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Dramatic Wins Highlight Men's Basketball's 4-1 Postseason Start

Maodo Lo (12) celebrates with Alex Rosenberg (13) and Issac Cohen (2) after hitting the game-winner to lift Columbia over Valparaiso in the 2014 CIT first round.
Maodo Lo (12) celebrates with Alex Rosenberg (13) and Issac Cohen (2) after hitting the game-winner to lift Columbia over Valparaiso in the 2014 CIT first round.

Brackets: NCAA | CIT | CBI

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Ivy League men's basketball has enjoyed a flare for the dramatics in starting off its record-setting postseason with four wins in its first five games.

Harvard (27-4, 13-1 Ivy League) answered the predictions of various pundits on Thursday afternoon in Spokane, Wash. with a near wire-to-wire win over Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. The 12th-seeded Crimson led all but just under four minutes in the game and was ahead of the fifth-seeded Bearcats from the 13:34 mark in the first half until time expired on the 61-57 victory. Junior guard/forward Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 12 points. The Crimson advances to the third round on Saturday, March 22 to face No. 4 seed Michigan State.

Columbia (20-12, 8-6 Ivy) started the League's winning ways in the Tournament (CIT) on Tuesday night with sophomore guard Maodo Lo hitting a step-back jumper as time expired to give the Lions a 58-56 victory at Valparaiso. The win put Columbia at the 20-win plateau for just the seventh time in program history and marked its first postseason win in 46 years. Junior center Cory Osetkowski led the Lions with a career night of 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range. Columbia moves on to host Eastern Michigan at Levin Gymnasium on Saturday, March 22.

Yale (16-13, 9-5 Ivy) was next up to steal a win in the waning seconds also in a CIT first-round game on Wednesday night. Sophomore forward Justin Sears banked a three-points with just seven tenths of a second on the clock to send the Bulldogs to a thrilling 69-68 victory over nearby rival Quinnipiac. The win was a milestone one for head coach James Jones, giving him his 206th at Yale to tie him with Joe Vancisin as the school's all-time winningest men's basketball coach. Junior guard Javier Duren paced Yale with 17 points. Sophomore forward Matt Townsend tossed in 12 points and Sears added 11. The Bulldogs go on the road on Saturday, March 22 to face Holy Cross at 7 p.m. The Crusaders advanced in the CIT after a 68-65 first-round win at Brown on Monday.

Princeton (21-8, 8-6 Ivy) fought off a tough Tulane squad to squeak out a 56-55 victory on the Green Wave's home court in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) on Wednesday night. The Tigers led almost the entire game and were up eight with 1:26 remaining before Tulane went on a 7-0 run to pull within one. Princeton only had to run one second off the clock to hold on to the one-point win. Sophomore forward Hans Brase had a team-high 16 points and senior guard T.J. Bray became the 30th player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career points with 12 point in the victory. The Tigers remain on the road to face Fresno State on Monday, March 24 in a CBI quarterfinal matchup.