Cornell loss pushes Johns Hopkins further out of NCAA tournament picture

No. 13 Johns Hopkins wrapped up the regular season with a 9-4 victory over Army Friday night and improved to 9-5. But the program’s hopes for a 42nd consecutive NCAA tournament  appearance absorbed another sustained hit that same night.

No. 2 Cornell was upended, 14-13, in overtime by No. 12 Princeton in one semifinal of the Ivy League tournament at Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. The Tigers (9-5) will meet No. 14 Yale (10-4) in Sunday’s title game after the Bulldogs defeated No. 18 Penn.

The loss by the Big Red (12-3) will not damage their entry into the NCAA tournament as they owned a No. 4 RPI and boast wins against Penn (No. 12 in RPI), Yale (No. 13), Princeton (No. 18) and Virginia (No. 20).

But Cornell will take one of the eight at-large bids in the tourney. Coupled with Penn State’s 11-10 loss to Towson in Friday’s Colonial Athletic Association tournament final, that means that two of the at-large berths have already been filled before the 16-team field is announced Sunday night.

The Blue Jays will probably be rooting for No. 6 Syracuse (Big East), No. 10 Albany (America East) and Yale to win their respective conference tournaments, which would keep alive (however slightly) the team’s bid to the NCAA tournament. But if Villanova, UMBC or Princeton is able to pull off the upset, Johns Hopkins’ hopes may be extinguished quickly.

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