Saturday, March 4, 2006
Brown can clinch share of title with win Saturday
ESPN.com news services
After Princeton's huge win over Brown on Friday, the Ivy League could be headed for a three-team playoff to decide which team earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Just a week ago, Brown appeared to be the frontrunner in the league race. But Princeton's 72-55 rout dropped the Bears to 11-2 in Ivy League play.
Brown (17-9) plays Penn on Saturday in its final regular-season game. Almost exactly a month ago on Feb. 3, the Bears beat Penn, 65-47, in Providence, R.I.
Brown, which had won nine straight before Friday's loss, can still clinch at least a share of the 2006 Ivy crown with a win tonight.
But Princeton (19-6) and Dartmouth, which are both 10-2 with two remaining games, can still catch the Bears in the standings. The Tigers -- who are looking to post just their third 20-win season (and first since 1996) and fourth season with 11 Ivy League victories (first since 1999) -- host Yale on Saturday on Senior Night and Penn on Tuesday. In two road victories earlier this season, Princeton topped Yale 53-37 (Feb. 3) and Penn 73-55 (Jan. 7).
The Big Green play at Cornell on Saturday and host Harvard on Tuesday. Dartmouth also went 2-0 against those teams this season, beating Harvard 81-76 on Jan. 7 and Cornell 93-70 on Feb. 3.
If Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth win out, they will finish tied for the league championship. In that case, a single-elimination playoff game would be held Thursday followed by a final game next Saturday to determine which teams advances to the Big Dance.