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Senior guard Lucas Monroe tries to drive against Harvard's Evan Nelson during the game at the Palestra on Jan. 28. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

While the college basketball season has been underway for over two months, the Ivy League is only halfway through its conference season. With seven games left in each teams' season, we take a look at how the Ancient Eight stacks up. 

1. Cornell (15-5, 5-2 Ivy) 

From the moment the Big Red tipped off their season against Boston College in early November, Cornell’s current standing has been clear as crystal. 

Cornell is having what is easily its best year since Penn (then-Cornell) coach Steve Donahue led them to a legendary Sweet 16 run in 2010. Amazingly, the team has done this without any breakout stars, as its leading scorer, senior guard Greg Dolan, is averaging just 13.2 points per game. Instead, the Big Red’s wins have all been through strength in numbers. With Cornell not usually in the top spot at this point in the season, the chance to take down his former team in the conference tournament next month should serve as extra motivation for Donahue to lead the Quakers to Ivy glory this year.

2. Princeton (14-6, 5-2)

The Tigers find themselves in a familiar spot near the top of the conference. Boasting an impressive defense, the team’s offense also has a variety of scorers who can get the job done. However, it's open season and the Quakers have tiger-hunting licenses. When both teams faced off two weeks ago, Penn stayed with Princeton for an entire half before trailing off. Princeton will need to prepare rigorously for its next Penn matchup if the Quakers stay hot.

3. Penn (11-11, 3-4)

This ranking may turn some heads, but if we were going to reflect current Ivy standings, there would be no point of this article. While the Quakers have had their difficulties this year, if they can play like they did against Harvard, no one is going to want to face them in the tournament. 

Having two of the top scorers in the conference (junior guards Jordan Dingle and Clark Slajchert) seems like a good thing, but it can be a curse when one of them has an off-game. The scoring diversity against Harvard was a promising sign for the future, as players such as sophomore guard George Smith and junior forward/guard Max Martz got more involved on offense. Penn has a New York road trip with dates against both the top and bottom teams in these rankings to build on this momentum.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil Junior guard Clark Slajchert attempts a one-handed jumper against Harvard during the game at the Palestra on Jan. 28.

4. Yale (14-6, 4-3)

Although a questionable loss to Columbia tainting their record, the Elis have taken down Harvard and Penn, destroyed Princeton, and hung tight with Kentucky. Rostering four players who average over 10 points a game, it is tough to catch Yale on an off-night. Longtime coach James Jones knows this conference better than anybody, so don’t be surprised to see this team in the thick of things next month. 

5. Harvard (12-9, 3-4)

The Crimson have not been the same team they were for much of seven-time Ivy champion coach Tommy Amaker’s tenure. Looking lost in its recent trip to the Palestra, Harvard is in danger of missing the Ivy tournament. However, it would be foolish to count out any Amaker team only halfway through the Ivy season. 

6. Dartmouth (8-13, 4-3)

Much like Brown, this is a team that struggled last year, but has shown the capability to hang with any team in the Ancient Eight. With the exception of an 11-point loss to Cornell and a 10-point victory over Columbia, all of its games in the conference have finished in single-digit margins. Much like the team itself, the leading scorer, sophomore guard Ryan Cornish, is easy to write off, but puts up big numbers and has kept the team in contention this year. 

7. Brown (10-10, 3-4)

As was mentioned in the previous blurb, this is the part of the conference where little separates the next several teams. Brown has shown to be a competent team so far this year, hanging with upper-tier teams such as Yale and even taking down Princeton. With sophomore guard Kino Lilly Jr., the third-leading scorer in the Ivy League, at the point, this is a team with the potential to take down anybody. 

8. Columbia (6-16, 1-6)

New York has a knack for finding itself at the bottom of these lists

Not unlike the NBA’s Western Conference, little separates the middle of the pack in the Ivy League right now. However, there is a clear floor, and that floor is found just north of Harlem. Unlike their women’s counterparts, the Lions have looked miserable this season, losing to Penn by nearly 30 at after a surprising win over Yale to open conference play.