John J. Lee Amphitheater
New Haven, Connecticut
Record: 17-10, 10-4
This kind of feels like déjà vu for Harvard since it was in this exact situation last year, except with Penn. While the Crimson were the top seed, they had to play on Penn’s home cOurt and that eventually led to a loss in the Championship. This year, the Tournament takes place at Yale’s home, conveniently Harvard’s biggest competition. The main reason to take the Crimson is that they already swept Yale, including a two-point road win a few weeks ago. That being the case, Yale was ahead for the majority of that Game until Harvard scored nine straight points in the final minutes. The hope is that a rematch would go the same way as it finished 88-86. Of course, the Crimson still have to get through Penn. Even though they swept the series, one of those Games went to overtime. The selling point for Harvard is that its only losses in the Conference came against teams not in this Tournament. And while Bryce Aiken averages almost 22 points per Game, this is still a lineup that has multiple guys that can fill it up from deep.
Record: 20-7, 10-4
Even with all that said about Harvard, this is still Yale’s Tournament to lose. The problem is that it didn’t exactly close the season on the right note, losing three of the last five Games, including two at home. The Bulldogs started 8-1 in the Ivy and then ran into Harvard and lost their momentum. They should get by Princeton, who it just beat by 22 points on the road, but Harvard is the roadblock. The Crimson had their number in the regular season, but Yale’s balance can’t be ignored. It also ranks tops in the Conference in terms of defensive effective field goal percentage. The problem is that Bryce Aiken torched them for 28 points in the last meeting. If they can stop Aiken, they can stop Harvard.
Record: 16-11, 8-6
The Tigers are probably the least likely to win this Tournament despite being a 3-seed. They have lost their last three and were just ripped apart by Yale a week ago. Even if they somehow win that first Game, Harvard already swept them so the path doesn’t look pleasant for this squad.
Record: 19-11, 7-7
The Quakers may be the 4-seed, but they’re not completely out of the running in this Tournament. Sure, it won’t be easy, but they already took Harvard to the wire and should’ve won that first meeting at home. They also just beat Yale by 11 points, so it’s not like that first Game is impossible. Then again, those two things happening are highly unlikely.
This has all the makings for another meeting between Harvard and Yale. The Crimson would like to do what they couldn’t do last year and win on a road cOurt in the final Game. Plus, this time, Bryce Aiken is ready to go and the one guy that can win this Game by himself.