by Chris, the Impaler - 01/28/2006
Once again the Ivy League appears to be wide open as Yale beat Harvard last night leaving Pennsylvania is the only undefeated teams left in the Ivy League after three conference games. Oh those crazy Ivy League basketball teams! Just when I think I have a clear bead on the outcome of conference games, they up and change everything. Brown, Yale and Harvard all sit at 2-1 in the conference are right behind Pennsylvania. Last night Brown beat Dartmouth in Double Overtime to bring their conference record to 1-1. Both Harvard-Brown and Dartmouth - Yale are off the board today with Pennsylvania hosting St. Joes in the battle of Philadelphia.
Last weekend we dropped both games as Columbia erased an 11-point second half deficit and earned a come from behind win behind Kravic's trey to beat Cornell and Brown Celebrated their 100 Men's basketball season with an overtime win over Yale. This cost us dearly as we dropped 880 ducats for our first losing weekend in the Men's Ancient Eight league. Essentially the wrong home teams won and left us with a 3-4 mark against the number and a $720 deficit after four weeks of Ivy League play. This weekend we won't make the mistake of trying to win it all back in one or two wagers. With 10 weeks still left on the Ivy League Card we see that slow and steady will be our mantra if we hope to get back to the Gecko Grill for our favorite plantain stuffed grouper at the lovely Ocean Club in the scuba paradise of Turks and Caicos
COLUMBIA LIONS (-2) vs. Cornell Big Red
Cornell looks to avenge last weekend's loss to the Lions at the Buzzer. In a game they should of won, Cornell couldn't close out the game against upstart Columbia and as a result notched a home conference loss and ended Big Red's two game home win streak against the Lions.
News that last Tuesday sophomore Khaliq Gant was seriously injured in the neck at practice. While Gant is a part-time starter, he is a key role player at 6'3" and 175 pounds. Gant averages 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game and has seen an average of 16.5 minutes playing time in all of Cornell's games this year.
The Lions host Big Red in their Ivy League home opener against Cornell. Both teams enter this match tied for 6th place in the Ivy League and sport identical 1-2 conference records. Avoiding a 1-3 start is paramount for both teams if they hope to contend for the Ivy League title.
The Lions are led by sophomore John Baumann (12.6 ppg., 5.6 rpg.) who recorded 17 points and eight rebounds in the win over Cornell, while forward Dragutin Kravic hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds to give Columbia the win. More than clutch shooting, though, the Lions snatch more rebounds than their opponents by 5.5 boards per contest, but still the Lions still average about 17 turnovers per session.
The good news for Columbia is that the Lions get a Cornell team that plays poorly on the road scoring an average ten points less on the road than at home. Big Red is 4-2 at home this season and 1-9 away from the friendly Newman Arena.
Columbia's sophomore forward John Baumann was named Ivy League Player of the Week award last week after his dominating performance at Cornell on January 21. He scored 19 points in the 58-57 road win, Columbia's first win at Cornell since the 2001-2002 season. Baumann has played incredibly well for Columbia this year and has recorded double-digit games in 11 of 16 games this season. I look for Baumann to continue his dominating play at home against Cornell.
Gamblers should note that Big Red's defense has been stingy allowing opponents only 19 points or less in the first half on their last two occasions. Cornell held a 31-16 lead at Princeton two weeks ago and then limited the Lions to 19 points at the half last weekend. Also beware of history repeating itself as last year Columbia won the first contest against Cornell, but in the second game Cornell destroyed Columbia by 30 points 77-47 and ended the year with an 8-6 record in the conference which was good enough for second place in the Ivy.
Pick! Cornell +1 for $220 in First Half
We'll have our Ivy League picks each week through basketball season at Doc's. Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Doc's college basketball picks service.