Big basketball game Saturday afternoon, folks: Harvard (23-5, 12-2 Ivy) and Princeton (24-6, 12-2 Ivy) fighting to the death on Yale's court, a neutral site, for the Ivy League's March Madness bid. Extra high stakes for Harvard, who hasn't appeared in the tourney since 1946, back when RFK was punching the Spee.
Today's Crimson brings word that Harvard junior center Keith Wright won Ivy League Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy First Team. But wait, Princeton captain Dan Mavraides said this after his squad's big win last night: "We're Ivy League champions; we're putting our names on that banner. That's been our goal since we came here four years ago." Conflict!
What say you, Deadspinners? Yesterday, we heard from a couple aggrieved emailers, one annoyed that the Crimson would be disadvantaged on Yale's floor, another tweaked by Harvard's raucous celebration. Derek Bok and I couldn't stop giggling over drinks at the Harvard Club last night.
Anyway, today, we received some more reader feedback.
Reader Jasper takes issue with reader Brad:
Recent Yale grad here. Not that anyone cares enough for this to be an Update on the Harvard-Princeton story, but just for Reader Brad's peace of mind, I wanted to point out that
A) Yale is currently on spring break so there aren't very many people (let alone basketball fans) around to begin with, and
B) Yale's #3-ranked mens hockey team is playing in the ECAC quarterfinals that evening, so just about every sports fan hanging around campus is sure to go to that game instead.
Given those conditions, Yale appears to be as good a venue as any for the Harvard-Princeton playoff, especially since New Haven is more or less equidistant between Princeton and Cambridge.
"Equidistant!" That's science. Did you know that Yale has a section of its Wikipedia notable alumni page devoted to frontiersmen? And that section falls right after the section devoted to "public intellectuals?"
But reader Colin snipes back at reader Vikram:
In response to Vikram: before the game against Princeton, Harvard Men's basketball was the only varsity team at the school that had not won at least a share of the Ivy League title. In winning against Princeton on Saturday, Harvard guaranteed itself either the outright Ivy title (had Princeton lost Tuesday) or a share of the Ivy title. Since Princeton won at Penn, Harvard is now co-champion of the Ivy League; they received a share of the Ivy League title. The game this coming Saturday is for the purpose of deciding who goes to the NCAA tournament. Since the Ivy League does not allow conference playoffs, the winner of the conference in the regular season gets the berth. Because Harvard and Princeton share the Ivy League title this year, a one-game playoff must be played to decide who goes to the tournament; this game does not decide the Ivy League champion and is therefore not an "ivy league championship".
The reason Harvard fans stormed the court and celebrated was that for the first time ever (the program has been around for many decades), Harvard Men's basketball won at least a share of the Ivy League conference title.
This fact was clearly reported in the Harvard Crimson, the Boston Globe, ESPN, and the New York Times, although perhaps Vikram is too busy hitting the books at Princeton to read any of these news sources.
Wait, is that conclusion a diss? Or is it aspirational? If it's the former, Colin is a Cantab, through and through. But if it's not? He definitely goes to Penn. In which case we extend our deepest sympathies.
More pugilistic poetry for this donnybrook? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: higher education.