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Men's Basketball Preview for January 26

Dartmouth's Gabas Maldunas
Dartmouth's Gabas Maldunas

Complete Men's Basketball Weekly Release in pdf format

Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Varsity Athletics Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The second travel-partner weekend for Ivy League men's basketball offers opportunities for teams to get out of the gates with strong starts in the "second season" or to rebound from a loss to open the Ancient Eight slate.

Harvard, Brown and Columbia each are looking to push their League records to 2-0, while their opponents -- Dartmouth, Yale and Cornell, respectively -- have their sights on avoiding a 0-2 hole going into the first Friday-Saturday weekend of "The 14-Game Tournament."

Suffering an early loss or two in conference play can be hard to rebound from in the League's grueling 14-game schedule. Only 13 of the 65 Ivy champions have started their title runs at 1-1 or 0-2 and bounced back to win the conference crown. Four teams have pulled off this feat in League history, led by Princeton with six. The 1983-84 Tiger squad was the last team to start with two losses and come back to win the Ivy title. Penn has won the League crown five times after a 1-0 or 0-2 start and was the last team to do so in 2001-02 when the Quakers began the Ivy slate 1-1 and came back to post an 11-3 record to tie Princeton and Yale for the Ivy title.

Harvard comes into its NBC Sports Network matchup with Dartmouth on a seven-game winning streak over the Big Green. The Crimson has been efficient from the field all season, ranking among the nation's best at fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.417) and 22nd in field goal percentage (.479). Harvard shot a season-best 62.8 percent from the floor as a team in the 75-65 victory over Dartmouth at Leede Arena on Jan. 12.

The Big Green gave the Crimson all it could handle in the first meeting, holding a five-point lead with under nine minutes remaining. Sophomore forward/center Gabas Maldunas (11.0 points per game) and freshman guard Alex Mitola (10.5 ppg) were two of four Dartmouth players in double figures in that game. Both will need to duplicate those performances to give Dartmouth a chance to give Paul Cormier his first Ivy road win in his second tenure in Hanover.

Brown enters its return game with Yale on its first three-game winning streak since the 2009-10 season. The Bears have been getting solid play from their starting backcourt of junior Sean McGonagill and senior Matthew Sullivan, each averaging 14.9 points per game this season.

Yale looks to rebound from its woeful shooting performance (19-of-58, .328) from a week ago against Brown and even its Ivy mark before playing four-straight on the road. Senior guard Austin Morgan continues to lead the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg, though he has not reached double figures in his last five games.

Columbia seeks its 40th victory under head coach Kyle Smith when it hosts Cornell. The Lions have won four of their last five games with five players close to or averaging more than 10 points per contest over that stretch, led by guards sophomore Steve Frankoski (13.6 ppg) and senior Brian Barbour (13.4 ppg).

Cornell comes into its second Ivy contest tremendously balanced on the offense with only one player averaging in double figures, though seven other players score more than 4.7 points per game. Leading the way is sophomore forward Shonn Miller, who leads the Big Red in scoring (10.4 ppg), rebounding (7.2 rpg), steals (1.8 spg) and blocks (1.6 bpg).

Dartmouth (4-11, 0-1 Ivy) at Harvard (9-6, 1-0 Ivy)
Date: Saturday, January 26 – 2 p.m.
Location: Lavietes Pavilion • Cambridge, Mass.
Television: NBC Sports Network
Dartmouth-Harvard Series: Dartmouth leads, 94-81
Last Meeting: Harvard 75, Dartmouth 65 • 1/12/13 • Hanover, N.H.
Live Stats | Audio
Dartmouth Game Notes | Harvard Game Notes

Brown (7-8, 1-0 Ivy) at Yale (6-12, 0-1 Ivy)
Date: Saturday, January 26 – 2 p.m.
Location: John J. Lee Amphitheater • New Haven, Conn.
Brown-Yale Series: Yale leads, 99-51
Last Meeting: Brown 65, Yale 51 • 1/19/13 • Providence, R.I.
Live Stats | Video
Brown Game Notes | Yale Game Notes

Cornell (8-10, 0-1 Ivy) at Columbia (9-6, 1-0 Ivy)
Date: Saturday, January 26 – 7 p.m.
Location: Levien Gymnasium • New York
Cornell-Columbia Series: Columbia leads, 122-97
Last Meeting: Columbia 67, Cornell 58 • 1/19/13 • Ithaca, N.Y.
Live Stats | Video
Cornell Game Notes | Columbia Game Notes