The men's Ivy League championships is in its third year of existence, and it is a very unique tournament with a mix of varsity and club teams. All eight teams play in the CWPA, but only Princeton, Harvard and Brown are varsity teams. The club teams are Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, Penn and Cornell, and are spread out over the New England, New York and Mid Atlantic Division.
This is a brillant idea, and one that the Big Ten women's club teams tried with Michigan and Indiana a few years ago. The two Big Ten teams declined, and are represented by their club teams.
What excites me about this tournament is to see how good these club teams compete against varsity teams, plus there is the possibility of these other five teams moving up to the varsity ranks. We know that sports are not important to the Ivy League, but they do like the recognition when they do well. It only takes six teams to form a NCAA conference, and they could possibly earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament if they break off and the Ivy League sponsors water polo.
That is a little forward thinking, but the men's side desperately need more teams if it wants to continue to thrive. Plus, there are plenty of good athletes to fill out three to five more varsity teams, and have them be competitive. Also, this tournament is being hosted at Yale, which shows they are capable of having a championship caliber pool, and no extra cost if they decided to go the varsity route one day.
In the prior two years, no club team has defeated a varsity team. The closest game was when Princeton defeated Columbia 15-10 last season. If one of these club teams can pull off an upset, that could spark that school to consider playing at the varsity level.
Also, these club teams are probably comparable to most Division III teams on the East Coast.
As for some predictions, look for Princeton and Brown to play for the title, as this could possibly be a preview of the Eastern Championships.
Well, here is the Ivy Legue championships schedule:
Saturday, October 27, 2012
|10:00||Club 4th Seed - Yale||vs.||Club 1st Seed - Columbia||1|
|11:30||Club 2nd Seed - Dartmouth||vs.||Club 3rd Seed - Cornell||2|
|1:00||Varsity 3rd Seed - Harvard
||vs.||Club 5th Seed - Pennsylvania
|2:30||Winner Game 1
||vs.||Winner Game 2
|4:00||Loser Game 2
||vs.||Loser Game 1
|5:30||Loser Game 4||vs.||Loser Game 3||6|
Sunday, October 28, 2012
|10:00||Varsity 2nd Seed - Brown
||vs.||Loser Game 3
|11:30||Varsity 1st Seed - Princeton
||vs.||Winner Game 4
|1:00||Loser Game 5
||vs.||Loser Game 6
|2:30||Winner Game 5
||vs.||Winner Game 6
|4:00||Loser Game 7
||vs.||Loser Game 8
|5:30||Winner Game 8
||vs.||Winner Game 7