Your Guide To The Ivy League Men's Lacrosse Tournament
What does the winner of the Ivy tournament get?
The team that wins the Ivy League tournament gets the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Whoever wins the regular-season title will be the league's champion - or co-champions. The semifinals of the tournament will be on Friday, May 4, with the final on Sunday, May 6. All three games will be at the home field of the No. 1 seed.
What games are left to play?
There are three league games this weekend: Princeton at Harvard, Brown at Cornell and Penn at Dartmouth. There are three games April 28 - Cornell at Princeton, Dartmouth at Brown, Harvard at Yale.
Who is in so far?
Princeton, Cornell and Yale have all clinched spots. Princeton and Cornell have four wins each, which only two other teams can reach. As for Yale, they could still be in a three-way tie for third with Harvard and Brown or a two-way tie for fourth with Brown, but the Bulldogs would win the tiebreaker either way. In a two-way tie with Brown, Yale would get the tournament spot after defeating Brown in four overtimes Friday night. In a three-way tie with Harvard and Yale (which would have to be at 3-3), Harvard would have to have beaten Yale. Harvard has also beaten Brown, so the Crimson would get the No. 3 spot and Yale would then be No. 4, again because it's beaten Brown.
Who is out?
Only Dartmouth has been mathematically eliminated. The Big Green could get to a tie for fourth-place at 2-4, but they would hold none of the necessary tiebreakers.
Who can host the tournament?
The tournament will either be at Princeton or Cornell. In fact, the winner of the Princeton-Cornell game on Sherrerd Field April 28 will host the tournament, regardless of what happens with this week's games.
Why is that?
The winner of the Princeton-Cornell game will have five wins, including head-to-head against the other. Even if the other gets to five wins by winning this weekend, it still would not have the tiebreaker over the other for first place. No other team can reach five wins.
Who will get the last spot simply by winning its remaining league games?
Harvard. The Crimson could actually be the second seed by winning their last three games, even though they haven't clinched a spot yet. Should Harvard win out, it would be 4-2, with a win over Princeton. If Princeton ended up 4-2 as well, then Harvard would have the tiebreaker. Also, Harvard has to play Yale, so Harvard would pass Yale with a win. A Harvard win over Princeton this Saturday would clinch the fourth spot for the Crimson, since that would mean that the best Brown could do would be to tie Harvard (or Harvard and Yale) and Harvard would have the tiebreaker.
How can Brown get in?
Because Brown has lost to Harvard and Yale, the Bears don't have the tiebreaker with either in either a head-to-head or three-way situation with Yale and Harvard. To get into the playoffs this way, Brown has to finish ahead of one of them, and it can't be Yale, who is already 3-2 and can be no worse than 3-3, while that is the best Brown can be. Brown, who plays Cornell and Dartmouth, would be in by winning its last two games, having Harvard lose to Princeton and Cornell to drop to 2-4 and having Penn lose to Dartmouth to drop to 1-5.
Is there another way for Brown?
The other way for Brown to get in is to get into a three-way tie with Penn and Harvard at 2-4. Those three are already 1-1 against each other, so to break a three-way tie, the next criteria would be to go down the standings to see if one of the teams beat the team in first, then second and so on. Brown could get to 2-4 by splitting its last two games, against Cornell and Dartmouth, so a win over Cornell (who has to be first or second) would break the tie for Brown. If Brown lost to Cornell and beat Dartmouth, Penn beat Dartmouth and Harvard lost to Princeton and Yale, then Brown, Penn and Harvard would all be 2-4, 1-1 against each other, 1-0 against Dartmouth and 0-3 against Princeton, Cornell and Yale. If all that happened, then the fourth spot would be determined between a random draw between Harvard, Penn and Brown.
Does that mean?
Yes, it means that it's possible for Brown to go 3-3 and not get in the Ivy tournament and 2-4 and get in the Ivy tournament.
What about Penn?
Penn holds the tiebreaker with Harvard after defeating the Crimson Saturday at Franklin Field. The Quakers need to beat Dartmouth in their only remaining league game to get to 2-4 and then hope Harvard gets to 2-4 (losses to Princeton and Yale) and that Brown gets to five losses (Dartmouth would have to for Penn to get to 2-4, since Dartmouth plays Penn) to definitely get in or to get into a three-way tie with Brown and Harvard, hope Brown loses to Cornell to make it happen and then win the random draw.
Can Princeton play Cornell in the first round?
No. Princeton can be the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed but not the No. 4 seed. If Princeton beats Harvard, it will assure itself of being no worse than the No. 2 seed. Cornell can either be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, because it already has beaten Harvard and Yale, so it has the tiebreaker over both individually or in a three-way tie. Princeton or Cornell has to be the No. 1 seed and neither can be the No. 4, so they can't play in the first round.