March 3, 2006
BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - For the second straight year, Pennsylvania is the first school to punch a ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
A win by Pennsylvania coupled with a loss by Princeton on Friday gave the Quakers the Ivy League title and an automatic NCAA bid.
Pennsylvania (19-7, 11-1 Ivy League) built a 12-point halftime lead and held on for a 57-55 victory at Yale while Princeton (10-15, 8-4) lost at Brown, 61-46.
Since there is no conference tournament in the Ivy League, the regular-season champion earns one of the 31 automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.
For the ninth in 16 years under coach Fran Dunphy, that bid belongs to the Quakers.
Last season, Pennsylvania sealed the Ivy League title with three games left. This time, the Quakers clinched with two games remaining. They play at Brown on Saturday and close the regular season with a game at Princeton on Tuesday.
Five NCAA bids will go to five conference tournament champions this weekend - the Big South, Ohio Valley, Atlantic Sun, Southern and Missouri Valley.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will make 34 at-large
selections to complete the field of 65, which will be announced
on March 12.