No. 25 Harvard Crimson
Last Season: 27-5, 13-1 Ivy
Coach: Tommy Amaker, 8th season, 139-70, 67-31 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 1st
Last Ivy League Title: 2013-2014
Will win if: They can stay healthy and play up to expectations (or anywhere close). Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers give the Crimson one of the nation's best backcourts.
Will lose if: The team’s lack of backcourt depth comes back to haunt it while the team’s frontcourt depth turns out to be more quantity than quality.
Last year vs. Penn: Harvard throttled Penn by 30 at home and beat the Quakers by 20 at the Palestra later in the season, despite relatively quiet performances from Saunders and Chambers.
Last Season: 19-14, 9-5 Ivy
Coach: James Jones, 16th season, 209-222, 117-93 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 2nd
Last Ivy League Title: 2001-2002
Will win if: Justin Sears, if healthy, will ensure that the Bulldogs are competitive. But if Yale wants to challenge Harvard, somebody else (perhaps Javier Duren?) must make a big leap and emerge as a star.
Will lose if: The defense can't continue to cover up for the offense, which was the second-worst in the Ancient Eight last season.
Last year vs. Penn: The Bulldogs swept the season series, winning convincingly on their home floor before pulling out a close win in the Palestra thanks to 24 points from Sears.
Last Season: 21-13, 8-6 Ivy
Coach: Kyle Smith, 5th season, 63-57, 22-34 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 3rd
Last Ivy League Title: 1967-1968
Will win if: Columbia will do just fine if they continue to be very strong in the less flashy areas, such as defense, rebounding, and ball control. The Lions could have a pair of very capable guards in Grant Mullins and Maodo Lo.
Will lose if: With senior star Alex Rosenberg withdrawing from school after an injury, the Lions will have to make up for his loss at forward. They will also have to manage with the loss of senior Meiko Lyles, who also left the squad.
Last year vs. Penn: The Red and Blue pulled off the upset in February with a 68-60 win at the Palestra, but the Lions would have their revenge, eating the Quakers alive in a 19-point Big Apple beatdown.
Last Season: 21-9, 8-6 Ivy
Coach: Mitch Henderson, 4th season, 58-32, 28-14 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 4th
Last Ivy League Title: 2010-2011
Will win if: Hans Brase continues to improve, Spencer Weisz shines alongside him in the frontcourt and freshman Amir Bell can step up to help replace graduated star TJ Bray.
Will lose if: The team's young players show their inexperience, and none of them can fill Bray's sizeable shoes. Youth is the key with Princeton this year.
Last year vs. Penn: Hicks and others led the way for the Quakers in a 77-74 home upset win in January, but the Tigers marked their territory with a 70-65 win in the season finale.
Last Season: 15-14, 7-7 Ivy
Coach: Mike Martin, 3rd season, 28-29, 14-14 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 5th
Last Ivy League Title: 1985-1986
Will win if: The offense (2nd in the league last year) continues to light it up, and the defense performs to that level this time around. Cedric Kuakumensah is the player to watch for the Bears.
Will lose if: They continue to only perform on one end of the court.
Last year vs. Penn: The two teams played a pair of close games, but Penn couldn't find a way to win either of them, despite Hicks' 25-point outing at the Palestra.
Dartmouth Big Green
Last Season: 12-16, 5-9 Ivy
Coach: Paul Cormier, 4th season (coached 1984-1991), 118-178, 59-95 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 6th
Last Ivy League Title: 1958-1959
Will win if: Connor Boehm, Gabas Maldunas, and Alex Mitola all show vast improvement for a Dartmouth squad that didn't have many redeeming qualities last season.
Will lose if: Nobody steps forward to disrupt the status quo for a team that hasn't won a title in over half a century.
Last year vs. Penn: Dartmouth beat the Quakers by nine in Hanover before Penn returned the favor at the Palestra, beating the Big Green by the same margin. The Red and Blue had five players put up double-digit scoring numbers in the victory.
Cornell Big Red
Last Season: 2-26, 1-13 Ivy
Coach: Bill Courtney, 5th season, 37-78, 19-37 Ivy
Ivy League Media Poll predicted finish: 8th
Last Ivy League Title: 2009-2010
Will win if: Senior forward Shonn Miller shakes off his injury-lost 2013-14 and returns to his All-Ivy form, while the rest of the Big Red’s young core outperforms expectations
Will lose if: Their league-worst offense and defense rear their ugly heads, just like they did last season.
Last year vs. Penn: The Quakers swept the season series between last season's two bottom-dwellers, beating the Big Red, 90-83, at the Palestra behind 27 points from Hicks before triumphing in a lower-scoring 69-65 affair in Ithaca.Comments powered by Disqus
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