Princeton (20-8) at Tulane (17-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 19, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana. Television: None. CBI Record: Princeton 2-1, Tulane 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The College Basketball Invitational first round continues on Wednesday night, as the Tulane Green Wave play host to the Princeton Tigers at Devlin Fieldhouse.
Princeton (20-18) salvaged a poor start to its Ivy League schedule by ripping off five straight wins to end the regular season. While it wasn't enough to overtake Harvard as the league champion, it was able to secure its fourth 20- win season in the last five years. The Tigers played in the 2010 CBI, winning two games against Duquesne and IUPUI before losing to Saint Louis in the semifinals.
Tulane slipped up in the quarterfinal round of the Conference USA Tournament with an embarrassing 70-49 loss to Tulsa, its third loss in four games, but it is still in the midst of a solid 17-16 season, which includes a 12-6 showing at Devlin Fieldhouse.
The teams have met just twice before, with Princeton winning in 2004 and Tulane coming out on top in 1993.
Since the Ivy League does not play a conference tournament, Princeton is the only team in the CBI coming into the event off a win, as it bested Penn in the regular-season finale by shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 18-of-27 at the free-throw line. T.J. Bray paced the effort with 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Steven Cook and Clay Wilson were both solid off the bench with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Tigers were one of the Ivy's most well-rounded teams this season, as they shoot 44.8 percent from the field for 71.6 ppg, while allowing just 64.4 ppg on 42.8 percent shooting, and they also boast positive margins both in terms of rebounding (+0.6) and turnovers (+1.2). Bray puts up 18.3 ppg, 5.0 apg and 4.8 rpg and was named First Team All-League. Hans Brase (10.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg), Will Barrett (10.5 ppg) and Spencer Weisz (9.2 ppg) have also been impressive.
Although Tulane trailed by just four at intermission of its latest game, it saw its stay in the C-USA Tournament come to an end by getting outscored by Tulsa in the second half by a lopsided 37-20 margin. Jay Hook was on point in the setback, shooting 5-of-9 from 3-point range and 6-of-7 at the foul line for 21 points. Jonathan Stark chipped in 14 points and Tre Drye pulled down 12 rebounds.
Due to a number of close wins and blowout losses, the Green Wave pull off the rare feat of owning a negative scoring margin (-5.8) despite having an above-.500 record, as they shoot just 41.3 percent from the field for 63.9 ppg while allowing 69.7 ppg on 44.4 percent shooting. The team leans heavily on its big three of Louis Dabney (15.2 ppg), Stark (14.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) and Hook (14.0 ppg), while Drye (6.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) brings a physical presence to the frontcourt.
Tulane will have a leg up playing on its home floor, but Princeton comes in as the tournament's hottest team and will likely be able to use that momentum to advance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 71, Tulane 68
03/19 10:32:25 ET