The Roundtable: What Harvard’s NCAA win means for the Ivy League

Courtesy of espn.go.comSophomore All-Ivy first-team guard Wesley Saunders led the conference in scoring at 16.5 points per game.

Courtesy of espn.go.com
Sophomore All-Ivy first-team guard Wesley Saunders led the conference in scoring at 16.5 points per game.

Update: Coach Jerome Allen declined comment on Harvard's NCAA upset through Athletic Communications Director Mike Mahoney Monday.

In this edition of The Roundtable, six of our editors past and present ask what Harvard's win means for the Ancient Eight heading into the 2013-14 season, plain and simple:

Former Sports Editor Mike Wisniewski: Harvard's win is obviously good for the league. Why wouldn't it be? It's not like they ran away with the title -- the competition across the board was incredible this year, even though it was pretty certain Harvard or Princeton would end up winning it. It's a shame -- for the league, that is -- that the Crimson couldn't put in a more respectable performance against Arizona, but knocking off New Mexico was impressive enough. That would have been the upset of the tournament had Florida Gulf Coast not stolen their thunder.

Associate Sports Editor Steven Tydings: It is beneficial to the Ivy League in the sense of money since the league will get money from the victory. But it also hurts Penn in terms of image. You have a program that just six years ago was the class of the conference and getting the better players like Ibby Jaaber, Mark Zoller, Zack Rosen, etc., but is now 9-22, and hasn't won a title in six years. Now Harvard appears to be light years ahead, as they not only win a tournament game but also have a strong recruiting class and two players (likely cheaters) returning to make next year's team the favorite to run away with the conference, making it likely that Miller's final recruiting class with Cartwright/Dougherty will go without a title and leave coach Allen with little to nothing on his resume and a team full of just his players in 2014-15, for better or worse. Continue reading

Tony Hicks honored with second straight Ivy League Rookie of the Week

Different week, same award.Tony Hicks

For the second consecutive week, Tony Hicks was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week after putting up a combined 47 points in Penn's two games against Dartmouth and Harvard over the weekend.

Hicks led all players in scoring for the third and fourth straight games. He put up 23 points on 7-for-14 shooting in Friday night's loss to Dartmouth. The freshman guard also went 6-for-6 from the free throw line and helped Penn take a lead late in the game.

On Saturday night, Hicks was instrumental in the Quakers' upset of then first-place Harvard, as he scored 24 points while dishing out five assists. Those assists helped fuel a strong game from fellow-freshman Darien Nelson-Henry, who added a career-high 20 points against the Crimson.

Hicks has now scored 95 points in the last two weekends for an average of 23.8 points per game. In Penn's 11 Ivy contests, he leads the Red and Blue with 15.6 points per contest.

Game 28: Harvard – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

FULL RECAP // BOX SCORE 

What a difference a night makes. After fizzling away Friday night against Dartmouth, the Quakers were back with a vengeance, getting the underdog victory over Harvard, 75-72. In a league of upsets, a truly dominant team has yet to emerge, though the Crimson had come into the weekend looking like the cream of the crop of the Ivy League, before being swept by Princeton and Penn. In front of a crowded Palestra, despite it being spring break, the Quakers avenged a loss in Cambridge from earlier this season, and just like the second matchup against the Crimson last year, came away with the win.

THE GOOD: The freshmen

The rookie Quakers — Darien Nelson-Henry and Tony Hicks in particular — controlled the court tonight and led Penn to its win. Nelson-Henry brought in 18 points on the night on an 8-for-13 performance from the field, which was in addition to 11 rebounds — three of which were offensive — and three steals. Hicks, who led the Red and Blue in scoring, went 9-for-17 to rake in 24 points for the Quakers as well as three steals, four boards and a team-high five assists.

THE ALSO GOOD: The Quakers’ defensive effort

Though the Crimson went on a run in the second, Penn kept Harvard to 26.1 percent shooting in the first half. Though four Harvard players scored double-digits, including a 20-point performance — 10 of which came from the free throw line — from sophomore forward Wesley Saunders, the usual executers were kept to low shooting percentages. Sophomore center Kenyatta Smith was limited to 2-for-7 shooting, senior guard Christian Webster went 5-for-14 and freshman guard Siyani Chambers was kept to 1-for-5 in his 40 minutes of play.

THE BAD: Fouling

The most memorable of the fouls was junior forward Dau Jok’s unnecessary last-second foul as Chambers was bringing down the ball to finish off the first half. But this was just one of many. The Quakers quickly went over the limit in both frames. In the first half, Penn made it to the bonus with seven minutes and 25 seconds left, reaching 12 in the frame, while in the second it reached this point with nine minutes and 59 seconds left after jumping to six quick fouls beforehand and 13 total in the second half. It seemed as though there was constant whistling coming from the referees. The Crimson raked in 24 points on 33 opportunities at the charity stripe.

