Reliving Penn-Harvard 1982: Miracle on 33rd Street

We've been saying all week how this weekend's Penn-Harvard match at Franklin Field is the de facto Ivy League title game: Whichever team wins will clinch at least a share of the championship and have a chance to win it outright next week.

Back in 1982, the two teams met at Franklin Field in the same situation with 4-1 records in the league. The Quakers jumped out to a commanding 20-0 lead, but the Crimson stormed back with three fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull ahead, 21-20.

In the game's final drive, Penn quarterback Gary Vura drove the Red and Blue to the Harvard 21, good enough to set up a 38-yard field goal with three seconds left. Against the win, the kick was no good. But as Crimson players celebrated their supposed victory, a flag was thrown for running into the kicker.

Placekicker Dave Shulman had another chance, and this time he nailed it, handing Penn its first Ivy League championship in 23 years. Highlights of the game can be seen here, with legendary Philadelphia Eagles broadcaster Merrill Reese providing the play-by-play:

Looking ahead: A potential Ivy title game

via PennAthletics.com

Not that the Penn-Princeton rivalry has been lacking in intensity, but this year’s women’s soccer tilt between the two schools appears like it will carry extra weight.

Penn and Princeton currently sit atop the Ivy standings at 3-0. If both teams maintain their level of play and win out, when they meet in the season finale on Nov. 3 at Princeton, it will effectively become an Ivy League championship game. Considering that last season’s 14-2-1 Penn team missed out on an at-large bid, winning the conference could be their only ticket to the NCAA tournament.

The Quakers have a relatively easy path to the finale with games remaining against Brown and Yale — both which are winless in Ivy play. The only potential roadblock is this weekend’s game at Dartmouth (see preview). But with wins at Ithaca and as far away as Sacramento, the Quakers have proved thus far that they can travel well.

A potential Penn-Princeton game provides an extremely intriguing matchup on paper. Princeton has the strongest offense in the conference, led by forward Jen Hoy’s 14 goals. Penn, meanwhile, boasts the league’s stoutest defense, conceding only 0.81 goals per game. One huge advantage in the Tigers favor will be home field. The Quakers have not won there since 2003.

With all the potential storylines surrounding a Penn-Princeton finale, we can only hope the two teams keep up their outstanding play.

— Tim Ghosh

Liveblog: Penn at Princeton — Brought to you by the Blarney Stone

It's finally time for tipoff! For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Quakers (19-11, 11-2 Ivy) will have a chance to clinch at least a share of the Ivy League title tonight against archrival Princeton (18-11, 9-4) at Jadwin Gymnasium. Penn is red hot with its seven-game winning streak, but the Tigers also come in on a good note, having won seven of their last eight. Follow along as Sushaan Modi and Mike Wisniewski duel blog the action live with The Daily Princetonian:

Liveblog: W. Lax Ivy tournament – Penn vs. Princeton

It's tournament time at Franklin Field — the Quakers take on Princeton in the first round of the Ivy Championship, and they are out for revenge. Two weeks ago, the Tigers came into Philadelphia and stole an upset from Penn on senior night, ending the Quakers' 34-game Ivy winning streak. After closing out the regular season with a win (and then an upset over No. 4 Duke) Penn clinched the No. 1 seed in the Ivy tournament and home field advantage. If the Quakers can figure out Princeton this time around, they'll advance to the final game Sunday afternoon. Follow along below:

Gutmann’s updated bracket

Last night our team of bracketologists pointed out that Amy Gutmann's presidential bracket had skipped a few picks in the Southwest region. Well, turns out we got our hands on an early revision of her bracket — Don't worry Amy! We've spent hours redoing ours too — and she wanted to get all of her picks on record before the Big Dance starts tomorrow.

For those of you keeping track: she's got UNLV over Illinois and Louisville taking down Vandy. Do you think differently? Put your bracket up against hers in the DP/Smokes March Madness Bracket Challenge!

FinalNCAA Bracket 2011-Amy Gutmann

Analyzing the presidential bracket

Before we get started, let me just say that this may be the best picture ever taken. It is, from left to right, the Quaker, Jerome Allen in a wig and Amy Gutmann holding a basketball. Feel free to caption in the comments.

03_0

Okay, on to more important things:

College Hall's #1 is getting excited for the DP's March Madness competition — with a $100 gift certificate to Smoke's on the line (Click here to enter!). Penn President Amy Gutmann was nice enough to fill out a bracket for this year's NCAA tourney — even though she didn't have a chance to pick the Red and Blue — and send it over to the Buzz. But hopefully the doctor can take a little constructive criticism.  With Amy's picks on the table, we assembled our blue-ribbon panel of bracketologists to analyze the boss' bracket, and her odds of being the best at Penn.

