Penn needs win over Harvard, help to make Ivy League Tournament

Penn needs win over Harvard, help to make Ivy League Tournament

There is one night left in the Ivy League regular season and Penn men's basketball still has a fighting chance at a berth in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. But the Quakers will need some help. 

As a recap, the tournament will have four teams and be hosted at the Palestra next Saturday and Sunday. Princeton, Harvard and Yale are locked in as the No. 1, 2 and 3 seeds, respectively. From there, only Cornell is eliminated. Penn and Columbia are tied for fourth place at 5-8 while Dartmouth and Brown are 4-9.

On Saturday, Penn hosts Harvard, Dartmouth travels to Princeton, Columbia is on the road at Yale and Brown faces Cornell in Providence. 

The Quakers lost an extremely costly game to Dartmouth on Friday night, while Brown beat up Columbia. Penn was swept by the Big Green for the first time since 2009 and just the second time since 1959. If Penn had won, all the Red and Blue would have needed was a win over Harvard or, perhaps more likely, a Yale win over Columbia. 

Now there are only two scenarios that get Penn into the Ivy tournament and both involve a victory over Harvard. The game is a literal must-win. (There was a scenario that had Penn getting into the tournament with a 5-9 record, but Cornell's loss at Yale on Friday night ended it.)

Scenario A
1. Penn beats Harvard
2. Yale beats Columbia

Scenario B
1. Penn beats Harvard but Columbia beats Yale
2. Cornell beats Brown
3. Princeton beats Dartmouth

For an explanation of all the tiebreakers involved in Penn topping Columbia in this scenario, see my post from Friday morning

Yale beating Columbia in New Haven isn't too tough to imagine, so perhaps the most difficult part is the actual Penn win over Harvard. However, a bit of luck and history are on the Quakers' side. On the luck side, the Crimson played a grueling game at Princeton on Friday night and need to travel to the Palestra with nothing to play for in terms of seeding. In terms of history, the last time Penn lost at home to Dartmouth (2013), the Quakers responded by beating the eventual Ivy champion Harvard the next night.

In their meeting up in Cambridge earlier this year, the Quakers raced out to an early lead but eventually lost to the Crimson, 69-59. If they want any chance of postseason glory, they'll have to reverse that result on Saturday night ... and get a little bit of help.

Penn football falls late at home against Yale

Penn Athletics

Penn football falls late at home against Yale


Kurt Rawlings connected with Christopher Williams-Lopez for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:11 remaining in the game and Yale rallied for a 24-19 victory over Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Rawlings threw for 199 yards and two scores for the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 Ivy League), who won at Penn (2-4, 0-3) for the first time since 2007. Yale's Zane Dudek carried 12 times for 103 yards and a score.

The Quakers, who trailed 18-10 at the half, recovered a pair of fumbles in the fourth quarter to take a 19-18 lead. The first turnover led to Jack Soslow's 44-yard field goal and the second resulted in a 2-yard TD run by Tre Solomon. But Rawlings led the Bulldogs on an 11-play, 80-yard drive for the winning score.

Penn senior Justin Watson caught 10 passes for 120 yards and a 23-yard touchdown reception. It was an Ivy League record 16th career game with at least 100 yards receiving and he tied a school record with a TD catch in his sixth straight game. His 27 career scores ties the school record.

Sliding Temple visits Army; Penn hosts Yale in need of Ivy win

USA Today Images/Penn Athletics

Sliding Temple visits Army; Penn hosts Yale in need of Ivy win

Temple (3-4, 1-3 AAC) at Army (5-2)
Michie Stadium, West Point, New York
Saturday, noon, CBS Sports Network

Last time out
Temple lost to UConn, 28-24, last Saturday.

Army beat Eastern Michigan, 28-27, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Last week against UConn, the Owls committed 12 penalties for 117 yards. Despite putting up 229 more yards and 13 more first downs than the Huskies, Temple couldn’t finish drives late in the game to pull out the win.

Temple’s schedule doesn’t get easier this week. The Owls play an Army team riding a three-game win streak and boasting the second-best rushing offense in college football (378.4 ypg). That will be the matchup to watch as Temple averages 167.1 rushing yards allowed per game, good for seventh in the American Athletic Conference.

Temple’s starting quarterback Logan Marchi missed some practice time this week, but head coach Geoff Collins said he expects him to play Saturday. If he can’t go, look for backup Frank Nutile to replace him.

What it means
Temple’s performance against UConn was embarrassing, while the Owls' bowl hopes would take a severe hit with a loss to Army. Tulsa and Cincinnati are the only other opponents on the schedule against which Temple should be favored. Navy and UCF, on paper, look to be tough matchups for the Owls.

Series history
Temple owns the 7-5 series advantage and is 6-1 against Army since 2008. That one loss came last year when the Black Knights beat the Owls, 28-13, at Lincoln Financial Field in Temple’s season opener. 

What's next?
Temple has its bye before hosting Navy on Nov. 2.

Army travels to Air Force. 

Penn (2-3, 0-2 Ivy) vs. Yale (4-1, 1-1 Ivy)
Franklin Field
Saturday, 1 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia+

Last time out
Penn lost at Columbia in overtime, 34-31, last Saturday.

Yale defeated Holy Cross, 32-0, last Saturday.

Scouting report
Penn has the worst scoring defense in the Ivy League, which doesn’t bode well for its chances in this one considering Yale has the best scoring offense in the league. The Quakers allow 32.6 ppg and the Bulldogs score 41 ppg. Penn’s total defense is also last in the league, allowing 449.2 ypg.

The Bulldogs take control on the ground with the best rushing offense in the Ivy. Zane Dudek and Deshawn Salter lead the Bulldogs, as both have rushed for more than 400 yards and each has seven touchdowns. Penn will have to win the battle in the trenches to slow down the Bulldogs.

Series history
This is the 84th meeting between the teams. The Bulldogs hold a 46-37-1 advantage but Penn has won 19 of the last 25.

What’s next?
Penn travels to Brown.

Yale hosts Columbia.