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Sweet on March Madness

Posted by Amy Wilson on March 19, 2008


cornell.gif I grew up on basketball.  My mom went into labor at a University of Minnesota basketball game.  I not only attended every Canisius College home game as a kid, I wore blue and gold, I knew what a “Griffin” was and I got autographs from the (very embarrassed) team. 

March was always bittersweet.  I watched hopefully as Canisius lost in the conference championship or in the play-offs.  I watched as other teams in the conference, powerhouses such as Northeastern and Siena, went on to the “big show.”  When I was a teenager, I found myself “adopting” other teams – Syracuse, who I saw play Canisius once a year (they were so shiny in their orange brilliance!) and Duke, whose star player was from Buffalo.

By the time I went to Cornell, I had given up on the idea of my team participating in March Madness.  Well, the angels are singing!  Sure, I might need to adopt Tennessee (because my Grandma used to live there) in a few days … but for now, I’m all about Cornell!

How did Cornell do it?  Ivy leagues can’t hire talent (no scholarships) and it certainly didn’t have a legacy program.  Well, it appears that they’ve taken Mark’s messages to heart and focused on differentiating themselves on something they could impact – shooting, and particularly shooting 3-pointers.  How will this strategy fare against a couple of 7 footers and a legacy program?  We’ll be watching …

6 Responses to “Sweet on March Madness”

  1. Jake said

    What’s a “legacy program”?

  2. Amy said

    Hmm … Amy’s definition of “legacy program” =
    a team that consistently wins games and develops players that are drafted by the NBA, thereby attracting talent based on reputation.

  3. Jake said

    Then Stanford only qualifies as a legacy program in comparison to Cornell. Talent attracted by reputation still has to go to class and make grades.

  4. Amy Wilson said

    Me thinks I detect a Stanford alum???

    Congrats on the big win yesterday, Jake! Maybe I’ll adopt Stanford since I worked there on a project for Arthur Andersen once …

  5. Jake said

    Guilty, but not a rabid supporter, I just found it funny to hear Stanford called a legacy program, like it’s Duke or UNC. They have been pretty good for a while, cornering the market on seven-foot twins.

  6. Gretchen said

    Rabid Stanford supporter here – but my support has always been much more on the Women’s side, (I was there during the Adam Keefe years, when the men could barely make the NIT). On the women’s side, Stanford definitely qualifies as a legacy team – not so much because of the NBA, but because of the enduring leadership of Tara VanDerveer. “Currently in her 22nd year as the head coach of the Stanford women’s basketball program, she owns a sparkling 537-133 (.801) record. During her tenure on The Farm, she has led the Cardinal to two NCAA Championships, five NCAA Final Four appearances, 15 Pac-10 titles and 19 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.” (Stanford Athletics). What a record, and what an impact on the sport. Go Stanford!!

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