appear to have gotten over that loss, having won every game since then. And in keeping with lessons learned, Harvard won’t be approaching Saturday night’s game as if the earlier result gives them a leg up.

“We know we’re going to face a hungry team, and a team that’s fighting for our league just as we are,” said head coach Tommy Amaker. “We anticipate this is going to be what people thought going into that last game.”

Yale isn’t as deep as Harvard, and the Crimson got a chance to rest their starters somewhat with a big lead in the second half. The biggest factor in this game will likely be the turnover battle; if Yale can win out there, they should have a chance. The Bulldogs turn the ball over more than any other Ivy League team, and while Harvard turns it over the least in the league, they have been prone to stretches of turnovers in addition to stretches where they simply don’t give the ball away.

The Bulldogs match up well with Harvard save for not being as deep, so it will come down to who plays the better game. One Harvard player is confident in how his team will come to play.

“I think we’re going to play very well tomorrow,” said senior forward Keith Wright. “I’m excited.”

Comment on this Article:







Like Hoopville on Facebook

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

Hoopville Archives

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.