Penn has punched its ticket.
On Monday morning, the Ivy League announced that Penn, Princeton, and Yale's men's basketball teams, which are all currently tied atop the conference standings, have each clinched a spot in the conference's postseason tournament, known as Ivy Madness. The report comes after a whirlwind weekend of Ivy League action that saw the Quakers jump from a tie for third to a tie for first.
This year's men's Ivy Madness will take place in Princeton, N.J. on March 11 and 12. The winner of Ivy Madness will claim the conference title and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament.
"I've been in this league so long … [the season] is a 14-game tournament in itself," coach Steve Donahue said. "That's what we want to do, when you're hanging at the end."
Penn took a major step toward the tournament when they defeated Yale at the Palestra 66-64 on Friday night, avenging their defeat from earlier in the season and extending their win streak to six games. Then, the Quakers decimated visiting Brown 90-69 on Saturday to move their conference record to 8-4.
While Penn was dismantling the Bears, Princeton and Yale were locked in a thrilling back-and-forth battle. The visiting Bulldogs took the Tigers to overtime before ultimately dominating the extra period, winning 93-83 and creating a three-way tie atop the Ancient Eight standings, with all three teams sitting at 8-4 in conference play.
Though no announcement was made immediately following the conclusion of Saturday's games, after reviewing potential tiebreaker scenarios, the Ivy League determined that all three teams secured their place in Ivy Madness.
"Making [Ivy Madness] and then getting a chance to go on to play an NCAA tournament is always our goal," junior guard Jordan Dingle said.
Last season, Penn made the Ivy League tournament as the No. 3 seed, but fell to Yale 67-61 in the first round. After being picked as preseason conference champion in a preseason poll, the Quakers initially struggled to live up to their billing, losing four of their first six Ivy league matches. But Penn has since found its rhythm, rattling off six straight conference wins and earning their spot among the Ivy League's elites.
With two regular season games remaining against Dartmouth and Princeton, the Quakers will look to stay hot and carry their momentum into the postseason. But at the very least, Penn can take solace in knowing they will have the chance to prove their mettle when it matters most.