After all the head scratching and the "if so-and-so wins, then this happens" scenarios, the Ivy League season will once again be decided by the same two teams that have decided it for the past 13 years -- Penn and Princeton. Tonight, the Penn men's basketball team travels to Old Nassau to face Princeton, as the two teams wrap up their regular-season schedules at 7:30 in Jadwin Gymnasium. But the Quakers (12-16, 9-4 Ivy League), who sit one game behind the Tigers (15-10, 10-3) in the race for the Ancient Eight title, hope to see their archrivals one more time this season after tonight's game. "Our backs are against the wall -- it's do or die right now," Penn senior center Geoff Owens said. "There's no tomorrow if we don't win this game. If we don't leave it all out on the floor, we're going to remember this for a long time as the opportunity we could've had." If the Quakers win tonight, they will be crowned Ivy League co-champions along with the Tigers, who have already clinched a share of the title. More importantly for the Red and Blue, a win tonight would earn them the right to match up with Princeton one more time in a one-game playoff on Saturday at 7:30 at Lehigh's Stabler Arena. That game would decide which team represents the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament. And, despite the Quakers' sub-.500 record and losses to half of the Ancient Eight teams, Penn coach Fran Dunphy is happy to still be in the hunt. "We've been inconsistent at times," Dunphy said. "There have been lapses that, I think, have prevented us from having a better won-lost record. "But, we have an opportunity. Going into the last game of the regular season, that's about as much as you can ask, and so we feel fortunate in that regard." Inconsistency has certainly been the theme for the Quakers this year. And it was perhaps never more evident than over this past weekend, when the Quakers let the game against Brown slip away in the second half but returned the next night to completely dismantle Yale. "When we play like we can, we show signs that we can be the best team in this league," Owens said. "But we haven't done that very often." Senior guard Lamar Plummer, who was uncharacteristically upbeat at yesterday's practice, took a more personal slant on the season. "It's different from every season that I've been involved in," Plummer said. "Basically, I think [the season is] going to sum up my entire career here. Just facing adversity and overcoming adversity, and that's what I've had to do my entire career here, academically and athletically." Plummer, who missed long stretches of two previous seasons because of eye surgery and a personal leave of absence, was very optimistic about the Quakers' chances. "This championship, there's going to be nothing greater," Plummer said. "I think it's going to be the best feeling to be a senior and a leader of this team, to face this adversity and be two games behind and come back and win two games. So hopefully we can do it." Plummer has emerged as a strong presence on the team and even broke Matt Maloney's school record for three-pointers in a single season, but he had envisioned a different scenario for the Ancient Eight this season. "Honestly, I think we should've taken over this league from day one," Plummer said. "But we are young and we have not gelled. Once we gel and focus on defense, then we're fine, and that's what I think we're going to do [today]."Comments powered by Disqus
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