Friday nights in Hoops Nation are generally sparse with the exception of the Ivy, but the Ancient 8 have a good matchup to keep an eye on when you get tired of the Winter Olympic opening ceremonies. #2BidIvy is dead and was a pipe dream anyway so now its time to focus on the longest tournament in college hoops, the Ivy regular season.
Brown is an early surprise holding on the second spot in the League after four games. The Bears were picked fifth in the league and haven't had a winning season since 2008. A huge amount of the credit should go to second year coach Mike Martin. Three years ago the Bears finished 292nd in the nation in defensive efficiency (1.053 ppp), last season that jumped to a much more respectable 154th (0.982, 2nd in the Ivy) and now in year three Martin's squad is down right stingy, ranking 28th in the nation (0.932). The offense is very much still a work in progress, but holding teams to 39 percent shooting will keep Brown in a lot of games in the Ivy season.
Harvard continues to be more than just an Ivy force, but a great team on the national level. The Crimson are 17-3 overall and the computer numbers that the selection committee will look fondly upon them after they tested themselves against a quality non-conference schedule. Harvard is everything you look for in a team, they play great offense, even better defense and have balanced scoring with five players averaging between 8.9 and 15.2 points.
A month ago it looked like Princeton and Harvard might fight for the Ivy title down tot he last day, but the Tigers are already 0-3 in conference and the Ivy is now searching for a contender to challenge the Crimson. Could it be Brown? Or is another Harvard title fait accompli just two weeks into the Ivy season?
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