February 29, 2008

A Cornell Sports Weekend King Leonidas Would Be Proud Of

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Madness? THIS IS SPARTA … I mean ITHACA!
I am not even kidding: if there has ever been a time to show your school spirit and attend a Cornell sports event, this is it. Cornell sports are absolutely amazing this Friday through Sunday.
You have a chance to see three teams with projected NCAA entrants: that’s three teams with some of our nation’s best athletes, right here, at Cornell!
Cornell sports … advancing on a national level?
(“[Cornellians]! What is your profession?”) Men’s basketball can clinch its first Ivy title in 20 years today or tomorrow. A women’s basketball road sweep would all-but clinch its first-ever Ivy title. Men’s hockey is facing Harvard at home — on Senior Night — fighting for a first-round bye and/or the third seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. Eighth-seeded women’s hockey travels to face the No. 1 nationally ranked Crimson for the Red’s first playoff series in five seasons (“Immortals: we’ll put their name to the test.”). The track teams host Heps — Ivy championships — at Barton Hall tomorrow and Sunday, with the women looking for their 13th consecutive title.
(“Give them nothing! But take from them … everything [a.k.a. their title hopes]!”)
An Ivy championship in basketball means selection in the NCAA tournament, as well as a giant supplement in The Sun. A top-4 seed in men’s hockey means we’re a game closer to the NCAA tournament already. A series win over league-undefeated Harvard would mean our women’s hockey team can beat anybody in the country. (“Their numbers will count for nothing.”) At Heps, anyone can be a provisional qualifier for NCAAs at any time …
And I’m leaving out men’s lacrosse battling for a top-5 national ranking, women’s lacrosse looking to avenge its 2007 loss to Rutgers, and baseball and softball kicking off their campaigns — all away games this weekend.
But fear not Cornellians: I have planned the days out for you (and myself). Whether you want to show your Cornell pride by fitting a game into your schedule, or you’re a hardcore fan wants to see it all, here’s the how and why for each game:
Tonight, join Newman Nation in cheering on men’s basketball. Cornell should sell out the place: there’s a chance that a win (with a Brown loss) will clinch Cornell’s championship. Not only will the place go nuts if that happens, it would be only the third time a school not named Penn and Princeton has won the title in 40 years (“… It’s not yours anymore.”). You want to be there for that.
(“[Princeton!] Come and get them.”)
Do all your celebrating tonight, because tomorrow has something for everyone, all day. At 11 a.m., Heps finals begins. If you have never been to the Ivy League’s biggest track meet and seen Cornell dominate, you definitely need to do that. (Actually, we are not even the favorites this year, Princeton is … so go see the upset.) Track meets are like hockey shootouts or dunk contests: the excitement and tensions is palpable at every turn of every event.
(“Ready your breakfast and eat hearty … for tonight, we dine in [CORN-HELL a.k.a Lynah Rink and Newman Arena]!”)
Take some time to yourself in the afternoons — do your work or follow the away games online — since the evening is when things will get crazy. Somehow, men’s hockey’s Senior Night was scheduled on the same night as the Harvard game, at the same time as men’s basketball’s likely Ivy-clinching victory.
How are you supposed to pick between the two games?
It’s simple: don’t. Go back-and-forth between them. That’s what I’m doing.

Finally, tonight is my last night as The Sun’s Sports Editor and the last night of The Sun’s 125th Editorial Board. Thank you everyone for reading: I hope you enjoyed what you saw and that we served you well. I promise you’ll like what you see even more in the coming weeks and months.
Good night and good luck.