PRINCETON, N.J. — The Ivy League announced the second annual 16-member class of Legends of Ivy League Basketball with Dartmouth greats Jim Barton ’89 and Chris Wielgus included in the group. Each legend contributed significantly to, and left a lasting impact on, their respective basketball programs, schools and chosen professions.
Each member of the Ancient Eight is represented by one male and one female honoree, as selected by the university athletics department.
“This Legends of Ivy League Basketball class exemplifies the impact of the Ivy League model and the path to lifelong success the experience enables,” said Executive Director Robin Harris. “We look forward to recognizing and celebrating this group’s extraordinary achievements, both on and off the court, at the Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments in March.”
Four legends will be formally honored during each semifinal game at the 2018 Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments on Saturday, March 10, at The Palestra in Philadelphia. A variety of ticket offerings — including multi-session passes ranging from $30 - $295 and single-session tickets ranging from $20 - $160—are on sale online at IvyMadness.com/Tickets or by calling the Ivy League Box Office at (215) 703-3231.
A two-time All-Ivy League First Team performer and the conference Rookie of the Year, Barton is the most prolific scorer in Dartmouth men’s basketball history with 2,158 points, over 500 more than the next Big Green player on the list and second only to Princeton’s Bill Bradley in Ivy League history.
Barton, a 6-4 wing from Memphis, Tennessee, began his career in the 1985-86 season, before the introduction of the 3-point line, averaging 13.6 points a game while leading the NCAA in free throw percentage (.942). That mark remains the second-highest ever by a Division I freshman and 17th all-time in the NCAA annals.
The following year, Barton took advantage of the new 3-point line, hitting 43 percent from behind the arc while averaging 21.4 points a game to earn a spot on the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District I First Team as well as the All-Ivy League Second Team.
Barton then led the Big Green to a pair of second-place finishes in each of his final two seasons with identical 10-4 records — the best for the program since 1960 — averaging 24.4 points as a junior (while hitting over half of his shots from the perimeter) and 23.5 as a senior to earn his place on the All-Ivy League First Team both years with two more inclusions on the NABC All-District I First Team.
Along the way, Barton set Dartmouth records that still stand for 3-point baskets made in a season (98) and career (242), field goals made in a game (18) and career (761), and points in a game (48), season (636) and career (2,158). He also ranks among the career top 20 in NCAA history in both free throw percentage (.895, 15th) and 3-point percentage (.455, 17th).
Barton, who was inducted as a Wearer of the Green — essentially Dartmouth’s Athletics Hall of Fame —finished his career by knocking down at least one 3-pointer in his last 65 games.
Wielgus, the winningest coach of any Big Green women’s program with a career record of 393-342 (.535), guided Dartmouth to 12 Ivy League titles, seven trips to the NCAA Tournament and two more to the WNIT during her two stints spanning 28 seasons as the program’s head coach. Five of her student-athletes were named the Ivy League Player of the Year a total of seven times, and she coached eight conference Rookies of the Year and 81 All-Ivy League selections, 28 of which were named to the first team.
Wielgus arrived on campus before the 1976-77 season and quickly built a power in the Ivy League, winning four consecutive conference crowns from 1980-83 and earning the first-ever Ivy League bid to the NCAA Tournament in 1983. She left after the 1983-84 campaign, only to return nine years later and immediately pick up where she left off, winning the league title in both 1993-94 and ’94-95 with the latter producing another appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Big Green nearly pulled off an incredible upset in the first round as a 14 seed, leading Virginia with 6:28 left before succumbing, 71-68.
Wielgus and Dartmouth finished atop the Ivy League in consecutive years (1998-99, ’99-2000) to earn bids to the NCAA Tournament each time, giving the defending national champion Purdue Boilermakers a terrific scare in the first round of 2000 tournament. The score was tied at 66 with 2:18 to play, but Purdue scored the final four points to stave off the upset.
For five straight seasons (2004-05 through ’08-09), Wielgus led Dartmouth to the postseason while earning four conference crowns along the way. In the first of those seasons, the Big Green tied for the top spot with Harvard and defeated the Crimson in a playoff, 75-61, to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
The following year, there was a three-way tie atop the standings between Dartmouth, Princeton and Brown, and the Green defeated both in the playoffs to once again garner the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. As a 14 seed, the Big Green faced Rutgers and fought the Scarlet Knights to the bitter end, missing a three-pointer in the final minute that would have tied the score. Dartmouth lost by five, 63-58, and finished the season with a 23-7 record, its best under Wielgus.
The Big Green played in the Women’s Postseason NIT in both 2006-07 and ’07-08 before returning to the NCAA Tournament after winning the league title outright with a 13-1 mark in 2008-09.
A member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and the Athletics Hall of Fame at Springfield College — from where she graduated in 1974 — Wielgus is also an inductee in Dartmouth’s Wearers of the Green.