The Harvard Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs meet in the Ivy League championship game from the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Sunday afternoon.
The Harvard Crimson come into the Ivy League title game looking for their 1st tournament win in their 2nd finals appearance after exorcising playoff demons with a 68-65 win over Penn in their semifinal on Saturday. Bryce Aiken led the Crimson with 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting along with a team-high 4 assists and 3 steals while Noah Kirkwood added 12 points as the only other double-digit scorer for Harvard in the win. Kale Catchings added 8 points with a team-high 9 rebounds as well in the victory for the Crimson. Aiken leads Harvard in scoring with 21.7 points per game while Justin Bassey leads the Crimson in rebounding with 6.8 rebounds per game and Christian Juzang leads Harvard in assists with 2.6 assists per game this season. As a team, Harvard is averaging 71 points per game on 45.7% shooting from the field, 37.1% from behind the arc and 71.1% from the foul line this season.
The Yale Bulldogs will look to win their first conference tournament title in their 2nd appearance after an 83-77 win over Princeton in their semifinal on Saturday. Miye Oni led the Bulldogs with 23 points on 7 of 16 shooting with an 8 of 8 mark from the foul line along with team-highs of 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Blake Reynolds and Alex Copeland tied for 2nd with 16 points apiece, with Reynolds shooting 7 of 10 with a pair of threes and a pair of steals while Copeland had 5 assists of his own. Jordan Bruner added 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting with 7 rebounds to round out the group of double-digit scorers for Yale in the win. Oni leads Yale in scoring and assists with 17.4 points and 3.6 assists per game while Bruner leads the Bulldogs in rebounding with 8.4 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Yale is averaging 80.5 points per game on 49.4% shooting from the field, 37.2% from behind the arc and 71.6% from the foul line this season.
Harvard is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 conference games. Yale is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games while the under is 7-0 in their last 7 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. Yale is 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
Yale being favored in the title game makes sense because although this is a neutral site game, its being played on Yales home floor. However, home court didnt stop Harvard from coming in and winning outright earlier this season, and from sweeping the regular season meetings between the two sides. Yale has also had issues covering against Harvard dating back to last season and while this will be a highly entertaining game, I see Harvard keeping this one close at the very least so Ill take a shot with Harvard and the points here.
Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.
The top two teams in the Ivy League take the floor in the championship game of the conference tournament to earn the automatic bid in March Madness. The second-seeded Yale Bulldogs battle the top-seeded Harvard Crimson Sunday afternoon up in Connecticut. Yale advanced to the final as they dropped third-seeded Princeton 83-77 Saturday afternoon in their last game. Harvard dropped fourth-seeded Penn 66-58 in their last contest in the semifinals Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs own a 78-65 advantage in the all-time series between the teams but it was the Crimson taking the last four meetings, including an 88-86 road win in the last matchup on February 23. Yale Bulldogs Looking for March Madness Bid Yale survived a wild back and forth game with Princeton in the semifinals of the Ivy League Tournament to advance here as they seek their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2016. The Bulldogs improved to 21-7 on the season with the victory. Yale was up 12 at the half only to find themselves go scoreless for more than six minutes in the early stages of the second half. The Bulldogs trailed 67-60 with 5:33 to play in the game before closing the contest on a 23-10 run to get the win. Yale shot 50.8 percent from the field, including five of 16 from three-point range, and knocked down all 16 free throws in the victory. Miye Oni led the Bulldogs with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win.
Ivy League Conference Tourney Championship, John J. Lee Amphitheater, New Haven, Connecticut; Sunday, 12 p.m. EDT
Ivy League champion @Yale_Basketball will play for an NCAA Tournament berth tomorrow after advancing past @Princeton_Hoops, 83-77, in the semifinals at #IvyMadness presented by @TIAA. 🌿🏀 pic.twitter.com/Fs1WaEKEi3
The Bulldogs put up an average of 80.6 points per game on the season. Yale collects 38.9 rebounds a night while dishing out 17.3 assists per contest. The Bulldogs are below average on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 213th in scoring defense by allowing 72.8 points a night. Miye Oni leads Yale with 17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists a night. Alex Copeland (13.4 points, 3.3 assists), Blake Reynolds (11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds) and Jordan Bruner (10.2 points, 8.4 boards) each are averaging in double figures as well. Paul Atkinson, Azar Swain and Trey Phills each contribute at least seven points per contest. Yale is shooting 49.4 percent from the field as a team this season. The Bulldogs knock down an average of 7.8 three pointers a night while sinking 37 percent from beyond the arc. Yale is sinking 72.5 percent of their chances at the free throw line, a number that the team has improved over the course of the season. Harvard Crimson Seek Return to March Madness Harvard slowed down a Penn team that is pretty good on the offensive end and put themselves into the Ivy League final. The Crimson improved to 18-10 on the season and look to make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since a run of four straight trips between 2012 and 2015. Harvard was up two at the half over Penn and the game was tied at 51 with 8:27 to play. The Crimson went on a 12-5 run over the next seven-plus minutes to lead by seven with 38 seconds left and got the win. Harvard shot 42.3 percent from the field, including seven of 22 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 36-30. Bryce Aiken led the Crimson with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win.
Ivy League champion @HarvardMBB will play for an NCAA Tournament bid tomorrow after advancing past @PennBasketball, 66-58, in the semifinals at #IvyMadness presented by @TIAA. 🌿🏀 pic.twitter.com/PImZ0RB8Ce
The Crimson puts up an average of 71 points per game this season. Harvard is collecting 36.3 rebounds per contest while dishing out 12.2 assists a night. The Crimson is 127th in scoring defense as theyve allowed 69.0 points per contest. Bryce Aiken leads the team with 21.6 points per game on the season. Chris Lewis (10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds) and Noah Kirkwood (10.5 points, 4.4 boards) each average in double figures on the year for Harvard. Justin Bassey, Christian Juzang, Danilo Djuricic, Robert Baker and Kale Catchings each put up at least 4.2 points a night. The Crimson is shooting 45.7 percent from the field as a team this season. Harvard knocks down 8.6 triples a night while shooting 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Crimson has sunk 71.1 percent of their attempts at the charity stripe this season. Notable Trends
This one is going to be an entertaining contest between a pair of bitter rivals with the prize being a bid in March Madness. Harvard has won four straight meetings and they have been better with the return of Aiken after he missed the first 13 games of the year. The Bulldogs are playing on their home floor in this contest but theyre going to be facing a veteran team in the Crimson. Tommy Amaker has his team ready to go and Aiken is the big factor here. Look for Harvard to claw their way to a victory here: take the points in this one.
These two teams are very familiar with each other and you know the old saying about how familiarity breeds contempt. In the first meeting this season, Harvard prevailed by 16 at home in a low scoring affair, 65-49. The second matchup was much more to Yale’s liking pace wise as the final score was 88-86 in favor of the Crimson. The Bulldogs are 26th in the nation in scoring offense and ninth in field goal percentage this season. Will Yale be able to dictate the tempo and come up with the win in the biggest game of the year for Ivy League programs?
The under is 3-0-1 in the Bulldogs’ last 4 neutral site games and 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. Harvard has seen the under go 4-0 in their last 4 games following a straight up win, 5-1 in their last 6 Sunday games, 4-1 in their last 5 overall and 4-1 in their last five against Ivy League opponents. This one falls in between the first two meetings between the teams this season and ends up a couple points short of the total: look for the under here.
Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.