Friday, January 6, 2012

News and Notes: Afternoon Edition

Below, some afternoon news and notes...

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Cornell men's basketball team will celebrate Kids Day on Saturday, Jan. 7 when it plays host to Albright College at Newman Arena. All children 12 and under will receive free tickets for the 2 p.m. game, with activities such as facepainting, mini-golf and a bounce house commencing at 1 p.m. There will also be games and prizes available.

  • Harvard alumnus, Michael James checks in on the Ivy League for Rush The Court and writes, in part:

Conference Play Begins: The nation’s only regular season conference tournament gets underway this weekend as Dartmouth visits Harvard, followed by the first Ivy back-to-backs the following Friday and Saturday nights as Cornell and Columbia host Pennsylvania and Princeton. Usually all but the final weekend of January is reserved for the travel partner games, but because of the Tigers’ exam schedule, it had to move the first back-to-back forward to mid-January. Different sources have released conference title odds projections, which have placed the Crimson’s odds of defending its Ivy title (it lost the automatic bid in a playoff with Princeton) around 90%. For the league to produce a challenger to Harvard, one or two teams from the middle of the pack (Columbia, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale) will have to excel in these 50/50 games. If those five merely split their meetings, that will provide the Crimson the cushion it would need to coast to the NCAA bid. So while Harvard-Dartmouth officially kicks off Ivy play, the next weekend’s games between Columbia, Cornell, Pennsylvania, and Princeton will be the first that have a huge impact on the title chase.

Power Rankings

  1. Harvard (12-2) ...
  2. Princeton (8-7) ...
  3. Pennsylvania (7-8) ...
  4. Yale (9-4) ...
  5. Columbia (10-5) ...
  6. Cornell (4-9)Chris Wroblewski has slowly begun to turn around his season, and for the second consecutive year, the Big Red is much stronger than its record. Cornell’s five straight road losses were all by single-digits against opponents ranked in the top half of the Pomeroy Ratings, leading to a disappointing record but a solid showing in the possession-based ranking systems. In a normal year, there is no way a team as talented as this Cornell squad could be sixth in the Ivies, but this has been an abnormally strong year, especially for the middle of the league. The Big Red has its annual Division III game this weekend before it dives into the Ivy slate at home against Pennsylvania and Princeton.
  7. Dartmouth (3-12) ...
  8. Brown (5-10) ...
Looking Ahead

***

1/13 – Princeton at Cornell; Pennsylvania at Columbia – It’s been a long time since the Ivy schedule pushed such a pressure packed weekend into mid-January. These two games are the league openers for each school, and neither should have a favorite of more than a couple points. For any of these teams to chase down Harvard, they must find a way to post a strong record against their fellow middle-of-the-pack squads. The pairings flip on Saturday night with the Tigers facing the Lions and Quakers meeting the Big Red, and whichever team or teams can survive 2-0 will instantly become the top contenders to duel with the Crimson.

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