October 14, 2009
The Hunt for the Most Interesting Team in the World is the Dagger's 2009-10 countdown preview series. Check out the overriding principles here.
Last year's record: 21-10
2009-2010's toughest games: vs. Seton Hall, at Syracuse, at Kansas
Primary attraction: Led by the last two Ivy League Players of the Year (Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale), can the Big Red earn its third straight Ivy League title and earn the school's first NCAA tournament victory?
Three items of undeniable interest:
1. Serious hardware -- This Cornell team features the 2009 Ivy League POY (Randy Wittman), the 2008 Ivy League POY (Louis Dale), the 2009 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year (Jeff Foote) and the 200 Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Chris Wroblewski). All five starters return from last year's title team, three of which made Rivals' all-Ivy first team. The returning talent has led some to speculate that this could be the best Ivy team of the decade.
2. Room for error -- The best part about the Ivy League is that because there is no conference tournament, the best team in the league always advance to the NCAAs. This is unlike in every other one-bid conference where a fluky three-day stretch in the conference tourneys and can get mediocre teams into the field at the expense of the best team. (This doesn't matter as much in the major conferences, of course, since the best teams get at-large bids.) Thus, Cornell can slip up a few times during the year and still play in March. In fact, they're a near lock to win the league and earn the school's sixth bid to the NCAA tournament. Don't be surprised if they pull out a W as well, particularly if they draw a younger, undisciplined big-time school.
3. The Cornell Basketball Blog -- Sometimes I have trouble coming up with blog topics and I write for The Dagger, Shutdown Corner, Busted Racquet and Fourth-Place Medal, covering anything and everything about four sports. The guys at the Cornell Basketball Blog posted about Big Red basketball 119 times in August. AUGUST! Nothing happens in August. They hit 329 posts in March of this year, and I'm not even sure the prolific Skeets gets that many in at our NBA blog Ball Don't Lie. I'm impressed. It's a good site too. Check it out.
And, introducing, Andy Bernard:
Cornell grads, are you proud or ashamed of the fact that the hypersensitive, temper-prone character from The Office is a fictional graduate of your fine institution?