Ivy 60 for 60: Matt Morgan

Matt Morgan finished second on the all-time Ivy scoring list. (Cornell University Athletics)

Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.

Scoring 2,333 points, Matt Morgan had not only one of the most historic careers in Ivy League history but all of NCAA history. His sheer dominance as a member of the Cornell Big Red greatly contributed to the continuing rise of Ivy League Basketball over the last four years.

Read moreIvy 60 for 60: Matt Morgan

Cornell men’s basketball 2018-19 season recap

With Stone Gettings transferring from Cornell, expectations went from a possible contender to a team that may not even get 10 wins. But despite not getting into the Ivy League Tournament, the Big Red had a pretty solid season and they far surpassed their expectations. Matt Morgan was still Matt Morgan, but forwards Jimmy Boeheim and Josh Warren stepped it up and each had big roles as secondary scorers while seniors Steven Julian and Joel Davis anchored the defense. The team played some great games, including almost-upsets over Yale and Syracuse and a sweep of Harvard.

A lot of Cornell’s problem throughout the season was poor rebounding. The Big Red could hold teams to 35-45 percent from the field most nights, yet still lose. For context, they were 352nd out of 353 Division I teams in offensive rebound percentage.

Read moreCornell men’s basketball 2018-19 season recap

Three-pointers abound as Cornell falls in the first round of the CIT

Jimmy Boeheim went off for a career-high 31 points on a very efficient 14-for-20 shooting night and Matt Morgan stuffed the stat sheet one last time, but the Robert Morris Colonials couldn’t miss in overtime, beating the Big Red, 98-89, in the first round of the CIT. The loss has ended the Big Red’s season at 15-16.

Read moreThree-pointers abound as Cornell falls in the first round of the CIT

Jimmy Boeheim steals the show on senior night as Cornell finishes regular season with a win

In Saturday’s regular season finale against last-place Dartmouth, Cornell’s five seniors Joel Davis, Jack Gordon, Troy Whiteside, Steven Julian, and of course Matt Morgan were honored pregame and all got the start. After Cornell got the first two points just 35 seconds in from a Steven Julian alley-oop, the Big Green went on an 11-2 run and eventually led by one at the half.

But Cornell dominated the second half, outscoring Dartmouth by 16 and winning, 66-51. Jimmy Boeheim arguably played his best game of the season, finishing with 21 points off an excellent 9-for-10 shooting from the field, and a perfect 2-for-2 from deep.

Matt Morgan couldn’t follow up his dominant 31-point performance on Friday against Harvard, finishing with just eight points and snapping his double-digit scoring streak at 80 games, good for 12th in college basketball history and an Ivy League record.

Read moreJimmy Boeheim steals the show on senior night as Cornell finishes regular season with a win

Cornell sweeps Harvard, eliminated from Ivy Madness but still has a lot to play for

The Cornell Big Red defense came out with a plan to slow down Harvard’s junior guard Bryce Aiken, and was very successful in doing so. Aiken had 17 points but shot a poor 4-for-18 from the field. Cornell’s Matt Morgan put on a show in one of his last home games, dropping 31 points with five threes, leading Cornell to a 72-59 win over the Crimson.

This season was the first time in nine years that the Big Red swept Harvard, dating back to the magical Sweet 16 run of 2009-10. Unfortunately, Cornell didn’t get the help it needed from Princeton and Yale Friday, and the Big Red were eliminated from the Ivy League Tournament. But, they still have a lot to play for on Saturday against Dartmouth.

Read moreCornell sweeps Harvard, eliminated from Ivy Madness but still has a lot to play for

Cornell blown out twice in Yale-Brown road trip

A little more than two weeks ago at the halfway point, Cornell had a 5-2 Ivy League record and looked well in control of the fourth seed for the Ivy League Tournament. But after a home loss to Yale, and two consecutive road weekends that resulted in being swept, Cornell now sits at 5-7 and tied with Penn for fifth, a game behind Brown.

Read moreCornell blown out twice in Yale-Brown road trip

Looking at Ivy Madness scenarios with huge men’s games this weekend

This weekend, Yale, Harvard and Princeton can all clinch their spots in the 2019 Ivy League Tournament. With that happening, the other five teams still mathematically have a chance to get that fourth spot, but only three of those teams remain the most likely.

Columbia and Dartmouth each sit at 2-8 in conference play despite playing good basketball, but each becomes mathematically eliminated with a loss this weekend.

However, Cornell, Brown and Penn remain right in the thick of it. Cornell and Brown each sit at 5-5 with a matchup between the two on Saturday in Providence. Remember, Cornell won the first meeting between the teams. Penn sits at 4-6, desperately needing a road sweep this weekend but with a tough Harvard team in its way Friday.

Cornell and Penn will look to Columbia to help play a spoiler role to knock off Brown on Friday on ESPNU, and doing so would put Cornell and Penn in a more likely position to get the final slot.

Looking up top, Yale and Harvard will be all clinched with home wins on Friday, but they won’t come easy, playing Cornell and Penn respectively. Cornell winning at Yale Friday would be a huge boon and confidence-booster for the Big Red.

Princeton can get in with a win and Brown and Cornell losses on Friday, being the simplest way to do so.

Now let’s look at clinching scenarios for Cornell, Brown and Penn:

Read moreLooking at Ivy Madness scenarios with huge men’s games this weekend

Cornell fades at Penn, misses opportunity to gain ground in Ivy League Tournament hunt

Cornell led at Penn at halftime, 32-30, at the Palestra Saturday night in a game teeming with Ivy League Tournament implications.

Then the second half happened, and the Big Red faded in a 68-50 loss to Penn that kept the home team in the Ivy tourney hunt, even as Cornell maintains a one-game lead over Penn in the Ivy standings and is tied with Brown at 5-5, with the Big Red currently holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Penn opened the second stanza on a 14-3 run in the first 6:20 and never looked back, doing a much better job limiting touches for Cornell senior guard Matt Morgan.

Read moreCornell fades at Penn, misses opportunity to gain ground in Ivy League Tournament hunt

Cornell charges back and fades out to fall at Princeton, 68-59

Cornell trailed 54-36 at Jadwin Gym with less than 14 minutes remaining and it looked like the game may be too far out of reach.

A 23-7 Big Red fun followed, with Riley Voss and Jimmy Boeheim leading the way on the scoring front.

But Cornell couldn’t muster a field goal in the final 5:58, losing 68-59, done in by eight points down the stretch from Ryan Schwieger en route to his leading all scorers with a career-high 23 points.

Read moreCornell charges back and fades out to fall at Princeton, 68-59

Defense nonexistent as Yale tops Cornell, 98-92

In a matchup between two of the league’s best teams, Yale was able to escape Ithaca with a 98-92 win in a game in which nobody really seemed to play much defense. Both teams shot 53 percent from the field and well over 40 percent from three. Yale moved up to 17-4 overall (7-1 Ivy) and Cornell dropped down to 13-11 (5-3) but still remain two games over fifth place in the league, with a Penn loss.

Read moreDefense nonexistent as Yale tops Cornell, 98-92