As his team make a makeshift theater out of the visiting locker room at Leede Arena, Cornell coach Brian Earl was some 50 yards away, as far as humanly possible in Dartmouth’s quaint home. He seemed to be intensely watching the young sons of Dartmouth coaches play a 2-on-2 game, but his mind was elsewhere. Probably in many places at once.
Cornell had just completed an impressive 86-75 road victory over Dartmouth to finish 6-8 in Ivy League play. But to finish fourth and qualify for its first Ivy League Tournament, it needed Yale to knock off Princeton in New Haven. The Bulldogs had an eight-point lead late, but the Tigers stormed back to force overtime as the Big Red was leaving the floor in Hanover. So there they were in the locker room, huddled around a hastily constructed broadcast.
You might be surprised to find out that no one truly knows who the Murphy actually is behind Murphy’s Law, and there are plenty of tenured Ivy League professors who would be happy to debunk it for you with evidenced-based research.
Now the karma police? That might be another story.
Regardless of what supernatural forces you think guide the universe, the optics of the race for the final spot of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament devolving into chaos are quite striking. Two decades after every other conference in America figured it would take the money and attention that a conference final on national television brings, the Ivy League finally comes kicking and screaming to the table next week at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
After a month-long search, Cornell hired former Princeton assistant Brian Earl this week to be its next head coach. Earl takes over a difficult situation; the Big Red has a spotty basketball history and spent the last six seasons below .500. But as one of the Ivy League’s most respected and longest-tenured assistants, he should bring much-needed change in a few areas. Continue reading →