March 15, 2009

Selection Sunday: Cornell Seeded No. 14 in Western Bracket

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The men’s basketball team was given the 14th seed in the western bracket today. This is the Red’s second consecutive berth into the NCAA tournament, and their seeding is identical to last year’s campaign. The team entered the tournament a year ago at No. 14, facing No. 3 Stanford. The team lost in a rout, but is hoping to return to the big dance with experience on their side.
The Red will face No. 3 Missouri (28-6, 12-4 Big 12), who just finished off a title run in the Big 12, defeating Baylor yesterday. The team is currently riding a three-game streak, beginning what they hope is a successful March Madness campaign. The Red closed off the regular season with two dominant wins against Penn and Princeton to take the Ivy League title, but the team may have a tough time dealing with the experience and depth of Missouri.
The Red hasn’t faced non Ancient Eight competition since the Ivy season began in January. The team’s lack of out-of-league experience may prove to be an achilles heel in tight competition with the top powers from the Big-12, Pac-10 and Big East.
The western bracket has UConn at the top of the docket. The huskies are still reeling from their epic loss to the Orangemen in Madison Square Garden. UConn is followed by Memphis, Missouri and Washington. The west appears to be one of the more competitive bracket, though UConn is the clear favorite. The huskies face true competition only in No. 2 Memphis, but after UConn’s debacle with Syracuse, the team will not be messing around.

Here is the seeding for the West:
No. 1 UConn
No. 2 Memphis
No. 3 Missouri
No. 4 Washington
No. 5 Purdue
No. 6 Marquette
No. 7 California
No. 8 Brigham Young
No. 9 Texas A&M
No. 10 Maryland
No. 11 Utah State
No. 12 Northern Iowa
No. 13 Mississippi State
No. 15 CSU Northridge
No. 16 Chattanoooga