ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Ivy League men's basketball champion Cornell Big Red will open 2008 NCAA tournament play as the No. 14 seed in the South region and will meet No. 3 seed Stanford out of the Pac-10 Conference on Thursday, March 20 in Anaheim, Calif. Game time will be approximately 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET), or 25 minutes after the completion of the Marquette/Kentucky game set for 11:30 PT (2:30 ET).
The Big Red will be making its third NCAA tournament appearance and its first in 20 years after completing the 13th undefeated conference slate (14-0) in Ancient Eight history. Cornell set school records for most wins overall (22) and longest win streak (16) in the 109-year history of Big Red basketball. Head coach Steve Donahue's team also set school records for points (2,083) and 3-point field goals (220) in a season and highest team free throw percentage (.763). The Big Red is the only team in the country ranked among the top 10 nationally in field goal, free-throw and 3-point percentage and is also the only team to improve its win totals both overall and in league play in each of the last six seasons.
Directed by Donahue, the 2008 NABC and USBWA District Coach of the Year, Cornell has just one senior on its roster and features four players with two more years of eligibility remaining after this year. Sophomore guard Louis Dale (13.8 ppg., 5.0 apg., 4.4 rpg.) was named the Ivy League Player of the Year and was joined as a unanimous first-team all-Ivy selection by sophomore forward Ryan Wittman (15.4 ppg., 4.3 rpg.). Wittman was named to the NABC and USBWA all-district teams as well. Junior center Jeff Foote (8.1 ppg., 6.4 rpg., 1.4 bpg.) and junior guard Adam Gore (10.1 ppg.) were second-team All-Ivy selections.
They will have a major task in the first round, opposing a Cardinal team that went 26-7 (13-5 Pac-10). Led by 7-0 center Brook Lopez (19.2 ppg.), Stanford is scoring 70.7 points per game. The Cardinal make living with its defense, limiting foes to 60.6 ppg. on .394 shooting. A win would pit the Big Red against the winner of the Marquette-Kentucky matchup for a trip to the Sweet 16. That contest would be played on Saturday at a time to be determined.
But there it was, daunting and formidable. 14-CORNELL vs. 3-STANFORD
His team's NCAA tournament matchup finally known, the eighth-year coach doled out a healthy share of hugs and thanks to the well-wishers at the Moakley House on the grounds of Cornell's Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, where the Big Red watched Sunday's Selection Show telecast on CBS.
But his mind never really left the 11th-ranked Cardinal.
“(I feel) a bit strange, honestly,” he said. “When our name was called out, obviously there was a wait here and there and you wonder where you're going to go, (but then) the guys hit the roof and I felt a pit in my stomach for who we're going to play.”
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Cornell will play its first NCAA tournament game since 1988, and very near the same location. Twenty years ago, the Big Red won the Ivy League title with an 11-3 record and drew a 16 seed, which meant a first-round game against top-seeded Arizona in Los Angeles. Cornell was overmatched and lost, 90-50. This week's first-round game will be held at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Because of the balance and overall talent of this year's Cornell team, which finished a program-best 22-5 with a 14-0 mark in the league, thoughts of pulling an upset are not out of the question.
Cornell's winning streak of 16 games is second longest in Division I, behind Davidson. The team's last loss came on Jan. 6 at Duke, an 81-67 decision that played a large part in the rest of Cornell's season.
“After we played against Duke and we played competitively against them, I think that gave us a lot of confidence,” sophomore point guard Louis Dale said. “We're going to play the best we can, so maybe we can get an upset and make history.”
Stanford is a tough draw for any team.
The Cardinal (26-7), which lost to UCLA 67-64 on Saturday in the Pac-10 title game, boasts a pair of 7-foot post players in Brook and Robin Lopez, and a strong point guard in Mitch Johnson — a high school teammate of Cornell junior Conor Mullen.
Stanford is known as a physical team that plays tough defense. Opponents have shot just 39 percent against them this year, including a measly 33.5 percent from 3.
Earlier this week, Donahue had a feeling his team would get matched up with Stanford. He called former assistant Paul Fortier — now an assistant coach at Washington, a Pac-10 member — to get some insight.
“He told me how good they were and what they do,” Donahue said. “We're really different then them. They're a physical, tall team. They play half court, and obviously we like to speed the game up a little bit, see if we can use the 3-point line to our advantage.
“I think (contrasting styles) can be a good thing if we can count on what they do well,” he added. “They're going to have to figure out how to play a smaller team that utilizes the 3-point line. They're not used to that.”
The Lopez brothers dominated the talk amongst Cornell's players Sunday night. Game-planning for one 7-footer can be difficult enough, but two is a rare occurrence.
Sophomore Ryan Wittman and junior Adam Gore said they watched a little bit of Stanford's loss to UCLA on Saturday, but hadn't seen the Cardinal play much beyond that.
“They looked like a pretty good team,” Wittman said.
Which was what Cornell expected.
And the warm-weather site didn't seem to bother anybody either, even if it means a short turnaround for travel.
“California's great,” Gore said. “Can't ask for much better than that. Stanford, obviously a good team, but anybody we would have played would have been a good team.”
Between Sunday and Thursday, Donahue and his staff will be trying to figure out ways to beat the Cardinal.
“I had so much time to think about this over the last two weeks, that we're going to play a heck of a basketball team,” Donahue said. “And we prepared this week for a team like Stanford. Someone that's going to be big, and athletic, and just thinking of ways we can be successful against them defensively.”
Record: 26-7 overall, 13-5 Pac-10
Last game: Lost 67-64 to UCLA in Pac-10 Tournament championship.
Projected starters: F Brook Lopez (7-0, so., 19.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg); F Fred Washington (6-5, sr., 4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg); C Robin Lopez (7-0, so., 10.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg); G Mitch Johnson (6-1, jr., 6.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg); G Anthony Goods (6-3, jr., 10.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg).
Notable wins: vs. Harvard, 111-56 (11/9); vs. Yale, 72-61 (11/20); at Washington St., 67-65 (2/2); at Arizona, 67-66 (2/16).
Notable losses: at Siena, 79-67 (11/17); vs. UCLA, 76-67 (1/03); at USC, 77-64 (3/8).
Scouting report: The Cardinal feature one of the toughest frontcourts in the nation led by the Lopez twins. Brook Lopez is projected as an NBA 1st-round pick and scored 30 points against Washington St. in the Pac-10 semifinals.
Anthony Goods is the main perimeter threat with 60 3-point makes. Lawrence Hill is a force off the bench, averaging just under nine points and five rebounds per game. Stanford won 11 out of 12 games from mid-January to the beginning of March and has twice been as high as 7th in the AP Poll.
