Tuesday, December 28, 2010

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • VCU Athletics has confirmed for The Cornell Basketball Blog that VCU will provide a video feed of the Cornell-UNH game with "one camera" likely zoomed out for a full court view. There will be no audio via VCU. Thus, Cornell fans may want to listen simultaneously to Barry Leonard's call via Redcast/WVBR.com as they watch the video feed. Tip off is at 5 pm.
  • Owlfield.net put a list together of Temple's best moments of 2010 and includes March 14, 2010, noting "Coach Fran Dunphy and the Owls find out that they have been selected as the #5 seed in the East Region of the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament. Temple would meet #12 seeded Cornell in Jacksonville, Florida to battle it out in the first round. Unfortunately, TU was defeated by the Big Red 78-65 and sent home packing early for the third straight season."
  • In reviewing Binghamton's recent games, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin writes, "BU successfully completed comebacks to earn wins at Manhattan and at home against Cornell in the previous two games... Cornell blitzed BU with a 43-point first half on 50 percent shooting on its way to a 43-30 halftime lead. However, BU held the Big Red to 25 points in the second half on 28.6 percent shooting and senior forward Mahammoud Jabbi's baseline jumper with 14 seconds left produced a 69-68 victory."
  • The Dagger blog of Yahoo Sports discusses which ACC team has been the most surprising and writes, "Either Miami or Virginia could make an argument, but a 10-2 start makes Boston College the most worthy. In ex-Cornell coach Steve Donahue's first season in Chestnut Hill, the Eagles have won nine of 10 since an early loss to Yale, defeating Texas A&M and Cal on a neutral court, winning at home against Providence and slipping past Maryland on the road."

The Ivy League

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start arguing that the runner-up in the Ivy League deserves an at-large bid, because they don’t, but what has gotten into the smart kids? They may not have a team as strong as Cornell was last year, although Harvard and Princeton are still very solid, but the league from top to bottom has improved drastically. Traditionally, the Ivy League is thought of as a low mid-major, but this year that may not be the case. In fact, according to Kenpom, the Ivy League is ranked as the 15th best conference in the nation. This is ahead of conferences such as the MAAC, Southern Conference, the MAC, and Patriot League. The Ivies and Patriot League are usually neck-and-neck with each other, but this year the Ivy is twelve conferences ahead of the Patriot League. From 2003-10, the average ranking of the league was #24, now it is #15. What gives?

There are two specific reasons that can be attributed for the impressive ranking of the league: 1) the bottom four teams are pulling their weight, and 2) there have been several surprise victories that have boosted individual team’s rankings.

In recent years, Dartmouth, Brown and Columbia have been floating around the basement of the league, and while they are still not upper tier teams they have been performing at a higher level. Currently, there are not any teams ranked worse than 300 which certainly helps the overall ranking of the league. The cliché, “a team is only as strong as its weakest link” applies to this scenario because as good as the Ivy League’s best team is, their strength will be negated by the bottom team.

As for some big victories for the league that have boosted their overall ranking, seemingly every league member has had a big win or two (remember, winning is not everything for Kenpom):

  • Harvard: Colorado and a three point loss at Michigan
  • Princeton: Rutgers, Siena, St. Joseph’s, and Tulsa
  • Pennsylvania: Davidson and a 12 point loss at Villanova
  • Yale: Boston College and a three point loss at Providence
  • Cornell: A five point loss at Minnesota

The Ivy League’s ranking as the 15th best conference right now will most likely drop once league play begins, but it is still very impressive to see a collection of eight teams known more for reading Shakespeare plays and dissecting math problems that seem to be in a different language playing some pretty good ball. Let me be the first one to tell you, don’t be surprised if Princeton or Harvard wins a game in the NCAA Tournament.

  • 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 28 is No. 229 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. 224. 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 88 Brown 86 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 67 Drake 59 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 22
Princeton 75 Towson 65 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 52 Connecticut 81 [SNY] Box Score - Recap
Penn 78 Delaware 68 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 28
Yale at Stanford, 10 pm [Comcast SportsNet Bay Area]

Wednesday, December 29
New Hampshire vs. Cornell, 5 pm [at VCU]
Monmouth at Harvard, 7 pm
Brown at Central Connecticut State, 7 pm
Penn at Marist, 7:30 pm
Princeton vs. Northeastern, 9:30 pm [at UCF]

Thursday, December 30
Cornell vs. Wofford/Virginia Commonwealth, 5/7 pm [at VCU]
Princeton vs. Furman/Central Florida, 5/7:30 pm [at UCF]
Columbia at Maine, 7 pm
Dartmouth at Bucknell, 7 pm

Friday, December 31
Bryant at Brown, 12:05 pm
Lehigh at Yale, 2 pm
MIT at Harvard, 2 pm

Sunday, January 2
Elon at Columbia, 4 pm


Anonymous said...


Do you plan to issue a new predicted order-of-finish before league play begins? The new information that we now have would seem to suggest a worse standing for the Big Red than your initial prognostication.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

No plans to issue a new prediction.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, unless the team starts clicking, it looks like Cornell may be relegated to playing a spoiler role this year. I still have hope, however, that things will come together before the 14 game gauntlet begins. Winning the tourney at VCU would be a great step!

Anonymous said...

Last year, Penn was not good pre-conference, and look what they ended up doing.....they were not an easy out.....in fact, they had a win against a top 25 team (Cornell) that they could build upon for this year....

Better offensive and rebound execution is essential - this team can get dangerous if they start getting and hitting open looks, particularly in transition.

Last year's takeaway - when a team has three or four scoring options AND executes, good things can happen.

At this point, it is Princeton's title to lose - they are in the best spot, and one has to say that they are the best coached when you consider what Johnson has been able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time.

Anonymous said...

I think that it will come down to Harvard, which seems to have a slight talent advantage (at least in terms of athleticism, possibly curbed by injuries) and Princeton, which seems like a better-coached, more smoothly integrated team.

Usually it's a good idea to bet on the program with the better players, but I just get a feeling that Amaker can be counted on to lose one or two games because of in-game decisions. That may be the small window that Princeton needs to squeeze through.