Princeton University is the near-unanimous pick to win its record 27th Ivy League men’s basketball title this season in a poll of media representatives who regularly cover the eight-team conference.
Harvard University, the defending champion whose sports program has been hit by a cheating investigation, was second, a year after its first berth in 66 years in the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship tournament.
Princeton received 16 of the 17 first-place votes and 134 points in the balloting, released today on the league’s website. Harvard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was second with 109 points and the other first-place vote, followed by Columbia University in New York City, with 90 points.
The Tigers (20-12, 10-4 Ivy League) from Princeton, New Jersey, finished third last season behind Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania. They are led by an all-senior front court -- forward Ian Hummer, who had a team-high 16.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season, and Mack Darrow and center Brendan Connolly.
Harvard (26-5, 12-2 Ivy League) had the school’s first Top 25 ranking last season and lost to Vanderbilt University 79-70 in the first full round of the NCAA tournament.
Crimson co-captains Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry were part of a school investigation into 125 students suspected of academic misconduct on a take-home final exam this year, according to Sports Illustrated. Neither player is on the current roster on the team’s website.
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, finished fourth in the poll with 80 points, followed by Penn of Philadelphia (74), Yale University of New Haven, Connecticut (55), Brown University of Providence, Rhode Island (50) and Dartmouth College of Hanover, New Hampshire (20).
The only conference in college basketball’s top level without a year-end playoff, the Ivy League has won two NCAA tournament games since 1999. Athletic directors rejected a plan this year to create a two-round playoff that would determine which team fills its automatic bid to the NCAA’s 68-team tournament.
Princeton has won at least a share of the Ivy title a league-record 26 times since 1957, according to the Princeton-based league’s media guide. Penn is next with 25, followed by Yale and Cornell with four apiece.
2012-13 Ivy League Basketball Preseason Media Poll (First-place Votes in Parentheses) Rank School Points 1. Princeton (16) 134 2. Harvard (1) 109 3. Columbia 90 4. Cornell 80 5. Penn 74 6. Yale 55 7. Brown 50 8. Dartmouth 20