Ivy League men's basketball is getting more competitive. This past weekend, Yale and Princeton — the last undefeated Ivies — dropped close games to Harvard and Cornell, respectively. With four weeks left in conference play, the Ancient Eight is up for the taking. Here's how the Ivy League is stacking up this week.
1. Yale (17-5, 5-1 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 1
On Friday against Harvard, Yale was down four points with five seconds left, but junior guard Azar Swain banked in a three with the foul with just two seconds left. Swain missed the free throw, and Yale ultimately dropped its first game of the Ivy season. The Bulldogs are clearly vulnerable when their entire team doesn't show out on the offensive end. Swain and junior forward Paul Atkinson were the only two players to make more than one field goal on the day. Yale rebounded with a strong win over Dartmouth, keeping the Elis at the top of this week's Ivy rankings.
2. Princeton (10-9, 5-1 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 2
The Tigers' stunning double-digit loss to Cornell was one of the biggest headlines in Ivy League basketball this past weekend. Junior forward Jimmy Boeheim had his way against Princeton's defense, while sophomore guard Jaelin Llewellyn missed 10 shots on 15 attempts. Princeton was able to claw out a win against Columbia, but the Tigers will be challenged this weekend when they host both Yale and Brown.
3. Penn (12-7, 4-2 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 3
The Quakers keep rolling, and they're rounding into shape at just the right time. The Red and Blue handled Columbia and a hot Cornell team fresh off an upset victory over Princeton. Senior guard Devon Goodman has continued his strong play, posting an average of a little over 16 points per game over the past two weeks. They'll need Goodman and senior forward AJ Brodeur to continue to produce with the absence of junior guard Ryan Betley, who is nursing an injury.
4. Brown (11-8, 4-2 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 5
Thanks to a late Harvard foul, the Bears were able to escape with their fourth straight Ivy League win. Senior guard Brandon Anderson finally got back on track against the Crimson after shooting a combined 7-of-40 during his past three contests. Brown is shaping up to be a dark horse candidate for the Ivy Tournament in March.
5. Harvard (14-7, 3-3 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 4
This past weekend was a mixed bag for Harvard. On one hand, the Crimson edged a previously-undefeated Yale squad. Alternatively, Harvard nearly threw away the game in the final minutes. Swain was fouled on a three-pointer with two seconds left, then missed the ensuing free throw that would have tied the game. Just under 24 hours later, Harvard successfully threw away a victory. The Crimson led by two with two seconds left in regulation. However, senior forward Robert Baker fouled junior forward Tamenang Choh on a layup, and Choh converted at the charity stripe to give Brown a 72-71 victory. Harvard is a talented team, but the Crimson have been inconsistent, and they're really missing the leadership of senior guard Bryce Aiken.
6. Cornell (5-14, 2-4 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 7
The Big Red delivered a complete performance in their stunning win over Princeton, jumping out to an early lead and limiting the Tigers' perimeter looks. Cornell couldn't continue its good fortune, ultimately falling to Penn on Sunday, but the Big Red have proven that they are legitimate contenders. They will now travel to face Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend.
7. Columbia (6-16, 1-5 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 6
Not many things went right for the Lions over the weekend. They dropped games to Penn and Princeton, and they've now lost five straight contests. Senior guard Mike Smith continues to be the lone bright spot for Columbia. The Illinois native is averaging 21 points per game, a mark that leads the Ivy League. The Lions need more out of the rest of their team if they want their season to turn around this weekend.
8. Dartmouth (7-14, 0-6 Ivy)
Last week's rank: 8
The Big Green are winless in Ivy play through six games. Dartmouth has had some close contests, but they haven't been able to produce nearly enough points on the offensive end. They've scored over 65 points just once in conference play. They have now lost nine straight games, but they'll have a good chance to get their first conference win when they host Cornell and Columbia this weekend.
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