Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Failed Pre-Law Student Updates The Ivy All-Sports Points Standings

It was about 2:00 yesterday afternoon when TIgerBlog saw the buses on the Jadwin apron.

The Coach USA buses always pull up there to load teams for road trips. Often there are multiple buses, especially on Thursday afternoons in the winter or Fridays in the fall and spring.

TB's first thought when he sees buses at random times, like a Tuesday afternoon, is basically "who is playing where tonight?"

He had the same thought yesterday, when it took him a few seconds to remember. Oh yeah. It was the basketball doubleheader at Penn.

There were many years when Princeton at Penn basketball was TB's favorite event of any athletic year, more so than the Super Bowl even.

It dated back to long before he rooted for Princeton in the rivalry, back to when he was a student at Penn, when he first saw one of the games between the two at the Palestra, from a seat behind the basket about halfway up.

Could he have even dreamed back then that Princeton-Penn basketball would become such a big part of his life? Not back then. Not when he was what he thought was a pre-law student.

TB actually went to college figuring he'd go to law school. Every now and then, he wonders what would have happened if he actually had done it. Would he have done what most lawyers he knows do and ended up in compliance?

TB can't imagine himself as a corporate lawyer. Maybe a judge. Yeah, he could see himself as a judge.

Ah, but that was not to be. Instead, he ended up in college athletics, in a league where Princeton and Penn dominated the men's basketball landscape for so many decades that their annual meetings where inevitably classics.

With his background as a failed pre-law student at one and an employee of the other, it's not hard to see why the rivalry became so big for him.

And there he was yesterday, focused on Princeton's lacrosse game with Manhattan, and as a result, he completely forgot that there was a basketball doubleheader at the Palestra.

In a million years he never would have guessed that would be possible.

Princeton's 15-2 win over Manhattan was the 100th in the coaching career of for Chris Bates. Next up is a trip to Penn Saturday, so TB will get there this week after all.

The games last night at the Palestra and Harvard's win over Columbia in women's basketball were the last Ivy League games of the winter season.

As with the end of any season, it was time for TB to update the Ivy League's unofficial all-sports points standings.

Again, to review, teams are awarded points based on league finish, with eight points for first, seven for second and so on. If teams tie in the standings, then they split those points, so that a tie for third is worth 5.5 points for each team.

Also, for sports where fewer than eight schools compete, the first place team still gets eight points and so on down. Only the 33 sports where the Ivy League crowns a champion are factored into the standings.

Princeton has won this "championship" for the last 26 years.

As a disclaimer, this is not an official Ivy League award or anything, just something that Princeton has been tracking.

As you might remember, Princeton won last year's title by the slimmest of margins, a one-point win over Harvard. To win by one point after contesting 33 sports is cutting it very close, something that caused TB to recheck the math three times.

With last year's tight finish, it was clear that almost any outcome of any game, even those that didn't involve Princeton and Harvard, impacted the final rankings.

Anyway, where do the standings for this year sit after the fall and winter?

Princeton is in first with 134 points, followed by Harvard with 116. Last year, when it became a one-point win, Harvard outscored Princeton by six points in the spring.

No other league school has more than 88.5 points.

As for total championships won through the fall and spring, Princeton has won nine so far this academic year, followed by five each for Cornell and Harvard.

One goal for Princeton each year is to reach double figures in Ivy League championships. Obviously Princeton needs one in the spring to get there.

Another is to keep the two big streaks alive.

The first, the one with at least one team or individual national champion, now sits at 42 straight after the field hockey and distance medley relay teams both won NCAA championships.

The Ivy all-sports championship streak is at 26, hoping to get to 27.


Anonymous said...

Count your lucky stars, TB. From what I read here, you've had a very interesting career.

The truly "failed pre-law students" are those who got into law school and went.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the national championship streak now at 42 after this year's two titles? Three years ago it was 39, and there have been multiple titles each season since.

Princeton OAC said...

Ah correct. TigerBlog corrected it. 42 is the right number.