Ivy League basketball teams should not win games in the NCAA tournament.
With the exception of Cornell, the Ivy League holds its student-athletes to rigorous academic standards. Not only must they prove their worthiness during the admissions process, they must maintain a strong academic record throughout their tenure—balancing the demands of weight-lifting and conditioning sessions, endless game film study, and long practices against a full slate of problem sets, papers, exams, and mandatory class section attendance. Princeton in particular is known to be very hard, with an obligatory junior paper that paves the way for a mandatory senior thesis. Essentially, you've got back-to-back years of researching and writing gigantic papers under the watchful eye of an exacting faculty advisor.
Trust me: "Can I get an extension? We're in the sweet sixteen!" doesn't hold much water.
Playing for Princeton is not like playing for Arizona or Missouri—colleges uninspiringly named after the states in which they… exist. As though their founders were so exhausted from laying bricks that when they were asked if they wanted the school named after them, they threw down their shovels and spat "fuck that, I'm not putting my name on this pile of shit. Where are we again? Just call it that."
No. Whereas student-athletes at Arizona and Missouri are granted preferential class choices because of their demanding athletic schedules, Ivy League schools seem to go out of their way to hold student-athletes to the exact same academic standards as their nerd peers. Hell, there were times where it felt like the school was bending over backwards to keep things fair. My senior year, our team made the Ivy League tournament and it was hosted by Cornell. The tournament coincided with our spring semester final exams. Rather than grant us an extension to take the exams after the tournament back on campus, Harvard sent a fucking proctor to our stupid Marriott with a locked briefcase stuffed with exams. Half our team had to sit in a conference room and take a three-hour exam BETWEEN GAMES. God forbid we get an extra day to study over the NARPs (non-athletic regular persons).
Worse yet, Ivy League schools cannot offer athletic scholarships (though this may change soon, thanks to the new NIL rules). Scholarships are awarded on a need-basis only, which means that students must gain admission to the schools and only then can they apply for financial aid. Should they qualify, there is plenty of money to help them with their tuition thanks to the largesse of alumnae who donate generously thanks to how well they're doing in the world.
You see, Ivy League graduates tend to flourish professionally, and they remember the foundations that forged them, that sent them on their way. Years into dominating their fields, these titans give back so that the school can continue subsidizing educations for brilliant minds regardless of financial status.
It's a beautiful cycle, albeit one that I do not take part in myself. I am yet to give a single cent to Harvard. Why? Because I'm quite certain there is zero chance any of my children will ever sniff admission to the place. Frankly, I've written too many jokes about cumming, the disabled, various races, and deceased women for any admissions officer to overlook. And while it's noble to think that donors open their wallets for the greater good of the school, most people I know donate for the sole purpose of garnering favor with the admissions committee should their kids apply someday. Unfortunately for any offspring of mine, I've joked their way to a swift rejection. Oh well! Small price to pay for the ski house we enjoyed as a family. Didn't see you complaining about dad's career during all those cups of hot cocoa in Beaver Creek, you ungrateful powderslut. Find a home in any of the other seven Ivy League schools. Eh, I take that back. I'd sooner you enlist in ISIS than have me pay for a Cornell degree. Same probably goes for Dartmouth if we're honest.
When you combine the strict selectivity of the admissions committee with the weight vest of a Princeton course load, it makes it all the more ABSURD that the Tigers have beaten two schools in the NCAA tournament. For Christ's sake, Arizona and Missouri. Shame on you both. You guys study basketball at school… for free. No restrictions on off-season practices. Blank check donations for new locker rooms and rehab centers. Hell, you fly on chartered planes to away games.
And you lost to a group of guys who have to bang out twelve-page papers in coach seats on Frontier. Pathetic.