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Princeton vs. Penn

College Hoops Pick

1/30/12

While Harvard is getting all of attention from the national media, at 4-0 and 18-2 on the year, they aren't the only Ivy League team that can play some hoops. Their records may not be as impressive, but two Ivy teams that appear to be among the cream of the Ivy League crop square off tonight as Penn hosts Princeton. Penn is a -2 point favorite at 5 Dimes with a total of 126.5.

These two teams have prepared for Ivy League play well. They have both played taken on some stiff competition in the early going and both have represnted themselves, and the Ivy League in general very well.

Princeton lost by just 2 at NC State, beat Buffalo, Beat Rutgers on the road, Northeastern on the road and Florida State on the road. Yes, the same Florida State that has beaten North Carolina and Duke this year. Not a bad way to come into conference play eh?

The Penn resume is perhaps not as impressive, but they have proven to be a tough opponent for some good basketball programs. They just beat St Josephs this past Saturday and have played close games with Temple, Villanova and UCLA.

This comes as no surprise to long time college hoops observers. The Ivy League has proven for decades that they can play hoops. Most years, the top of the Ivy League can play with just about any team in the nation, at least for a half. The problem for Ivy League teams has always been depth.

Princeton has the more impressive record coming in to tonight's game with those very impressive road wins. Hey, if you can win at Florida State, you can win at Princeton. But they did struggle at Columbia and were beaten on the road by Cornell in their two Ivy League games this year. You might say Princeton is the more desperate of the two here, needing a win to keep pace with Harvard (4-0), Penn (2-0) and Yale (3-1).

Our model predicts an 11 point Penn win, 68-57, which is significant, and definitely has us looking at this game further as a potential Key Release for tonight. Cause for concern, and keeping this from being automatic is that impressive non conference road performance of Princeton this year. For now, we'll call is a lean towards Penn -2. Key Release subscribers will of course be notified if we do play this one.

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