Monday, February 27, 2012

And The Winner Is ...

TigerBlog used to watch the Oscars. Now? Not anymore.

For starters, he hardly goes to the movies anyway. And then there's the narcissistic self-absorption factor that covers the entire Hollywood scene and makes it, well, dirty.

Talent? That's for athletes, singers, doctors, engineers, writers and the like. Acting? All you need is the right look and the opportunity. There are 50,000 people in Hollywood who can act as well as George Clooney but won't get the chance; there isn't anyone else who can play basketball better than LeBron James but just needs to be discovered.

And some silent movie won? Why, so they can show everyone how much more sophisticated they are then everyone else?

There have been some great snubs for Best Picture in the past - TigerBlog thinks of how "Raiders of the Lost Ark" lost to "Chariots Of Fire" or how "Shakespeare in Love" beat "Saving Private Ryan."

If you go to the IMDB Top 250, two of the top four movies were from the same year (1994's "Shawshank Redemption" and "Pulp Fiction) and neither won Best Picture. The vastly overrated "Forrest Gump" did.

TB also didn't watch the NBA All-Star game.

There's a big self-absorption factor there as well, not to mention the fact that this shortened NBA season didn't need an All-Star weekend. Of course, if you were going to have an All-Star game, you had to figure out a way to get Jeremy Lin into it, right?

Besides, the basketball TB cares most about now is confined to five things - 1) can Northwestern get to the NCAA tournament, 2) can Denver win the conference tournament and get there as well, 3) can Georgetown win it all or at least get to the Final Four.

Four and five?

Those are the Ivy League.

Let's start with the men.

Harvard lost to Penn 55-54 Saturday night in what was a make-or-break game for the Quakers. Had Harvard won, then the Crimson would have been two games clear of Penn with two to play.

Instead, Harvard and Penn both have two league losses. Harvard finishes the regular season this weekend with games at Columbia and Cornell, while Penn is home with Brown and Yale (who already beat the Quakers).

Should either team win one game (likely), the Princeton would be mathematically eliminated - but it doesn't mean the season would be over.

Should Harvard and Penn both sweep or split, then Penn would come to Jadwin Gym next Tuesday needing a win over the Tigers to force a playoff, in the opposite of last year's season-ending game between Princeton and Penn at the Palestra. That would be a wild scene.

On the women's side, there will be no playoff. All there is is awe at what the Princeton women have done.

The Tigers became the first team - men or women - to clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament by wrapping up a third-straight Ivy title. Princeton did so at home, no less, with three games left to go in the season.

Princeton defeated Harvard - competing with Yale for the second-place spot in the league and the WNIT bid that goes with it - by 30 points Friday night, which gave the Tigers two wins over Harvard by a combined 58 points. The 94-57 win over Dartmouth Saturday clinched the championship.

Princeton is 11-0 in the league, with one win over Brown by 12 points and 10 wins by at least 25 points.

Think about that. Night in, night out, complete domination.

Princeton's win over Brown came after a 19-day break for first semester exams, and the Tigers didn't play a good offensive game.

Think about that - making excuses for a 12-point home win.

As for the Tigers, they are now 42-1 in their last 43 Ivy games, and even losses in their last three games would still give the team the best three-year run in Ivy history.

All season, this team has been focused on the NCAA tournament, as if it was a foregone conclusion that the team would win the league. Well, maybe not foregone, as three people voted for Harvard in the preseason.

Now that the team has demolished its way into the field, it can look to achieve its ultimate goal, which is to win at least one NCAA game. Seed and matchup will be huge, but it's not going to be easy.

If any team can do it, though, it would be this group of Tigers.

The preliminary round is over now, and the main event is just around the corner.


Anonymous said...

Five years ago, could you ever imagine the following phenomenon? Both the men (by 3.7 points per game) and the women (by 7.8 points) are the highest-scoring offenses in the Ivy League.

Anonymous said...

Courtney Banghart has done a great job, as has the staff and players.

Brian McD said...

The tiger women hoops team is clearly playing extraordinarily well. This loyal reader is wondering what other examples there are of Princeton or other Ivy teams that have achieved this level of sustained excellence/dominance in League history, at least since coeducation? Trinity is not an Ivy or their men's squash program would set the standard, but the current Princeton Women's basketball team has to be among a very small group of teams that can make a claim to this level of dominance - and with a future that looks very bright as well.