Tuesday, December 21, 2010

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • In writing "how to redefine the mid-major label," ESPN's Joe Lunardi writes, "he Low-Major Schools: These are the annual one-bid conferences. There is little, if anything, that their members can do to alter that reality. Simply making the NCAA tournament is the goal, almost always via the automatic qualifier, with rare NCAA victories at this level standing out in "One Shining Moment" fashion. When a low-major such as the Davidson Wildcats (2008) or Cornell Big Red (2010) plays into the second weekend, it is rightfully a national story. Conveniently, these conferences comprise the lower-third of Division I."
  • The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin notes, Binghamton "(3-6) overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to pull out a 69-68 home-court win against Cornell University on Saturday, but the Big Red completely dominated play in the first half... after giving up 43 points in the first half and watching as Cornell made half of its shots (18-for-36) in the first 20 minutes, the Bearcats held Cornell to 25 points in the second half. The Big Red shot just 28.6 percent from the floor in the second half."
  • The Tiger Blog opines that the Wisconsin team that Cornell beat last year, which vaulted the Big Red into the 2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, was "not nearly as good as" the Michigan State team in 1998 which eliminated Princeton in the 2nd round. Tiger Blog may be right, but Cornell beat two Top 25 teams in the NCAA Tournament in 2010. Princeton did not beat a single Top 25 its entire '97-'98 season. In short, to claim to be the best, you must beat the best. And Princeton did not beat better competition during its 2007-2008 season. The Tigers collected win after win against mediocre teams.
  • 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 21 is No. 210 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. 205 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 197. 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)
  9. at Binghamton L 68-69
  10. vs. Bucknell L 64-75

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 61 St. Francis (N.Y.) 69 Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 17
Princeton 69 Wagner 57 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 18
Cornell 68 Binghamton 69 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 19
Dartmouth 42 Iowa State 71 Box Score - Recap
Sacred Heart 71 Yale 62 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 20
Bucknell 75 Cornell 64 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 21
Army at Brown, 7 pm
Dartmouth at Drake, 7 pm

Wednesday, December 22
Princeton at Towson, 4 pm
Harvard at Connecticut, 7 pm [SNY]
Penn at Delaware, 8:30 pm


mrjames said...

That's incredibly revisionist history on the 1997-1998 Princeton team.


According to statsheet, two of Princeton's wins were over ranked opponents and they lost a tight game to No. 2 and future Final Four team UNC, in which it only shot 4-for-26 from three.

I also remember the UNC coach saying something like "Princeton is a national championship contender" after that game.

I have a lot of respect for what Cornell pulled off last year, but that Princeton team was the best team of the AI era.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Stat sheet is wrong. Those teams were not ranked... in fact, they did not even make the NCAA Tournament!

Both Wake and Texas were not in the field in 1998. In fact, Texas did not even make the NIT.

So... while you are entitled to your opinion, you won't find many that agree with you in the national media.

Go back and read the print from last March. The national media widely regarded this Cornell teams as the league's best since '79.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Texas finished 14-17 in 1997-1998. They were a preseason Top 25 team and the Tigers beat them in week No. 1, game No. 1.

But neither Texas nor Wake made the NCAA Tournament in 1998, and neither finished the season in the Top 25.

Texas did not make the postseason.

Wake was a 2nd round NIT team.

Cornell beat Wisconsin and Temple... both were in the Tournament, both were Top 25 after an ENTIRE SEASON.

Cornell also beat St. John's, an NIT team.

mrjames said...

Cornell lost to a horrible Penn team and a decent, but not great, Seton Hall (at home) last year. Princeton lost two games all year (by 8 at No. 2 UNC and by 7 to a No. 4 seed MSU).

I don't expect the national media to be informed enough about a low-major conference to overcome the biases that naturally arise in such comparisons.

That Princeton team won every Ivy game by double-digits except the finale at Penn after the league was long clinched. The Tigers got a No. 5 seed. As much as I quibble with the metrics used for seeding, that's seven lines ahead of where Cornell got placed. It was a lock at-large team, if the Ivies had a conference tourney and the Tigers had managed to lose in it.

