Princeton Tigers Earn Trip To NCAA Tournament
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Princeton’s Douglas Davis hit a leaning jump shot at the buzzer to give the Tigers a trip to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004 with a wild 63-62 win over Harvard.
The Crimson, who split the regular season title with Princeton, were seeking their first NCAA bid since 1946.
Davis had 15 points to lead the Tigers (25-6), who will represent the Ivy League for the 24th time in the tournament after overcoming an eight-point second half deficit.
Keith Wright scored 16 points for Harvard (23-6), which still has a chance for an at-large bid.
Ian Hummer’s basket in the lane gave Princeton a 61-60 lead with 37 seconds left. Harvard chose not to call a timeout and Brandyn Curry found himself open for a layup that gave Harvard the lead with 11 seconds left.
Because the Ivy League is the only one in Division I without a postseason tournament, they had to play the tiebreaker to claim the automatic NCAA bid. It was the league’s first tiebreaker since 2002.
Harvard and Princeton split their regular-season meetings. The Tigers won at home 65-61 on Feb. 4, and Harvard beat Princeton 79-67 last weekend to earn a share of the conference title.
The league played the game on Yale’s campus, about 130 miles from each school.
Before the game, Harvard and Princeton students chanted “Yale sucks!”
The Crimson led 38-30 early in the second half after a pair of baskets from Wright.
But Princeton cut it to 40-38 thanks to Hummer, who had five points during the Tigers’ 8-2 run.
Wright, who did not have a foul in the first half, picked up fourth with just over 7 minutes left in the game and Harvard leading 50-46.
Davis hit a long two-pointer and followed that with a 3 to give the Tigers a 51-50 lead.
A 3-pointer by Harvard’s Brandyn Curry tied the game at 55.
Harvard has never before earned a share of an Ivy title. The league began playing basketball in 1956.
Princeton has now won 26 but it was the first for coach Sydney Johnson, a 1997 graduate who played on two of those championship teams and took over as coach in 2007.
The Tigers have already been to 23 NCAA tournaments. Princeton had played in all seven previous Ivy League playoffs, and had won three.