Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Day 3

Princeton women’s basketball’s post-Ivy League Tournament final press conference was one of several revealing pressers during Ivy Madness. (photo by Rob Browne)


“This is the business we’ve chosen.” – Brian Earl and Hyman Roth

“We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight, but that’s not good enough against a good program.” – Columbia head coach Megan Griffith, following the Lions defeat to top-seeded Princeton

No matter what the coaches who did not earn victories on Saturday thought, I felt there were three really good games of college basketball on display at Lavietes Pavilion, including a fantastic opener that saw Princeton escape an upset big from Cornell, 77-73.  Hopefully, West Coast fans woke up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to catch it.

Here are some random thoughts and observations from the Ancient Eight’s Super Saturday:

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A take on the top 10 teams in Ivy men’s hoops history

Editor’s note: Ivy Hoops Online writer Richard Kent has followed Ancient Eight men’s basketball for decades and after consultation with players, coaches and fans has compiled his personal list of the top 10 men’s hoops teams since the formation of the Ivy League as we know it in 1955. No top 10 list in this category is going to look the same, so if you have a top 10 of your own that you’d like to share, please share it in a comment below. 

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Ivy hoops roundup – June 13, 2019

  • Per Princeton Athletics, new women’s coach Carla Berube will be formally introduced at a press conference Wednesday at noon. Princeton Athletics told IHO that there will be no live or on-demand broadcast of the press conference on ESPN+ or goprincetontigers.com.  It is possible that highlights will be made available on the the team’s social media page.
  • Lindsay Gottlieb, a 1995-1999 member of the Brown women’s team, was announced as the newest assistant coach on John Beilein’s Cleveland Cavaliers staff.  She was previously the head coach of the California Golden Bears from 2011-2019, going 179-89 overall (86-58 Pac-12), making seven NCAA Tournament appearances, and earning a spot in the 2013 Final Four.

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Inside Ivy Hoops – Jan. 15, 2019

In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by all-time Cornell basketball great Jeff Foote and IHO writer Rob Browne.

Mike and Rob preview last weekend’s intriguing Princeton-Penn and Harvard-Dartmouth men’s games while looking ahead to this weekend’s men’s and women’s action:


Jeff Foote reflects on his time at Cornell, his keeping tabs on Cornell, Penn and Miami men’s basketball (which has played six games against Ivies the past four seasons), his professional basketball career, his team’s legacy in the conference’s upward trajectory, the Ivy League Tournament and much more:


Mike weighs in on why Cornell’s reign atop the Ivy League from the 2007-08 through 2009-10 seasons still feels special:

Ivy 60 for 60: Louis Dale, Jeff Foote and Ryan Wittman

 Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, three of the greatest players in Cornell basketball history whose legacies are inextricably linked, as recalled by legendary Cornell broadcaster Barry Leonard, who wrapped up his 24th season of calling Big Red hoops in 2016:

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Ivy Power Rankings – Feb. 9, 2016

McCoy and Spock

The Ivy hoops fan base is a small and select group. Unlike other colleges (and I use the term extremely judiciously for most institutions located outside The Eight) there are few zealots.  However, there are two who deserve a certain amount of praise. Thus I would like to dedicate this Power Poll to two of the stalwarts of our avocation, namely, Michael James (@Ivybball)   and the Cornell Basketball Blog. They both add a certain dimension to the analysis of watching Ivy hoops and they couldn’t be more different. Their occasional domestic spats on social media are legendary — the cool, calculating number-cruncher versus the overly emotional and often fairly delusional Big Red fan.  One, a haughty winner in the recent Ivy rooting sweepstakes and the other, a “we try harder” guy who still wishes beyond any reasonable hope that it was still 2009 and Jeff Foote was roaming the Ithaca post. In essence, these two play the Spock and McCoy respectively in Ivy hoops coverage to my omniscient, gallant, rational, and let’s be fair, womanizing, Kirk.  With these two in mind, and six games into the 14-Game Tournament, here is my usual Penn-centric IHO power poll.

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Cornell all-time moment No. 1: The 2010 Sweet 16 run

We’ve counted down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective.


We Cornell did last because they are the Men of Last Call

Over the course of writing the most memorable moments in Cornell basketball history, I’ve tried to lay out a story – the path a school with no discernible basketball pedigree took to becoming the top story of the biggest event in all of college sports.

It didn’t happen overnight.

Eventually, a novice group of freshmen with potential became young guns taking the league by storm and finished as savvy veterans playing with a purpose. After two straight defeats in the NCAA Tournament, the novelty of seeing the Cornell logo on college basketball’s biggest stage had worn off for the eight-man senior class. It was the last chance for the group who turned around Cornell basketball to become the first Ivy League team since 1998 to win an NCAA Tournament game. It was a mindset that had permeated throughout the whole team even before the season began.

“Obviously the first goal is to win the league and make it three in a row and then hopefully get to the tournament again and definitely win a game or two, Sweet 16 at least, and see where we go from there.” freshman Peter McMillan said in Nov. 2009. “I definitely think we can win a lot of NCAA Tournament games, get kinda far, you know, make some noise,” fellow freshman Errick Peck added.

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Cornell all-time moment No. 2: The undefeated Ivy season

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Cornell is next because it’s good to be healthy!

Nov. 10, 2007 – Cornell opened the 2007-08 season with a win against Lehigh. During halftime, members of the 1988 Ivy League championship team walked onto the court to be honored for the 20th anniversary of their title. It was a fitting time for the celebration. In the 20 years since the 1988 team hung a banner in Barton Hall, Cornell hadn’t been back to the promised land.

The 2007-08 campaign was set up to tell a different story and Cornell poised to play an unfamiliar role in it – the favorite. For the first time since the 1987-88 season, a school other than Penn or Princeton was projected to win the league. The preseason hype was real. Steve Donahue’s teams had made significant strides over the past few seasons, Adam Gore and Jason Hartford were returning from injury, Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale were coming off arguably the two best freshman seasons in school history, and by the seventh game of the year, a new 7-footer would be eligible to step on the court.

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Cornell all-time moment No. 3: The Jeff Foote story

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Cornell is next because there are some improbable connections you just can’t make up…

Jan. 6, 2010 – Cornell was in Allen Fieldhouse taking on the No. 1 team in the country. The game was so close and so good that ESPN cut away from the Duke game it was airing to show final 10 minutes of Cornell-Kansas. (When does ESPN ever cut away from a Duke game?) It took a Sherron Collins driving layup with under a minute left for Kansas to retake the lead for good. Cornell lost that night, 71-66.

In the postgame press conference, the first thing out of Kansas coach Bill Self’s mouth was, “They [Cornell] have a terrific big man [Jeff Foote] that could play for anybody in the country.”

Self’s commentary was a far cry from back when Cornell coach Steve Donahue was scouting a high school tournament Foote played in and recalled thinking, “There were some Division III coaches watching that day and none of them thought he was good enough for them.”

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Cornell all-time moment No. 5: Winning the MSG Holiday Festival

Cornell Holiday Festival

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Cornell is next because there’s nothing quite like radio calls of memorable crunchtime moments…

Everyone knows where this countdown is heading. Cornell had to win a lot of games to build itself up to winning three straight Ivy League championships and reach the Sweet 16. Some stand out more than others. We talked about beating Northwestern in 2006; a win that showed the rest of the league Cornell was for real. Next, Cornell had to make that statement to the rest of the country. Their chance – the 2009 MSG Holiday Festival.

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