Despite the lack of a home-court advantage, two months of diligent practice paid off when NYU School of Law prevailed against Columbia Law School in the 11th annual Deans’ Cup co-ed basketball game on April 5. NYU Law had had two previous three-year winning streaks, while Columbia Law has emerged victorious three times since the Deans’ Cup series began in 2002, but NYU’s 56-46 win makes it the first of the two teams to triumph in four consecutive games.

NYU Law co-captain Milad Sedeh ’12 gave the opposition its due. “They were really setting the tone in the first half,” said Sedeh. “They had all the energy. But despite that we were able to go to the locker room at halftime in the lead.... We made some adjustments at halftime, decided to turn on our press, and quickly came out to an 11-point lead in the second half.”

Sedeh praised point guard Ryan Kim ’13, who, he said, “led the way, controlled the tempo on offense, hit some big shots.” But typically for a Deans’ Cup game, victory was not assured for either side. A 13-point lead for NYU dwindled until the team was a point behind in the last seven minutes: “We regrouped, called a timeout, went back to our press, turned the pressure up on them defensively, and ended up pulling away.” Sedeh also singled out the contributions of Patrick Ekeruo ’13 and co-captain Joseph Tillman ’12. After the final buzzer, Dean Richard Revesz presented the Deans’ Cup trophy to Sedeh, Tillman, and co-captain Mike Jones ’12 for its return to Greenwich Village.

One of the largest student-run law school events in the country, the Deans’ Cup raises funds through ticket sales and sponsorships to benefit public interest law organizations at both NYU Law and Columbia Law. This year’s total came to more than $30,000.

Not only did NYU Law again claim the Deans’ Cup title, but the Law School’s faculty team won the halftime game against Columbia’s faculty for the second year in a row. The roster included Cynthia Estlund and Tom Clark, who put the team together, as well as Ryan Bubb, Meera de Mel, Tom Delaney, Jeannie Forrest, George Letsas, Michael Livermore ’06, and Josh Negreira. The final score was 10-5.

“The faculty game is always fun, always entertaining, and always hard-fought,” said Estlund. “We’re thrilled to have prevailed in this year’s game. But next year we hope to get more full-time faculty members out on the court!”

The NYU Law student team was grateful for its classmates in the cheering section, many waving purple-and-white pom-poms. “The crowd was awesome,” said Sedeh. “It’s a long way from the Village all the way up to 119th, but they showed up, and they were into it the whole game. If we don’t have a crowd it’s difficult for us to get out of those tough spots, but they were providing a lot of energy for us. When they’re as enthusiastic as they are, it makes you want to play harder. They couldn’t have been any better. They were outnumbered, but they were definitely louder than the Columbia crowd.”

Posted April 9, 2012