Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ruben Brown Road Trip: Newman Arena, Ithaca, N.Y.

Last night, I ventured to Newman Arena in Ithaca, N.Y. to take in Cornell's Ivy League finale against Princeton. When I originally purchased the tickets, I thought I'd be watching the Big Red attempt to clinch the Ivy title and the NCAA berth that goes with it. But, alas, it was not meant to be. Cornell took care of business on Friday by dismantling Penn (Aside: Penn's banner hanging in the Newman rafters is impossible to read. See above photo.), but Princeton went and fucked everything up by losing to Columbia (Columbia?!) by 14.

Still, it was an enjoyable evening. When the majority of your college basketball viewing is done at the Carrier Dome, it's nice to catch a game in an intimate atmosphere every once in a while. (I'm even considering a trip to the America East final on Saturday, should Binghamton advance and host. I really want to storm a court, even if I have no emotional connection to the team.)

A couple random thoughts from Cornell/Princeton:

  • I now understand why Princeton lost to Columbia. Princeton is horrible.
  • The Tigers have a player who I referred to as Adam Morrison throughout the evening. Upon viewing his profile, he in no way resembles Adam Morrison. He also didn't cry when he lost.
  • Ivy League basketball relies entirely on players who are willing to pass (even whey they're standing alone right next to the basket) and can knock down jump shots. Cornell succeeds at this.
  • Conversely, Ivy League basketball (specifically Princeton basketball) can be tough to watch when players struggle to knock down any form of jump shot. The Tigers shot shot 35% from the field and 26% from 3-point range.
  • Newman Arena is, all things considered, a very nice venue. HOWEVER, you can't see the court from the first few rows of the balcony due to the railing at the back of the lower sections. I quickly realized why nobody sits in those seats.
  • The halftime elementary school basketball game was entirely too entertaining. And a few of the players could have played minutes for Princeton.
  • Cornell's student section enjoys counting down when the opposition's shot clock is about to expire.
  • Cornell's student section enjoys beginning its countdown at the wrong number.
  • It took Princeton a few times through to figure this out.
  • Much like every other student section in America, Cornell's student section is better than that of Syracuse.
A few more shots of Newman:

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