Kentucky on the left, Cornell on the right
1) Cornell has experience, look at those 9 seniors.
My response: Gag me. First of all, one of those seniors is Mark Coury, who, God love him, played 3 minutes a game at Kentucky and plays 11 minutes a game at Cornell. I don’t think his “experience” is really helping the Big Red these days. Two of their other seniors, Pete Reynolds and Andre Wilkins, plays LESS THAN 4 MINUTES A GAME! So those guys will also have no impact on the game. Now, let me ask you this: Do you think Ramon Harris is a key factor is this game? I would tend to say no, and I would think most of you agree. Well, Ramon averages 11 minutes a game this year, the same as another one of Cornell’s vaunted seniors, Alex Tyler. So, my point is out of Cornell’s 9 seniors, 2 of them barely play, and 2 others have the equivalent of Ramon Harris’ production in a game.
Now, looking at the Dorky Red’s other 5 guys who actually do make an impact in the game, let me ask you this question: How many NCAA wins did those 5 guys have COMBINED coming into this season: Quick answer: ZERO. How many did UK have: TWO. Why does Cornell getting pimp-slapped twice in the NCAA Tournament before this year give them an advantage? Answer: It doesn’t. How many times had Cornell’s players been to the Sweet 16 before this season: ZERO, same as UK. So, tell me again why their alleged “experience” will be an advantage when in actuality, they have JUST AS MUCH EXPERIENCE in this situation as UK players.
In those Cornell 5 seniors’ 4 years of playing, they have went 4-12 against BCS schools, including 0-9 before this season. JUST THIS SEASON, Kentucky went 23-2 against BCS schools. So, tell me again how Cornell has more “experience” against quality opponents? It’s true that Cornell has more “experience” against crappy opponents, I will give you that. But, who gives a damn about that? Basic point being, if you consider total games played without any consideration for opponent, it is true that Cornell has more “experience”. If you consider opponent, I would argue that Kentucky has more experience.
2) Cornell’s ability to shoot the 3
My Response: Cornell’s 3-point shooting against it’s 3 toughest opponents (by RPI):
Kansas: 9-26 (34.6%) LOSS
Syracuse: 13-37 (35.1%) LOSS
Seton Hall: 11-29 (37.9%) LOSS
Combined: 33-92 (35.8%) 3 LOSSES
That’s right, Cornell lost ALL THREE of its games against its toughest opponents, and shot 37% or less from the 3-point line in all 3. What do all three of those teams have in common? ATHLETIC WING PLAYERS. Now, I am idiot to say the least, and have never watched basketball before in my life, but rumor is UK has some athleticism in its wing players and guards. What did Temple and Wisconsin not have? Let me look through my notes here……ATHLETIC WING PLAYERS!!! It’s not that hard to figure out what can stop this Cornell team, and Kentucky has plenty of it.
3) But BTI, look how close they played Kansas at Kansas
My Response: Awwww, how cute. The little Ivy League school played a big boy close…..AND LOST. And it had nothing to do with Cornell. Kansas shot the ball poorly that game, only 36.7%. But let’s not overlook the fact that Sherron Collins had 36 points in that game. And can we all agree that John Wall has just a little more talent than Sherron Collins? Cornell had a 58-52 lead on Kansas with 7 minutes left in that game. And when it came time to be CLUTCH and hold on to that lead, Cornell choked it away, getting whipped 19-8 the rest of the way. If anything, I look at that Kansas came and become more confident because the one time that Cornell was in a close game late against a quality opponent, they couldn’t hit a shot and couldn’t stop a quick guard. Last time I checked, a loss is a loss, and Kentucky fans take no solace in any loss our team has, and I don’t see any reason Cornell should be given extra credit for a loss. Should we also hold up Sam Houston St. and Miami (OH) as elite teams, because both of those teams gave UK all they could handle early in the year?
4) Cornell can slow down the game, limit UK’s possessions
My Response: FALSE.
Against Kansas, the Jayhawks took 49 shots and 36 free throws. Their season average was 56 shots and 24 free throws.
Against Syracuse, the Orange took 55 shots and 28 free throws. Their season average was 58 shots and 21 free throws.
Against Seton Hall, the Pirates took 65 shots and 39 free throws. Their season average was 65 shots and 22 free throws.
All of those teams, which again were Cornell’s 3 toughest opponents and also losses for the Big Dorks, had MORE scoring chances that their season averages. Syracuse and Seton Hall scored MORE against Cornell than their season averages.
Is there anything else that people can conjure up in their pea-brains to try and rationalize that Cornell can even COMPETE with Kentucky? Let me make something clear, and something that should be clear anyway: KENTUCKY IS BETTER THAN KANSAS. Kentucky is playing better than Kansas ever did this season. We are not Kansas and this is not the early season. This is tournament time, and Kentucky is playing better than anyone in the country has at any point this year. And I don’t care who is on the floor, especially Cornell, Kentucky is not losing to ANYONE right now. Get Ready Big Geeks from Cornell, you are about to get smashed in your so-called “biggest game in school history”. But don’t worry, Brown and Penn will be there ready to inflate your record again next season.