January 7th, 2010

Big Red basketball almost takes down a huge scalp...

...but after leading most of the game and as late as 53 seconds left, Cornell couldn't hold on and fell 71-66 to No. 1 ranked Kansas in Lawrence. The Jayhawks particularly benefited from getting into the double bonus by the midpoint of the second half (and making 28 of the 36 free throws they were granted), and Sherron Collins just putting KU on his shoulders in the closing minutes.

Being someone all too familiar with Cornell's recent sports history, I didn't spend most of the second half wondering whether the Big Red could pull out the upset. Instead, I pondered just when and how the wheels would fall off. Off the top of my head, I can come up with at least ten instances in the last eight years in which a Big Red team lost a close contest - eight of those being NCAA tournament games, most notably the overtime loss in last year's men's lacrosse championship game. While the true student-athletes in red and white have had their share of good wins since I've been following them, the overall theme of the Big Red is one of going close and coming up short. This one, unfortunately, turned out to be no different.

I applaud the guys for the effort; they nearly snapped the Jayhawks' fifty-game home winning streak, and this game - the end of which was broadcast on ESPN2 - could be important should the Big Red fail to take the Ivy League's automatic bid. Going into tonight's action, CU was No. 20 in the Z-Ratings for college hoops. I don't think this loss will knock them down too far, and they'll be able to hold their position so long as they take care of business in the Ivy League.

Collapse )