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Upset in Anaheim?
Jonah Hecht
| March 19, 2008
5comments
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Cornell travels all the way to SoCal to faces Stanford tomorrow in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. No Ivy League team has won a tournament game in 10 years, and Stanford is a 14-point favorite. So, is there any hope for the Red? The answer is... maybe. On the bright side for the Red, there are plenty of upsets every year in the tournament, and Cornell plays the type of game that teams have to play to surprise the big boys. They are third in the nation in 3-pt shooting percentage. They may not be able to equal Stanford's size and athleticism, but they can compensate with their 3-point shooting. Cornell has several players who are capable of getting hot from behind the arc. If a couple of them do while the Cardinal are making twos, Cornell can hang around. The Big Red also leads the nation in free throw percentage. Stanford won't be guarding them at the foul line, so the Red will have an advantage there. What will hurt Cornell is Stanford's Lopez brothers inside. Both are seven feet tall and average in double figures. Cornell has one seven footer of its own, Jeff Foote, but he gives up 45 lbs to Brook Lopez, the larger Lopez. The knock on Stanford is that they struggle against smaller, athletic teams, a description Cornell fits. Expect Stanford to dominate the boards, but if Cornell can shoot a high percentage from 3, they have a shot. Otherwise it will be a long trip back to Ithaca.
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bhe3@cornell.edu from WVBR | March 20, 2008, 7:20pm
Yikes. Stanford was just way too big to overcome and Cornell just wasn't hitting the contested shot. It was a great season and a great run, but Stanford was clearly the better team. Best of luck to them in the rest of the tournament.

kwh8@cornell.edu from WVBR | March 19, 2008, 6:41pm
Let's face it, the Big Red got screwed by the committee by not getting a 13 seed. Looking at the teams chosen as a 13, clearly the Big Red had a great argument. However, there is no use crying over spilled milk. As for upsetting the Cardinal, let's just say I didn't pick it in my bracket, but I was tempted. Stanford is always "good" but rarely "great." Compared to Louisville, Xavier, and Wisconsin, I think Cornell is playing the weakest of the #3s. If they keep it close at the end of the game, they will win. But I don't see them keeping it quite close enough in Cali against the Twin Towers that are the Lopez Bros.

Adam Agata from WVBR | March 19, 2008, 3:21pm
from Andy Glockner's ESPN.com chat today: "I think that was a very bad draw for Cornell. They have a lot of shooters, but they won't get anything easy in the halfcourt and they won't be able to defend the Lopezes inside."

Adam Agata from WVBR | March 19, 2008, 3:11pm
I think the problem that we are not hearing a lot of talk about Cornell upsetting Stanford is that the experts just do not know anything about Cornell. The Ivy League stigma automatically picks Stanford as a winner. The Big Red are one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country, and one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. Stanford has struggled in recent tournament history too. In the teamís past five appearances, the Cardinal has lost in the second round three times and in the first round twice, so the trees are used to early exits. Cornell also beat a Siena team within a weak of Siena beating this Stanford team. I know the transitional property does not apply to college basketball, but I did want to prove that Cornell does have a legitimate shot if everything falls close to right.

bhe3@cornell.edu from WVBR | March 19, 2008, 1:16pm
Stanford will definitely have the size advantage, but they are not a team that scores a ton. Besides dropping 111 points on Harvard and 97 on Northwestern St, Stanford struggled to score over 70 with regularity. Cornell is going to have to get hot from the 3-point line to have a shot at this one, but Stanford has lost 2 games in a row. Maybe it will be 3 strikes and out.
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