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wbb-ivy-2017-tournament01

Currently tied for first in the conference, Penn women's basketball is in a good position to capture its second Ivy League title in three years.

Credit: Zach Sheldon

Going into the last four games of the season, Penn women’s basketball is set to compete with Princeton for the Ivy League title.

Penn (18-5, 8-2 Ivy) has been the dominant team in the League all season, but with their loss to Princeton (16-9, 8-2) on Tuesday, the Quakers are set to have to battle against the Tigers for the top spot. Penn and Princeton now have identical conference records and have split their games against one another. 

Of Penn’s last four games, three are against teams that currently outside of the top three: Dartmouth (12-11, 5-5), Yale (15-10, 5-5), and Brown (9-17, 1-9). The Quakers' remaining tough matchup will be against Harvard (14-9, 7-3), who the Red and Blue lost to in two overtime periods earlier in the season. 

If the Quakers are able to win out, they will end with a 12-2 record, which would win them a share of the conference title and potentially put them in position to claim the top seed in the Ivy League Tournament. However, if the Tigers also win out they will be tied with the Quakers for the same record. They also would have the same head-to-head record, so the higher seed would go to the team with the best record against the third seed, which will likely be Harvard. 

If this is the case, the Quakers' double-overtime loss to Harvard will come back to haunt them, since Princeton would have won both games against Harvard. The tiebreaker would then push Penn to the second seed in the tournament. 

In terms of Ivy Madness berths, the Quakers are almost guaranteed to be in the tournament. The only scenario in which they were to miss the tournament is if Penn were to lose the rest of their games. Then Dartmouth and Yale, which currently sit in a tie for fourth place, would likely have to win the rest of their games. 

The scenario of Penn losing all of its four remaining games seems unlikely, as the Quakers will finish their season against Brown, a team that they defeated by 40 points earlier in the year.

In addition, Dartmouth is set to play Princeton on Friday, which is currently on a six-game winning streak. Therefore, the Quakers can clinch a tournament berth as early as Friday if they win or Dartmouth loses. 

If the Red and Blue continue to win games and control things on their end, they will have no problem claiming a high seed in the Ivy Tournament. However, they likely still need to rely on Princeton to lose one of its remaining games to have a chance at the No. 1 spot. 

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