The Ivy League remains the only conference in the nation without a postseason tournament. That means it’s all or nothing during the regular season. No miracle four-wins-in-four-days for these guys. It’s your body of work that counts, and that’s it.
Yale‘s body of work has been severely damaged in the last seven days, courtesy of crushing road losses at Columbia and Princeton. Where they once were tied with Harvard for the league lead at 8-1, now they’re a full two games back with just three games to play.
The two teams play each other next Friday, which acts as a make-or-break game for the Bulldogs. Given that Yale won their first matchup earlier in the year, a second win could be what gets them over the hump.
Unfortunately, the ball’s no longer in their court. If the Crimson wins their other two games against Brown and Columbia, they win the title outright, regardless of the Yale outcome. It won’t be easy for Harvard, of course. The Bears and Lions are tied for third in the conference, just a game behind Yale. In fact, neither one of them has actually been mathematically eliminated as of yet. Of course, they’re each just one loss or one Harvard win away from it, so it remains highly unlikely.
But the real race remains Harvard/Yale. And with so much on the line these last eight days of the regular season, anything can — and usually does — happen.
Yale certainly didn’t do themselves any favors. Even if they’d won just one of those two recent losses, they’d be in charge of their own destiny. But now they need to turn around their own diminishing level of play as well as get lucky that a 10-1 Harvard team somehow can’t get out of their own way.
It should be a fun watch, that’s for sure. The best thing about the Ivy, of course, is that all eyes are on them this time of year, since they almost always give the NCAA tournament its first official entrant. That’ll happen again sometime this week, which means March Madness, ladies and gentlemen, has officially arrived.