Cornell coach Steve Donahue on Stanford: “We're really different than them. They're a physical, tall team. They play half court, obviously we like to speed the game up a little bit, see if we can use the 3-point line to our advantage. It's going to be a contrast in styles in a lot of ways, but we're going to have to play them in the half court, and they're going to have to guard us on the perimeter.”
At 6:28 p.m. Sunday, the tournament selection show announced that Cornell (22-5) will play Stanford (26-7), a No. 3 seed, on Thursday in Anaheim in a South Region First Round game. The game time hadn't been announced at press time. The reaction at Benchwarmers was matter-of-fact. Before it was announced, Chris Schubert, an engineer at Lockheed Martin and a Cornell graduate student, figured that the 14th seed is where they belong.
“Anything less than a 14, considering the last teams are really backing in, would be a disappointment,” he said.
Matt Law, a Cornell graduate student who watched the selection show at Uncle Joe's Sports Bar & Grill, said even if Cornell was better than it is, the Big Red might not have gotten any better than the 14th seed coming out of the Ivy League.
Law also pointed out the tough time Stanford gave to No. 1-seed UCLA Saturday evening in the Pac 10 conference tournament title game.
“Stanford gave the best team in the country a game,” he said of UCLA's 67-64 victory. “Is Cornell on that level? I'm not sure.”
Schubert wasn't about to say Cornell will win — he was hesitant to say he's pick them in his bracket pool — but of the four third-seeded teams, Stanford could be the one Cornell has the best chance of beating, he said.
“It could've been worse, (considering) the three seeds they've put up so far,” Schubert said. At the time, Louisville and Wisconsin were up as third seeds in the Midwest and East regions, respectively. Xavier was the last No. 3 seed announced, in the West Region.
Benchwarmers had its usual Sunday crowd — the bar was full, and there were a few tables filled — but all who were there had an interest in the selection.
Brian Maybee, 31, said he's excited to see the local team make the tournament, but when asked about the chances he'd give them to win, he smiled and shook his head.
“It's practically a home game (for Stanford),” said Mary Schubert, Chris's wife and a lawyer in Ithaca.
Laura Smith, a Cornell graduate who was at Uncle Joe's on Sunday, said she's excited her alma mater is playing, and said she'll watch the game.
“It's pretty good, especially for a school without any (athletic scholarship) money behind its recruiting,” she said. “It's impressive.”
For the most part, the Sunday crowd was excited to see the Big Red still playing this late in March.
“Cornell definitely has a sick team,” Law said, “and that's fantastic.”
By Brian Delaney
PressConnects.com (Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin)
March 17, 2008
ITHACA -- Surrounded by an ecstatic group of about 100 friends, family and administrators, the Cornell men's basketball team learned of its postseason fate Sunday night at the Moakley House located on Cornell's Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.
The Big Red, which won their first Ivy League title in 20 years with an undefeated run through a 14-game schedule, will play 11th-ranked Stanford on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif., in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.
When the matchup was announced, Cornell paid no mind to its formidable opponent.
This moment was one to celebrate.
With all eyes glued to a pair of widescreen televisions, the room erupted into cheers when CBS studio host Greg Gumbel announced at 6:28 p.m. Cornell's seed -- No. 14 in the South Region -- and opponent, the third-seeded Cardinal.
"It was real exciting," said sophomore Louis Dale, the 2007-08 Ivy League player of the year. "Just watching the whole show was great, and getting that little nervous feeling when they're about to call your name."
Cornell players felt they would likely receive a 13th or 14th seed, so things quieted down as Gumbel rolled through the first two of four 16-team regions. When the 13th and 14th seeds in the East and Midwest Regions were announced, Cornell players exhaled nervously as teams like Winthrop, Boise State, Siena and Cal State Fullerton filled out those slots.
But eventually -- and inevitably, since the Ivy League champion earned an automatic berth -- the tension was released.
"This moment is for the kids," said Cornell coach Steve Donahue, who went to the tournament six times as an assistant at Penn. "They achieved this stuff, and this is what they dream of."
That "stuff" was a program-best 22-5 record, including the first 14-0 league record by an Ivy institution other than Penn or Princeton, and Cornell's first league championship since 1988.
The Big Red clinched the championship on March 1, meaning players and coaches were forced to wait just more than two weeks to find out their draw. That included a full week of practice without a specific opponent for which to prepare.
"It's been pretty crazy," sophomore guard Ryan Wittman said. "This week seemed like it took forever."
Stanford (26-7) lost to No. 3 UCLA on Saturday, 67-64, in the Pac-10 championship game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Cardinal boasts two 7-footers in its rotation, including leading scorer Brook Lopez (19.2 points per game).
Naturally, Cornell's own 7-footer, Lockwood native Jeff Foote, was excited at the matchup.
"Hopefully they do sleep on us and we can (pull) an upset," he said.
By Lindsay Kramer
Syracuse Post Standard
March 17, 2008
Ithaca— A few feet away from Cornell men’s basketball coach Steve Donahue, Big Red players started whooping when they finally saw their NCAA Tournament seeding on Sunday night.
Donahue couldn’t allow himself that luxury. His eyes locked in on Cornell’s opponent — Stanford — and his gut began doing cartwheels.
“I feel a pit in my stomach,” Donahue said a few moments later. “I had so much time to think about this for the past two weeks. This moment is for the kids. This is my occupation. As soon as that name (Stanford) comes across the board, it hits me. We’re going to have to play a heck of a basketball team.”
California Dreaming infected the Moakley House on Cornell’s Robert Trent Jones golf course, where the team, family members and assorted alumni gathered to watch CBS’ broadcast of the pairings. Cornell (22-5) is the No. 14 seed in the South and will take on the No. 3 Cardinal (26-7) on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif.
It was an historic day all around for the Big Red. The women’s team won an Ivy League playoff game over Dartmouth to earn entrance into the women’s tournament for the first time in school history. It is also the first time in Ivy history that the same school has sent both teams to the NCAA tournaments.
The Big Red men were the first team in the NCAA field by virtue of their Ivy title, but the wait to see where they were headed seemed interminable. Two brackets were announced before the South was unveiled. Every time a potential high seed-low seed pairing was announced that didn’t involve Cornell, an audible sigh came from the Cornell players.
Finally, at 6:27 p.m., the first Cornell men’s team to make the tournament since 1988 saw its specific reward.
“I was a little nervous, even though I knew we were in,” said Cornell sophomore forward Ryan Wittman. “I can’t imagine what the other teams on the bubble were feeling. This is the moment we realize we are in the tournament, what we’ve accomplished so far. Now we know, we’re all really excited.”
