Saturday, January 30, 2010

Heady Days for Harvard Hoops

Tonight's Ivy League clash in Ithaca, NY may not be the most important college basketball game of the year -- but it may be the most publicized game that won't be on TV.

Harvard (14-3, 3-0) basketball -- thanks to a good loss at UConn followed by an impressive win over Boston College -- has enjoyed a boomlet of publicity in the past few weeks, beginning with a Time Magazine article on Jeremy Lin in late December. Cornell (17-3, 3-0) has been solid all year, and nearly shocked then-Number-One Kansas at Allen Field House a few weeks ago. Tonight, Cornell hosts Harvard in a game that -- with no conference tournament in the Ivies -- will put one team in the driver's seat for the League title.

Just this week, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg all previewed the Crimson-Big Red tilt. KenPom has Cornell winning by 4. With the pressure on Cornell to 'hold serve' at home, the game may be even tighter.

But Lin and the current Harvard players are not the only Crimson in the news this week. Former Crimson player and current US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan enjoyed a generally positive profile in the New Yorker. Two take-aways: Duncan, thanks to a decade of playing hoops with Obama, may be the closest Cabinet member to the POTUS. And his educational agenda is far more centrist than most Obama supporters would have imagined.

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