This year’s men’s basketball team might be the best team in modern Ivy League history not to win a championship.
That’s not an honor it hoped to achieve, of course. Princeton entered the final regular-season weekend with only one Ivy loss, effectively tied with Yale atop the league. But a heartbreaking 73-71 defeat at Harvard left the Tigers’ fate out of their hands. Though they bounced back to beat Dartmouth the following day, the Bulldogs swept their weekend games to win the solo conference title at 13-1.
In one of the strongest Ivy Leagues ever, the Tigers have outscored conference foes by 11.5 points per game. If they beat Penn at home on Tuesday, they will finish 12-2 in league play, a record that would have won at least a share of the title in four of the last five seasons. According to College Basketball Reference’s Simple Rating System, Princeton has been 7.8 points per game better than the average D-I team this season (adjusted for its schedule) — better than all but nine Ivy teams since 1980, all of them champions. Continue reading