Cornell was one of the best teams of the AI era. Maybe the 2nd best. But it wasn't better than that '98 Princeton team.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

So because Cornell lost its home opener to a Big East opponent and had one bad game against Penn (on the road), suddenly Princeton's better?

Sorry, that does not past the laugh test.

In 1997-1998, Princeton could not point to a single game where they beat a national power.

Cornell could do it... twice. Two top 25 wins, against two of the best defenses in the country. And the Big Red had other good wins on par with (and probbaly better than) Princeton's 97-98 BCS wins.

Princeton had virtually no road wins over quality teams. Their only decent win on the road was Wake.

Princeton got its wins in New Jersey.

Cornell won AT Alabama, AT St. John's, AT UMass, AT Drexel, and AT LaSalle.

Give a team a soft schedule and they will win games. That is what Princeton did... beat BCS teams not worthy of the Tournament and on neutral or home courts.

PU got a good 5 seed and beat a 12 seed.

Sorry, Princeton does not have a more impressive resume. They cruised through a week non-league and a week Ivy League.

mrjames said...

UMass? 163rd. Drexel? 147th. La Salle? 162nd.

I'm not going to argue with you any further here, given that we're not going to get anywhere objectively - you're a Cornell fan and I'm partial to neither team.

I merely want the objection noted that not everyone agrees that Cornell is the best AI era team. Two independent selection committees looked at the resumes and awarded Princeton a five-seed and Cornell a 12.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Again, your point lacks merit because you are not looking at the final and end result (just like when you cited the preseason rankings and not end of the year rankings).

Yes, Princeton was awarded a 5 seed. And then what happened? They beat a 12 seed then lost in the next round to the 4 seed.

What did Cornell do?

Cornell took its 12 seed and beat the 5 seed and then the 4 seed. And in so doing, many across this country thought Temple was better than a 5 seed.

And again, the independent and neutral media regularly and consistently referred to this Cornell teams as the best in 30 years.

So... at the end of the day, when you look at the entire body of work... Cornell beat better teams, had better road results, played in a tougher league, played a tougher non-league and advanced further in the Tournament.

Your points about Princeton's overall/Ivy record and avg margin of victory are indicative of a soft schedule, which you have not addressed.

Anonymous said...

Love it CBB. Great info and points, would have to agree as well that another IVY team would have a terribly hard time stopping Cornell from last year. The loss at Penn is cited too as a bad loss (which in reality it was awful) but necessary. Talking to any of the players from last year and they all seem to have the same sentiment that it was a wake up call, and after that game it was going to take a team with 5 first round NBA draft picks in a place Cornell is notoriously bad at to stop them.

Eric said...

Oh, Mrjames, you are so cute when you claim not to be partial; it's obvious that you look to pick fights with BRF.

The Tiger team of 97-98 was a fantastic squad, not even BRF is arguing that. But, their wins were, when the season was over, fairly thin. In the end, the Tigers' wins over Texas and Wake are not really distinguishable from Cornell's wins over Alabama and St. John's; they were wins over BCS programs that were not good enough tom make the NCAA.

Citing the UNC coach's comments about the Tigers winning the natioanl title is desparate and show an inability to discern truth from puffery. There is no way the Tigers were winning the National Championship that year. None. Zero. Boeheim and Self threw plenty of over-the-top compliments at Cornell last year, so they all balance out.

No question, Cornell's team will have to live with the loss at Penn, a slip-up Princeton didn't make. But, for all of that team's potential, in the end they really didn't win anything substantial. For good or ill, teams are measured by how they do in March. Cornell's team last year reached the Sweet Sixteen with a pair of wins far more impressive than anything that Princeton's '87-98 team can claim.

Bottom line, if you want the Tigers to be "best" -- an provable term -- fine; I'll take Cornell being the most successful and accomplished and be happy about it.