There are two weekends and six games left to the Ivy League men’s lacrosse season. Right now, no team has been mathematically eliminated from the Ivy League tournament field and it appears that two teams have clinched spots, leaving the other five to play for the remaining two.
Cornell is 4-0 and has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League championship, which is awarded to the regular season winner (or winners). The Ivy tournament determines only the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Cornell would clinch the outright championship and home field for the tournament with a win in either of its last two games. The only other possible site for the tournament is Princeton, and only if the Tigers sweep Harvard and Cornell and Cornell loses to Brown. Otherwise, the tournament will be in Ithaca.
This year offers the possibility of something that hasn’t happened in the first three years of the tournament, and that is the chance that a 3-3 team might not make it into the field. In fact, it’s possible to have a five-way tie for second at 3-3, which would mean that two 3-3 teams would not qualify.
Princeton would clinch a spot in the field with a win over Harvard Friday. Harvard, with the same 2-2 league record as the Tigers, does not necessarily clinch a spot with a win over Princeton, though it would with a win over Princeton Friday and a Cornell win over Brown Saturday.
Princeton is the only team that would definitely clinch a spot in the tournament with a win this weekend. No matter what happens this weekend, the field of four cannot be set until next weekend.
Princeton could finish 3-3 with a win over Harvard and loss to Cornell and not only be in the field but also be the No. 2 seed. On the other hand, Princeton could miss the tournament entirely – though not definitely – with a 3-3 record via a loss to Harvard and win over Cornell.
Yale, which does not have a league game this weekend, has clinched a spot in the field as well.
A Penn win over Dartmouth would eliminate both Dartmouth and Brown, regardless of how Brown did. A Dartmouth win over Penn and a Brown loss to Cornell does not necessarily eliminate the Bears.
A Penn win over Dartmouth would ensure that no 2-4 team could make the field, but it doesn’t not necessarily mean that Penn at 3-3 would be in.
The Tigers would be in with a win over Harvard. How? Because with a win over Harvard, Princeton would hold the tiebreaker in every scenario other than head-to-head with either Penn or Dartmouth or a three-way tie with those two, but none of those would be mathematically possible.
There is the possibility of a five-way tie for second with Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Penn and Brown. This could only happen if Penn and Brown both beat Dartmouth, which would eliminate the Big Green. It would also be necessary for Harvard to beat Yale, which would mean Princeton would have to beat Harvard and lose to Cornell to get all five to 3-3.
Were this to happen, Princeton would be the No. 2 seed by virtue of being 3-1 against the other four, while Yale, Harvard and Penn would all be 2-2 and Brown would be 1-3. The remaining seeds would be determined by the head-to-head among the remaining four, where Yale would be 2-1, Harvard would be 2-1, Penn would be 1-2 and Brown would be 1-2. Harvard would then be No. 3 (assuming its win over Yale, which is required to make this happen) and Yale would be No. 4.
There can also be multiple two-way, three-way and four-way ties.
Harvard at Princeton
Dartmouth at Penn
Cornell at Brown
Princeton vs. Cornell
Yale at Harvard
Brown at Dartmouth
Cornell – wins over Yale, Harvard, Penn, Dartmouth
Yale – wins over Penn, Dartmouth, Brown; losses to Princeton and Cornell
Princeton – wins over Yale and Brown; losses to Penn and Dartmouth
Harvard – wins over Penn and Dartmouth; losses to Cornell and Brown
Penn – wins over Princeton and Brown; losses to Harvard, Cornell and Yale
Dartmouth – win over Princeton; losses to Cornell, Harvard and Yale
Brown – win over Harvard; losses to Princeton, Penn and Yale