Princeton Coach Bill Carmody went from a relieved man to a happy one in a hurry.
The ninth-ranked Tigers became the first team to clinch a berth in the NCAA tournament Friday night, and they heard about it in a news conference after beating Columbia, 51-37, at New York.
“Is that official?” Carmody asked when it was announced that second-place Pennsylvania had lost to Cornell, 73-70.
When told it was, he smiled the smile of the coach of the Ivy League champions.
“I feel great. This is so great,” Carmody said.
Princeton (24-1, 12-0) extended several streaks: consecutive wins to 17; 26 in a row in the conference; 10 in a row over Columbia and 44 in a row in games played in February.
The Tigers won all their Ivy League games by at least 11 points--the first meeting with Columbia was a 58-45 victory--and by an average of more than 23 points.
The title is Carmody’s second in as many years with the Tigers; he has yet to lose a conference game.
Trailing by one point with 9:34 to play, the College of Charleston (23-5) went on a 21-5 run and defeated Central Florida (17-11), 81-66, at Charleston, S.C., advancing to its second consecutive Trans America Athletic Conference tournament championship game. . . . Charles Jones, the nation’s leading scorer at 28.6 points a game, scored 28 points to lead Long Island (21-9) to a 93-73 victory over Mount St. Mary’s (13-15) in the semifinals of the Northeast Conference tournament at New Britain, Conn. . . . Davidson (18-9) extended its winning streak to 10 games, beating Georgia Southern (10-18), 74-68, in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference tournament at Greensboro, N.C.
Richmond (20-7) limited George Mason (9-19) to 43.1% shooting and won, 66-49, at Richmond, Va., to advance to the Colonial Athletic Assn. tournament semifinals. . . . American University (9-18) upset second-seeded William & Mary (20-7), 71-66, in the CAA quarterfinals to end a losing streak at seven games. . . . North Carolina Wilmington (19-9) ended Sonny Smith’s coaching career on a losing note, beating Virginia Commonwealth, 69-63, in the CAA quarterfinals. Smith, in his 22nd year as a coach and ninth with the Rams (9-19), finished with eight losses in his last nine games.