Tuesday games will determine if playoff needed

Updated: March 7, 2006, 11:54 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Brown wrapped up a 12-2 Ivy League season and at least a share of the conference title Saturday. But the Bears might have at least one more game before the Ivy's automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament is decided.

Brown currently has a half-game lead over Dartmouth and Princeton, which are both 11-2 with one game remaining. The Big Green hosts Harvard on Tuesday while Princeton hosts Penn.

If more than one team finishes at 12-2, the teams will be co-champions and will compete in a playoff to determine the league's automatic berth.

If there is a two-team playoff involving Brown and Dartmouth, the game will be at Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. If there is a two-team playoff involving Brown and Princeton, the game will be at Yale's John J. Lee Amphitheater at 4 p.m. Saturday. Dartmouth and Princeton.

If all three teams finished tied for first, the league will hold a two-game playoff. Because head-to-head competition during the regular season was identical for all three teams, the matchups will be determined by a coin flip, the league's final tie-breaking formula. The coin draw would take place on Tuesday night after the Dartmouth-Harvard and Penn-Princeton games are completed.

The first school picked in the draw gets the first-round bye. The two remaining teams would play the first-round game at 7 p.m. ET Friday at Yale. The winner would advance to play the bye team at 2 p.m. ET Sunday at Yale.

According to the conference's official site, three-way ties in Ivy League basketball have occurred only twice, in men's playoffs in 1955 and 2002. There have been three women's playoffs -- but all were two-team events and each involved at least one of the teams contending this year. The other women's playoffs were in 1994, 1999 and last season, when Dartmouth defeated Harvard for the Ivy's NCAA automatic berth. Dartmouth was one of the participants in all three of those playoffs, winning two of them (loss vs. Brown in 1994; win vs. Princeton in 1999; win vs. Harvard in 2005).