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Just over four years ago, in a supermarket far, far away, Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker bumped into Zack Rosen’s dad shopping while a high school basketball tournament was going on in Trenton, N.J.

It was chronicled in an investigative piece by the New York Times on some potentially dirty recruiting by the Harvard basketball program.

“We really should get Zack up to Harvard,” Amaker reportedly said to Rosen’s father about recruiting the high school stud.

Or, as I like to imagine, it went a little something like this:

Darth Vader: Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.

Luke: I’ll never join you!

Darth Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.

If only Zack had known the power. Had he joined the Dark Side, he could have won his first Ivy League title last year. He could be well on his way to the NCAA tournament this season. He could be on a nationally ranked team.

No regrets, right?

Harvard is the antagonist to the Ivy saga this year — a growing danger, challenging the “traditional” Ivy power structure of Penn and Princeton.

In a short period of time, Harvard has become the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Heat of the Ivy League — the team everyone loves to hate. Why?

Many complain about Harvard’s rise. Perhaps it was predicated on some less-than-proper recruiting. Maybe Amaker has ruffled a few feathers along the way. Who cares?

The Crimson are the league’s target for no reason other than the fact that they win. The same is true of Penn football, which the rest of the league despises simply because of the Quakers’ dominance over the last two decades.

Honestly, it’s more fun this way. Penn fans complain about the recent drought of Ivy titles, but isn’t a little more league parity fun? There’s a new favorite and a new challenger each year.

Every league needs a villain. Even more, a villain is exactly what Penn basketball needs.

CALDER SILCOX is a senior science, technology and society major from Washington, D.C., and is a former Senior Sports Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. He can be reached at

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