This is finally it, the last stop on my conference tournament spirit-journey. This final article will put me nearly 20 units deep in outrights, with the ultimate goal of a 5% ROI (or +1 unit). Lots of ball to be played betwixt now and Sunday morning, we’ll see how it shakes out.
This tourney was started only started a couple years ago, as the Ivy used to just award its auto-bid to the regular season champ. In typical Ivy league fashion, it is held on a Saturday/Sunday, because God forsake they miss some class. My numbers liked some of Columbia and Dartmouth’s metrics to back them as bigger dogs a few times and I was able to win 4 outta 5 times when I got involved here. Unfortunately, I won’t find any of the teams I backed in the field since they only let in the cream of the crop.
When and Where: March 16th and 17th at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, CT
Defending Champ: Penn Quakers
Who’s Good: Yale, Harvard
Who’s Sneaky: The other two teams
Who Stinks Out Loud: The four teams that didn’t get invited.
Coolest Team Nickname: Penn Quakers. It takes enormous confidence to use the Conscientious Objector that makes everyone’s favorite oatmeal as your mascot. Respect, Penn.
Seeding and rules: Only the top four qualify. All three games held at the Cathedral of Sweat on Yale’s campus.
Multi-Bid League: No. Once again, this is the Ivy League we’re talking about here.
Breakdown: I feel like the Ivy is a weird league to handicap at times. The entirety of the conference schedule is played on back to backs Friday and Saturdays giving you weird rest/travel angles. This also made for an annoying little wrinkle for someone betting openers, as the Ivy’s lines are the last to come out due to this.
As far as this weekend goes: It’s easy to throw Princeton out even though it’s a mighty tasty number for a team to win just two games. They are 2-4 against the field here and shoot a much lower 3-point % than the other three teams. Meanwhile, the other three teams are all ranked similarly by my metrics, making the final decision a little tougher.
My Pick(s): I get making Yale the favorite since they are de facto hosts, but the number seems a little short to me. Harvard is 6-0 vs the rest of the tournament field this season. Going against my numbers a little on this one, but only because it wants me to back a team that isn’t in the field. Riding with the Crimson.