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Ivy League Tournament Odds, Picks – Yale vs Cornell and Princeton vs Penn

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Basketball

Mar 9, 2023 · 4:10 PM PST

Ivy League favorites Yale Bulldogs celebrating
Dec 10, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; The Yale Bulldogs bench celebrates a basket during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Yale Bulldogs are +115 favorites to win the Ivy League Tournament
  • Yale has won the past two tournament titles
  • Princeton, losers to the Bulldogs in the 2022 tourney final, are the second betting choice at +300

The Ivy League Tournament might be better called the Yale invitational. Since 2019, no other school has been able to lay claim to the title of Ivy League men’s basketball champions.

Yale won the 2019 Ivy League Tournament. The Bulldogs are also defending champions of this event. No Ivy League competition was held during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. And the 2019-20 Ivy League Tournament was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. That season, Yale, as regular-season champions, were awarded the Ivy League title.

Oddsmakers are also pegging Yale to be holding the trophy at the end of this year’s event. The Bulldogs are +115 favorites.

2023 Ivy League Tournament Odds

School Odds
Yale +115
Princeton +380
Pennsylvania +330
Cornell +650

Both Yale and Princeton finished Ivy League regular-season play with identical 10-4 records. However, Yale’s 2-0 record in head-to-head meetings with the Tigers earned the Bulldogs the tiebreaker for the tournament’s top seed. Princeton, 66-64 losers to Yale in last year’s Ivy League Tournament final, are the +300 second betting choice.

Yale is a +150000 betting choice in the March Madness odds. The projected March Madness bracket is displaying the Bulldogs as the #14 seed in the Midwest Region.



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Ivy League Tournament Format

While many conference tournaments tend to be all comers meets, the Ivy League Tournament is unique in its brevity. Just four schools earn their way into the event each year. The entire tourney is all over in a minimal two days of competition.

Action gets underway on Saturday, March 11 with semifinal games pitting #1 Yale against #4 Cornell (11 am ET) and #2 Princeton vs #3 Penn (1:30 pm ET). Both games will be broadcast by ESPNU.

The two semifinal winners clash in the championship game on Sunday, March 12 at 12 pm ET. This game is being carried by ESPN2.

The Ivy League tourney, often referred to as Ivy Madness, is also brief in terms of history. It didn’t begin until 2017. The Ivy League was the last to go to a conference tournament format. Prior to 2017, the regular-season champion was granted the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

All Hail Yale

The Bulldogs come into the Ivy League Tournament showing a 9-1 straight up slate over the past 10 games. Yale’s only loss was a 66-64 setback at Penn. During those 10 games, the Bulldogs were posting a 93-83 win at Princeton on Feb. 18, as well as an 87-65 home-court defeat of the Tigers on Jan. 28.

Yale is a well-rounded machine. The Bulldogs are 13th in the nation in rebound margin (+6.7). They’re also 14th in field goal percentage defense (.397) and 23rd in scoring defense (62.7 ppg.). Yale is third in the Ivy League in assists at 14.6 per game. The Bulldogs have recorded four games with 20+ assists this season.

Five Bulldogs average double figures in scoring – junior forward Matt Knowling (14.5 points per game),  sophomore guard John Poulakidis (11.9 ppg.), senior forward EJ Jarvis (11.7 ppg), junior guard August Mahoney (10.3 ppg.) and sophomore guard Bez Mbeng (10.1 ppg.). Mbeng was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. Knowling leads the Ivy League in field-goal percentage (.630), while Mahoney is the top shooter from beyond the arc (.452).

Tigers Holding Home-Court Advantage

If there is indeed no place like home, then that should bode well for Princeton. The Ivy League Tournament is being held at Jadwin Gymnasium, home court of the Tigers.

Princeton is led by senior forward Tosan Evboumwan (15.4 ppg), an All-Ivy selection and freshman forward Caden Pierce (8.0 ppg, 6.8 rebounds per game), the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The Tigers are third in the nation in defensive rebounding (29.40 reg). Overall, they’re 10th in the nation with 39.30 rebounds-per-game.

Princeton closed out the regular season 5-3. The Tigers rallied from a 19-point deficit to down semifinal opponent Penn 77-69 in the March 4 regular-season finale. Princeton has won nine in a row over Penn.

Ivy League Tournament Prediction

Interestingly, in the two Ivy League Tournament wins by the Bulldogs, Yale was the #2 seed on each occasion. In fact, this is the first time the Bulldogs have gone into the tourney occupying the top seeding.

No team lower than a two seed has ever won the Ivy League Tournament. And Yale is 2-0 against Princeton this season.

Pick: Yale Bulldogs (+115)


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