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Syracuse and Cornell in the Final 16
By Mike Benjamin
Oswego, NY – The NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament is underway and for a change, there are two teams from Central N.Y. left among the final 16.
One is Syracuse University, a frequent visitor to these playoff games. The other team is the Cornell Big Red. Cornell is the only team in the tournament whose athletes do not receive athletic scholarships.
Cornell's unlikely surge is the talk of Ithaca. Mark Campagnolo runs the Boatyard Grill in Ithaca. His restaurant fed the team Tuesday night.
"People were all around the TV in the bar, while the team was here, and Dick Vitale was on TV talking about Cornell basketball. Everybody saw it on the TV, everybody was cheering and nobody could hear what the guy was saying. It was just that kind of frenzy," said Campagnolo.
Campagnolo said everyone is wearing Cornell red.
He said no one really expected Cornell to get this far. Cornell plays the top team in the tournament, Kentucky, at about 10 p.m.