Friday, March 19, 2010

Lehigh 74, Kansas 90, Final

(Photo Credit: The Seattle Post-Intelligencier)

It was more of a battle than some in the state of Kansas thought.

Kansas did have to bring more than their "C" game.

But Kansas is an awfully good team, and their physical play wore down a game Lehigh team in the end.  They are a well-deserved No. 1 team and No. 1 seed.

Lehigh did its best Rocky impersonation.  The Mountain Hawks have nothing to be ashamed of, battling hard until the very end.

But Kansas, coach Bill Self and the rest of the Jayhawks were better.  And they're a great team.

Good luck Jayhawks through the rest of the tournament.  (more)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday: Madness Day

As the week has gone one, it's just gotten madder and madder.

It's been a week where Lehigh was picked by one person to get to the elite 8 thanks to our 12th man, 7'1 junior C David Safstrom; a rallying cry from the West Coast to root for junior G Michael Ojo, who hails from Santa Monica, California, and the topper: the revelation that Pizza Hut will offer the university 10,000 free slices of pizza if Lehigh can shock the world tonight.  (A reminder of the good old days: in the 1990s, when Lehigh used to score more than 70 points in a game, the local McDonalds used to give out free hamburgers if you had a ticket stub.)

Pizza Hut had better start getting those ovens ready. (more)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Too Much Sense Of Self?

(Photo Credit: Kansas Athletics)

Sports fandom has its legends.  One of the best was Maryland lawyer Robin Picker, a fan of the NBA's Washington Bullets who used to sit behind the visiting teams and heckle the opposition in creative, side-splitting ways.  He's best well known, though, for reading aloud passages of "Jordan Rules" to Michael Jordan and "Maverick" to Phil Jackson during the game - and getting ejected from the stands numerous times.

Snappy dresser and Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self has inadvertently set himself up for such a situation this Thursday - should an enterprising young Lehigh fan be able to pick up a copy of Bill Self's uncontroversial 2008 autobiography At Home in the Phog.

Say what you will about Mr. Self, he hasn't been shy about tooting his own horn.  There's no doubting his success, but is it possible that the guy who offered "an inside look at his journey into becoming one of the game's most respected and most sought-after coaches" might be overlooking a specific NCAA tournament game tomorrow? (more)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lehigh And "A Googolpex-To-One"

(Photo Credit: Associated Press c/o The Wall Street Journal)

Lehigh athletic teams have certainly seen long odds before, but the USA Today's article on the NCAA tournament has to be a first.

USA TODAY's resident sports analyst Danny Sheridan has released his odds for winning the NCAA men's national championship and -- no surprise here -- Kansas and Kentucky lead the way.

But there is some good value on the board, such as Villanova (20-1), Michigan State (30-1) and New Mexico (60-1). The Lobos were unbeaten in six games against Top 25 opponents this year.

As for the rest, the list is below. Just don't put too much on Lehigh (10 googolplex-1).

The bright side?  All the members of the Lehigh basketball team actually could tell you what a googolplex is. (Who'd like to take the wager that nobody on the final four contending teams could even pronounce it correctly, let alone know what it means?)  Still - and this is not a surprise - America is basically putting Lehigh's odds somewhere between "no way" and somewhere in the the googolplex. (more)

Lady Hawks Get the 13 Seed!

Last year, the Lady Hawks thought they were destined for a 13 seed after an impressive season which had them as a top team in terms of RPI.  When they were assigned the 15 seed and a game versus powerful No. 2 seed Auburn - where regionality seemed to dictate a closer game at Rutgers - the Hawks were disappointed.

Fast forward to this year.  The Lady Hawks again had a fantastic season in the Patriot League, ending with an emphatic Patriot League title win vs. American this Saturday at Stabler.  Would Lehigh get downgraded again?

No, they wouldn't.  Lehigh will be travelling this weekend to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State as a No. 13 seed.  In one of the final games of the first round, Lehigh has a good matchup and a chance to make history. (more)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inspiration for Lehigh: Bucknell, 2005

(Photo courtesy Bucknell Athletics)

It was a March Madness just like any other - or so it seemed.

Kansas sat at No. 1 in the RPI.  On March 18th, they were about to play an NCAA tournament game in Oklahoma City, at the Ford Center - a place they knew well, as the home of leaguemate Oklahoma State.  They had to wait past 9:30 PM - after Northern Iowa would finish their first round game, of course - to play a Patsy, if you will: the Patriot League champion, a team with no expectations for a win.

Or did they?

On March 18th, 2010, Lehigh will play Kansas for a chance to shock the world in Oklahoma City.  But on March 18th, 2005, Bucknell played Kansas for a chance to shock the world - and did, 65-64. (more)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So It's Kansas

So it's Kansas.

Lehigh misses the play-in game, which is good.  We miss the opportunity to play Duke or Syracuse, which is a tad disappointing.  But we get a chance to tweak the nose of Kansas head coach Bill Self and get a chance to prove ourselves against the No. 1 team in the country. Someone has to knock them out of the NCAA tournament; why can't it be us? (more)

Selection Sunday Thoughts

I'll share my thoughts on Selection Monday (for the women, of course) later, but I wanted to mention a few thoughts I had while anxiously pace the house waiting for the selection of the 65 team bracket later tonight.

The key, of course, is avoiding the dreaded play-in game, or PIG. (more)

2009: Lehigh Sweeps Both Basketball Championships

Another day, another day of cutting down basketball nets.

Lehigh basketball fans learned yesterday that championships never get old, and you can win Patriot League titles in a variety of ways.

This year's women's basketball championship didn't have the drama that the men's final had the day before.  But that was fine with everybody at Stabler arena last night, when the fans in attendance saw exactly what the women's team is capable of doing in the NCAA tournament.  Their 58-42 victory was pretty much a done deal early in the second half - if not before.  The only question was if American, who averaged 62.7 points per game and had outscored their opposition by an average of 20 points in each of their other tournament games, would be held under 40 points by Lehigh's "40 minutes of hell" defense. (more)

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