THE UGLY: Three-point coverage down the stretch

Though the Quakers maintained the lead throughout the game, a win started to look questionable as Harvard started making shot after shot from beyond the arc. The Crimson went 8-for-11 from three in the second half, after just going 2-for-10 in the previous stanza. The Crimson were notching almost every opportunity for a trey during this frame, with junior guard Laurent Rivard leading the way, going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc during the second half. In the final five minutes and 41 seconds, the Crimson brought in 15 points from three-point shooting, including notching two in the final 13 seconds. Harvard actually outscored Penn, 46-37, in the second half but the Quakers had built up a big enough cushion in the first to maintain the lead until the final buzzer.

Potential Harvard/Princeton playoff would be at the Palestra

The Newark Star-Ledger reported last night that if a second playoff for the Ivy League's automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament in three seasons is necessary, it will take place at  the Palestra.

Princeton's 58-53 home win over Harvard last night sets up that possibility. The Tigers now stand at 8-2 in Ivy play and the Crimson are 9-2. Harvard and Princeton split their season series. So if both teams win out, that "if necessary" playoff at the Palestra will be necessary.

The Ivy League's official Twitter denied the Star-Ledger's initial report that the date was already set for Saturday, March 16, also denying that a time or TV deal was set yet. The March 16 date would make sense, though, since the 2011 playoff also took place on the Saturday after the Ivy slate closed that season.

In 2011, Ivy co-Champions Princeton and Harvard met at Yale's John L. Lee Amphitheater in a memorable one-game playoff to determine the League's automatic bid recipient. Princeton overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to win, 63-62, on a Douglas Davis buzzer-beater.

That means now Penn can officially play the spoiler with its home matchups versus Harvard tonight and/or Princeton on March 12.

DPOSTM Ivy Hoops Power Rankings: Nov. 28

Letter to Harvard Ad Board reveals cause of suspicion

According to The Crimson, a letter attained by the Harvard news outlet reveals what originally caused Prof. Matthew B. Platt to suspect there was cheating on his take-home final exam.

The scandal in the Government 1310 class led to Crimson basketball captains Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry withdrawing from the university yesterday.

Originally, there were only thought to be 13 plagiarisms on the test, but upon further investigation, that number has jumped north to about 125 — constituting almost half of the 279-person class. The original group of 13 is reported to have been 2012 graduates and members of the baseball team.

An unusual answer to a bonus question and an odd typo — an unnecessary space in the number "22, 500" — lie at the root of suspicion.

“I am convinced that the similarities between these papers are not the product of chance,” Platt wrote in the May 14 letter.

Kyle Casey, others to withdraw from Harvard amidst cheating scandal

UPDATE (6:37 p.m.) — The Boston Herald is reporting that Harvard basketball co-captain Brandyn Curry is also expected to withdraw from the university today and miss the upcoming basketball season.

8:39 a.m. — News broke early this morning that Harvard basketball captain Kyle Casey is set to withdraw from Harvard this year. He is implicated in a cheating case with about 130 other students from a Government class last semester. A student told The Crimson more than half of the 279-person class played a varsity sport, though not all of them are necessarily being investigated.

Investigations began by Harvard's Ad Board in late August, when it was determined that students had collaborated on the Government 1310 take-home exam.

While the investigations could take until November, athletes involved have been advised to withdraw from the university for the term or year in order to save eligibility. Multiple sources have told SI.com that Casey is choosing to withdraw, and additionally Brandyn Curry and another unnamed basketball player are involved in the case and under review.

The football team is "preparing for the worst," an unnamed player told The Crimson.

The deadline to withdraw is today, so stay tuned for more updates as we will surely see some recognizable names save themselves a year of eligibility. Those who do not withdraw and are later found to be guilty -- no matter at what point during the season -- will lose a year of eligibility. Wins could be vacated from a team if a player is later deemed ineligible.

DPOSTM Ivy Hoops Power Rankings: Week 16

With the crazy Ivy hoops weekend that was, we struggled to come up with a consensus, but after much debate, here is how the DP Sports Editors managed to rank the Ivies:

Jerome Allen post-game transcript

Since the video of Jerome Allen's meeting with the media was almost completely inaudible, here is the transcript of his quotes:

Jerome Allen
To battle last night, and then to come back tonight with the right focus, and to pay attention to details, and to be somewhat locked in, and the things you try to accomplish is just a testament to just their desire.

On Harvard’s defense in the second half:
We said regardless of what’s going on, let’s trust one another, let’s play for one another and continue to defend. When the ball’s not going in the basket, if you defend, you’re still giving yourself a chance to win.

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