Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Date in Cornell Basketball History: Harvard and Cornell of '60-'61 and the Downeast Classic

Fifty years ago to this very day, between December 28-30, 1960, Cornell participated in a three-game tournament in Bangor, Maine known as the Downeast Classic.

Cornell opened the tournament on December 28 with a 67-46 win over Bowdoin College. The following day, in the semifinals, Cornell fell to the University of Maine, 68-58. Awaiting Cornell in the tournament's 3rd place consolation game was Ivy conference rival, Harvard. The Crimson took home an 84-73 win on the neutral floor on December 30.

Of course, Harvard and Cornell still needed to face each other in Ithaca and Cambridge in Ivy League round robin play. On January 14, 1961, the Big Red returned the favor with a 68-62 win at Lavietes. But Harvard would "clinch the series" with a 72-65 overtime win in Ithaca on February 11, 1961.

Above, the December 29, 1960 issue of the Lewiston (ME) Daily Sun headlines Cornell's advancement to the Downeast Classic's semifinal game.


Anonymous said...

Very rare that conference foes should hook up in a non-conference game.

One would guess that this almost never happens any more until March Madness.

Was this the only time that Cornell faced another Ivy out of league play?

Harry '59 said...

As you can see from my handle, I am a neophyte at technology. If my reading of the blurry box score (which gets blurrier as it's enlarged) is accurate, Roger Seidel, Poly Prep '58, scored 18 points. He was the forst player on our high school to dunk. He was also our best center until Joakim Noah, '04. Alas, like so many Big Red players of our time, Roger never played up to his potential.

Let's hope the guys on this year's team do...and soon.