Men's Basketball Readies for NIT First-Round Matchup at Oklahoma State
Kyle Casey and the Crimson earned the program's first visit to the NIT (Mitchell Layton).
Ivy League co-champion Harvard, will play in the postseason for the second straight season, as the sixth-seeded Crimson face third-seeded Oklahoma State (19-13) in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament Tuesday evening. Harvard (23-6) has posted the most wins in school history and went 12-2 in Ivy play, a top mark for conference victories in school history. This will be Harvard's first trip to the NIT.
Tuesday's game will be shown live nationally on ESPN. Mark Jones and Fran Fraschilla will have the call. ESPN3.com will also carry the game. Live statistics will also be available at GoCrimson.com.
This will be the first meeting between the schools.
Last Time Out
Keith Wright tallied 16 points, while Oliver McNally chipped in 13 and Brandyn Curry and Christian Webster added a dozen points apiece, but the Crimson fell on a buzzer beater to Princeton, 63-62, in a one-game Ivy League playoff. Curry handed out six assists on no turnovers and also collected five rebounds, while Harvard shot 51.1 percent from the field as a team.
Oklahoma State's Last Time Out
The Cowboys led, 41-35, at halftime against No. 2 Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big XII tournament, but only scored 21 points in the second half and fell, 63-62, March 10. Keiton Page paced Oklahoma State with 23 points, making all nine free throws, while Jean-Paul Olukemi added 17 points. The Cowboys shot 40 percent from the field and pulled down 36 rebounds.
Harvard Vs. The Big XII
The Crimson downed Colorado, 82-66, earlier this season at home on Nov. 28. Harvard is now 1-11 against teams from the Big XII Conference.
Ivy League In The NIT
Ivy League teams own an 8-7 record all-time in the NIT. Princeton won the 1975 NIT crown, while Brown (2003) was the last team prior to the Crimson to compete in the tournament. The last win by an Ivy team in the NIT was in 2002, as Yale topped Rutgers, 67-65.
For the second straight year, and third time overall, Harvard has earned a postseason tournament bid. In 1946, the Crimson qualified for the NCAA tournament and returned to the postseason in 2010, playing in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Harvard is 0-3 in the postseason.
Ivy Champion Harvard Crimson
For the first time in school history, Harvard earned at least a share of the Ivy League title, as the Crimson topped Princeton, 79-67, March 5. Harvard also established a new program record for conference wins in a season with 12, surpassing the 1970-71 team that went 11-3.
Harvard vs. NIT Field
The Crimson boasts a 2-0 record against other teams in the NIT this season. Harvard topped Colorado, 82-66, Nov. 28, and bested Boston College, 78-69, Jan. 5. If Harvard advances to the second round, the Crimson will face either No. 2 seed Washington State or seventh-seeded Long Beach State. Harvard has never faced WSU, but fell in its one meeting to LBSU, 80-77, during the 1990-91 campaign.
Amaker In The NIT
Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker owns a 10-5 record in the NIT. He reached the first round of the NIT with Seton Hall in 2001 and won the 2004 tournament as the head coach of Michigan. In 2006, he led Michigan to the final of the NIT and earned a spot in the second round in 2007.
Keith Wright, Ivy Player of the Year
Keith Wright was honored as the Ivy League Player of the Year, becoming the second Harvard player to take home the award (Joe Carrabino '84-85 in 1983-84). Wright was also a unanimous pick to the All-Ivy first team, while Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry earned spots on the second team and Christian Webster received honorable mention.
New Victory Mark
With its 23 victories this season, Harvard has established a new program record for wins. The previous mark was set in 2009-10, when the Crimson finished 21-8 overall.
For the third straight season and fourth time in six years, Harvard received a vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this year Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 21 and March 7. The Crimson also earned a vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll March 7, marking the first time in program history Harvard has been highlighted in that poll. Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received a vote in a major national poll this season and currently sits 35th in the NCAA's Rating Percentage Index (RPI).
Harvard Down The Stretch
The Crimson is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor (71-of-137) and 37.8 percent from long distance (17-of-45) in the final five minutes of games this season. Harvard has only been called for 74 fouls in that time span, while drawing 118 fouls by opponents.
Lavietes Is The Place To Be
Harvard is riding a 17-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is tied for the ninth longest current streak in the NCAA. With a 14-0 home record, Harvard has established a new record for home victories in a season, surpassing last season's 11 wins at Lavietes. The 1937-38 Crimson finished the season 10-0 at home.
McNally Closing Out Games
In the last four minutes of games, McNally is tied for the Harvard lead with Keith Wright with a 66.7 shooting percentage. McNally has made six of his nine shots in the final minutes, four of which were from beyond the arc. He is averaging 1.5 points in the last four minutes of games and is 28-of-30 from the foul line (.933).
Scoring In Bunches
Harvard is 6-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points, topping Colorado, 82-66, Nov. 28; Fordham, 80-57, Dec. 1; Boston University, 87-71, Dec. 11; MIT, 84-58, Dec. 31; Penn, 83-82, in double overtime Feb. 5 and Brown, 85-78, Feb. 12.
Keith Wright...... Ivy League Player of the Year
Keith Wright........... All-Ivy League First Team
Keith Wright.... NABC All-District First Team
Kyle Casey.....All-Ivy League Second Team
Brandyn Curry.... All-Ivy League Second Team
Christian Webster... All-Ivy League Honorable Mention
Keith Wright........ Ivy Player of the Week (Nov. 15)
Christian Webster.............. Ivy Co-Player of the Week (Nov. 22)
Keith Wright........ Ivy Player of the Week (Nov. 29)
Laurent Rivard......... Ivy Rookie of the Week (Dec. 6)
Laurent Rivard........... Ivy Rookie of the Week (Jan. 3)
Laurent Rivard......... Ivy Rookie of the Week (Jan. 17)
Kyle Casey.........Ivy Co-Player of the Week (Jan. 31)
Keith Wright....... Ivy Co-Player of the Week (Feb. 14)
Brandyn Curry.......... Ivy Player of the Week (March 7)
Harvard has made 47.7 percent of its baskets, which ranks first in the Ivy League. The Crimson has buried 199 treys overall for a 37.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, ranking the team first in the Ivy in 3-point proficiency. Harvard also owns an 81.1 percent clip from the foul line, the top mark in the Ancient Eight and the second best percentage in the nation.