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Princeton wins 2017 Ivy League basketball tournament

The Tigers went undefeated against conference foes to punch their dance ticket.

NCAA Basketball: Princeton at VCU Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Princeton’s perfect season in league play was the key to its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tigers held off Yale in the Ivy League’s first-ever postseason tournament, 71-59, to reign supreme over Division I’s smartest conference.

Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Spencer Weisz was limited to only seven points on an inefficient 3-of-11 shooting, but his passing (eight assists) paved the way for Princeton’s explosive second half. Myles Stephens’ 23-point performance led all scorers and helped propel the Tigers to their first Big Dance since 2011.

Yale led by as many as seven points early on, but Stephens’ shooting helped dig Princeton out of an early hole and into control as the first half concluded. The Tigers had an answer each time the Bulldogs began to make a run, opening up a double-digit lead with just under 13 minutes to play and never looking back.

Princeton improved to 23-6 on the season with the victory and projects to a 13-seed in next week’s tournament, according to SB Nation bracketologist Chris Dobbertean. However, the Tigers’ solid year includes only one win over a fellow NCAA Tournament team — a 72-70 victory over Bucknell in December. They’ll have the chance to double that total once their destination is revealed during Sunday’s Selection Show.