Tommy Amaker

Harvard wins first Ivy League title, first NCAA spot since ’46

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Princeton jumped out to a 21-6 lead on Penn on Tuesday night in New Jersey in the final game of the Ivy League’s regular season.

The Quakers fought back, cutting the lead to three at one point in the second half, but Princeton was able to pull away down the stretch, winning 62-52. Ian Hummer was fantastic, finishing with 18 points, 10 boards, four assists, four blocks and three steals for the Tigers. Zack Rosen, Penn’s star point guard, shot just 8-24 from the floor and turned the ball over seven times.

Why is this game significant?

A win for Penn would have meant that there was a tie for first place in the Ivy League. Since the Ivy doesn’t have a tournament, this would have forced another one-game playoff for the league title. But because of the loss, Harvard pulled off one of the rarest achievements in college basketball: it earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament (its first since ’46) by sitting on their couch at home.

Well, sitting on their couch may not exactly be accurate. The team is studying for midterms. Seriously. That is so Harvard. And for the record, I don’t believe for a second that anyone on that team is going to be very productive tonight.

Once Tommy Amaker’s program gets through those midterms, it is headed to the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in school history.

And for the first-time ever, the Harvard Crimson can call themselves the Ivy League champions.

I believe a congratulations is in order.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.