Sports Editor Ross Chapman brings us a look at Columbia Basketball and their Ivy filled weekend at home.
Coming off of a hot, sweeping weekend against one of the harder pairs of Ivy opponents, the men’s basketball team returns to Levien for their last two home games of the season. The Lions (5-5 Ivy) will host Dartmouth (3-7 Ivy) tonight at 8 pm before facing league-leading Harvard (9-1 Ivy) for a 7 pm showdown on Saturday.
Columbia will host the Big Green for their first matchup of the weekend. Dartmouth looked their best this season when they were 1-1 following a split with Harvard. However, since then, they have fallen to the bottom of the Ivy heap. One of their few wins did come against a demoralized Lions squad after their loss to Harvard two weeks ago. Now, the Lions will be fresh, and they still ride momentum from their last games. Dartmouth doesn’t have the same breadth of scoring threats that the Lions do, and their most recent weekend included a huge meltdown against the Tigers of Princeton. Columbia will be hungry for another vicious victory like the one they earned over Brown last Friday. In that game, Maodo Lo scored 35 points, setting an Ivy League mark for the year in the process. Alll three forwards also came up huge last weekend, giving the Lions a lot of variety in frontcourt sets guaranteed to keep the players fresh. Columbia on a hot streak is a definite favorite over the struggling Big Green.
The Harvard game is senior night, meaning that the Lions will officially recognize the accomplishment of the basketball upperclassmen. Cory Osetkowski has grown tremendously through his tenure at Columbia, developing from a defensive big man to a bonafide post threat through whom the team often runs their offense. Noah Springwater hasn’t seen much action through the second half of the season, but his three point shooting has defined him more than his stellar defense, which isn’t a bad thing for a player who shot over 43% for two seasons. Steve Frankoski has finally officially earned a starting job in the dense Lions’ backcourt by the certainty of his shots from the charity stripe and the three point line. All of them will be potential weapons against the Crimson. The last meeting of these two teams was another iteration of Columbia’s tradition of heartbreaking Valentine’s Day losses to Harvard [http://bwog.com/2014/02/15/bwogsports-lions-play-their-hearts-out-on-valentines-day/], and the Lions are not going to let Harvard get away with another one. The sold out Levien will be as buzzing as it has been all year. Columbia proved last game that they can break the normally stout Harvard offense, something very few teams can say. CU would love for nothing more than to secure wins against the #1 and #2 teams in the league by defeating Harvard this Saturday after defeating Yale last weekend. Columbia will play with more energy and drive on Saturday than they have all season.
They’re all big kids now via Columbia University Athletics