This year’s men’s basketball team might be the best team in modern Ivy League history not to win a championship.
That’s not an honor it hoped to achieve, of course. Princeton entered the final regular-season weekend with only one Ivy loss, effectively tied with Yale atop the league. But a heartbreaking 73–71 defeat at Harvard March 4 left the Tigers’ fate out of their hands. Though Princeton bounced back to beat Dartmouth and Penn and finish 12–2, the Bulldogs won the conference title at 13–1.
The Tigers outscored conference foes by 10.8 points per game, and according to Basketball-Reference’s Simple Rating System, Princeton has been 7.4 points per game better than the average Division I team this season (adjusted for its schedule) — better than all but nine Ivy teams since 1980, all of them champions. But one of those nine teams is this year’s Bulldogs, who clinched their first NCAA tournament bid since 1962.
Princeton received an NIT invitation, its first since 2002, and lost in overtime at Virginia Tech, 86–81, in the opening round March 16.