Cornell needs some potent adrenaline. It faces a grueling schedule, looking at a practice today, a cross-country trip as soon as Tuesday morning and then a game against a Pac-10 power in its own backyard on Thursday.
So how does a team from New York state end up in California?
“We make every effort to keep the teams as close to home as possible, but it doesn’t always work out that well,” said NCAA selection committee chair Tom O’Connor. “We had a lot of difficult discussions.”
“We’re going to California. I’ve never been to California,” beamed sophomore guard Louis Dale. “I think we’ll all be focused. This is definitely a great opportunity for us. We knew we were going to be playing a great team no matter what. Maybe we can get an upset, make history.”
The Big Red should at least get a check in the momentum column when you look at this tale of the tape. Cornell is riding a 16-game winning streak, which is the second-longest active streak in Division I. Only Davidson has more consecutive wins entering the tournament, with 22.
“I guess our winning streak gives us confidence. We’re a good team, too. Hopefully, they sleep on us,” said Cornell junior center Jeff Foote.
“I’m not going to guarantee a win. If you don’t have the confidence to say you can beat a team like that, they will beat you by 30-40 points,” said junior guard Adam Gore. “If you don’t (feel confident), you are going to be in trouble before the ball even goes up.”
Cornell and Stanford have met three times in their histories, with the Cardinal holding a 2-1 edge. The last meeting came in 1994-95, with Stanford taking a 67-55 decision.
As far as a David-Goliath contest goes, Donahue said he doesn’t mind this matchup. He likes the test of going against a bigger, stronger team with his hot-handed perimeter bunch. In the latest NCAA rankings, the Big Red is fifth in 3-point field-goal percentage (.414) and sixth in overall field-goal percentage (.492).
“We’re really different than them,” Donahue said. “They are physical, tall. We like to speed the game up. It’s a contrast in styles in many ways. I think it can be a good thing if we can counter what they do well. They are going to have to counter a smaller team that uses the 3-point line well.”
Donahue also pointed to an 80-64 loss to Syracuse on Dec. 22 as another building block in the Big Red’s season that could be a factor now.
“I look at Syracuse as more of a team like Stanford,” Donahue said. “You have to deal with a team like their size. I think our guys learned from that, playing not to lose at Syracuse. I remember getting on the bus ride home and thinking, we’re a year away. But they learned. They are a very well-heeled group. I anticipate we will not be overwhelmed with all the things around the tournament.”
But before dipping into the film work and the X’s and O’s, Donahue said he’s keeping his message to the Big Red simple.
“This is basketball. This is supposed to be as fun as it gets for them,” Donahue said. “They’re young kids. Experience it, enjoy it, embrace it.”Los Angeles Times
March 17, 2008
LA Times Interactive Tournament Brackets
...Stanford vs. Cornell, set for Thursday pod play in Anaheim, is a pretty smart opener. Cornell won the Ivy League, the only conference left that believes the regular season still means something and does not conduct a postseason tournament to determine its NCAA bid. Stanford basketball is such a special academic oasis that it has never had a sophomore leave early for the NBA draft, but check back in a couple months regarding sophomore Brook Lopez.
Cornell Daily Sun
March 17, 2008
ITHACA — The Cornell men's basketball team was selected as the No. 14 seed in the NCAA tournament and will face No. 3-seeded Stanford in Anaheim on Thursday, the NCAA revealed this evening. It is the Cornell's first bid to the tournament in 20 years and the Red’s third-ever appearance.
Cornell locked up its NCAA bid after winning the outright Ivy League title, the school’s first since 1988. That year, the team received the No. 16 seed and lost to No. 1-seeded Arizona in the first round, 90-50. Cornell’s first appearance was in 1954 after it won the EIBL title.
No. 11/11 Stanford (26-7, 13-5 Pac-10) is making its 16th overall appearance. The Cardinals finished second in the Pac-10 Tournament, with UCLA taking the championship game, 67-64.
Stanford owns a 2-1 all-time record when playing Cornell, having won the last meeting, 67-55, during the 1994-95 season.
The time of the game has yet to be announced. The winner will face the victor of the Marquette-Kentucky game.
Check back with The Sun all week for on-site coverage of the men's basketball team at the NCAA Tournament.
It was good news all around for the Stanford men's basketball team during the annual NCAA Tournament selection show on Sunday. The Cardinal received a No. 3 seed, an easy first-round opponent and won't have to leave the state for the first two rounds.
Despite coming off a frustrating 67-64 loss to UCLA on Saturday in the Pac-10 Tournament championship game, Stanford and the Bruins will be opening the NCAA tourney in the same town and on the same night this week.
Both will play Thursday in Anaheim, The Cardinal (26-7) in the South Regional and the Bruins (31-3) in the West.
Cornell’s Ryan Wittman (20) is the type of shooter who will find open shots in the tournament.
If nothing else, I am an expert at losing in the first round of the N.C.A.A. tournament. How many people can say they have lost in the first round the past three years? It’s a short list. Trust me, it’s a miserable list to be on.
I spent the past three Marches plotting revenge on all the people who had the nerve to tell me my first-round loss with the Penn Quakers ruined their chances to win an N.C.A.A. pool. Although I have never won a tournament game, I am intimately familiar with the details of losing one.
The first thing to understand is that the tournament puts a premium on preparation. Within a conference, opponents play one another and know one another. It’s easy to study systems and personnel. In the tournament, fresh matchups give teams with distinctive styles an advantage.
In 2005, Wisconsin-Milwaukee upended Alabama with a hyperactive press. Imagine trying to simulate that in three days of practice. Extremely difficult. The same can be said for Georgetown’s offense. Big East teams won’t be beaten by those backdoor cuts year after year, but I guarantee Georgetown will get more backdoors in the tourney.
On the other end of the spectrum, poorly prepared teams struggle. In the news conference before our first-round matchup with Rick Barnes’s Texas team in 2006, the Texas guys were asked if they were familiar with Penn. They couldn’t name a single player. So much for reading the scouting report. We went into halftime up by 23-22 against that Texas team, featuring LaMarcus Aldridge and Daniel Gibson. I probably do not need to say that we did not win the second half.
Playing new teams means well-executed offenses are going to get good looks. Shots that weren’t open for the second half of league play are available in the N.C.A.A.’s. That puts a premium on shooters like Davidson’s Stephen Curry and Cornell’s Ryan Wittman. They have range out of the gym. Stanford and Gonzaga be forewarned, those two will have 20 points apiece in the first round.
