An Ivy League basketball stunner! What a week in Ivy League basketball action. Dartmouth College, a team that hasn’t finished so much as .500 since the 1998-1999 season (that’s quite a long time!), upended the Ivy League basketball standings in stunning, last-second fashion by winning their fifth straight contest, this one against league leader Yale. Down by double digits for the second night in a row (they were down by 24 to Brown last night only to come back to win it), the Dartmouth Big Green rallied and they rallied hard. According to an analysis of the game on “Dartmouth Sports,” “John Golden lobbed an inbounds pass to classmate Gabas Maldunas, who dropped in the layup with 0.5 seconds to play to lift Dartmouth (14-14, 7-7 Ivy) to a thrilling 59-58 victory over the visiting Bulldogs (22-9, 11-3 Ivy) on Saturday night at a raucous Leede Arena.”
So the significance of this game is made clear, had Yale won this game, they would have earned the Ivy League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Because the Bulldogs lost this game at the last second to Dartmouth, Yale will now have to face Harvard in a playoff game for the right to represent the Ivy League in March Madness. Tommy Amaker’s (who we believe is heir apparent to Coach K at Duke) Harvard squad best be sending “thank you” notes to their Dartmouth counterparts. And what does any of this have to do with Ivy League admissions? Well, as you may know from reading our blog, universities that advance far in March Madness — to the Sweet Sixteen and beyond — often see spikes in applications the subsequent year. It’s that simple. So this loss for Yale could end up being felt beyond the hardwood.
Oh, and as for the College on the Hill, with Dartmouth’s spectacular finish to the season, the Big Green will be headed to the postseason for the first time in 56 years. That’s in over half a century! They’re not headed to the NCAA Tournament but the Big Green are headed to the CIT (the CollegeInsider.com Tournament). It doesn’t have quite the ring to it as NCAA Tournament, but we congratulate Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team for doing what no team has done in over a half century in Hanover, New Hampshire. Well done!