Friday, February 17, 2012

CSA Welcome

If the Princeton men's basketball team can sweep its home games this weekend against Columbia and Cornell, then the Tigers would be 6-3 in the Ivy League.

With a Yale win over Harvard mixed in, then Princeton would be back in the situation of knowing that if it won the rest of its games, it would be assured of no worse than a tie for the league title.

As an aside, TigerBlog hates the term "controls one's own destiny," because your destiny is your destiny and as such just happens and cannot be controlled.

Disclaimer from above - if Cornell sweeps this weekend and gets the same help, then it would know the same thing.

On the women's basketball side, Princeton is two games clear of the field (in losses anyway). Princeton has already beaten every team in the league by double figures and has beaten six of the seven by at least 25, including Columbia and Cornell, this weekend's opponents.

For the women's basketball team, there are two issues. First, the second time around is rarely as easy as the first time around through the league. Second, there is the matter of not looking ahead to the NCAA tournament before the league is sewn up, or there could very well not be an NCAA tournament (though with an RPI of 24, the Tigers are looking pretty good).

There is a track and field meet this weekend at Princeton as well. It's not quite the Heps or anything, but there should be some pretty good events.

The hockey teams are making late-season pushes for the ECAC playoffs, especially the men, who still could get a home series in Round 1.

There are also home events in wrestling, women's water polo and men's tennis, all with their own significance.

Still, with all due respect to those, there is no doubt what the No. 1 event at Princeton is this weekend: men's squash.

Jadwin Gym currently has a banner out front flapping away in the warmish breeze that reads "CSA Welcome," and it is serving as an invitation to come in and head to C level, which will be jammed beyond anyone's wildest imagination for the men's national team championships.

The event begins today and runs through Sunday's championship match, which starts at 12:30 and should run most of the afternoon. Admission is free.

The top 16 teams are here at Jadwin, with the top eight in the main flight that will decide the champion.

For more than a decade, it's been merely a formality, as Trinity would almost without exception roll to another title.

One major exception, of course, was 2009, when Princeton pushed Trinity for more than six hours before finally dropping a 5-4 decision. That was the last time the event was held at Jadwin.

This time, it's as wide open as it's ever been.

Yale could win it all - or lose today to Cornell in the quarterfinals.

Harvard could win it all - or lose today to Rochester in the quarterfinals.

The No. 1 seed is Trinity, followed by the second-seeded Tigers. Yale is No. 3; Harvard is No. 4.

Yale beat Trinity earlier in the season. Princeton (the Ivy champ) beat Harvard and Yale but lost to Trinity.

In squash, home court is a huge thing, and not for fan support. It's the courts themselves.

Trinity plays with a white ball on a three-walled glass court. Yale has four-glass wall courts.

Each wall is different. The ball bounces differently on different floors.

TigerBlog has played on the courts in Dillon and Jadwin, and those are radically different. The Jadwin courts that will be used for the championships are most similar to those at Harvard, so maybe the Crimson can do well here.

Regardless, it will build to a wild scene come Sunday.

TB has said it before, but that 2009 final would have gone down as the greatest college sporting event of all time had it been the basketball or football equivalent.

Can this weekend match that? Who knows.

But also, who knows who the champion is going to be. Unlike most years, that alone makes this go-round special.


Anonymous said...

4:26 p.m. on Sunday, no Live Video, so I can only assume all the matches are over. But where is any mention of the results, no online update on, no reference to a Twit-wit feed or Live Blogging from the event.

Oh well, so it goes.

TigerBlog said...

TigerBlog isn't exactly sure what time the matches ended, but the results were on within a few minutes of the end and Princeton's Twitter account provided updates the entire day. If you tried to watch the feed on one of the courts when that match was over, then you would have gotten no live video.