Friday, March 12, 2010
That's not to say I didn't have confidence in Lehigh's abilities as basketball players. I knew they certainly could win it, and had the ingredients to win it: leadership, in the form of co-captains senior G Marquis Hall and senior F Zahir Carrington. But nagging memories of Lafayette's 90-75 victory in February still lingered: and that maybe, just maybe, they would shoot the lights out again and deny these two Lehigh superstars a shot at a championship and the NCAA tournament.
Thankfully, Carrington simply refused to let that happen.
It was a true team performance to get Lehigh the championship - let's be clear about that. But what folks will remember through the ages was that Zahir simply refused to lose this game. (more)
Lehigh and Lafayette have both made the NCAA tournament before - three times. The Leopards and Mountain Hawks have made it to the title game about a half dozen times since the tournament field expanded to 64.
There have even been a few pretty good tournament games with Lehigh and Lafayette facing off.
But never at the same time, and never in a game of this magnitude. (more)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
But that's not the only nationally-televised championship game being played in the Lehigh Valley this weekend.
The Lady Hawks - who are looking for their second straight Patriot League championship and NCAA tournament appearance - play this Saturday at 6:00 PM at the STAR for their shot at the big dance as well on CBS College Sports.
While the men have the "Rivalry" in their tournament game, the Lady Hawks have something else: record-breaking streaks that head coach Sue Troyan hopes will help carry the Lady Hawks back to the NCAA tournament. (more)
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
It's a matchup that would seem destined to pack the house at Stabler. Lehigh vs. Lafayette. It's less than a marathon's worth of mileage between the two schools. They're two fanbases who seem like they're always at each other's throats. Lehigh and Lafayette fans work together, live next to one another - and usually don't talk to one another when they're facing off in whatever sport they're playing in.
But historically, the bad blood between the Lehigh and Lafayette fan bases in hoops hasn't always been there. It exists now - still stemming, largely, from the football Rivalry - but it wasn't there for a very long time.
It probably helps that Lehigh's basketball history has been pretty checkered - to put it mildly - while Lafayette's hoops teams, after some early issues (and losses to Lehigh), actually has had some serious hardwood success, including multiple post-season appearances in 1950s. This post will attempt to put the history of the "hardwood rivalry" in some (sleepy) historical perspective - and show why now, in the days of the Patriot League tournament, it needs to be seen in a different, more intense, light. (more)
Monday, March 08, 2010
In John Feinstein's book on Patriot League basketball, "The Last Amateurs", the sometime commentator on the CBS College Sports Network said Lehigh was first and foremost "a wrestling school".
With three basketball victories this weekend that weren't even close, the Hawks hoops teams have suddenly and resoundingly put that characterization into question in terms of winter sports.
While this weekend's EIWA wresting championships were somewhat disappointing to the Lehigh wrestling faithful, both the men's and women's basketball teams made sure there will be two more championships coming to Stabler Arena this weekend. Let's put it this way: buy your tickets - and make plans for early dismissal - on Friday. (more)