Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just Thinking

A few thoughts ...

* Princeton's win over UMass was Bill Tierney's 30th in an NCAA tournament game, making him the second coach ever to reach the 30-mark (Virginia's Dom Starsia (28) and Syracuse's John Desko (24) are closing in as well). Roy Simmons Jr., Desko's predecessor at Syracuse, has the record at either 31 or 34, depending on which interpretation you wish to use. According to the official NCAA championships record book, "Paul Gait played in the 1990 championship while ineligible. Under NCAA rules, Syracuse and Paul Gait's records for that championship were vacated." Naturally, should Bill Tierney win one more NCAA game, he'll have tied what the NCAA recognizes as Simmons' total. You can make a case that without Paul Gait, perhaps Syracuse would not have won three games in 1990 in the tournament. Or you can point out that they still had Gary Gait. Either way, TigerBlog is going to go with 34 as the official record, which Tierney is probably okay with.

* Barring rainouts, off days, etc., Princeton alums Ross Ohlendorf of the Pirates and Chris Young of the Padres have settled into pitching on the same five-day rotation. Yesterday marked the third straight time they have pitched on the same day. According to Scott Bradley, the Princeton baseball coach, the last time before this that Ivy alums both started on the same day was when Ron Darling (Yale) and Mike Remlinger (Dartmouth) did so back in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Ohlendorf continues to thrive in Pittsburgh, where is now 4-3 with a 3.77 ERA after six innings of two-hit ball last night against the Cardinals. Young lost to the Cubs, but who knows? Perhaps the two can pitch together for the National League in the All-Star Game at some point. Against each other in the playoffs is a long shot at this point. Still, TigerBlog is grateful to the Yankees for trading Ohlendorf to the Pirates, which made balancing rooting for the Princeton alum and against the Yankees at the same time no longer necessary.

* Princeton's women's lacrosse team heads to Chicago today to take on Northwestern in the NCAA quarterfinals. It is the third time in five years that Princeton will play at Northwestern in the quarterfinals; the Wildcats won the previous two meetings, are undefeated this year and have won four straight NCAA titles. It's a great opportunity for the Tigers, who can disrupt what Northwestern has called its "Drive for Five." To see a non-East Coast traditional power do so well in lacrosse does raise the question of what the sport would look like for the traditional Eastern powers if the game expands nationally. Would the same powers dominate in men's and women's, or would it be a Final Four of Michigan, UCLA, Florida State and Texas?

* This month marks the 15th anniversary of when Princeton won the men's and women's NCAA lacrosse championships in the same year for the only time. It was the only time a men's and women's team had won the NCAA title in the same team sport in the same year until UConn swept the basketball championships in 2004. Wisconsin them matched it by winning both hockey championships in 2006.

* If you're a track and field fan, Weaver Track and Field Stadium is the place this weekend. Princeton will host the IC4A and ECAC championships beginning Friday and running through Sunday. The IC4A will be run for the 133rd time, and it is the oldest track and field meet in the world, TigerBlog believes.

* The final Ivy championship of the year is up for grabs in the women's open crew Eastern Sprints this weekend. Regardless of the outcome, Princeton has already clinched the Ivy League's unofficial all-sports points championship for the 23rd straight year, and 2008-09 is already the 17th academic year that Princeton has reached double figures in Ivy League championships.


Anonymous said...

The piece on Corey Popham was excellent. I'm not sure if this came up in your interview with him, but how did a men's Most Outstanding Player meet a women's three-time All-American?

Anonymous said...

Adding to the three examples that you mentioned (Princeton, Connecticut and Wisconsin), Penn State won NCAA championships in men's and women's volleyball during the 2007-08 academic year as well as the 2008 calendar year. (The Nittany Lion women repeated.)