Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ivy League Basketball: 'Outside the Limelight'

As the men's basketball team starts its last game of the year --- it's playing Wagner at Jadwin Gymnasium right now --- it's a great time to consider Ivy League basketball. Kathy Orton, a sports reporter at The Washington Post, has just come out with a new book, "Outside the Limelight: Basketball in the Ivy League," and she spoke with The New York Times on Tuesday.

Orton explores the difficulty in attracting good players to the Ivy League, noting that while there are the players with both the grades and the skills to attend, they would often rather go where they can earn an athletic scholarship. Also, as the Tigers get ready for the start of Ivy League play, it's interesting to note that Orton says, "Many believe the Penn-Princeton dominance has ended. I’m not so sure ... Penn and Princeton have strong traditions of success and too many inherent advantages that make it unlikely that they will stay down for long."

The article also includes an excerpt from her book about the Princeton-Penn rivalry and the 1999 game in which Princeton came back from 27 points behind at the beginning of the second half to win, 50-49. Orton described that game as one of best she has ever seen.