Men’s Basketball Picked First in Ivy League Preseason Poll

Men’s Basketball Picked First in Ivy League Preseason Poll

Harvard is looking for its first Ivy title in three years (Gil Talbot).

PRINCETON, N.J. – Chosen by the media to don the Ancient Eight crown in March, Harvard men's basketball has been picked first in the Ivy League preseason poll, as announced by the league on Tuesday.

The Crimson received six first-place votes and 121 total points, edging Yale and Princeton for top honors by three and seven points, respectively. Penn was chosen to finish fourth as the final team to qualify for the second-annual Ivy League Tournament. Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Brown rounded out the order, respectively.

Harvard has won five of the last seven Ivy League championships, and returns four of its top-five leading scorers from a year ago. Sophomore Bryce Aiken, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a first team All-Ancient Eight selection, led the team in scoring a year ago at 14.5 points per game, while classmate Seth Towns added 12.3. Overall, the Crimson retains nearly 75 percent of its scoring from a year ago, while adding a trio of talented first-year players.

Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, leads the team in his 11th season. Amaker has turned the Crimson into one of the winningest programs in the country, boasting a .713 win percentage (171-69) since the start of the 2009-10 campaign. Additionally, Harvard has the ninth-highest winning percentage nationally over the same stretch among non-Power 5 schools. Last season, Amaker became the program's all-time winningest coach with 193 victories.

Team (1st place) – Total Votes

  1. Harvard (6) - 121
  2. Yale (8) - 118
  3. Princeton (3) - 114
  4. Penn - 86
  5. Columbia - 55
  6. Cornell -  48
  7. Dartmouth - 39
  8. Brown - 31