Checking In On… the Ivy League

Posted by rtmsf on November 20th, 2009


Dave Zeitlin is the RTC correspondent for the Ivy League.


  1. Cornell (2-0) – Convincing road wins over Alabama and UMass to start the season not only secures the Big Red’s place as the clear best team in the Ivies; it also establishes them as one of the nation’s premier mid-majors.
  2. Princeton (2-0) – Tigers take care of a good Central Michigan team on the road, before following that with a victory over Manhattan.
  3. Columbia (0-1) – DePaul may be one of the worst teams in the Big East, but the Lions’ near-win against them is still impressive.
  4. Harvard (2-0) – The Crimson’s best player, Jeremy Lin, is the man. More on this later.
  5. Penn (0-2) – It’s hard to get a good read on the Quakers, who lost to the reigning NIT champion (Penn State) and reigning NCAA semifinalist (Villanova). But early indications are not good.
  6. Yale (1-2) – Bulldogs edged by Hofstra in preseason NIT opener, but respond with 10-point with over Colgate.
  7. Brown (1-2) – Losing to Virginia Tech and Rhode Island is nothing to be ashamed about.
  8. Dartmouth (0-2) – Like most other teams in the league, Big Green starts season with two tough games, falling to Boston College and George Mason.


LIN IS KING: We’ve got to start with Harvard and their super senior Jeremy Lin, who may just be the best player in the league. Check out his game-winning buzzer-beater in triple overtime against William & Mary. Harvard has had some good non-conference moments under head coach Tommy Amaker, and this could be the year they make a run at the Ivy Title … only problem is Cornell, which is far, far better.

BIG-CONFERENCE TEAMS SEEING RED: It might be too early for this, but in my opinion there’s no reason to think Cornell can’t warrant Top 25 consideration at some point this season. After spoiling Anthony Grant’s debut at Alabama, the senior-laden Big Red easily handled UMass. And now they’ve also got the whole we’ve-got-no-respect thing going for them due to some poor tournament scheduling.

’NOVA FEELS BAD FOR PENN: Hey, look, Penn has a new fan! It’s Villanova coach Jay Wright – even if he likes Penn the same way someone might like a three-legged pregnant kitten with worms. “There was nothing they could do,” Wright said after Villanova’s rout over Penn earlier this week. “I actually felt for them.” Oh, by the way, Wright never called a timeout during his team’s 103-65 win, which was the worst loss Penn has ever had to Villanova. Yeah, Villanova is one of the best teams in the country and Penn, well, isn’t. But the frustrating part for Penn fans is that it wasn’t that long ago when the Quakers were better than the Wildcats. Seven seasons to be exact.

FOR OPENERS, DAVIS IS GOOD: Princeton guard Douglas Davis has now scored over 40 points combined in the Tigers’ last two season-openers, both against Central Michigan. It’s looking like Davis could be the man to return Princeton to its glory years.

A NON-IVY IVY LEAGUE GAME: Anyone that knows the coaches of Georgetown and Temple shouldn’t have been surprised by the final score of their game this week: a 46-45 Hoyas win. That’s because the coaches are John Thompson III of Georgetown (formerly of Princeton) and Fran Dunphy of Temple (formerly of Penn). Thompson and Dunphy engaged in plenty of deliberate, run-the-shot-cluck-down-to-the-final seconds, and yes, exciting games in their Ivy League days. This game was kind of like that, though back in the day Dunphy used to usually get the better of Thompson.

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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