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Friday News:

Uh, the 13 Game Tournament? An apparent proposal for a four team Ivy League conference tourney would potentially eliminate one traditional tilt.

Princeton basketball made it to the Final Four of the school's campus-wide dodgeball tournament.

Here's a site that shows how the Tigers would have defeated most other Division I schools last season (including national champion Kentucky) using the transitive property.

The family of the late Bill Haarlow '63 was honored by the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

A Louisville forward will transfer to Northwestern for his final year of eligibility.

The son of Brian Taylor signed to play basketball in the Pac-12.

Navy's leading scorer is transferring to Richmond.

Oregon State junior Jared Cunningham declared for the NBA Draft.

Fairfield picked up a commitment from a New York City guard.

Did you know the article about Ozzie Guillen that got the Marlins manager suspended was written by Sean Gregory?

Will Venable is focused on effective base running. Here's the picture of Venable with a dolphin you never knew you always wanted.

Could the big programs really push small schools out of the NCAA Tournament?

John Poole said,

April 13, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

From the playoff proposal piece:

Amaker said. “I think more than anything else if you polled or asked our players, not just our current players but former Ivy-League basketball players, I can’t imagine that many of them wouldn’t be in favor of the opportunity to play in their postseason conference tournament.”

Well, of course, because most of them LOST! What specious logic. Does Tommy Amaker, not even an Ivy alum, speak for the league?

Kevin Whitaker said,

April 13, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

What are your thoughts on a playoff? I'm somewhat against it, but I would be even more against removing a league game and ruining the balanced schedule. Not only does it mess up full-season comparisons, but imagine being the fans that don't get to see Harvard play this year?

Jon Solomon said,

April 13, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

To be fair, only two of the eight Ivy coaches are alums of Ivy League schools...

I would imagine Amaker was the easiest coach for the Harvard Crimson to get a quote from about this issue and James Jones is always happy to field a call on this topic when someone inquires. He seems to be the most-quoted coach in other schools' papers.

Kevin, to your question:

Fully against, even in a year like 2011-12 where Princeton was playing the best ball of the eight schools in March. It would take away so much from the specialness of the Friday/Saturday routine and I don't have faith that it would draw that much more attention. I've seen too many conference final first halves preempted by ACC quarterfinals and watched plenty of 1/4 full neutral site title games for Ivy-comparable schools to feel otherwise.

I'm actually of the belief that if one other conference decides to buck the conference tournament trend and put full weight on their conference schedule others would follow suit.

If men's basketball was like men's lacrosse where there was a strong likelihood that more than one school from the league was going to the NCAA Tournament I might adjust my stance but it hasn't happened yet.


Kevin Whitaker said,

April 15, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

Jonathan Tannenwald reported that there was some communication error in the Crimson's article - a non-conference game would be removed, not a conference game, which makes a lot more sense.

Jon Solomon said,

April 15, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

Yep. Was going to mention that in the next news. The Ivy League already keeps total games one under the national maximum (Princeton could have scheduled an additional contest in 2011-12 if they were in a different conference).


Stuart Schulman said,

April 16, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

If there is going to be a 4-team tourney, how do you feel about a straight 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3, win-twice-and-you-dance, versus a pro bowler's tour-style ladder with 3 vs 4, winner vs 2, winner vs 1. An extra day away from classes vs an advantage to the regular season champion. Depending on the W-L of the 3 and 4 teams, the relative impact on the RPI of the teams involved could go either way.

Jon Solomon said,

April 16, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

A comment I received back channel that I thought made a compelling case:

"If they really want to spice up the season while still rewarding the best teams, they should be copying Ivy League baseball, not lacrosse...go to two four-team divisions and have the winners play."


Steven Postrel said,

April 18, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

It's amazing to me that right after the Ivy regular seasons have provided so much excitement, national attention, and intrigue that people would be talking about ruining one of the league's few positive points of product differentiation. Let's be honest--even the major conference tournaments kind of suck (witness Kentucky phoning it in in the SEC final) and the mid-major and low-major ones are worse.

In one-bid leagues, when the favorite wins it's anti-climactic and when there's an upset it's a travesty. In multi-bid leagues the "upsets" are often just the result of teams that know they've already qualified for the Big Dance not killing themselves to close out their opponents. Devalued currency. And it kills all drama in the regular season--if Louisville loses a game to Rutgers it has almost no effect on their NCAA prospects, much less if they lose to Georgetown. (Maybe we should have a relegation system, where the bottom three Big East teams get sent down to Division II and the top three Division II schools in the northeast get into the Big East.)

And it's not like the small-conference tourneys are ratings powerhouses, either. If you don't care about Middle Tennessee State or Western Kentucky, a tourney won't make you care. The relentlessness of the tournament promoters and the hearing they get is somewhat depressing.

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