Princeton at Harvard, 7:00 PM Eastern, no TV
For tonight’s SCGD we head to the Ivy League, the league whose regular season games have the most significance of any of the 32 conferences. As the Ivy does not hold a conference tournament, the automatic bid is awarded to the regular season champion (unless there is a tie which would force a one game playoff scenario for the bid). Harvard, on paper at least, appears to be the clear favorite to run through the Ivy. In fact, a record worse than 13-1 in league play would a shock for the Crimson. However, saying a team will dominate a conference and having them actually do it on the court are two different items entirely (case in point – New Mexico State and the WAC this year).
Princeton (along with Columbia) is one of two teams that appears to be talented enough to knock off Harvard or at least give them some tough games. Tonight, the Tigers travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts to take on the Crimson. The return trip to Princeton will take place on February 22. Princeton is 12-3 overall on the season, though lost their lone Ivy League game to date, at rival Penn. They also suffered a disappointing non-conference loss to Portland. Their best win was an exciting overtime road win over Penn State.
For the Harvard Crimson, an at-large bid would be worth discussing if the Ivy had a conference tournament. Should they roll through the conference regular season and lose in the finals of a league championship tournament, their resume would be worthy enough. However, if they do the first part, and roll through the conference regular season, they will be in the field anyhow. The Crimson are 15-3 on the year, with the losses coming in a hard fought road game at a full strength Colorado team, at Connecticut with Wesley Saunders unable to play, and an inexplicable loss at Florida Atlantic. They have wins over a pretty good Vermont team, a decent Boston University team, and an even better Green Bay team, plus won the championship in the Great Alaska Shootout.
UNDER THE RADAR
As an added bonus today, below find our most recent Under the Radar videocast. David and I go through the single-bid conferences and again predict where each team will fall in the tournament seeding. We also debate the chances of some of these bottom teams to pull upsets in the NCAA tournament, including discussing dangerous teams from Mercer, Georgia State, North Dakota State and more. And in a new twist, we actually make the case that the SWAC champion may not be team #68 in the Field.