… But don’t expect to be one of the last ones standing
Cornell rolled to an Ivy League championship last year.
This year wasn’t nearly as easy. To claim their fourth NCAA Tournament berth the Big Red just needed a loss from second place Princeton, which fell earlier in the day to Columbia. Cornell (20-9, 10-3 in Ivy League play) is projected to be a 15 seed in the Midwest region according to our friend and SI Bracketologist Andy Glockner. Who does Mr. Glocker have them facing? None other than Duke, which he has as a projected 2 seed.
Last year if you recall, a fiesty and game Belmont squad nearly pushed the number 2 seeded Blue Devils to an epic first round defeat, before flaming out in the waning seconds of an agonizing 71-70 loss. So does Glockner see history repeating itself should this matchup come to fruition?
“No, this isn’t a very good Cornell team, he said. “Duke should handle them comfortably if that’s the matchup.”
Now the Ivy League conference is interesting in the fact that they award their automatic tourney berth to the winner of the regular season champ. Most conferences, even one-bid conferences like the Ivy League, put their automatic invite in the hands of a post-season champ, thus making it more likely that some mediocre or less deserving school can come out of nowhere and steal a spot. I asked Andy if he thought this was fair. I’d say his answer was pretty straightforward:
“All small conferences should give the auto bid to the regular-season champ,” he said. “Tournaments make no sense in one-bid leagues.”
It’s hard to disagree. What kind of value does a regular season have for a one bid conference when some undeserving team can get hot and win a few games in a row? I guess that’s the Ivy League’s logic as well. No wonder they’re the smartest~
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