clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NCAA Tournament profile: Get to know the Yale Bulldogs

Miye Oni. Remember the name.

NCAA Basketball: Yale at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Before we start bemoaning the entirely warranted discomfort of having to actually root for Yale (shudders), let’s take a moment to read Jared Kotler’s excellent story about Miye Oni and his NBA prospects.

Alright, commence dunking on the Yalies.

There are probably no two Division 1 schools more different than Yale and LSU, save for their simultaneous involvement in two different NCAA scandals. And who said America wasn’t an egalitarian society?!

Jokes aside, Yale is pretty darn good. The aforementioned Oni can ball: He’s averaging 17.4 points per game and can do pretty much everything on the floor. Alex Copeland, fresh off destroying Yale’s arch-enemies from Boston with 25 points, is also a tricky player with an extremely Ivy League style. Shooting 84.7% from the line with good ball-handling skills at the point guard slot will do that to someone. There will definitely be at least three comments about his intelligence during the broadcast in comparison to Javonte Smart, who was so dumb and villainous for wanting money to be PAID to him.

Regardless of bad media takes, Copeland is really good. Him, Trey Phills and Blake Reynolds are the last relevant holdovers from the Makai Mason-led team that upset Baylor in Yale’s last NCAA Tournament appearance.

Taurean Prince, break it down:

Sorry, things are derailing a bit. This is Yale.If you have watched any Ivy League basketball, you know Yale is super fun and talented. James Jones is celebrating his 20th year as coach, and he has once again done a phenomenal job. Yale’s offense is excellent, ranking 44th on KenPom with the No. 11 eFG% in America. The defense is not as good, but it plays well in clutch moments no matter what the metrics say (the total shutdown of Princeton late in the Ivy League semifinals, for example). Yale is No. 48 in the country in KenPom’s luck rankings for a reason, I guess.

Yale is fun to watch, but the Bulldogs record against more athletic teams is not ideal. Duke beat them 91-58, they lost a double-overtime game to Memphis, and lost to Harvard twice before finally beating them in the game that mattered. Yale has all the ingredients of another big upset, but it still needs to prove it. LSU is a bad matchup on paper (Pomeroy has it at 79% LSU, which sounds about right), but the team is in disarray after Will Wade’s suspension and looked terrible against Florida in the SEC Tournament.

One name to watch for Yale is Azar Swain, a classic heat check guy coming off the bench who shoots 42.3% from three. If he can unleash some magic early on and give Yale an unexpected lead, things could get very interesting. As usual, the Ivy League team will have nothing to lose and a giant “nobody believes in us” chip on their shoulders, no matter how much the rest of America rolls it eyes.