March 6, 2009

First NCAA Tournament bid goes to Cornell

Cornell clinched its second straight Ivy League title Friday and became the first team in the country to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Big Red improved to 10-3 in conference play, opening a two-game advantage.

Of the 31 conferences that participate in Division I basketball, the Ivy League is the only one that does not choose its automatic NCAA representative with a post-season tournament.

Cornell wrapped up the conference crown by defeating Pennsylvania 83-58.

Three more NCAA Tournament teams will be determined Saturday in the Big South, Atlantic Sun and Ohio Valley Conference.

VMI will meet Radford in the Big South tournament final, East Tennessee State will face Jacksonville in the Atlantic Sun and Morehead State will play Austin Peay in the Ohio Valley.

There will be 31 automatic bids awarded over the next 10 days and the at-large teams, along with the bracket for the NCAA Tournament, will be announced March 15.

The title game will be played April 6.