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When I wrote last week about my first Ivy road trip, I had difficulty recalling details about this game.

Thankfully, a copy of the Daily Princetonian from the Monday after the Tigers clinched the 1988-89 Ivy League title turned up.

Reading faded newsprint about tidbits long since forgotten (who knew a freshman Matt Eastwick scored 10 first half points?), an unexpected answer to a series of iconic images was buried towards the end of this article.

Arriving at the Providence Civic Center on March 17, 1989 for the first round of the NCAA Tournament, those who took the charter bus from Princeton to Rhode Island disembarked next to the arena as the Tiger marching band serenaded the Princeton team heading into the building.

Almost to a man, the entire team had freshly shorn crewcuts.

I had always assumed that the crewcuts were to look sharp for a game that would be nationally televised by ESPN, some sort of collegiate solidarity.

I was wrong.

From the March 6, 1989 Daily Princetonian:

"As excited as the players were about the victory, they seemed almost as pumped at the prospects of a Kit Mueller crewcut. At the beginning of the season, Mueller promised his teammates that he would tame his mane should the Tigers claim the Ivy title. If he needs directions to a barber, his teammates will be more than wiling to help him."

Also in the paper is mention of the dogpile at center court after the final buzzer at Harvard. It is referenced that unlike in 1984, Pete Carril did not leap atop a pile of his players - something I'd love to track down a photo of!

Carril's emotions winning his seventh Ivy crown are described as less joy than relief. He simply shook the hand of Crimson coach Pete Roby and walked to his team's locker room.

The article concludes with a pair of quotes from Coach Carril:

"This team, on paper, was not a title team," Carril said in a boisterous locker room. "That's what made the season so hard."

When asked who Princeton might get to play, he replied, "Arizona, Georgetown, nothing to worry about."

Coco said,

March 3, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

For several years in the 1990s a photo of this team hung on the walls of the Rialto Barbershop on Nassau Street (next door to what was then The Annex). Several other teams were also represented, and there was also the framed Sports Illustrated cover with Chris Thomforde and Gary Walters (taken in a little known library room in Dillon Gym).

I've forgotten the names of the two old school barbers who ran the shop (it long ago changed hands) but I still remember one of them talking about how all they "guys came in and wanted their hair cut short."

Must have been quite a show!

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