The second year of Ivy Madness, otherwise known as the four-time Ivy League men’s basketball tournament, gets underway Saturday at the Palestra, as Harvard, Penn, Yale and Cornell battle it out for an NCAA tournament bid.
The first semifinal (Harvard vs. Cornell) will start at 12:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPNU, the second semi (Penn vs Yale) will start around 3 p.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPN2 and the championship will start Sunday at noon ET and be broadcast on ESPN2. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch all three games live on your computer, phone or other streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including both ESPN2 and ESPNU. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the games on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: ESPN2 is included in all four channel packages, while ESPNU is in the “Just Right”, “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” bundles. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay two months. Once signed up, you can watch the games live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: ESPN2 is included in the “Sling Orange” channel package, while ESPNU is part of the “Sports Extra” add-on. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the games live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Note: You can also watch the games on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. You’ll need to sign in to a TV provider to watch this way, but you can use your Hulu, DirecTV Now or Sling TV credentials to do that.
The first semifinal features Harvard (17-12, 12-2 Ivy) against Cornell (12-15, 6-8 Ivy). The records may suggest a lopsided matchup, but the head-to-head meetings during the regular season were far from it. While the Crimson won both games, the first was a three-point win at Newman Arena in early February, and the second was a double-overtime thriller a week ago.
Nevertheless, although the Big Red have played Harvard close, Tommy Amaker’s squad has the Ivy League Player of the Year in sophomore Seth Towns, and they have the conference’s most efficient defense. As they look to get back to the tournament for the first time since 2015, it would be surprising if they didn’t advance to the championship.
On the other side of the bracket, Penn (22-8, 12-2 Ivy) takes on Yale (16-14, 9-5 Ivy). The Quakers finished the season first in the conference in both effective field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage defense, and they’ll be playing on their home court, so they are certainly favored here. Still, it’s an interesting matchup, as Yale has a potential game-changer in sophomore guard Miye Oni, plus the Bulldogs come into this one on a four-game winning streak, which includes a one-point win over Penn a week ago.
Ultimately, though, the Ivy League’s NCAA tournament bid is expected to come down to Penn and Harvard. They’ve been the conference’s two best teams all season, and it’s only appropriate they battle it out for a spot in the Big Dance. In that scenario, Penn’s home-court advantage would seemingly give them the advantage, but as we saw during a February 24 meeting at the Palestra–Penn won by three but it was back-and-forth all game–there’s very little separating these two teams.