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It’s the Ivy League tournament and we will see a quarterfinal matchup between the Princeton Tigers and the Yale Bulldogs at Payne Whitney Gym in New Haven, Connecticut. The Bulldogs won both meetings between these teams this year.
Tigers Look To End Three-Game Slide
The Princeton Tigers missed out on the Big Dance last year, but they have a chance of reaching it this year as they made it to the Ivy League Tournament. The problem is that they have lost their last three games in a row and they lost both meetings with the Bulldogs during the regular season. In their last game, the Tigers were crushed by Yale at home by a score of 81-59. The Tigers shot just 37.5% from the field overall, including 21.7% (5/23) from long range and they will have to be far better in this one if they hope to keep up with the high-powered Bulldogs. Leading their attack was Richmond Aririguzoh (11.6 ppg), who had 15 points. The Tigers have gone 16-11 on the year and they are ranked 179th by KenPom while taking on the 144th ranked slate of games. Princeton averaged 66.2 ppg and they allowed 66.4 ppg in league play this year.
The Tigers enter this game ranked 268th in the nation in scoring at 69.3 ppg, while also ranking 326th in shooting (41.0%), 335th in three-point shooting (30.7%) and 69th in free throw shooting (73.9%). On defense, they are 123rd in points allowed, giving up 69.2 ppg, while also ranking 119th in defensive FG% (42.9%) and 74th in three-point defense (32.4%).
Yale Struggled Some Down The Stretch
Yes, the Yale Bulldogs beat Princeton 81-59 in their season finale, but they still lost three of their final five games and that allowed the Harvard Crimson to take the regular-season title in the Ivy League. Yale is at 20-7 on the year overall and KenPom has them ranked 83rd in the nation, while they have taken on the 178th ranked schedule. Yale last made it to the NCAA Tournament back in 2015-16 and they have been to the Big Dance just four times in their history. The Bulldogs played great defense in their win over the Tigers, but their offense also had a good showing as they hit 47.5% of their shots overall, including 38.9% of their shots from long range and committed just seven turnovers. Leading their attack was Blake Reynolds (11.1 ppg), who had 20 points. The Bulldogs have averaged 77.1 ppg and have allowed 70.7 pg in league play this year.
— Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller) March 12, 2019
Yale enters this game ranked 26th in the nation in scoring, putting up 80.5 ppg, while also ranking 9th in FG% (49.4%), 48th in 3-point shooting (37.2%) and 147th in free throw shooting (71.6%). At the defensive end of the floor, they have been below average as they come in ranked 214th in points allowed, giving up 72.6 ppg, while also ranking 36th in defensive FG% (40.8%) and 41st in 3-point defense (31.5%).
- 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 home games
- 13-6 ATS in their last 19 vs. the Ivy League
- 5-11 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
It is tough to bet a team three times in a season, but I just can’t see the Tigers keeping this one close. They just lost by 22 to the Bulldogs at home and they lost by 14 at Yale earlier in the year. This is a home game for the Bulldogs and they have outscored their opponents by 11.5 ppg here. We also note that Yale has averaged 83.3 ppg at home, while Princeton has put up just 64.6 ppg on the road. Princeton is 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight trips to Yale and the favorite is 19-6-2 ATS the last 27 games in this series. Take the Bulldogs in this one.
Prediction: Yale -11.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Both games went under during the regular season and neither game put up more than 140 points, but still, I will look for this game to go Over the total. Princeton games have been low scoring this year, but Yale is at home and as a big favorite so I will look for them to have the pace where they want it. Their home games have averaged 155.1 ppg, while their Conference games have averaged 147.3 ppg. The Over is 5-0 in Princeton’s last five games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points and that is the clincher.
Prediction: Over 142.5