Thursday, February 9, 2023


Welcome to "Fact/Opinion Thursday."

For today, TigerBlog will intersperse unassailable facts with his own opinions, which may or not be assailable. This could be fun. 

Fact: There is a three-way tie for first in the Ivy League in women's basketball, with Princeton, Columbia and Harvard all at 7-2. Penn is at 6-3, followed by Yale at 5-4 and then no other team with fewer than seven losses. This week's schedule is: Dartmouth at Princeton (Saturday at 1), Yale at Columbia, Harvard at Penn and Brown at Cornell.

Opinion: No matter what happens this weekend, it will be impossible to pencil in four teams as the Ivy tournament participants. Should Columbia defeat Yale and Penn defeat Harvard, then the top four would all have a two-game lead on Yale with four games to go, which would seem to suggest that they would all be in good shape. The schedule, though, suggests otherwise, as the top four all have at least two remaining games against the other three, and Yale still gets to play Penn and Princeton after this weekend. 

Fact: There was a Twitter graphic on the women's basketball feed after the win over Columbia Saturday night that was a picture framed in the traditional New York City theater banner "Playbill."

Opinion: Warren Croxton, TB's colleague, always crushes it on social media, but that was one of his best.

Fact: Princeton, Columbia, Harvard and Penn are the top four scoring offense teams in Ivy League women's basketball and are four of the top five scoring defense teams in the Ivy League.

Opinion: TigerBlog, given the choice, would rather be able to stop a team than rely on its offense to lead it night after night. There will always be the night where the shots don't fall.

Fact: This weekend's Princeton-Dartmouth women's basketball game in Jadwin will be preceded by the National Girls and Women in Sports Day festivities, featuring athletes from most of Princeton's women's teams.

Opinion: The event is one of the very best things that Princeton Athletics does. If you have young athletes, boys or girls, they will love it.

Fact: The Ivy League round-robin fencing championships will be held this weekend at Cornell, where each men's and women's team will face all of its opponents in two days, with the league champs to be crowned afterwards.

Opinion: TigerBlog loves this format. He's guessing the fencers do as well. It's a chance to compete for the championship, and it's also a celebration of the fencing community. Most of these fencers grew up fencing against each other, literally traveling the world to do so. Also, Ivy League fencing is as nationally competitive as any sport. Consider the current men's national rankings, which have Harvard ranked first and Princeton and Columbia ranked second. That's in the country, not just the league. Princeton's women, the defending league champ, is the top-ranked Ivy school, ranked second nationally.

Fact: LeBron James is now the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.

Opinion: Michael Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history.

Fact: There are two weekends left in the ECAC women's hockey regular season and three weekends left on the men's side. Princeton is currently sixth in the women's standings, eight points out of fourth place and home ice and nine points up on ninth place, which would mean not making the postseason tournament. The men are also in sixth, five points out of fourth (a first-round bye) and six points ahead of ninth (all 12 teams make the tournament; teams five through eight get home ice in the first round). Princeton's women are home this weekend against Union and RPI; the men are at St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

Opinion: Every opportunity to watch Sarah Fillier play for Princeton is a special one, but she is not a one-woman team. Also, Princeton's women have three of their four remaining league games against teams who are behind them in the standings, so the chance to gain points is there. Getting home ice will be tough for the women, but it's not out of range. 

Fact: There have been more U.S. Presidents than there have been Kings or Queens of England. 

Opinion: TB never would have guessed that since English monarchs go back 1200 or so years. On the other hand, they don't have term limits.

Fact: There is women's golf on the schedule this weekend, at a tournament in Florida.

Opinion: Spring can't get here fast enough.

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