Harvard-Yale one-game playoff will be at the Palestra


With Dartmouth's buzzer-beating upset of Yale on Saturday night, Harvard and Yale finished tied atop the Ivy League men's basketball standings, each going 11-3 while splitting their two head-to-head matchups.

Since the Ivy League does not have a postseason tournament, the two teams play a one-game playoff to decide the Ancient Eight's automatic bid. That game will be played on Saturday at the Palestra, four days after the Ivy season comes to an official close with Penn-Princeton.

The last one-game playoff in the Ivy League was between Harvard and Princeton in 2011 and the game was played at Yale. The game grabbed national attention after Princeton guard Douglas Davis hit a game-winning shot as time expired to lift the Tigers to an improbable 63-62 win. 

Since the Harvard-Princeton one-game playoff, Harvard has won the Ivy title outright for three consecutive years, narrowly beating out Penn in 2012 and Princeton in 2013. Penn needed to beat Princeton on the last day of the 2011-12 season to force a one-game playoff but fell to the Tigers. That one-game playoff would have been played at Quinnipiac.

A one-game playoff between Princeton and Harvard the next season would have been played at the Palestra, but Harvard won outright. 

This season, Yale's Friday night win gave the Elis control of their own destiny, needing to just beat Dartmouth in the season finale to clinch their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962 (ironically also played at the Palestra).

But then this happened.

So on Saturday, the Palestra will be rocking, but it won't be Penn. It won't be the Big 5. It will be a one-game Ivy playoff.

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