Although no coach wants to believe that the very first games of the season will decide their fate it is highly likely that Yale's opening stretch of four games will be its most important of the season.
The Bulldogs opened the men's basketball conference slate with a thrilling win over Brown in overtime last week.
On Saturday Yale heads to Brown for the rematch.
Brown coach Craig Robinson echoed Yale counterpart James Jones' comments that the Ivy race will go down to the wire. That's true, but making up ground may not be easy this time.
"It would be nice if we're there at the end," Robinson said. "I'm not disheartened (with the opening loss) . If you're playing one of the best teams in the league at their place you want to play well and we did. I'm actually pretty pleased at the way we played."
Brown had several chances to win the game down the stretch but missed six shots at the end of regulation and overtime which would have made a huge difference.
"We were able to run our stuff but that what happens in a close game," Robinson said. "He made his and we didn't make ours. That happens."
After Saturday's game against Brown, Yale plays host to Columbia and Cornell, two more teams with legitimate title hopes.
"The league's going to be different than it has been in the past," Robinson said. "Our weekend's is going to be the tough weekend for everybody now. I 'd be surprised if anybody had two losses so I'm not worried about things right now."
I expect Brown to be in the race for the long haul as well as Cornell and Yale. But don't kid yourself. With all three of these teams locking horns so early in the season, the war could be very well be won by. Feb. 2