Preparation is markedly easier for underdogs; they have watched their opponents on TV. But underdogs face more physical challenges. The biggest is rebounding. It is not that difficult to throw a more athletic team out of its offense by changing defenses. Something as simple as a basic zone often does the trick, especially because most tournament arenas aren’t shooters’ gyms.
In these arenas there is so much space behind the backboard, it affects a shooter’s depth perception. Forcing misses in the halfcourt is doable, but closing out the possession by getting the defensive rebound is tough for small teams. Keeping the opponent off the offensive boards is always an issue against more athletic clubs. In a zone it becomes a nightmare. The nature of being assigned an area, not a player, makes it easier for an offensive player to slip in a gap for a rebound.
Last year in our first-round matchup against Texas A&M, it wasn’t Acie Law who killed us. It was two consecutive putbacks by center Joseph Jones. His offensive rebounds ended our run and gave Texas A&M the lead in the second half. That’s a backbreaker for an underdog, especially after forcing a hard-earned missed shot.
To avoid that pitfall, a midmajor needs one of two things: a scrappy rebounder or extremely good perimeter defense. The first is self-evident. Good rebounders neutralize the height advantage midmajors often face.
Rebounding isn’t always related to size and length. There are plenty of guys with a nose for the ball at smaller colleges. I am particularly partial to George Mason’s Will Thomas. He has great hands and understands positioning better than anyone in the college game. That makes up for being small.
How perimeter defense helps rebounding is less obvious. It is all about defensive rotations and boxing out. Having quick defenders allows an underdog to play man-to-man. If the guards do not penetrate, then the post players stay matched up inside. From there a fundamental team can box out and neutralize the rebounding advantage. Many offensive rebounds are a result of a big man sliding over for help-side defense. That leaves a gaping hole on the weakside, where most misses end up.
Siena, in its conference championship game against Rider, used aggressive perimeter defense to overcome its size disadvantage. It is a pattern that will help make up for its deficiencies in the tournament. It was certainly effective for us against Texas.
What teams have the shooters and the rebounding ability to advance beyond the first weekend? I like Siena and its defense against Vanderbilt, which was 5-7 away from home this season.
St. Joseph’s has the firepower to knock out Oklahoma. Hawks center Ahmad Nivins is a load inside, and he is surrounded by two sweet-shooting forwards, Rob Ferguspn and Pat Calathes. That frontcourt causes all kinds of matchup problems. And do not discount the value of Coach Phil Martelli; he’ll do a masterly job preparing the Hawks.
In the second round, look for Butler to knock out Tennessee, making the Vols pay for their aggressive defense by spreading the floor. Outside, A. J. Graves leads a group that can hit shots from anywhere. Inside, the big Butler freshman Matt Howard takes up space and has a great feel for interior passing. The news media will be raving about him and his teammates when the Bulldogs crash the Round of 8.
Then again, take my picks with a grain of salt. It has been a while since I have won anything in March.
March 17, 2008
Given that Inside Higher Ed is just three years old, we haven’t established too many formal traditions so far. But around this time in each of the last two years, in our own twist on March Madness, we have adopted an out-of-the-box method of assessing the outcome of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I men’s basketball tournament, which begins this week.
Befitting a Web site that focuses on higher education, and looks at college sports through the prism of how they fit into the larger picture of academic life, our NCAA bracket gives the edge in each game matchup to the team with the strongest academic performance. In past years, we’ve based our bracket on the teams’ graduation rates, which has traditionally been the best (in part because it was really the only) nationally comparable way of measuring how athletes fared in the classroom.
This year, however, we’re taking a slightly different tack, basing teams’ pathway through the Inside Higher Ed Academic Performance Tournament (or APT) on the latest Academic Progress Rates for each team. The Academic Progress Rate is the NCAA’s relatively new tool for assessing the real-time performance of teams and colleges, and it gives teams points for the extent to which their athletes stay in good academic standing and remain enrolled from term to term. (The NCAA uses the rate to reward and punish strong and poor performers, and it will begin imposing penalties this spring based on teams’ outcomes.) We use the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate as the tiebreaker.
As in past years, we would not recommend that any of you use this bracket to make your selections in any office pools that you choose to enter (not that any of you would gamble, since illegal wagering is, well, illegal). After all, in the last two years, Bucknell University and College of the Holy Cross, both of the Patriot League, have won our brackets, and while Bucknell won its first-round game in 2006, Holy Cross lost in its first-round matchup in 2007.
Still, if you think college athletes should be students and want to know which teams, by the NCAA’s own measure of choice, fare best academically, the Inside Higher Ed bracket is the one for you.
Some of the highlights of our tournament: The first round game between Georgetown and the University of Maryland Baltimore County is a tight one, and Belmont and Brigham Young go to the tiebreaker in the Elite Eight. Our Final Four looks a wee bit different from most of the experts’, but let’s just say that one of the No. 1 seeds makes it into our Final Four. The full bracket, and the winner, can be found here.
By John Feinstein
March 17, 2008
...The bottom half has one of those disgraceful "take care of the big guys" first-round matchups: Marquette-Kentucky. Neither of these teams is very good but someone has to win that game. Virginia Commonwealth was more deserving than Kentucky, which padded its record in a not-so-hot SEC and couldn't beat Georgia in the SEC tournament. Stanford should beat Cornell in a game with lots of red on the court and in the stands, but the Big Red can shoot and it can play. The Ivy League hasn't won a tournament game since 1998, when Princeton was a No. 5 seed, and that likely won't change, but Cornell may be the league's best rep since then...
Maybe a string of first-weekend upsets and buzzer-beaters will divert our attention from what has been a very ordinary season...
Actually, there are players I'm more interested in seeing than teams.
Start with Michael Beasley of Kansas State and then move to Davidson's Stephen Curry. I want to see O.J. Mayo, who has gotten nothing but better late in his freshman season at USC. I want to see this kid, Dionte Christmas of Temple, a 6-foot-5 kid who has scored 37 and 29 points already this month. I want to see Cornell's Ryan Wittman (son of NBA coach Randy Wittman) and U-Conn.'s 7-3, 265-pound athlete extraordinaire Hasheem Thabeet, who blocked 10 shots in a game against Notre Dame this season and whom I believe is going to be the next big man to have a major impact on the sport....
By Greg Stoda
Palm Beach Post
March 17, 2008
Let's make a Sweet 16 examination of this year's wacky NCAA Tournament brackets to see just how much we can pretend to know about college basketball's annual pool party when, in reality, nobody knows very much at all...... It doesn't get any smarter than Stanford-Cornell...
