Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yeah Baby

TigerBlog sat with Jess Deutsch, a women's basketball academic-athletic fellow whose actual job TB always gets wrong when he tries to describe it, her husband Ted (who TB is positive played baseball here at Princeton), Howard Levy and Steve DiGregorio and his wife Nadia at the men's basketball game against Columbia Saturday evening.

The group sat in its normal spot, in section N8, all the way near the railing, opposite the Princeton bench.

The three or four rows in front of TB were basically going unused until midway through the second half, when a man who looked a little like former Princeton basketball player Kevin Gillette (but wasn't, since Gillette is nearly seven-feet tall) walked in carrying an infant car seat, complete with baby, along with his wife and son, who looked to be between two and three.

For much of the rest of the game, the man and woman did what people who have two very little children do when they're at a game - they watched their kids 70% of the time and the game 30% of the time. And took pictures of the boy with the court in the background.

The baby was positioned in the infant car seat on the bench so that she faced away from the court, or directly up to TigerBlog, who waved but got no reaction, not even a smile.

Eventually, the mother picked up the baby, and the entire family headed off towards the Backcourt Bistro side of Jadwin, leaving behind the infant car seat, in which they put various coats, toys and such.

Then, a few minutes later, the mother, father and boy came back - without the littlest one.

Immediately, TB and the rest of the group, somewhat in unison, said "uh, where's the baby?"

TigerBlog immediately went out on a limb and said something like he was going with "left the baby with someone they knew on the other side rather than forgot they brought two kids with them."

Then they all left again, leaving the car seat on the bench. And then the game ended.

As the crowd filed out, TB said he waiting til they came back. Jess thought that the group might not have noticed that the baby was still in the car seat, so she actually moved all the coats and stuff out of the way, only to see that it was in fact empty.

Eventually, TB was the only person left in Section N8. And then they came back, all four of them, happy with their night in Jadwin.

The situation involving the baby was not the only drama of the night.

In fact, the Princeton-Columbia game, which started out with a quick double-figure lead for Princeton, was close for much of the second half. It was actually tied with just under nine minutes to go, and were it not for some great Princeton foul shooting, it might have gotten away.

Instead, it ended up 72-66 Princeton.

The men's and women's basketball teams at Princeton have played six Ivy League games and won them all so far.

That six-point win for the men is the only one that has been closer than 10.

The men have defeated Penn by 12, Cornell by 17 and Columbia by six.

The women? They have won by 30, 31 and 46.

The three-time defending champion women's team is the only unbeaten in the league. There are three teams with one loss each - Harvard, Dartmouth and Penn.

Princeton is at Brown and Yale (both 1-3) this weekend, before hosting Dartmouth and Harvard. If Princeton gets to 7-0, that would mean that every other team in the league would have at least two losses, and Princeton would have all kinds of margin for error.

On the men's side, it looks like a two-team race now between Princeton and Harvard, both of whom are undefeated in the league. Harvard is 4-0 with a major escape against Dartmouth and a never-should-have-gotten-that-close two OT win over Brown after the Crimson were up 22 in the second half.

After the two undefeateds, everyone else in the league has at least two losses - and they all have to play each other again. Brown, at 2-2, is at Jadwin Friday, followed by Yale Saturday.

Then it's the trip to Dartmouth and Harvard.

TigerBlog remembers a lot of years where Princeton and Penn met in the seventh league game of the year and that both teams expected to get to that game undefeated. It rarely happened that way (though one year it did was 1999, the year Princeton came from 27 points back to beat Penn at the Palestra - and then didn't win the league).

Will Princeton and Harvard be 6-0 when they play each other? Not if they're looking past anyone they won't.

On the other hand, if they do get to 6-0 each, then Feb. 16 will be a wild night in Cambridge.

That game is at the end of next weekend, but it might as well be a hundred years from now for the two teams, who both have a great deal of work to do between now and then.

It's been a great start for Princeton to the Ivy basketball season.

Two teams. Six games. Six wins.

And, of course, no misplaced babies.


Anonymous said...

I am the baby in question noted in this blog posting. For the record, my parents and I were wondering why a bearded guy with the initials TB embroidered on his shirt cuffs first stared me down and later lingered like a sentry next to my car seat. Fortunately he meant no harm and we reclaimed the much needed seat without incident. Go Tigers!

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