Thanks to strong performances from junior forward AJ Brodeur and freshman guard Jordan Dingle, Penn held off Temple in a defensive battle to end non-conference play. The Quakers now sit at 8-7, and they will face Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend as conference play gets back underway.
With two matchups against New England squads on the way, here's how Ivy League basketball is stacking up.
1. Yale (14-4, 2-0 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 1
The Bulldogs dominated Brown for the second straight week with a 73-62 win in Providence. Junior forward Paul Atkinson continued to make his case for Ivy League Player of the Year, posting 24 points on nine shots, and sophomore guard Matthue Cotton poured in five three-pointers from the bench. The Elis also toppled Howard by 14 earlier in the week, and these two performances were enough to keep Yale atop the power rankings.
2. Harvard (13-4, 2-0 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 2
After edging Dartmouth on Jan. 18, the Crimson again barely squeezed by the Big Green, 70-66, on Saturday. Star guard Bryce Aiken hasn't suited up since Dec. 22, but other players — like sophomore guard Noah Kirkwood and freshman forward Chris Ledlum — have filled in to keep the Crimson afloat. Harvard faces two big tests this weekend against Penn and Princeton, and getting Aiken back from injury has to be priority No. 1 for coach Tommy Amaker.
3. Princeton (7-8, 2-0 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 3
After beating Penn twice in a row in just under a week, Princeton had a 16-day rest before their next matchup against Rutgers-Camden, a Division III squad. The Tigers predictably dismantled the Scarlet Raptors, hitting 62% of their shots in route to a 87-41 win. This marked the fourth straight win for Princeton, a team that started with a 1-7 record. The Orange and Black are back in action this weekend, hosting Dartmouth and Harvard on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Princeton has a ton of momentum, and coach Mitch Henderson's team would get a huge boost from a sweep over two quality opponents this weekend.
4. Penn (8-7, 0-2 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 4
The Quakers' aforementioned win over Temple was a much-needed victory for a team that had lost three straight contests. The Red and Blue stifled the Owls on the defensive end, marking the second time this season they had held a D-I opponent under 60 points. This weekend, Penn draws a doubleheader against Harvard and Dartmouth. Both teams poise very different threats to the Quakers, who are looking for their first conference win of the season.
5. Columbia (6-12, 1-1 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 5
The Lions wrapped up their doubleheader against Cornell on Saturday, but they failed to replicate their success a week before. Columbia shot just 31.7% from the floor, and star senior guard Mike Smith shot just 5-for-23 as the Lions fell, 62-50. Columbia edges out Cornell in this week's power rankings based on its margin of victory the week before and its non-conference record. The Lions will be on the road again this week, as they take on Yale and Brown looking to right the ship.
6. Cornell (4-11, 1-1 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 8
Coming off a 14-point loss to Columbia where they trailed by 19 at the half, the Big Red surprised with a 12-point win just seven days later. Junior forward Jimmy Boeheim poured in 18 points for Cornell, and coach Brian Earl will certainly be expecting more big performances from his best player when the Big Red travel to play Brown and Yale this weekend.
7. Dartmouth (7-10, 0-2 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 6
For the second straight week, the Big Green hustled until the final whistle. And for the second straight week, Harvard was able to hold off Dartmouth in the final minutes to clinch a win. Though they are still winless in conference play, the Big Green — who finished 2019 last in Ivy League standings – played very well against a quality opponent, and they'll have two more chances to prove themselves against quality opponents this week when they travel to face Princeton and Penn.
8. Brown (7-8, 0-2 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 7
Brown drew a tough break having to open conference play with two contests against Yale, and the Bears were thoroughly handled by the Ivy League's top team once again. Brown now has two double-digit conference losses in the books, but it has two chances this weekend to notch its first conference win against Cornell and Columbia — both of whom the Bears beat last season.
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