Louis Dale scored 26 points, Ryan Wittman added
24 and No. 12 seed Cornell upset fourth-seeded Wisconsin 87-69 on
Sunday, becoming the first team from the Ivy League since 1979 to
advance to the round of 16.
The Big Red (29-4) will play top-seeded
Kentucky in the East Regional semifinal Thursday in Syracuse, N.Y.,
about an hour from Cornell's campus. It could be a tough ticket, though,
since Kentucky's basketball-crazed fans got a head start when the
Wildcats advanced Saturday.
Cornell wasted little time taking care of its
The Big Red controlled things from the opening
tip, picking apart Wisconsin's vaunted defense the same way they did
Temple in the opening round.
Cornell had a 12-point lead early, a 20-point
lead late and very few moments of concern in between. The lopsided
affair should make for some interesting conversation this week at the
"Dog Pound," the nickname given to the three-story, off-campus house
that 13 players and a team manager call home.
Cornell became the lowest seed to advance to
the round of 16 in this year's tournament and the first Ivy League team
to get that far since Penn 31 years ago.
Wisconsin (24-9), meanwhile, failed to get past
the opening weekend for the fourth time in five years.
Jon Leuer led the Badgers with 23 points,
including the team's first 12. Jason Bohannon added 18, Ryan Evans
chipped in 11 and Trevon Hughes finished with 10.
But Wisconsin's problem was defense.
Cornell shot 61 percent from the field, 53
percent from 3-point range and just dominated every aspect of the
matchup. Anyone believe the Big Red were seeded correctly now?
Jeff Foote had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Chris Wroblewski added 12 points, and Jon Jaques finished with nine
before fouling out.
When it was over — it was really over in the
opening minutes — Cornell players jumped up and down, ran over to their
fans and just stood around.
Forgive them for not knowing how to celebrate.
After all, they hadn't won a game in the NCAA tournament in three
previous trips. Now, they have two in three days — both against ranked
Cornell couldn't miss to start this one. The
Big Red made their first five shots. Wittman hit consecutive jumpers,
getting open thanks to hard picks. Jaques turned a steal into a layup,
added a turnaround jumper and then drained a 3-pointer from the corner.
They led 16-4 with a little more than 5
minutes gone. Things were going so well that even their misses weren't
all bad. Foote rebounded Wittman's first miss and tossed it back to the
sharpshooter, who swished a 3 from the top. Cornell got offensive
rebounds on its first four misses.
Leuer kept Wisconsin in the game. He scored
the Badgers' first 12 points, getting to the free throw line, hitting
turnaround jumpers and even two 3-pointers.
Bohannon, held scoreless for the first time in
more than a year in Friday's win over Wofford, scored seven points in a
stretch that helped the Badgers cut the double-digit deficit to 24-21
with 7:01 to play.
But Cornell buckled down on defense and then
got hot again on the other end. Wittman connected from behind the arc
with the shot clock winding down. Dale, playing with a sore right wrist,
threw up another 3 with a second left on the shot clock. This one came
up short, but Foote got the rebound and found Wroblewski open for
The Big Red shot 59 percent from the field in
the first half and led 43-31. It tied the most points defensive-minded
Wisconsin had allowed all season. Gonzaga scored 43 in the first half en
route to a 74-61 victory over the Badgers in the Maui Classic.
Things got worse after halftime.
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