Optimism for next season won’t make the Red and Blue feel any better. The Quakers fell tantalizingly, agonizingly short. That hurts.
Penn handled Harvard the same way Sunday’s foe, Princeton, handled a much worse Cornell team. Unfortunately, Saturday's games don't matter on Sunday.
All that to say: Penn men’s basketball lost in the semifinals of the Ivy League Tournament. This season was still a success.
After all the hand wringing, all the tight losses, and all the anxiety-ridden weekend nights, the Quakers are right where we expected them to be: playing in the Ivy League Tournament.
If you happen to be within 50 miles of campus as spring break winds to a close, your butt needs to be in a seat. Scratch that — don’t sit.
But with the door open for the Red and Blue to get into a three-way tie for fourth in the Ivy League with the Bears and Big Red, they couldn’t make it through.
The Ivy League announced Wednesday morning that the League’s basketball tournament would rotate to every school in the conference through 2025. This is, simply, a complete travesty.
Moments of brilliance, like the win over Villanova in December, are nice, but poise that lasts for an entire season? That’s magical.
It doesn’t make much sense that a group that beat Villanova, Temple, and Miami (Fla.) this season has a 3-6 Ivy League record. But that’s what can happen when a team struggles to close games out in the final minutes.
With three weekends left to play, there seem to be three camps with different visions for how the remainder of the season will play out. Let’s take a look at some of the more likely possibilities.
Penn men's basketball isn't a lost cause yet, but the Quakers need to turn the ship around and quick.
There have been too many poor shooting games for it to be a coincidence. You can’t get unlucky this frequently. At some point it stops being an off night and starts being the norm.
The focus for too many fans will be the race for fourth place rather than the quest for first.
Penn men’s basketball has notched yet another unlikely 'first': Big 5 champions, for the first time in seventeen years.
Now it’s time to be concerned. Penn men’s basketball is in serious trouble, and the slump is coming at a pretty inconvenient time. A four-game losing streak is always a bad sign, but the way in which the losses came was the most discouraging sign of all.
Penn women’s basketball outplayed the defending Ivy League champions thanks to team defense and fewer mistakes. An hour after that game finished, Princeton men’s basketball did the same.
Penn will travel to New Jersey to play the Tigers on Saturday, and next week the Quakers will return to Philadelphia to host their Ivy League foe on Jan. 12. On the surface, this scheduling doesn’t seem to make much sense; looking deeper doesn’t reveal any solid justification either.
With a new year full of big games, fresh faces, and untold stories on the horizon, it’s time to suggest a few New Year’s resolutions for Penn Athletics.
This is the grittiest team I’ve ever seen. Everything they do is gritty. The way in which the Quakers came up with two of the biggest wins in their career in a span of a week made me sure of it — Penn men’s basketball is the grittiest team in Philadelphia.
If the Quakers keep this up — or even if they don’t blow away Ivy opponents, but at least grind out results well enough to make it through — then fans could be clearing their calendars for mid-March. Hell, maybe even April.