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2015 Ivy League Lacrosse Tournament Preview

The Ivy League opens its tournament with Brown in the pole position.

Everything that's worth knowing about the Ivy League Tournament.


1. Brown 4-2 Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth Pennsylvania, Yale
2. Cornell 4-2 Yale, Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton Harvard, Brown
3. Princeton 4-2 Pennsylvania, Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard Brown, Cornell
4. Yale 3-3 Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown Cornell, Princeton, Harvard

Times, Dates of Matchups

Friday, May 1, 2015 (Semifinals -- at Brown):

  • (3) Princeton v. (2) Cornell: 5:00 PM (ET)
  • (4) Yale v. (1) Brown: 8:00 PM (ET)

Sunday, May 3, 2015 (Championship -- at Brown):

  • Semifinal I Winner v. Semifinal II Winner: 12:00 PM (ET)


ESPN3 is the destination for the semifinal doubleheader in Providence. ESPNU will carry the league's championship game. All viewers are required to wear the Ivy League's mandated monocle and ascot combination in order to adequately enjoy the games.

League Tournament Spirit Animal

The league's spirit animal remains the same -- a talking penguin holding a martini.

Conference Attribute Profile

Here's how the Ivy League compares to the rest of the nation:

Ivy 58.07% 2/10 0.1829 7/10 59.54% 2/10

Truncated Scouting Reports

The stylistic profiles of the Ivy League Tournament's participants looks as follows:

Estimated Pace 80.93 (1) 65.17 (27) 61.15 (47) 64.83 (28)
Estimated Opportunities per 60 Minutes Margin +4.39 (5) +5.63 (3) -2.15 (51) +5.14 (4)
Estimated Lost Functional Opportunities Margin Ratio +6.50% (12) +4.78% (18) -0.96% (42) +8.32% (5)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency 33.48 (23) 33.74 (22) 40.45 (7) 34.50 (20)
Shots per Offensive Opportunity 1.14 (32) 1.23 (10) 1.18 (18) 1.04 (54)
Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Offensive Opportunity 57.79% (42) 57.26% (46) 57.68% (44) 59.75% (29)
Offensive Shooting Rate 30.33% (20) 26.94% (46) 34.87% (5) 32.63% (11)
Offensive Assist Rate 20.72 (14) 16.10 (47) 26.75 (3) 19.52 (19)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency 27.10 (9) 27.97 (15) 33.39 (47) 26.85 (7)
Shots per Defensive Opportunity 1.03 (15) 1.02 (12) 1.18 (47) 1.02 (11)
Ratio of Shots on Goal to Total Shots per Defensive Opportunity 56.90% (16) 57.54% (23) 59.67% (41) 59.75% (29)
Defensive Shooting Rate 25.59% (16) 29.93% (47) 29.63% (45) 26.84% (21)
Defensive Assist Rate 14.58 (13) 19.39 (46) 21.07 (60) 15.94 (22)
Faceoff Percentage 57.78% (10) 65.22% (3) 44.13% (53) 54.30% (18)
Clearing Percentage 86.40% (29) 84.07% (42) 89.37% (6) 90.12% (4)
Turnover Margin +8.66 (8) +7.47 (13) -0.85 (40) +10.40 (3)
"Run of Play" Groundballs Margin +5.34 (5) +4.21 (12) -2.76 (53) +1.78 (20)
Penalties Margin -0.99 (55) -0.65 (48) -0.63 (47) -0.95 (54)
Saves per 100 Defensive Opportunities 32.29 (43) 28.13 (67) 35.35 (26) 27.51 (68)
Team Save Percentage 55.03% (18) 47.98% (56) 50.34% (42) 50.23% (45)

Three Things

  • This is going to be a fun freakin' event. The Ivy League Tournament always seems to have threads that give the postseason show unique character, and the 2015 iteration of the playoff maintains a heightened sense of purpose: (1) All four teams are in contention for NCAA Tournament selection, the quartet on a sliding scale of "We're okay!"; (2) Brown, Cornell, and Yale have pretty similar win probabilities to earn the Ivy League Tournament championship, and Princeton -- holding the worst odds of the group -- wouldn't be all that shocking of a gold medalist if the Tigers were to progress through the field with two wins in Providence; (3) All four teams are pretty damn good with high caliber talent and unique styles and performance aspects that elevate the conference's position in the Division I hierarchy; and (4) These teams are enjoyable to watch with all four concerns ranking in the top 20 of the "Fun Factor," a scale designed to measure the watchability of a team. The fact that the Ivy League will play its three tournament games without interference from other conferences feels appropriate given the composition that this quartet could orchestrate. There is obviously a lot on the line this weekend at Stevenson Field and that adds a degree of focus on how the Ivy League Tournament will evolve, but at its core this is a delicious three-game show ripe with the potential to shoot rainbows out of your eyes. It's not a stuffy, starched event despite the tradition of the schools that constitute the field; this is, contrastingly, a badass guitar riff that leads into a powerslide, spontaneously exploding the minds of all witnesses.
  • Cornell-Princeton may turn, at least in part, on the play of Dominic Massimillian. The Big Red have run with a huge estimated possession margin this season, earning about six more offensive opportunities per 60 minutes compared to their opponents. Massimillian has been a big part of Cornell's ability to swamp their opponents considering that the fact that the Red earn almost 45 percent of their estimated offensive opportunities this year from faceoff victories (Cornell's mark in the metric ranks third nationally). Play at the dot matters differently for teams throughout Division I, but Massimillian's effort at eating the soul of his competitor has increased the team's ability to crush the will of those that stand in the Red's path. The issue for the Tigers relative to Massimillian's performance is that Princeton has already played at around a two-possession deficit per 60 minutes on an estimated basis and the Tigers are drawing at a paltry 44.13 percent this season, getting 47.22 percent of their defensive opportunities from faceoff losses (that's the highest ratio in the nation). Even though Cornell isn't an offensive team with an elite level of efficiency, Princeton has struggled to get defensive stops on an efficient basis. The combination of Massimillian's ability to create possession margin and the Tigers' struggles at stopping opposing offenses at strong rate may make a charge from Princeton against Cornell extremely difficult.
  • Yale-Brown may stand as the game of the tournament and the best matchup between two teams since last week's ACC Tournament. Both the Elis and Bruno are adequately balanced at both ends of the field and are outfitted to combat and build possession issues. The stylistic intrigue of this game extends beyond the mere ability of the Ivy League peers: Brown wants to play with lightning and thunder while the Bulldogs are -- relative to the Bears -- a little more pragmatic in their efforts, capitalizing on opponent’s errors and a defense that strangles opposing forces. Can Brown get enough transition opportunities to evade Yale's grip? Will Bruno turn the Elis over -- a team that does a great job in turnover margin and ball maintenance -- to create erraticism? How is Yale prepared to press against Jack Kelly and an underrated Brown defense that is willing to challenge? Do the Bulldogs have enough athleticism to continually retreat to the defensive hole and identify threats when Brown is pressing the ball up the field? This is going to be a hell of a thing.