Conference: Ivy League
Coach: Mitch Henderson
Record: 23-6 (14-0 Ivy)
Ratings and Rankings:
– Kenpom: 62
– RPI: 52
– AP/USA Today: N/A
Seeding: Princeton has the second-longest active winning streak in the nation, trailing only Vermont. Winners of 19 in a row, the Tigers are likely destined for to be a No. 13 seed, according to NBC Sports bracketology. Given the other projected No. 13 seeds, Princeton has the highest RPI of the group.
Names you need to know: Spencer Weisz is the Ivy League Player of the Year. While he’s fourth on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game, but he led the Tigers in rebounds (5.4 RPG), assists (4.0 APG) and steals (1.6 SPG). Devin Cannady (13.7 PPG), leads the team in scoring, followed by Steven Cook (13.6 PPG) and Myles Stephens (12.2 PPG). Stephens, the 6-foot-5 sophomore, is the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. All four are strong shooters from beyond the arc.
Stats you need to know: 10: The Tigers averaged 10 made 3-pointers a game, shooting 38 percent from deep as a team. More than 40 percent of Princeton’s points come courtesy of the 3-ball. The Tigers also play at a methodical pace, like the Princeton offense tends to be played at, meaning they make the defense work while in search for the best possible shot.
Big wins, bad losses: Aside from sweeping the Ivy League, the Tigers defeated Patriot League champion Bucknell, another projected No. 13 seed, on the road in December. The 72-70 win wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. That win started Princeton’s 19-game win streak. Its worse loss belongs to Saint Joseph’s, which finished second to the bottom in the Atlantic 10 standings.
How’d they get here?: Princeton ran the table in the Ivy League, but it wasn’t all that easy. In the first-ever Ivy League Tournament, the Tigers were rewarded by playing Penn on the Quakers’ home floor, The Palestra. Princeton forced overtime, thanks to a putback by Stephens in the final seconds. After leading by only two at halftime in the title game against Yale, the Tigers were able to pull away after starting the second half on a 13-4 run.
Outlook: Princeton is a balanced team. The Tigers can stretch the floor and put up points in a hurry given their volume of 3-point attempts. Princeton should be a tough out regardless of opponent.
How do I know you?: While it’s been since 2011, Princeton has been a stable part of the NCAA Tournament field for decades. The 2017 NCAA Tournament will be the program’s 25th all-time appearance.