Ivy League basketball returns after missing 2020-21 season.
Ivy League basketball was the first conference to cancel its tournament at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March of 2020. The Presidents of the Ancient Eight also decided NOT to play in the 2020-2021 season that was anything but regular.
“IT FEELS PRETTY NORMAL.”
During Ivy League Men’s Basketball Media Day, @PennMBB head coach Steve Donahue talks about how the start to the 2021-22 basketball season has felt normal.🌿🏀#UnrivaledExperience pic.twitter.com/W0eaaqgqFf
— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) October 21, 2021
Despite not having played a meaningful game in 21 months, every Ivy League team will play a key non-conference game against a Power Five conference. With many teams opening up on November 10, and ALL having played their last game on March 7, 2020, it will be at least 612 days between real live basketball games for the Ivy League schools.
The rosters have certainly changed due to the eight-semester rule. The seniors on this year’s teams were somewhat baby-faced sophomores back in 2020. The current freshmen were only juniors in high school, but they have likely had more game experience than their upperclassmen teammates, just not at the collegiate level.
A TIGHT RACE FOR THE TOP.
Just seven points separated the top three teams in the men’s basketball preseason poll. @YaleMBasketball earned the title of preseason favorite with 7⃣ first-place votes. 🌿🏀
— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) October 20, 2021
The pre-season poll had Yale at the top, followed closely by Harvard, Princeton and then Penn. Let’s take a look at the top 10 Ivy League non-conference basketball games this coming season.
Top 10 Ivy League Basketball Non-Conference Games
10. Yale at Siena (November 16, 2021)
You’re going to see a lot of Yale games on here and that’s no mistake – the Bulldogs scheduled hard and have are one of the top favorites to win the Ivy League basketball conference this season.
— Yale Men’s Basketball (@YaleMBasketball) March 7, 2020
Siena lost a tough opener to St. Bonaventure but head coach Carmen Maciarello is no slouch. For what it’s worth a few of Yale’s other tough games in Iona and Vermont were also considered for this spot.
YALE LAST GAME: March 7, 2020 – Harvard 83, Yale 69
9. Dartmouth at Stanford (December 16, 2021) and at California (December 19, 2021)
The Big Green will celebrate the end of exams with a trip to the west coast to take on a pair of Pac-12 teams.
DARTMOUTH LAST GAME: March 7, 2020 – Brown 70, Dartmouth 58
8. Yale at Seton Hall – November 14, 2021
The two-time defending Ivy League regular-season champions Yale Bulldogs will take a short road trip to take on Big East member Seton Hall. Both teams have their eyes set on the NCAA Tournament in March.
7. Cornell at Syracuse – December 21, 2021
It’s a color-war battle four days before Christmas as the Big Red battle the Orange in the Carrier Dome. It’s a natural rivalry for schools less than an hour apart in upstate New York. Syracuse was ranked 25th in the CBB Review Top 100 Pre-season Ranking. With Jimmy Boeheim now on the Orange, it adds even more intrigue to this one.
CORNELL LAST GAME: March 7, 2020 – Princeton 85, Cornell 82
6. Yale at Auburn – December 4, 2021
The Bulldogs are certainly going to test themselves in the non-conference schedule. A trip to the Plains to take on an SEC power Auburn (ranked 23nd in the CBB Review Pre-season Top 100 Rankings) will only help Coach James Jones evaluate his team. In addition to Seton Hall and Auburn, Yale will play UMass, Vermont, and Iona before Christmas.
5. Brown at Maryland – December 30, 2021
Brown’s last non-conference tilt before heading into Ivy League play will come against Big-12 power Maryland. The Terps happen to be ranked 20th in our Top 100 Pre-season Ranking.
BROWN LAST GAME: March 7, 2020 – Brown 70, Dartmouth 58
4. Brown at North Carolina – November 12, 2021
The Bears will jump into the deep end of the pool as they jump start their season with a trip to Tobacco Road for a matchup with North Carolina, the 13th-ranked team in the CBB Review Top 100 Pre-season Ranking.
3. Penn at Arkansas – November 28, 2021
The Quakers continue their tough non-conference slate with a trip to the 17th-ranked team in our Pre-season Ranking, the Arkansas Razorbacks.
2. Penn at Villanova – December 1, 2021
It won’t be a long road trip but it’s a Main Line Big 5 matchup as Penn takes on Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats, the fourth-ranked team in our Top 100 Pre-season Ranking.
1. Harvard at Kansas – December 29, 2021
Our final Ivy League tune-up will take place at historic Allen Fieldhouse when we take on Hall-of-Fame Coach Bill Self and @KUHoops. The last time we visited, our 2015-16 squad nearly escaped with a victory, falling short, 75-69. pic.twitter.com/aLXuYiyuaq
— Harvard Men’s Basketball (@HarvardMBB) August 5, 2021
It’s the first appearance by the Crimson, but it’s a marquee matchup as Tommy Amaker will take his Harvard squad into Allen Fieldhouse and try to quiet the Jayhawk faithful. Kansas just happens to also sit atop the CBB Top 100 Pre-season Ranking.
HARVARD LAST GAME: March 7, 2020 – Harvard 83, Yale 69