Tuesday, December 14, 2010

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • The Juice examines the Ivy League and writes:

On November 30, the [Syracuse] Orange beat up on the Cornell Big Red in a 78-58 thrashing. As it stands now, Cornell sits at 2-6, having lost one more game already this year than they did in the entire season last year.

Of course, everyone remembers the Big Red’s thrilling run, which came to a noble end against Kentucky’s NBA squad at the Carrier Dome last March. So what has happened over in Ithaca since then, and what does it mean for the wide-open Ivy League race?

That Cornell basketball team was led by the talented Big Three of Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote, and Louis Dale—all seniors last year. Their departure has left a gaping hole for the Big Red to fill, bringing a measure of parity to the league they dominated for the past three years.

With the first month of play now in the books, let’s take a look at this year’s frontrunners for the Ivy League crown.

Last year, Princeton finished second behind Cornell...Princeton fans have to be encouraged by what they’ve seen from this team, as Head Coach Sydney Johnson has revived the program in only three years, going from three league wins in his inaugural season, to eight in his second year, and eleven last season in his third year. With Cornell rebuilding and seemingly out of the championship picture, the Tigers look like they have a good shot at winning their first Ancient Eight title since ’04.

The top contender right now is Harvard, though the program that has never won a conference title in its history. Given that the Ivy League, in its nascent state, was a five-team league back in 1902, it is truly a remarkable feat of mediocrity that the Crimson have never captured a league championship.


The Ivy League, unlike every other conference in the country, award their automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to the regular season champion, not the winner of a conference tournament. This has led some to call the Ivy League conference season the 14-game tournament, as a single loss can damage a team’s hopes of making the tournament.

That kind of urgency lends itself to a unique level of intensity over the course of the Friday-Saturday, back-to-back weekend games that make up the conference schedule for the eight teams. Whichever team is able to make it out alive will be awarded the nation’s first invite to the NCAA Tournament.

  • Below is a look at the RPI and SOS (strength of schedule) profiles of each of the Ivy League teams as of December 14:
-Yale (5-4, RPI 58, SOS 49)
-Princeton (7-3, RPI 60, SOS 122)
-Harvard (7-2, RPI 86, SOS 211)
-Brown (4-4, RPI 128, SOS 172)
-Cornell (2-6, RPI 141, SOS 33)
-Penn (4-4, RPI 187, SOS 142)
-Columbia (6-4, RPI 223, SOS 328)
-Dartmouth(3-5, RPI 232, SOS 188)

NOTES: Although Harvard and Columbia have won a bunch of games, both teams have played extremely soft schedules. Harvard's SOS is 202, the bottom one-third of D-I, while Columbia has played nearly the softest schedule in all of Division I. Cornell has faced the Ivy League's toughest schedule, ranked No. 33 in the country. Thus, is not surprising that despite 6 wins by the Lions, their RPI is near the bottom of the League. Besides Cornell, the only other Ivy with a top 100 SOS is Yale (58). Yale owns by far the best win, a victory over Boston College (RPI 12). The Ivy's second best win belongs to Cornell, a victory over Delaware (RPI 73). The league's third best win belongs to Princeton (St. Joseph's RPI 112).
  • Cornell RPI Watch: The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: CollegeRPI.com for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of December 14 is No. 141 out of 347 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin rankings are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the KenPom.com site ranks Cornell No. 184 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 165. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
  • Game Recaps-Below are links to our game recaps from each of Cornell's games this season. Associated press recaps courtesy of Rivals.com/YahooSports.com are always available by clicking on Cornell's schedule/results on the right column of this blog.
  1. at Albany W 65-61 (video recaps)
  2. at Seton Hall L 68-92
  3. vs. Delaware W 75-61 (video recap)
  4. vs. St. Bonaventure L 54-56
  5. at Lehigh L 57-60
  6. at Boston University L 61-66
  7. at Syracuse L 58-78
  8. at Minnesota L 66-71 (video recap)

