• Columbia enters the final weekend of the regular season tied for fourth place with Cornell in the Ancient Eight standings and will look to secure the final position for the Ivy League Tournament. Three of the spots have been clinched by Harvard, Penn
WHAT'S THE SCENARIO?
Mathematically, there are four teams (Brown & Princeton - 4-8, Columbia & Cornell - 5-7) vying for the No. 4 seed. Coming into the weekend, there are numerous scenarios for the Lions to punch their ticket to the Palestra next weekend. The easiest two possibilities are listed below. Updates will be available after Friday's games if necessary. Full tiebreak procedures can be found here.
1. JUST WIN, BABY! If Columbia wins both games, they clinch the fourth seed.
Even if Cornell finishes an identical 7-7 with the Lions, the head-to-head tiebreak is bypassed since the teams split the regular season meetings. Next, the conference compares each team’s record against the highest seed outside of the tie and continuing through the full league standings. Both the Lions and Big Red would have no wins against Penn, but the Lions would advance due to a sweep over Harvard and Cornell going no better than 1-1 against the Crimson.
2. COLUMBIA CAN CLINCH FRIDAY IF it defeats the Big Green, coupled with a Cornell loss to Harvard and a Brown loss to Princeton.
At best, Cornell could only match Columbia with a 6-8 record but would be 0-2 against Harvard. Brown would be eliminated from contention and even if Princeton defeats Yale Saturday to match the Lions and Big Red at 6-8, the Tigers went a combined 0-4 against Harvard and Penn.
The Lions wrapped up their home slate with a split last weekend, topping Brown before a defeat to Yale on Senior Night. Mike Smith posted a pair of 20-point games on his way to a spot on the Ivy League Honor Roll. Columbia uncharacteristically was cold from 3-point range, going a combined 10-of-43 (23.6 percent) combined in two games.
The Big Green dropped decisions at Penn and Princeton last weekend. Dartmouth struggled offensively, averaging 46.5 points in the two games. Taylor Johnson leads four Big Green players averaging in double-figures at 12.2 points per game.
Columbia escaped the Feb. 3 meeting with Dartmouth, 77-74, thanks to a key block by Kyle Castlin as time expired in regulation. The Lions are 113-100 all-time against the Big Green and will be looking for the season sweep for the third time in the past five seasons with the last coming in 2016.
The Crimson's regular season title hopes took a slight blow with a loss to Penn at the Palestra Saturday, but
Columbia handed Harvard its first Ivy League defeat in Levien Gym, using a big second-half run to earn a 73-66 triumph. The Lions have won four of the last five meetings between the schools and hold a 98-81 record in the series.
In the final two home games of his career, senior Nate Hickman stepped up. Hickman netted season-highs of 16 points against Brown and 17 the next night against Yale. The Newark, Delaware native has started 53 consecutive games for the Lions, dating back to the start of the 2016-17 season, the longest streak of any active player on the roster.
The Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball tournaments return to Philadelphia, March 10-11, 2018. The top four teams will earn berths to the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN’s networks. For tickets and more information please visit IvyMadness.com.
COLUMBIA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION RECEPTION AT HARVARD
Alumni, family, and friends of all ages are invited to enjoy refreshments and game fare from 5-7 p.m. at John Harvard's Brew House (33 Dunster St.) before the game. Members of the coaching staff will be present. Tickets include admission to the game.This event sells out every year. Buy your tickets now! For more information or to register, click here.
COACHES VS. CANCER 3-POINT CHALLENGE
Columbia is participating in the 3-Point Challenge for the second consecutive year. With this initiative by the American Cancer Society and the NABC, fans can pledge a dollar amount for every 3-pointer Columbia makes during the month of February or make a one-time donation. All funds will benefit the American Cancer Society. To donate, click here.