Monday, March 9, 2015

One More Shot at NCAA Berth

Chappaqua's Matt Townsend '15 (above) scored crucial baskets in Yale's win over Harvard, Mar. 6 (Yale Athletics Photos)

After Yale's men's basketball team whipped Harvard on the Crimson's home stage, 62-52, Mar. 6, the Bulldogs' path to the Big Dance was easily paved.  Beat Harvard, beat an average Dartmouth squad in Hanover, and then glide into the NCAA tournament as the Ivy representative for the first time in 53 years (or the second time since  John J. Lee '58, who was a Larchmont resident, led Yale in 1957).

In the Harvard game, Matt Townsend '15 of Chappaqua scored 8 points, including two crucial mid-range jump shots in the second half to help Yale secure its 22nd win of the season (the most by the men's team since 1949).

In the Dartmouth game the next night, Townsend and teammates remained comfortably ahead until the last minute. Yale was up by 5 with 35 seconds to go and with college-basketball pundits all over the nation ready to proclaim Yale as the first team officially going to the tournament. In 35 seconds, Yale's lead was erased, and Dartmouth won the game with a lay-up with a second to go.

Now tied with Harvard at the top spot in the Ivy League, Yale has one more chance.  Harvard meets Yale on a neutral site on the campus at Penn Saturday, Mar. 14.  Winner takes all, the winner hoping it won't be matched against Goliaths like Duke or Kentucky in the tournament's first round.

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