Yale clinched the Ivy League title, and an NCAA Tournament berth on the buzzer beater

NEW YORK — Matt Nowling hit a jumper at the buzzer and Yale finished on an 8-1 run to defeat Brown 62-61 in the Ivy League tournament championship game on Sunday, sending the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time.

Keno Lilly Jr. made two free throws to give the fourth-seeded Bears (13-18) a 60-54 lead with 27 seconds left. Bez Mbeng answered with a three-pointer for No. 2 Yale (22-9) to make it a one-possession game. Nana Owusu Annan scored the second goal on two free throws for the Browns, but John Poulakidas hit a 3-pointer and the Bulldogs trailed 61-60 with 14 seconds left.

Poulakidas fouled Malachi N'Dour, who missed two free throws to set the stage for Nowling.

It was a tough ending for the Bears, who beat Yale 84-81 in the final game of the regular season. The Browns won six straight to finish the season with the fourth and final berth in the conference tournament.

The Bears beat top-seeded Princeton 90-80 in the semifinals looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1986. Their only other trip to the Big Dance came in 1939.

Yale, which knocked off No. 3 seed Cornell 69-57 to reach the final, last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2022. The Bulldogs have won three of five tournament championships since the Ivy began four-team league tournament play.

Nowling and August Mahoney each scored seven points to lead Yale to a 26-22 halftime lead. Lilly had seven at the break for Brown.

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Yale stayed ahead until back-to-back baskets from N'Dour and Kalo Anya gave Brown a 46-44 lead with 8:22 left in the game. The Bears never trailed from there until the final shot.

Poulakidas led the Bulldogs with 18 points, going 4 of 9 from 3-point range. Mahoney added 15 points and five rebounds. Knowledge totaled 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Danny Wolf grabbed 13 rebounds to score nine points.

Lilly made three 3-pointers and scored 21 to lead the Browns. Anya scored 12 points and seven rebounds. Ndour had 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks off the bench.

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