Inside the Ivy

Game of the Week
Cornell (20-5, 12-0 Ivy) at Penn (11-17, 6-5 Ivy) – Friday, March 7, 8:00 pm ET
Last year’s Cornell-Penn game at The Palestra was a thoroughly entertaining contest that had everyone talking about the bright future of the Big Red. Steve Donahue would be losing Andrew Naeve, the senior that had carried the team in Ivy play, but a nucleus led by freshmen Louis Dale and Ryan Wittman was a major cause for optimism in Ithaca. Fastforward one year, and with the records nearly reversed, Glen Miller is in a very similar situation with Brian Grandieri set to graduate and promising first-years Tyler Bernardini, Jack Eggleston, and Harrison Gaines establishing themselves. In the first game between the two teams in New York, Cornell overcame a strong effort from Penn to defend its home court. Bernardini actually missed the first meeting this season in New York dealing with the effects of a concussion, so the Big Red has yet to face him. With the league title locked up, the visitors know they need to sweep the final weekend to hold onto hope of a 14 (or possibly even a 13 seed) in the NCAA Tournament, while the Quakers will be looking to clinch at least a .500 record in league play and set themselves up as the biggest threat to the throne next year.

Line of the Week

2.29.2008 vs. Dartmouth TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
Dale, Louis…………… 9-14 3-7 1-1 2 9 11 22 6 2 0 1 30

Cornell clinches. Newman Arena celebrated a share of the Ivy title on Friday night, then the blowout of Harvard the next night meant Big Red fans got an early start on celebrating their invite to The Big Dance. Watching the postgame scene in Ithaca on Saturday, the notion of Cornell becoming a basketball school seemed like a very real possibility.
Meritocracy’s vindication. Cornell looks well positioned as an Ivy power for years to come, and it didn’t need a shortcut to the NCAA Tournament via an upset of a more deserving team in a postseason tournament. The Big Red clearly was the class of the league this season, and The 14-Game Tournament — as it invariably does — proved this beyond a doubt.
Brown bounces back. For 30 minutes on Friday, it looked like the Bears were suffering a major hangover from seeing their title hopes dashed at Cornell six days earlier. However, Brown came back to beat Princeton, then steamrolled Penn the following night to put itself in position to contend for a postseason bid to the NIT or, more likely, the new CBI.
Louis Dale. His scoring and outside shooting had fallen off in Ivy play following a stellar non-league campaign, but Dale showed why he could be the biggest talent in the league with a huge final weekend at home. The sophomore point guard averaged 17.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists, while shooting 14 of 24 (58.3 percent) in the two games.
Dartmouth’s big win. For the second Saturday in a row, Dartmouth turned around its weekend with an impressive win by a surprisingly large margin. Next season is an important one for Terry Dunn, as his first recruiting class will be seniors, and these wins are important for the program as far as setting the stage for more success next year.

Allegations at Harvard. News of possible recruiting violations by Tommy Amaker and his staff brought a great deal of negative attention to the school and the league this week. Harvard and the Ivy League have promised an investigation, but in the meantime the Crimson program is a target of newspaper columnists, bloggers, and Internet message boards.
Columbia’s Senior Night ruined. After Friday’s win, the stars were aligned for a fond farewell to the six Lion seniors, with last-place Dartmouth coming to town and the possibility for the program’s first 10-win Ivy season since 1992-93. Unfortunately, Columbia’s shooting was ice cold, and the Big Green surprised everyone with an easy upset.
Penn comes undone again. For the second-straight weekend, the Quakers followed an impressive performance with an alarmingly poor showing. The first-half debacle in Providence was reminiscent of the FGCU disaster, and Glen Miller couldn’t have enjoyed watching his highly touted freshmen get outplayed by the guys he recruited at Brown.
Flato’s tough senior year. It’s not fair to point fingers for Yale’s disappointing showing this year, but Eric Flato can’t be happy about how his season season has gone. After an impressive junior campaign, Flato has seen his numbers go down across the board from last season and his three-point and overall shooting percentages are both career lows.
Déjà vu for Princeton. The Tigers started the season with promise by winning a pair of home games, only to drop the next 12 in a row. In the league, Princeton swept Dartmouth and Harvard on its opening Ivy weekend, then dropped its next nine, and will need to beat a current first-division team in order to avoid a second 12-game losing streak.

Jake Wilson

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Basketball U.

Jake Wilson wrote 754 posts

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