Busting Brackets

Ivy League Basketball: 2024 conference tournament preview and predictions

The 2024 Ivy League men's basketball tournament kicks off with semi-final action on Saturday, March 16 at 11:00am. Get to know the field and the key players to watch ahead of this weekend with a comprehensive Ivy Madness preview.
Yale v Kansas
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Semi-Final 1: #1 Princeton vs. #4 Brown (March 16, 11:00am)

Can last year’s March Madness Cinderella squad hold off the fastest-rising team in the Ivy League?

The Bears enter this matchup riding a six-game win streak, highlighted by wins over both Cornell and Yale. But Princeton has proved to be a thorn in their side, prevailing in each of their two games versus Brown this season (70-60 and 72-63). Foul trouble plagued the Bears in both contests with their opponents heading to the free throw line 52 times compared to their 16.

Even when Brown plays to their strengths, controlling the offensive glass and out-scoring the Tigers 33-16 in second chance points, Princeton’s firepower is just too hard to ignore. The team averages the least amount of turnovers per game in the country (7.2), along with the second-best free throw percentage (81.3) and top-10 totals from beyond the arc (10.5).

Princeton moves on

Semi-Final 2: #2 Yale vs. #3 Cornell (March 16, 2:00pm)

If history tells us anything, this one is going down to the wire.

Yale and Cornell have familiarised themselves with each other this season, splitting the season series in a pair of tightly-contested games. The Bulldogs’ size advantage played a key role during their 80-78 win in early February, dominating the rebounding battle 38-20. However, Big Red got their revenge just two weeks later, sneaking away with a 65-62 win fueled by 15 fast-break points. Missed free throws sealed Yale’s fate in this one, only connecting on 11 of their 26 attempts from the line.

Cornell’s deep roster will be put to the test Saturday afternoon against a team on the hunt for revenge from the previous year. Despite the impressive depth and efficiency Big Red boasts on offence, the Bulldogs’ size and interior presence will prove to be too much to handle.

Yale moves on

Final: #1 Princeton vs. #2 Yale (March 17, 12:00pm)

The seeds may be flipped and the venue may have changed, but this is the rematch we’ve been waiting for.

These two Ivy League heavyweights enter this matchup after splitting their season series. Yale’s 70-64 victory in early February was highlighted by another commanding performance on the glass from Danny Wolf, finishing the game with a game-high 12 rebounds along with 21 points. Later in the month, Princeton countered with a 73-62 win. This time, the Tigers suffocated Wolf in the paint, limiting the big man to zero points that evening.

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With only three losses on their resume, Princeton has demonstrated why they’re once again the class of this conference this season. However in each of their defeats, the team has failed to out-score their opponents in the paint. Yale’s frontcourt of Wolf and Matt Knowling has already caused the Tigers headaches this season, and with a chance at Ivy League redemption and an NCAA Tournament berth on the line, I believe the Bulldogs have what it takes to go dancing.

Yale wins Ivy Madness