Friday, November 12
Columbia 71 La Salle 82 Box Score - Recap
Rutgers 73 Princeton 78 OT Box Score - Recap
Cornell 65 Albany 61 Box Score - Recap
Brown 69 Fordham 65 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 13
Harvard 53 George Mason 66 Box Score - Recap
Davidson 64 Penn 69 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 52 Providence 87 Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Quinnipiac 84 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 14
Cornell 68 Seton Hall 92 Noon [SNY/ESPN3/ESPN Full Court] Box Score - Recap
Princeton 60 Duke 97 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 15
Maryland-Eastern Shore 74 Columbia 108 Box Score - Recap
Yale 55 Providence 58 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 16
Brown 67 Rhode Island 92 Box Score - Recap
New Hampshire 55 Dartmouth 53 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 17
Delaware 61 Cornell 75 Box Score - Recap
Holy Cross 49 Harvard 72 Box Score - Recap
Penn 54 Manhattan 59 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 66 St. John’s 79 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, November 18
Yale 75 Boston College 67 Box Score - Recap

Friday, November 19
St. Bonaventure 56 Cornell 54 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 71 Hartford 57 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 20
Harvard 75 Mercer 69 Box Score - Recap
Sacred Heart 67 Brown 81 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 76 Longwood 95 Box Score - Recap
Drexel 77 Penn 56 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 21
Dartmouth 59 Loyola (Md.) 73 Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 22
Cornell 57 Lehigh 60 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 64 James Madison 65 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 23
Bucknell 55 Princeton 66 [at JMU] Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Columbia 76 Box Score - Recap
Quinnipiac 69 Dartmouth 52 Box Score - Recap
Lafayette 65 Penn 74 Box Score - Recap
Yale 47 Illinois 73 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 24
St. Francis (N.Y.) 63 Brown 67 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 69 Bryant 66 Box Score - Recap
Presbyterian 69 Princeton 67 [at JMU] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 27
Brown 66 New Hampshire 70 Box Score - Recap
Army 79 Yale 87 Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Dartmouth 80 Box Score - Recap
Cornell 61 Boston University 66 Box Score - Recap
Penn 58 Pittsburgh 82 [ESPN3.com] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 28
Colorado 66 Harvard 82 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 64 American 62 Box Score - Recap
Siena 77 Princeton 86 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 30
Cornell 58 Syracuse 78 [ESPN3.com/Big East Sports Network] Box Score - Recap
Maryland-Baltimore County 59 Penn 71 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 82 Lafayette 64 [Lafayette Sports Network] Box Score - Recap
Hartford 76 Yale 81 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 1
Columbia 68 Bucknell 73 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 53 Vermont 80 Box Score - Recap
Fordham 57 Harvard 80 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, December 2
Brown 46 Hartford 58 [Connecticut Sports Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 4
Army 52 vs. Penn, 68 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 62 Michigan 65 [Big Ten Network] Box Score - Recap
Yale 78 Vermont 82 Box Score - Recap
Brown 62 Maine 54 Box Score - Recap
Stony Brook 72 Columbia 73 Box Score - Recap
Cornell 66 Minnesota 71 [Big Ten Network] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 5
Saint Joseph’s 65 Princeton 74 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 6
Brown 64 Providence 91 Box Score - Recap
Albany 53 Yale 74 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 7
WPI 54 Harvard 69 Box Score - Recap
Wagner 71 Columbia 77 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 8
Princeton 64 Monmouth 61 Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Bryant 53 Box Score - Recap
Villanova 65 Penn 53 [The Comcast Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 11
Boston University 71 Harvard 87 Box Score - Recap
Bryant 72 Columbia 76 Box Score - Recap
Army 68 Dartmouth 71 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 12
Princeton 82 Tulsa 78 (2 OT) Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 14
Dartmouth at St. Francis (N.Y.), 7 pm

Friday, December 17
Princeton at Wagner, 7 pm

Saturday, December 18
Cornell at Binghamton, 2 pm

Sunday, December 19
Dartmouth at Iowa State, 2 pm
Sacred Heart at Yale, 2 pm


Anonymous said...

CRPI alone is what it is, but probably too narrow to rely on by itself.

Like Cornell's W over Delaware, BUT. Penn over Davidson, Princeton over Rutgers, and the Tigers' road win at Tulsa are also in that cloud of Ivy non-con victories that might be called "second best."

It's all good to see the league earning some respect from top to bottom. Currently ranked ahead of WCC, WAC, and SoCon.

Anonymous said...

What is Tulsa's RPI.

That was a quality win for Princeton....

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

For some color, American 146, Tulsa 150, Rutgers 161, Colorado 183, Fordham 191, Albany 237.

Dave said...

This may be a really stupid question, but is there any reason why the Head Coach sits in the second chair on the bench. I dont think its just Courtney, I've seen it around College Basketball. Not that its a bad thing at all, just something I was wondering about.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I think the assistants steal their chairs.