Princeton University

Today is Presidents’ Day.

As you probably know, there have been two U.S. Presidents who have graduated from Princeton — James Madison and Woodrow Wilson. Some others have come close, such as Adlai Stevenson, who twice lost to Dwight Eisenhower, and Bill Bradley, whose timing was just a bit off.

And then there is Princeton grad Aaron Burr, Class of 1772. His father, also Aaron Burr, was Princeton’s second president, taking over the College of New Jersey in 1747 when it had eight students. In fact, it was Burr Sr. who was college president when the school moved from Newark to Princeton in 1755.

Back in the election of 1800, which actually spilled over into 1801. Back then, the candidate who got the most electoral votes was the President and the one who got the second-most was the Vice President. 

Thomas Jefferson ran as the Presidential candidate, with Burr as the Vice Presidential candidate, for the Democrat-Republican party. The Federalist candidate was John Adams, who was the incumbent at the time. Jefferson and Burr ended up with the same number of electoral votes, which sent the election to the House of Representatives. 

It took 36 ballots for Jefferson to win, and Burr became Vice President. It didn’t go so well for Burr after that, as he 1) was dumped by Jefferson in 1804, 2) lost the New York governor’s race by a large margin and 3) ended up killing Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel. 

Burr had some other misadventures, including one exile. He died in 1836 at the age of 80, and he is buried in … Princeton Cemetery, the same final resting place of a former President, Grover Cleveland.

So there’s some Presidents’ Day trivia for you.

As of Presidents’ Day 2024, here are the Ivy League’s men’s basketball standings:

1. Cornell/Yale 8-1

3. Princeton 7-2

5. Columbia/Harvard 4-5

7. Penn/Dartmouth 1-8

Here’s an interesting stat for you:

The top three are 19-0 against the other five teams.

Here’s another interesting fact for you:

The home team has won every game so far between the top three.

So where does that leave things? 

The Ivy League tournament will bring the top four teams to Columbia the third weekend in March, which is not that far away. Between now and then, Princeton has five remaining regular season games, including a March 2 home game against Cornell.

The Big Red, by the way, host Yale this coming Friday night. If you’re a Princeton fan, you’re rooting for Cornell — and not just because Brian Earl is its coach.

The Tigers lost at Cornell and at Yale but then defeated the Bulldogs Saturday night 73-62 (at home of course) in a game they absolutely had to have to remain in the running for the league title. If Princeton wins out and Cornell beats Yale, then Princeton is guaranteed no worse than a share. If Yale beats Cornell, then Princeton would still need Yale to lose to someone else to have a shot at a championship.

As for the tournament, should Columbia get the No. 4 spot, then you’d have two really interesting matchups in the semifinal, one between teams that have dominated the rest of the league all season and another between the regular season champ and a fourth place team on its home floor.

The game Saturday night at Jadwin drew another huge crowd. Princeton got double digit scoring from four players, led by another incredible performance from Xavian Lee: 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists. The others in double figures were Matt Allocco (18), Caden Pierce (11) and Zach Martini (10).

The most impressive number was zero, as in the number of points Yale center Danny Wolf scored. Wolf had pummeled Princeton for 21points and 12 rebounds in the first game between the teams, and he also had a 25/10 showing against Cornell a week earlier.

This time, Princeton hounded him wherever he went. Despite having a huge height advantage, Wolf was held to 0 for 8 shooting and zero points in his 36 minutes. In nine other games this season in which he played at least 35 minutes, Wolf had averaged 21.7 points.

Princeton also rallied past Brown 72-63 Friday night, using a 20-6 second half run to do so. This weekend’s schedule has the Tigers are Harvard and Dartmouth. A win over Harvard Friday night will clinch a spot in the Ivy tournament for the Tigers.

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