While most of the country was watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies from Vancouver and Pitt's epic triple overtime win against fifth-ranked West Virginia, there were two significant mid-major upsets.â†µ
The biggest shock of the night took place in Philadelphia where Cornell, ranked 22nd in the coaches' poll, lost 79-64 to Penn, a team who had only won three games all season and fired their coach weeks ago. The loss not only pretty much ended the Big Red's at-large chances, but it also means 5-0 Princeton now leads the conference.â†µ
Making matters worse for Cornell is their schedule. The game at the Palestra started a closing stretch that sees the Big Red play six of their last eight away from Newman Arena. On Saturday, Cornell will try to jump back into a tie for the conference lead, as they're at Princeton.â†µ
Not long after Cornell-Penn went final, a second upset unfolded just outside of my hometown of Niagara Falls. The Niagara Purple Eagles ended Siena's unbeaten run in the MAAC, 87-74. The good news for the Saints is that they still own a four-game lead in the conference and can resuscitate their at-large hopes with a win at Bulter next Saturday.â†µ
They just better watch out for a Niagara team that seems to be hitting its stride at the conference tournament in three weeks time.