By Pat Hickey
Canwest News Service
March 16, 2008
By Bobby Gonzalez (Head Coach, Seton Hall University)
New York Times
March 17, 2008
...I have not seen much of No. 14 Cornell, but people have told me they are dangerous. They have a tough game against Stanford. Teams like Cornell whose players have no N.C.A.A. tournament experience can be blindsided by the magnitude of the first-round game.
By Mike Lopresti
March 17, 2008
Stanford vs. Cornell. Probably top game in the bracket, if you mean SAT scores.
Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college basketball -- super-sized to 65 for the NCAA tournament.
So, its been a pretty dull year in college basketball...Welcome back to the absentees (17). Drake is dancing for the first time in 37 years -- back then, it was a 25-team field, and the Bulldogs won one game to reach the final eight. Meanwhile, Cornell and Baylor are here for the first time since the Reagan administration.
Kansas-Carolina, Ivy revenge and mid-major matchups are 'serendipity'
By Dana O'Neil
March 16, 2008
Dawgs are BCS dogs: No. 3 seed Xavier vs. No. 14 seed Georgia
OK, hands up if you had the Dawgs in your mock bracket? Didn't think so. The tornado that blew through Atlanta on Friday night clearly dropped pixie dust around the Georgia Dome. How else to explain Georgia's run from four SEC wins in one season to four SEC tournament wins in 72 hours? But the Dawgs' reward is the lowest seeding from a power league in NCAA tournament history. Georgia is on the same line as Ivy League winner Cornell and below MAAC champion Siena...
You owe us: No. 3 seed Stanford vs. No. 14 seed Cornell
University founder Leland Stanford visited three East Coast universities -- Harvard, Yale and Cornell -- when he was putting together his dream of a Palo Alto campus. Eventually Stanford decided to model his namesake university after the one in Ithaca, N.Y., appreciating Cornell's coeducational and nonsectarian admissions policies in 1884. Seven of the school's 15 first faculty members came West from Cornell to get Stanford off the ground, and Stanford's first president, David Starr Jordan, was a Cornell man. Time for the Cardinal to repay the debt, right?
March 16, 2008
Men's Basketball Editor Ray Salloom chronicles his thoughts, views, stats, and notes while watching the 2008 edition of the NCAA Men's Basketball Selection Show where Stanford landed as a #3 seed in the South Regional, starting play on Thursday versus Cornell in Anaheim...
3:28 p.m. – There are the Cardinal as the #3 seed in the South. They’ll be taking on the #14 Cornell Big Red, the undefeated Ivy League champions, in Anaheim on Thursday. I’ll go deeper into their team in another column, but we know they haven’t lost to anyone since an early January game at Duke, where they fell to the Blue Devils 81-67, they shoot 49% from the field, 41% from beyond the arc, and 76% from the charity stripe, while opponents shoot 42% from the field. Cornell also played their last game on March 8th, meaning it’ll be a two-week layoff for the team from New York before they get back to the court at the Honda Center. Finally, they easily defeated Yale by at least 20 points on two occasions, but struggled with Harvard at the Crimson, winning by just one point. In the other side awaiting the winner of this game, the #6 seed is Marquette and they’ll be facing #11 Kentucky, one of the other last at-large teams to get into the field. This should be another fun game to watch with the Big East facing the SEC. It should also be the first game of the day in Anaheim, meaning Stanford/Cornell will be in the “West Coast Only” TV slot of around 2:00pm on Thursday afternoon.
March 17, 2008
...Stanford (26-7) has a game against Cornell (22-5), which captured the Ivy League title, on Thursday in Anaheim. The Cardinal dropped a 78-58 decision to Louisville in last year's opening round and is winless in its last three NCAA Tournament games. The Big Red will be making its third NCAA tournament appearance and its first in 20 years after completing the 13th undefeated conference slate. This past season, Cornell set school records for most wins overall and longest win streak (16) in the 109-year history of Big Red basketball...
By Rishi Barran
March 17, 2008
Cornell earned its first NCAA bid since 1988 with an unbeaten Ivy League season, and the Big Red are the #14 seed in the West bracket. Cornell will play 26-7 Stanford on Thursday at 5 p.m. eastern time in the first round of the tournament.
The Big East tied a tournament record with eight bids. Of the eight, Georgetown is seeded the highest: #2 in the Midwest.
March 17, 2008
The Bay Area will send two teams to the Big Dance starting with the Stanford Cardinal who are a #3 seed in the South and will play Cornell in the first round. Cornell? We didn't even know they played basketball. The only thing we know about Cornell is that it's amazingly beautiful and half the students attempt suicide (God only knows what'll happen if they lose)...
March 17, 2008
I've heard so many people pick winners based on team mascots. One co-worker said she picked based on which mascot she liked better.
To take it a step further, I suggest you pick based on which mascot would win in a fight. A tiger (Memphis) will always take out a duck (Oregon).
And if you don't know what a team's mascot actually is--the Cornell Big Red comes to mind--it's best to stay away. And sometimes a mascot is not what it seems. Stanford's mascot is the Cardinal. It's weird enough that it's not plural; it's beyond weird that its actual costumed mascot is a tree. Trees win fights against sunlight, but that's about it.
By John McGrath
The News Tribune
The best question on Selection Sunday was delivered by Jim Nantz, who asked CBS broadcast partner Billy Packer: “Who will be this year’s George Mason?”
The reference was to the 2006 Colonials, who advanced to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed and established the premise that anything is possible in the NCAA tournament.
What team is best qualified to replicate George Mason’s run? The obvious answer is George Mason, surely an expert on what it takes to be George Mason. But the Colonials have had their glory. They achieved a balance of karma and harmony – a karmonic convergence – that’s available once or twice a century.
So the floor is open...
...A case could be made for Cornell as the next George Mason. But Cornell, a proud Ivy League institution, likely prefers to be known as the first Cornell, thank you very much.
About Cornell: If the Big Red somehow takes a lead on first-round opponent Stanford, and then squanders it with a series of turnovers and ill-advised jump shots, it would be most ironic: Henry Heimlich, father of the famed anti-choking maneuver, graduated from the school.
...Selection Sunday winners and losers . . .
Winner: Stanford. The Cardinal gets the Big Red (Cornell) in Anaheim, which is nothing like drawing the Cardinals (Louisville) in Lexington.
Loser: Stanford. Slotted to face No. 2 seed Texas in the Sweet 16 in Houston, which is like drawing Louisville in Lexington. (Stanford would have been better off with Duke as the No. 2 in its region.)
