Thursday night’s (late..ugh!) matchup against Cornell not only pits the Wildcats versus the Big Red, but also features some other noteworthy matchups, at least from a historical perspective. Among them:
1. 1-seeded team vs. 12-seeded team- The lowest seed to ever beat a top seeded team is an 11, so history is on our side on this one. Since the tourney expanded in ’85, there have been sixteen games between 1 and 12 seeds, with the closest being UNLV’s two point victory over Ball State in 1990 (they would go on to win the championship). During that time, 1 seeds are 16-0 against 12 seeds and have won by an average margin of over 14 points. The last 1/12 matchup was Louisville against Arizona last year, with UL winning by 39, so I guess we need to beat Cornell by 40 to continue our domination of all things Little Brother this year.
2. Kentucky vs. The Ivy League- They may have better SAT scores, but UK has been dominant over the elite league during its basketball history The Wildcats are 11-3 historically against the Ivy, with the loses coming to Princeton in 1926, Dartmouth in the 1942 NCAA tournament, and to (interestingly enough) Cornell in 1966. Kentucky will look to even up the record against the Big Red this week. The last time the Wildcats faced an Ivy League foe was the 1999 pre-season NIT matchup against Penn and Kentucky is 2-1 in the tournament against the league as a whole.
3. Cornell vs. a Ranked Opponent- Historically, the Big Red are 4-63 against AP top-25 ranked opponents and were in the midst of an 18 game losing streak until their victory over Temple last weekend. Before that, their last ranked victory came in 1992 against a Jason Kidd-less Cal.
4. Kentucky vs. New York- Overall, the Wildcats are 33-13 against teams from New York with their last win coming against Stony Brook in 2007. The double over time victory over St. Bonaventure in 2000 marked the last NCAA tournament victory over teams from the Empire St.
5. Cool Alums vs. Nerdy Alums- While Cornell may have the more prestigious alums (including Janet Reno, Dick Schaap, and ironically both Ann Coulter and Keith Olbermann), I think we can all agree that we have the cooler ones (Ashley Judd over Ruth Bader Ginsberg? No contest). But just to be fair, some of the cooler Cornellians:
The guy behind Comic the Insult Dog
The guy who wrote “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”
The guy who remade Battlestar Gallactica
Actor Jimmy Smits
Peter from Peter, Paul, and Mary
Bill Nye the “Science Guy”
While I love Bill Nye, I’m guessing he won’t be in Syracuse on Thursday to cheer on his alma mater. But if he is, can you please get me an autograph Matt? I still have his music parodies on my Ipod.
For the first time in my KSR life, I agree with BTI. This one won’t be close.