Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Date in Cornell Basketball History: The Cornell Dynasty of 1912-1914, a National Player of the Year and Almost a National Championship

In our continuing series, A Date in Cornell Basketball History, we look back to the golden era of Cornell Basketball during the 1910s. In both 1912-1913 and 1913-1914, Cornell captured the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League (the "EIBL"-- the predecessor of the Ivy League) championships. Above, a clipping from the Wisconsin Daily News from March 1913 shows that the Wisconsin Badgers passed on the opportunity of facing Cornell for the 1912-1913 national championship. Cornell finished the '12-'13 season 11-4/7-1 EIBL and the '13-'14 season 14-2/8-2 EIBL.

Gil Halstead (class of 1914) was a member of Cornell's back-t0-back '13 and '14 EIBL championship teams. In addition to being named 1st Team All America in 1912-1913 and 1913-1914, Halstead was the 1913-1914 National College Player of the Year his senior year. These honors were selected by the Helms Foundation.

In 1941, the Helms Foundation retroactively selected national champions for the years 1901-1941 (after the NCAA created the first NCAA Tournament in 1939). The Helms Foundation ultimately designated Navy (9-0) as the national champion for 1912-1913. However, the Midshipmen did not face Cornell during the 1912-1913 season.


Anonymous said...

So will the 2008-10 teams be as irrelevant in 100 years?

Anonymous said...

The link to the Helms Foundation website is very interesting. Five Ivy League teams have been retroactively named national champions for at least one season: Columbia, Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton and Yale.

Harvard famously had not won even a conference title in over a century of play until last year, a distinction which made the Crimson unique in college basketball history.