By Darren Sabedra
San Jose Mercury News
March 17, 2008
Unlike last year, there wasn't any tension for Stanford when the NCAA tournament selections were announced Sunday. The Cardinal anticipated a No. 3 seed and a trip to Anaheim for the first two rounds, and that's what it got. Stanford was seeded behind No. 1 Memphis and No. 2 Texas in the South Regional and will open the tournament Thursday against Ivy League champion Cornell at approximately 1:50 p.m. If the Cardinal (26-7) avoids an upset, it would then face No. 6 Marquette or No. 11 Kentucky on Saturday for a Sweet 16 spot in Houston. Cornell, seeded 14th, will come west with the nation's second-longest winning streak (16 games) and a résumé that includes a better record than Stanford against common opponents. The Big Red defeated Siena 83-77 - albeit at home - eight days after the Cardinal lost at Siena 79-67. Cornell (22-5) also swept Harvard and Yale en route to a 14-0 league record; Stanford defeated both teams in November. "Any team that went through their league undefeated, there is an element of confidence that they're going to have and anything can happen if you don't come ready to play," Cardinal Coach Trent Johnson said. Ryan Wittman, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, leads the Big Red in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He is the son of Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Randy Wittman. Cornell also gets 13.8 points per game from 5-11 guard Louis Dale. "I remember watching them play Duke," Johnson said. "I was very impressed." Cornell trailed at Duke by nine points at halftime Jan. 6 and lost by 14. The Big Red has not tasted defeat since. "They obviously have momentum," Stanford point guard Mitch Johnson said, "and if you're in the tournament, you have a chance. They'll be ready to go." Assuming Cornell doesn't pull off a stunner, Stanford's second-round test should be much more challenging and could tug at the emotional heartstrings of Cardinal football coach Jim Harbaugh, whose brother-in-law is Marquette basketball coach Tom Crean. Marquette tied for fifth in the Big East, beat Wisconsin and Notre Dame and has a three-guard lineup that could give Stanford problems. The Golden Eagles also come from the same conference as Louisville, the team that smoked the Cardinal in the opening round last season. If Stanford faces Kentucky in Round 2, it won't be the same Wildcats team that lost at home to Gardner-Webb in November and was 7-9 after losing at Florida on Jan. 19. First-year coach Billy Gillispie righted the ship at midseason, guiding the Wildcats to nine victories in 10 games during one stretch that resurrected their NCAA tournament hopes. If Stanford survives that round, it might have to face Texas in a football stadium (Reliant in Houston) to reach the Elite Eight. Tom O'Connor, the selection committee chairman, said the Cardinal was one of about eight teams the committee discussed for a No. 2 seed. But he declined to elaborate on why Stanford, which lost to UCLA 67-64 in the Pacific-10 Conference tournament final Saturday, was seeded third.
Unlike last year, there wasn't any tension for Stanford when the NCAA tournament selections were announced Sunday. The Cardinal anticipated a No. 3 seed and a trip to Anaheim for the first two rounds, and that's what it got.
Stanford was seeded behind No. 1 Memphis and No. 2 Texas in the South Regional and will open the tournament Thursday against Ivy League champion Cornell at approximately 1:50 p.m.
If the Cardinal (26-7) avoids an upset, it would then face No. 6 Marquette or No. 11 Kentucky on Saturday for a Sweet 16 spot in Houston.
Cornell, seeded 14th, will come west with the nation's second-longest winning streak (16 games) and a résumé that includes a better record than Stanford against common opponents. The Big Red defeated Siena 83-77 - albeit at home - eight days after the Cardinal lost at Siena 79-67. Cornell (22-5) also swept Harvard and Yale en route to a 14-0 league record; Stanford defeated both teams in November.
"Any team that went through their league undefeated, there is an element of confidence that they're going to have and anything can happen if you don't come ready to play," Cardinal Coach Trent Johnson said.
Ryan Wittman, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, leads the Big Red in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He is the son of Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Randy Wittman. Cornell also gets 13.8 points per game from 5-11 guard Louis Dale.
"I remember watching them play Duke," Johnson said. "I was very impressed."
Cornell trailed at Duke by nine points at halftime Jan. 6 and lost by 14. The Big Red has not tasted defeat since. "They obviously have momentum," Stanford point guard Mitch Johnson said, "and if you're in the tournament, you have a chance. They'll be ready to go." Assuming Cornell doesn't pull off a stunner, Stanford's second-round test should be much more challenging and could tug at the emotional heartstrings of Cardinal football coach Jim Harbaugh, whose brother-in-law is Marquette basketball coach Tom Crean. Marquette tied for fifth in the Big East, beat Wisconsin and Notre Dame and has a three-guard lineup that could give Stanford problems. The Golden Eagles also come from the same conference as Louisville, the team that smoked the Cardinal in the opening round last season. If Stanford faces Kentucky in Round 2, it won't be the same Wildcats team that lost at home to Gardner-Webb in November and was 7-9 after losing at Florida on Jan. 19. First-year coach Billy Gillispie righted the ship at midseason, guiding the Wildcats to nine victories in 10 games during one stretch that resurrected their NCAA tournament hopes. If Stanford survives that round, it might have to face Texas in a football stadium (Reliant in Houston) to reach the Elite Eight. Tom O'Connor, the selection committee chairman, said the Cardinal was one of about eight teams the committee discussed for a No. 2 seed. But he declined to elaborate on why Stanford, which lost to UCLA 67-64 in the Pacific-10 Conference tournament final Saturday, was seeded third.
"They obviously have momentum," Stanford point guard Mitch Johnson said, "and if you're in the tournament, you have a chance. They'll be ready to go."
Assuming Cornell doesn't pull off a stunner, Stanford's second-round test should be much more challenging and could tug at the emotional heartstrings of Cardinal football coach Jim Harbaugh, whose brother-in-law is Marquette basketball coach Tom Crean.
Marquette tied for fifth in the Big East, beat Wisconsin and Notre Dame and has a three-guard lineup that could give Stanford problems. The Golden Eagles also come from the same conference as Louisville, the team that smoked the Cardinal in the opening round last season.
If Stanford faces Kentucky in Round 2, it won't be the same Wildcats team that lost at home to Gardner-Webb in November and was 7-9 after losing at Florida on Jan. 19. First-year coach Billy Gillispie righted the ship at midseason, guiding the Wildcats to nine victories in 10 games during one stretch that resurrected their NCAA tournament hopes.
If Stanford survives that round, it might have to face Texas in a football stadium (Reliant in Houston) to reach the Elite Eight.
Tom O'Connor, the selection committee chairman, said the Cardinal was one of about eight teams the committee discussed for a No. 2 seed. But he declined to elaborate on why Stanford, which lost to UCLA 67-64 in the Pacific-10 Conference tournament final Saturday, was seeded third.
