Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Date in Cornell Basketball History: Big Red and the Big Seven Tournament

During December 27-29 in 1955, Cornell was invited to play in the Big Seven Tournament in Kansas City where the Big Red squared off against heavyweights, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Above, the December 20, 1955 issue of the Cornell Daily Sun previews the tournament. The Big Red fell 75-58 to Kansas, were nipped by Nebraska 70-69, and lost 71-68 to Oklahoma in overtime. At the time, Kansas was coached by the legendary Phog Allen. Wilt Chamberlain, a member of KU's freshman team was ineligible to play with the KU varsity in the tournament.

The 1955 game against Kansas sans Chamberlain was not the only time the Big Red missed out on facing a college basketball legend by showing up a year early. On January 1, 1948 Cornell fell to UCLA 50-47 in Buffalo, New York. But John Wooden was not the Bruin coach at the time. The Wizard of Westwood would not take the head job at UCLA until the following 1948-1949 season.

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