(Semi) Live Blog: Cornell vs. Wisconsin in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla—4:53 p.m.

Well, its official—Cornell has knocked off Wisconsin by 18 points, and the Big Red will move on to face Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Don't look now, but if the Big Red shoot as well against the Wildcats as they did today—more than 61% from the field and more than 53% from three point range—there could be an even more monumental upset in the works for next week.

Now, though, its time for me to put my reporter hat on after being just another fan infected with March Madness—albeit a very lucky one—for the last two hours. Duke has taken the court to warm up, and the game will begin at 5:25. Stay tuned for my live blog.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla—4:31 p.m.

This game is becoming a blowout, as Cornell now holds a 24 point lead over the fourth seeded Badgers. The entire crowd is behind the Big Red, leading to some of the more thunderous roars outside of Cameron I've heard in quite sometime. The Duke Band even contributed with the "Boing, boing" chant when the Badgers were on offense. Barring a miracle, it looks like Cornell will add itself to the growing list of Cinderella's in this tumultuous NCAA Tournament.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla—4:09 p.m.

It now seems as if even the Duke band is pulling for the underdog Big Red now, as they helped supply their counterparts from Cornell with an interesting cheer to distract a Wisconsin free throw shooter (which was successful), and then began chanting "Please don't haze us!" at the Wisconsin band.

And while I'm sure Cornell is thankful for the assistance, in reality they don't need it right now, as the Big Red are dominating just about every phase of this game, and have now extended their lead to 14 with 15:46 to go.  Cornell's Ryan Whitman scored 14 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting, including a dagger right before the halftime buzzer. If Cornell continues shooting the lights off like they are tonight, they could be a tough matchup for any team in this tournament.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla—3:31 p.m.

If you like watching Duke play basketball, then you'll love watching Cornell. The Big Red seem to be able to put three Jon Scheyer clones and two Brian Zoubek (pre-beard) clones on the court at all times, and the result is a smoothly run offense, fantastic shooting, and opportune rebounding. If it weren't for the shooting ability of Leuer, who hasn't missed a shot from the field and has 14 of Wisconsin's 25 points, this game wouldn't even be close. As it stands though, Cornell only holds a seven point lead with 3:43 to go in the 1st half.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla—3:17 p.m.

If your local CBS affiliate isn't showing the Cornell vs. Wisconsin game, I would highly suggest going online and watching this contest, which is quickly becoming one of the best back-and-forth affairs of the tournament thus far.  After Cornell couldn't miss to start the game, ex-Blue Devil killer Jon Leuer scored Wisconsin's first 12 points of the game. The Big Red have gone slightly cold, and the Badgers have gotten more aggressive in their offense, and the Badger deficit is thus down to five. Still, the teams are answering each other every step of the way, and the atmosphere here is impressive considering how far away Jacksonville is from both Cornell and Wisconsin.  The stadium is full of red (whether it's Cornell or Wisconsin red I can't tell), and the fans are having their own battle seeing who can cheer loudest after baskets for their team.  Its now a three point game, but the Big Red will be going to the line for two after the media time-out.

I'm telling you, folks, watch this game.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla—3:10 p.m.

Hello once again, loyal Sports Blog readers!  I'm once again sitting on the very corner of press row in the lovely Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, but obviously Duke isn't playing right now (or else you would've been inundated with a much more verbose blog).  No, right now I'm taking in an impressive early performance by the Cornell Big Red against the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2nd round of the East regional.  Now, if you're participating in The Chronicle Sports Blog's Bracket Challenge, you would know that one of my big upset picks this year is Cornell making it to the Sweet 16—so I'm currently very pleased that the Big Red are up 10 six minutes into this contest, and can't seem to miss ANY open shots.  On an even more personal level, this game holds a bit of revenge value for me: you see, I witnessed first hand Duke's first loss of the season in Madison, Wisconsin.

I'll check back in periodically with updates and thoughts from this contest, as well as my thoughts from the other three games going on before Duke takes the floor against California at approximately 5:20.  Stay tuned!


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