Associated Press ...STANFORD (3) vs. Cornell (14) — The halftime matchup of the debate teams would be close, the basketball game shouldn't be because of the Cardinal's ability to dominate up front. CNNSI.com
March 17, 2008
March 17, 2008
...STANFORD (3) vs. Cornell (14) — The halftime matchup of the debate teams would be close, the basketball game shouldn't be because of the Cardinal's ability to dominate up front.
KEEPING FOCUSED: Brook Lopez still isn't saying whether he'll declare for the NBA draft or not. For now, Stanford's 7-foot sophomore wants to help the Cardinal get out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Seeded third in the South Regional, Stanford plays Ivy League champion Cornell in a first-round game on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. The Big Red are seeded No. 14 and have won 16 consecutive games, the second longest streak in the nation.
Lopez was academically ineligible for the first nine games of the season but has been among the top centers in the nation since returning in December, leading the Cardinal in scoring and rebounding.
A potential lottery pick should he declare for the draft, Lopez downplayed talk about the NBA on Sunday and instead is focused on trying to help Stanford win a first-round game in the tournament for the first time in four years.
"I don't really know and I haven't thought about it,'' Lopez said of his future. "I'm not going to think about it until the end of the season. I'm just focused on playing a good Cornell team right now. They're in the same situation as us. This could be their last game.''
Brown Daily Herald
March 17, 2008
So the Bears won their final four games, finishing second in the league and with the most wins in Brown history. And last night, they were rewarded with an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational, a new, 16-team tournament.
Tomorrow, the Bears (19-9) will play Ohio University, the host for the first-round game. The Bobcats, of the Mid-American Conference, are 19-12.
"I'm just really excited, happy to keep on playing," said Robinson, who sounded tired as he stayed up into the wee hours this morning to learn of the Bears' opponent.
The CBI is held by the New Jersey-based Gazelle Group, which has organized preseason basketball tournaments such as the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic. All of the games will played at schools competing in the CBI.
The teams will be seeded and put in a geographic bracket. The CBI will be single-elimination until the final round, which will be a best-of-three series. First-round games will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the final round could end as late as April 4....
Brown Daily Herald
March 17, 2008
Watching March Madness on television is one thing.
To experience it first hand is another.
Former Clear Spring and Mercersburg Academy standout Alex Tyler will learn what the NCAA postseason frenzy is all about - on the court.
Tyler's college team, Cornell University, received a No. 13 seed to the national tournament on Sunday.
Last week, Tyler jokingly indicated he'd "like to go somewhere warm." He got his wish.
Tyler and Ivy League champions will fly to Anaheim, Calif. to meet third-seed Stanford in a South Regional first-round game.
"I really don't care where we play, except maybe somewhere warm," said Tyler, who was a consistent contributor to Cornell's fortunes as a sophomore. "It's been a great year. The students have been great and they started showing up as the season went along."
Cornell (22-5) earned an automatic bid to the tournament by going undefeated in the Ivy League. It was the first time the Big Red marched through to a league title unbeaten, while becoming the first team other than Penn or Princeton complete the task.
The 6-foot-7, 235-pound Tyler averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds, while shooting 54 percent from the floor. He averaged nearly 23 minutes of playing time per game.
"Most of our losses were early in the year, like to Bucknell and Syracuse, and then we changed how we approached the game," said Tyler. "We had so many offensive weapons we thought we could just run up and down the floor."
After the offensive adjustment matched up with a more defensive focus, Cornell began to come together.
"Everybody bought into the change and that was the key," said Tyler.
It helped the Big Red live up to their preseason billing.
"When I was recruited, they thought they had an opportunity with the class ahead of me," he said. "We've all come together."
And they stick together off the court, too.
"Me and the other 11 guys ... we live in one big house just off campus and I think that's another reason why we've done well getting along with each other," he said, "I roomed with (Ryan) Wittman last year, but we're all together this year."
Tyler said he is satisfied with his production this season, in his terms with "hustle energy plays, going after rebounds, setting a lot of screens."
March 17, 2008
Stanford's play in the NCAA tournament was a lock... at Stanford star center Brook Lopez wasn't saying whether he'll declare for the NBA draft or not. For now, Stanford's 7-foot sophomore wants to help the 11th-ranked Cardinal get out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Seeded third in the South Regional, Stanford plays Ivy League champion Cornell in a first-round game on Thursday in Anaheim. The Big Red are seeded No. 14 and have won 16 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the nation. Lopez was academically ineligible for the first nine games of the season but has been among the top centers in the nation since returning in December, leading the Cardinal in scoring and rebounding. A potential lottery pick should he declare for the draft, Lopez downplayed talk about the NBA on Sunday and instead is focused on trying to help Stanford win a first-round game in the tournament for the first time in four years.
"I don't really know and I haven't thought about it," Lopez said of his future. "I'm not going to think about it until the end of the season. I'm just focused on playing a good Cornell team right now. They're in the same situation as us. This could be their last game."
Stanford (26-7) hasn't made it into the second round of the NCAA Tournament since beating Texas-San Antonio as a No. 1 seed in 2004. The Cardinal lost to No. 8 Alabama two days later, though, and have been bounced in the first round twice since. They'll have to stop one of the country's hottest teams to snap their first-round struggles this year.
Cornell (22-5) went undefeated in the Ivy League and hasn't lost since falling to Duke, 81-67, on Jan. 6. The Big Red's current 16-game winning streak is a school record and second in the country only to No. 23 Davidson's 22-game streak. Sophomore forward Ryan Wittman, son of Minnesota Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman, leads Cornell in scoring (15.4 ppg), field goal percentage (.475) and set a career-high in rebounding (4.3 rpg) this season.
"They're very skilled and any team that's went through the league undefeated, there's an element of confidence that they're going to have," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "Anything can happen if you don't come ready to play." Cornell also has a 7-foot center, Jeff Foote, to match up against Lopez and his 7-foot twin brother Robin."They spread you at the perimeter," Trent Johnson said of the Big Red. "Quite frankly I'd like to see a lot of size. I think the teams we struggle with are the teams that have undersized (forwards) who can put you on the perimeter and stretch you. I fully anticipate teams zoning us and trying to put as much attention as possible on our post."