She went low risk/high reward this year, picking all four #1 seeds to make the semi-finals, and she has Ohio State winning it all. She might be a native of Brooklyn, but Amy's pragmatic. There's no way she was picking her hometown's Long Island University over No. 2 North Carolina. But what does the DP's crack team of analysts think? See Gutmann's bracket below and their thoughts after the jump.

Amy G Bracket2

Update: we've got a new version of Dr. Gutmann's bracket here.

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Title scenarios part deux

Princeton or Harvard will be Ivy champion this year. That's for certain. While Princeton holds a half-game lead over Harvard, those two teams go head to head on Saturday night. And for invested Penn fans/not-Princeton fans, Penn also plays Harvard this weekend — and Princeton on Tuesday, so the Quakers will no-doubt have a role in deciding which team gets the Ivy League's automatic NCAA bid.

I'm going into spring break mode, so my brain doesn't currently have the capacity to plot out the mathematical possibilities. But luckily our friends over at the Ivy League Office have done just that:

If Harvard and Princeton both win OR both lose Friday:
• A Princeton win Saturday would clinch the outright Ivy title for the Tigers.
• A Harvard win Saturday would force Princeton to defeat Penn Tuesday, March 8 to necessitate a playoff.
• A Harvard win Saturday, coupled with a Princeton loss at Penn Tuesday, would give the outright Ivy title to the Crimson.

If Harvard wins Friday, Princeton loses Friday:
• A Harvard win Saturday would clinch the outright Ivy title for the Crimson.
• A Princeton win Saturday, coupled with a Princeton win Tuesday at Penn, would clinch the outright title for the Tigers.
• A Princeton win Saturday, coupled with a Princeton loss Tuesday at Penn, would force a playoff.

If Harvard loses Friday, Princeton wins Friday:
• A Princeton win EITHER Saturday OR Tuesday at Penn would clinch the outright title for the Tigers.
• A Harvard win Saturday would only result in a playoff if Princeton loses at Penn Tuesday. Harvard would not be able to have an outright title if it loses Friday and Princeton wins Friday.

To complicate things, when each of these three teams faced each other in the first go-round this season, Penn took both Harvard and Princeton to overtime, and Harvard-Princeton was a four-point game, so there's no clear dominant win between any of these three.

I'll ask two questions for discussion: 1) Who's going to be the champ (or will we have a playoff)? 2) Who would you rather see as champ?

Football gets championship rings

It's easy to distinguish football players on campus. Aside from their obvious size, they love to wear their Ivy Championship swag — sweatshirts and jackets, etc. Can you blame them? Now there's a slightly flashier way to identify the title-winning athletes. They've apparently received their championship rings.

Earlier today, senior Bradford Blackmon tweeted this photo of his ring. Looks nice:

Ring

Title scenarios…

10 days ago Penn fans (and journalists eager for a trip to the big dance) we're counting their lucky stars, excited that this just might be The Year. But after four losses, as Kevin Esteves points out in his column today, the hope of any Ivy title has all but faded from the collective mindset.

But for those still grasping at the last shreds of banner-hanging prospects, here's a guide to how the Quakers season will have to play out:

  • Penn must win-out. The toughest game left on the schedule appears to be Friday March 4th, at Harvard. If the Quakers run the table, they finish 10-4 in conference.
  • Frontrunner Princeton (7-0) must lose three of their remaining six games before they close out the season with a loss at the Palestra on March 8th. The most plausible of those three losses would be at Harvard on Saturday March 5th, but two other Ivy pack-dwellers will need to step up. Cornell kept Princeton close in Ithaca, and Yale gave the Tigers a run for their money at Jadwin, so those are two games to watch.
  • Harvard (6-1) must lose twice, in addition to falling to Penn in on the 4th. Considering in the above scenario they beat Princeton, they'll have to go .500 on their upcoming four-game road trip at Cornell/Columbia and Brown/Yale. Again, Yale looks to be the best bet for Penn.

If Yale can play the spoiler twice, the Bulldogs (5-3) will also be in prime position to contend as well. There you have it.

Live Blog: M. Soccer at Princeton

Ethan Alter here at Princeton, covering a crucial match for the No. 13 men's soccer team. With both Penn and Princeton undefeated in conference play, the winner of this game is guaranteed a share of the Ivy title and will hold the tiebreaker in terms of the NCAA tournament berth. Should the game result in a tie, then it will all come down to the last weekend of Ivy play

The game begins at 7 p.m. The liveblog is embedded after the jump; to open it in a new window, click here.

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