By Nick Catlin
Prior to the 2016-2017 basketball season, the Ivy League was the only Division I conference to not hold a postseason conference tournament. That all changed once the council of presidents approved a four-team playoff to decide who would be granted the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
Both semi-final games will be played on Saturday, followed by the championship game on Sunday. The doubleheader on Saturday is No. 1 Harvard vs. No. 4 Penn and No. 2 Yale vs. No. 3 Princeton.
One player to watch for is 6-foot-five Senior Guard Myles Stephens for Princeton. He hasn’t shot the ball as well this season- struggling to just a 16 percent mark from the three-point line. Stephens will have to step it up to beat Yale, especially after their 22-point home loss to them on Saturday.
The team to watch is the Harvard Crimson. They have the first seed and swept all three other teams in this tournament. This is their tournament to lose in terms of previous performances. Junior Guard Bryce Aiken will need to play well in this tournament, he averages nearly 22 points a game, along with 41% from three.
Don’t sleep on Princeton, if Stephens can get hot and go back to his scoring from last year, the could find their way into the Big Dance come Sunday. The Tigers finished with a conference record of 8-6, 2-4 against the league’s tournament teams, both wins coming against Pennsylvania.
Despite losing both games to Harvard this season, I see Yale winning both games this weekend to earn the automatic bid. They host the tournament this season and have played well in conference all year, going 10-4. Despite that, they are the two seed to Harvard due to their head-to-head matchup tiebreaker. 6-foot-6 Guard Miye Oni will continue to be the leader of this team with efficient scoring and secure Yale’s fifth tournament appearance for the first time since 2016.
Predicted champion: Yale.
Edited by Garrett Jones | email@example.com