Unlike 2007, when the Cardinal were the last team announced by the selection committee, Stanford didn't have to wait to find out its fate this time. The reaction was noticeably different as well.A year ago Brook Lopez and a few teammates picked Trent Johnson up and carried him around the team's locker room as other players cheered loudly. Guard Mitch Johnson smacked a garbage can lid so hard it broke.On Sunday, the Cardinal were distinctly subdued."To watch it and enjoy the show is a little bit better than hoping and praying," Mitch Johnson said. "We've known for a pretty long time we were going to get in. Our focus the whole time has been on the big picture. We've stayed our course for the most part and kept our eyes on the prize."Stanford dropped its final two regular season games before beating Arizona and Washington State in the Pac-10 tournament last week. The Cardinal lost to No. 3 UCLA in the championship game, 67-64."I think if we went into the tournament playing every team like it was against UCLA, we'll be all right," Lopez said.
March 17, 2008
...The South Bracket was very tough. Who knows how Memphis will do? There was a lot of questions here for me...First round I have Cornell beating Stanford and Temple over Michigan State. Cornell over Stanford is my biggest upset pick considering the seed ratio. This helped clear the way for Pittsburgh in my bracket. But the main thing is Oregon beating Memphis in the second round. This is my biggest upset overall. I just don't know if the Tigers can hold up. After that, everything goes to plan until Pitt plays Texas in the final...this is my only upset pick for them, yet they're in the final four! How easy that would be if it happened!
14. Cornell. Cornell went undefeated in conference play and became the first team other than Penn or Princeton to win the Ivy League since 1988 (Yale shared the title with Princeton in the 2001-02 season). Forward Ryan Wittman led the team with 15.4 points per game during the regular season, but the Big Red's balanced attack boasts seven players who averaged at least seven points. Point guard Louis Dale was the Ivy League's player of the year this season, and seven-foot center Jeff Foote is a fan favorite.
March 17, 2008
After the disappointment of coming up short in the state championship game, Pender coach Gary Battle is flying high.
And he's only going to be flying higher later this week.
His son, former New Hanover star Jason Battle, now plays for Cornell, and the Big Red drew a matchup with Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
Gary is hoping to make the trip, which will be his first time on a plane.
'I'm looking forward to this, I'm really thinking about trying to get this flight together and go out that way,' he said. 'I've had two teams to coach all season, it's time for a break.
'They always pick on me about flying, it's just the matter of getting yourself together and deciding to do it. I just haven't had the opportunity to do it, or places to go. So now's a good time.'
Specifically, he said, former East Columbus and Georgetown star Boubacar Aw gave him grief over his avoidance of flying.
Shortly after the bracket was revealed, he got a call from his daughter, Christy McCoy, who lives in Greensboro. As soon as he answered the phone, he asked her, 'We need to start driving, don't we?'
Resigned to the inevitable trip to the airport, he told her to start checking out travel arrangements and said she was in charge of planning.
Knowing the phone calls would only pick up from there, he perched his phone on his armrest. It didn't sit there very long.
The next caller was Jason, from a gathering for the team and fans. Gary immediately informed him he was making the trip.
'This is going to be interesting,' Jason said with a laugh. 'I'll believe it when I see it.'
He said the scene in Ithaca, N.Y., was festive.
'It was a great show, the most excited I've been since I was in high school,' he said.
He also he admitted it was a little nerve-racking, but it was a kind of nervous he didn't mind.
Gary was feeling it a little, too.
'Because of my age and experience, he's probably more nervous than I am,' Gary said of his son. 'I'm a little nervous for him because I'd love to see them get an upset.'
Jason was more excited to be heading out west than his father, saying that he was hoping to head to Anaheim or Tampa to escape the chilly weather of upstate New York.
A matchup with North Carolina in Raleigh would have been a dream, Jason said.
'I was hoping for that, but I'm not disappointed,' he said. 'It would have been great.'
Gary only said he wanted to avoid one team, Tennessee.
'Don't want those boys,' he said as the Vols' pairing was revealed.
He wasn't opposed to a matchup with Georgetown, saying the Hoyas have been too inconsistent lately.
He should know plenty about the Hoyas after sending Aw to play for John Thompson. He recalled a few visits to see Aw, hanging out with Allen Iverson and the legendary coach as well.
And the living room that he watched from? Thompson had once stopped by for a visit.
During commercials, he flipped the channel over to watch one of his favorite players, Tracy McGrady, and the Houston Rockets go for their 22nd win in a row. For the record, he's still got San Antonio to take it all.
He looked back on one specific trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1996, when he and Jason headed to Richmond to catch the first two rounds.
The two were in the stands to see Darvin Ham shatter the backboard on a dunk as Texas Tech eliminated North Carolina in the second round.
He's seen the magic of March, and now he's hoping his son can be a part of it.
San Francisco Chronicle
March 17, 2008
Stanford will play Ivy League champion Cornell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday in Anaheim.
The Cardinal, who lost to UCLA Saturday in the Pac-10 tournament championship game, are seeded No. 3 in the South Regional, but will play their first-round game on the West Coast, as the NCAA selection committee tries to put higher seeds closer to home.
Cornell, the No. 14 seed in the South, went undefeated in Ivy League play and the Big Red's current 16-game winning streak is the second longest in Division I, behind only Davidson's 22 in a row.
If Stanford beats Cornell, the Cardinal would play its second-round game Saturday against the winner of the first-round game between Marquette and Kentucky. If the Cardinal should win its first two games it would advance to the third round in Houston.
Stanford and Cornell had three common opponents this season - Siena, Harvard and Yale. Stanford beat Harvard and Yale, and Cornell beat both twice. Cornell beat Siena, which beat Stanford.
By Tim Kawakami That is the question, isn't it? Can the Cardinal act cool, avoid speed traps, power past the pretenders and prove it belongs in the upper levels of bracketry? "Yeah," Brook Lopez said, quite calmly, when I asked that very question Sunday. "Of course." You see, the NCAA tournament selection committee basically laid it out for the Cardinal: Stanford should stomp Cornell on Thursday and then beat Marquette on Saturday to get to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. Could. Should. Must... FoxSports.com The following squads are eager and skilled at shooting the 3-pointer.
March 17, 2008
March 17, 2008
• No. 14 Cornell: The Big Red didn't lose a game in the Ivy League. Granted, the NCAAs aren't filled with Dartmouths and Harvards, but this team hasn't lost in quite some time...
HIGHEST SAT/ACT SCORES
• It has to be Stanford versus Cornell. Maybe after the game the players should quiz each other.
That is the question, isn't it? Can the Cardinal act cool, avoid speed traps, power past the pretenders and prove it belongs in the upper levels of bracketry?
"Yeah," Brook Lopez said, quite calmly, when I asked that very question Sunday. "Of course."
You see, the NCAA tournament selection committee basically laid it out for the Cardinal: Stanford should stomp Cornell on Thursday and then beat Marquette on Saturday to get to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001.
Could. Should. Must...
The following squads are eager and skilled at shooting the 3-pointer.