Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Seven To Go In 2017

TigerBlog has two more things from the men's basketball team's trip to Hawaii.

First, how does Princeton finish fifth if it went 2-1 while the fourth place team (Middle Tennessee State) went 1-2? Yes, MTSU defeated Princeton in the first game, but that's not the point.

Why does a 1-2 team finish ahead of a 2-1 team? Why does winning Game 1 and losing the next two mean more than losing Game 1 and winning the next two?

Not that it really matters or anything. It's just that it doesn't make sense to TB. Never has.

That's one.

The other thing is that for Princeton's win over Akron, the small crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center included BrotherBlog and Joe, the official brother-in-law of TigerBlog. They were originally going to go to the first game, against MTSU, except TigerBlog gave them the wrong information on the start time, so they were at Pearl Harbor when the game tipped.

TigerBlog is pretty sure that's the first Princeton basketball game BrotherBlog has attended. It made him wonder how many Princeton basketball games TB has been to, and he figures somewhere around 400 on the men's side and 150 or so on the women's side.

Those are guesses. Either way, that's a lot more than his brother.

Anyway, the men's team is off until a week from Friday, which happens to be in 2018, by the way. The Tigers will be at the Palestra for the Ivy opener against Penn, followed the next weekend by home games against Columbia and Cornell.

Then it's exam break.

The men may be done for 2017, but there is still basketball to be played at Princeton before the New Year. And hockey. Lots of hockey.

In fact, if you're looking for some pretty good events prior to the end of the calendar year, then Princeton's campus has them.

There are actually seven events left for Princeton teams in 2017. Of those, five are at home.

The two on the road are Day 1 and Day 2 of the Midlands Championships, a big-time wrestling event at Northwestern. Princeton will be in the field there, with wrestling all day Friday and all day Saturday.

As for the home events, the women's basketball team will be home Saturday at 4 against UMBC. The Tigers are led by Bella Alarie, who added yet another Ivy Player of the Week Award for her MVP performance at the team's tournament in Florida last week.

TigerBlog is hoping that there will be no repeat of the last time he saw UMBC-Princeton women's basketball. That was back in 2012, when TB had a flat tire on his way to Baltimore on the side of I-95, near the Philadelphia airport.

Princeton, at 9-3, enters the game with an RPI of 21 in Division I. All three of its losses are to teams in the top 36, including No. 5 Villanova and No. 6 Rutgers.

St. Cloud, the men's hockey opponent at Hobey Baker Rink Friday and Saturday (face-off at 7 both times), has an even gaudier ranking. The Huskies are the No. 1 team in the country.

St. Cloud brings a 12-2-1 record to New Jersey. The Huskies are also 8-2-1 against nationally ranked teams this season and 16-3-1 all-time against Ivy League opponents.

Princeton hasn't played since splitting two games at Arizona State three weeks ago. The Tigers will follow the two games against St. Cloud with back-to-back ECAC road weekends to start the new year - at Cornell and Colgate Jan. 5/6 and then at Harvard and Dartmouth Jan. 12/13.

The games against top-ranked St. Cloud are very attractive, but they're not the only games at Baker Rink this weekend. The women's team will be home Saturday and Sunday against Boston University, with face-off at 3 Saturday and 1 Sunday.

The game Sunday obviously will bring the curtain down on Princeton Athletics in 2017.

If you're interested in a recap of the last 12 months, fret not, as TigerBlog will have the top moments of the year here tomorrow and Friday in the final two entries of the year.

And you can go to the Princeton Athletics Instagram and Twitter feeds to see the top pictures of 2017 as well.

In college athletics, time is measured in academic years, not calendar years. Still, it's always fun to do exercises like TB is doing for the 2017 review.

And in 2017, there have been no shortage of big moments and great pictures. What will be No. 1? What should be? 

Make sure you check it out.

And make sure you come to the games at Princeton before the year ends. 

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