The college basketball season is at its midway point and teams are in the thick of conference play, with contenders starting to find their form. In the Ivy League, there are three top contenders, as well as a few teams still looking to find their form. Let’s take a deeper look.
No. 1 Princeton (13-4)
With a five-game winning streak and an undefeated record in the Ivy League, Princeton tops this month’s power rankings. Standout guard Abby Meyers has been a dominant force on the court, landing herself as one of fifteen players on the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Midseason Watch List.
An impressive performance against Brown demonstrated the Tigers' ability to capitalize on turnovers as well as the depth of its roster, in which four players each scored 12 points in the game. Princeton will be looking to continue its success against eighth-ranked Dartmouth this Saturday.
No. 2 Columbia (13-3)
Having an almost equally as impressive record as Princeton, Columbia follows closely behind Princeton in these power rankings. Columbia has also built up some good momentum with a three-game winning streak and will hope to be able to count on at least five wins against Brown, Cornell, and Dartmouth.
With how strong the team is in comparison to Princeton, their game against the Tigers on February 5 could determine who will be the champion of the Ivy League.
No. 3 Yale (12-6)
Despite Yale’s strong record, the Bulldogs have only been put to the test against strong Ivy League competitors once in a game against Columbia that result in a 65-55 loss in New York. Like Columbia, the Lions have gained some momentum with a three-game winning streak, but have yet to face their stiffest competition from Princeton and will have to play Columbia again.
Yale’s most recent game was at home against Brown, which it surprisingly won by only two points, suggesting that Yale will struggle to maintain its strong record as it heads into exclusively Ivy League play.
No. 4 Penn (7-9)
Penn’s only Ivy League victories have been against the two weakest teams, and its recent loss against Princeton by a score of 70-50 does not suggest that the Quakers will be pulling off any season-ending heroics.
Before their loss against Princeton, the Quakers had soundly won three straight games, albeit against weak opponents. There were moments when Penn seemed to match Princeton’s scoring ability in its last match, but despite strong performances from Kayla Padilla and Jordan Obi, it doesn’t seem like Penn will be able to contend with the more dominant teams in the League.
No. 5 Harvard (9-9)
The Crimson are tied with Dartmouth for most Ivy League losses — three, although they have two more wins to show than Dartmouth, which has just one win this season. All three losses are against the top-ranked teams in the Ivy League, and there is no evidence to suggest that they will have a high chance of winning the rematches later this season.
Harvard has been able to soundly defeat many weaker teams, and against a stronger opponent with an off day, it may have a chance of upsetting one of the top three.
No. 6 Cornell (6-10)
Cornell is on a three-game losing streak against the top teams in the Ivy League, with the contests all having startlingly similar scores. The consistency is admirable, but it makes for an easy prediction that they will continue to lose against Princeton, Columbia, and Yale.
The team has had trouble with putting up major points, and it is uncertain how it will perform against Penn and Harvard, which are solidly middle of the pack.
No. 7 Brown (5-12)
Although technically below Dartmouth with their 0-4 Ivy League record, the Bears have been able to at least get a few more wins than the Big Green. Brown's troubling losses against middle-of-the-pack teams Penn and Harvard spell "trouble" for the team as it continues to push through conference play.
With no momentum on its side, the only wins Brown likely will have for the rest of the season will be against Dartmouth.
No. 8 Dartmouth (1-16)
With just one win this season, Dartmouth's struggles are well demonstrated by its recent loss to Harvard, which ended 96-62 and saw the Big Green be outscored every quarter.
With only game of Ivy play left, Dartmouth may have a chance to secure a second win against a weak Brown team, but its poor record speaks for itself in squarely placing Dartmouth at the bottom of the Ancient Eight.