Yale (17-13) at Columbia (21-12)
GAME NOTES: Familiar Ivy League foes will clash on Wednesday night in the quarterfinal round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, as the Columbia Lions welcome the Yale Bulldogs at Levien Gymnasium.
The winner of this matchup will await to find out its next opponent as the tournament re-brackets after each round.
After a thrilling first-round home victory over Quinnipiac last Wednesday (69-68), Yale improved to 17-13 on the season with a 71-66 triumph at Holy Cross in the second round on Saturday. The Bulldogs overcame a halftime deficit in their most recent contest by pulling ahead with a 9-0 run early in the second stanza, and they took the lead for good at the 8:16 mark on a Brandon Sherrod layup. Although they were plagued by a game-high 14 turnovers, they made up for it by shooting 55.3 percent from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range. Justin Sears was a big factor on both ends of the court with 18 points and five blocks, while Javier Duren chipped in with 12 points.
In Columbia's first-ever CIT, it has advanced to the quarterfinals by edging out Valparaiso on the road in the first round (58-56) before using a late surge to dismiss Eastern Michigan at home in the second round (69-56) to improve to 21-12 overall and 14-3 on its home floor. The Lions appeared in trouble down six against the Eagles midway through the second half, but they caught fire down the stretch, ending the game on a furious 24-5 run to capture the 13-point victory. They outshot EMU from the field, 50 percent to 40.4 percent, and held a 30-15 scoring advantage from 3-point range. Alex Rosenberg and Maodo Lo both poured in 15 points, with Rosenberg also handing out seven assists. Steve Frankoski and Cory Osetkowski netted 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The teams split the two-game regular-season series, with each side winning on its home floor by double digits. The Lions lead the storied all-time series by a 124-101 count.
The good news for Yale this season is that it has played stellar defense, as it holds opponents to only 66.2 ppg on 43.4 percent field goal shooting, but unfortunately its offensive output (66.8 ppg, .421) has been underwhelming. Sears was selected to the All-Ivy League First Team and posts 16.9 ppg (on 50.9 percent field goal efficiency) to go with 7.1 rpg, 2.0 bpg and 1.2 spg. Duren is the only other player to net in double figures with 12.6 ppg but does so on a lowly 36 percent from the floor.
Columbia has also played very well on the defensive end of the court, allowing a mere 63.0 ppg on 42.5 percent field-goal shooting, and unlike Yale, the Lions have the necessary offensive efficiency to properly support themselves (68.0 ppg, .446). The team also owns a +3.3 rebounding margin and has one of the best free-throw percentages in the country (.774). Rosenberg leads the way with 15.9 ppg and has knocked down 222-of-270 at the foul line (.822). Lo acts as an impressive second option with 14.5 ppg, having made 70 3-pointers at a 44.6 percent clip.
Both teams will come in prepared having a very good idea what the other brings to the table, but figure for the regular-season trend to continue as Columbia takes advantage of its home surroundings to advance.
GAME NOTES: Familiar Ivy League foes will clash on Wednesday night in the
quarterfinal round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, as the Columbia Lions
welcome the Yale Bulldogs at Levien Gymnasium.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gymnasium (3,408) -- New York, New York.
Television: None. CIT Record: Yale 2-1, Columbia 2-0. Series Record: Columbia
leads, 124-101.Game Date and Time
Wednesday, March 26, 7 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Columbia 67, Yale 61