Saturday, March 17, 2012

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Cornell's 2010 Sweet Sixteen team, which finished ranked #17 in the country, remains the most celebrated Ivy League team of the last thirty years. Each of the Ivy League programs, including Cornell itself, still strive to duplicate or exceed that result. Below, some news and notes for Saturday...
  • Jeff Foote (Cornell '10) and his New Orleans Hornets face the New Jersey Nets tonight at 8pm. This is the last game of Foote's 10-day contract with the Hornets.
  • Committed Cornell recruit, Braxston Bunce (Kelowna Secondary School) Kelowna, BC, Canada, 6-11 nursed a sore ankle for most of Kelowna's consolation bracket victory at the AAA British Columbia Provincial Tournament. Bunce finished the game with 10 points in the win over Mouat. While covering the tournament, The Vancouver Sun writes, "The Owls’ 6-foot-11 centre, Braxston Bunce... said he didn’t need to go outside the area to find a high-end high school basketball program, although he did transfer from Okanagan Mission to Kelowna secondary as the obvious sign of a larger ambition. After weighing offers from 'probably 20 NCAA schools' the grade 12 student decided on Cornell, an Ivy League school in Ithaca, N.Y., where he’ll enrol in the fall."

Cornell was relatively new to the big dance in 2008, when they made their first tournament appearance since 1988. However, they became well accustomed to March Madness by making three straight tournament fields from 2008 to 2010. While the Big Red aren't competing this March, there are many great moments in the school's basketball history.

5. 2009 vs. Missouri in Boise (First Round)

This was the team's second consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament after finishing their Ivy League schedule with an 11-3 record. The basketball gods weren't with the Big Red as they were delivered a brutal 14th seed and a matchup with Missouri. The extremely athletic Missouri pulled away in the second half increasing a four point halftime lead to a 78-59 victory over Cornell in the first round.

4. 2008 vs. Stanford in Anaheim (First Round)

The battle of the brains, as the game was billed, was Cornell's first tournament appearance of the millennium. The Big Red received a cross country ticket complete with a matchup with the Lopez brothers of Stanford. While the Red fought valiantly they couldn't overcome the pair of seven footers and lost 77-53 to the third seeded Stanford.

3. 2010 vs. Temple in Jacksonville (First Round)

After completing a 27-4 season with a 13-1 conference record, the Big Red earned themselves a 12 seed and a marquee matchup with Temple University. After losing in the first round for the past two years, the Red would not be denied, knocking down nine threes in the game in route to a comfortable 78-65 victory over Temple.

2. 2010 vs. Wisconsin in Jacksonville (Second Round)

Riding high from their first round victory, the Red faced off against fourth seed Wisconsin with a berth in the Sweet Sixteen on the line. Cornell pushed forward once again, and easily upset Wisconsin 87-69 on the merits of shooting over 61% as a team. The victory notified the rest of the field that the Ivy League school from upstate New York was a danger to the remaining teams in the tournament.

1. 2010 vs. Kentucky in Syracuse (Sweet Sixteen)

Nobody could have predicted that Cornell would win their first two games of the tournament to set up an epic matchup with Kentucky in Syracuse, a mere 50 miles from Cornell's Ithaca campus. Earlier in the year the Red took Kansas down to the wire in Lawrence, before falling 71-66. The Red stormed out of the gate to a 10-2 lead over but couldn't match up with the athleticism of a Kentucky team that included John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Bledsoe. Kentucky was victorious 62-45 but Cornell served notice to the nation that the Ivy League was there to play.

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