As an avid college basketball fan, I was surprised to see a blog entry on Yahoo! Sports arguing for Cornell’s legitimacy for an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament after its close loss to Kansas. Regardless of the argument, it’s still surprising to see Ivy League schools such as Cornell and Harvard earning this sort of national respect. As a school with one of the most storied basketball histories, Princeton needs to work to become relevant on the national stage again, or at least stay relevant in the Ivy League. This all starts with scheduling.
While Princeton plays schools such as Maine and Lafayette, Cornell and Harvard are playing Kansas, Alabama, UConn, and Boston College. These tough non-conference games not only increase their national exposure, but help them prepare for the conference season. While Princeton did play Cal this year, we need to work on improving our strength of schedule and really challenge our team. If we want to become more competitive, we need to compete against the best and give the team more experience against tougher competition, as well as increase our appeal to recruits. There is very little to lose, since no Ivy League team probably will ever earn an at-large bid to the Big Dance and we only need to win the conference.
Princeton once was known as the giant-killer; it’s time that we go back to fighting the giants.
Browsing Letters 2009-2010