No. 12 Men's Basketball Readies for No. 5 Cincinnati in NCAA Tournament Second Round
#12 Harvard vs. #5 Cincinnati
The Harvard men's basketball team received a 12 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament and will face 5th-seeded Cincinnati in the second round Thursday, March 20 at 2:10 p.m. The game will be televised live on TNT from the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash.
Harvard, which earned its tournament bid by winning a fourth consecutive Ivy League title, will be making its third straight appearance in the Big Dance. Cincinnati earned an at-large berth to the tournament and will be making a fourth consecutive appearance.
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2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Central
• Harvard became the first team in the country to punch its ticket to the NCAA tournament, marking the third straight year the Crimson will play in March Madness and the fifth consecutive postseason appearance overall for the team (2011 NIT, 2010 CIT). Harvard had reached the postseason just once in the program's first 98 years before the recent run of success.
• At 26-4, Harvard has matched the school record for most wins in a season (2011-12) and will enter the NCAA tournament riding an eight-game win streak. The Crimson also set a new program record for Ivy League victories by finishing the "14-Game Tournament" with a 13-1 mark, and completed the program's first undefeated season on the road in Ancient Eight play.
• Wesley Saunders was named the Ivy League Player of the Year, becoming just the third member of the Crimson to earn the honor; Joe Carrabino '84-85 (1984), Keith Wright '12 (2011).
• Harvard received six total All-Ivy League selections, matching the 1994-95 Penn team for the most in Ivy League history; Wesley Saunders (1st team), Siyani Chambers (2nd team), Steve Moundou-Missi (2nd team), Laurent Rivard (2nd team), Kyle Casey (HM) and Brandyn Curry (HM).
Last Time Out
Laurent Rivard came around a screen and buried a three-pointer just like he'd done so many times before, putting Harvard up five points with 0:37 to play en route to a 98-93 overtime win at Brown March 8 to close out the regular season.
Four players scored in double-digits for the Crimson, highlighted by double-double performances from Steve Moundou-Missi (21 pts., 11 rebs.) and Kyle Casey (16 pts., 10 rebs.). Wesley Saunders added 19 points, six rebounds and three dimes to go with Rivard's 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep.
Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, all of Harvard's home games and road Ivy League contests which are not being televised will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch games both live and On-Demand on their computers, tablets or smart phones, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all Harvard events throughout the duration of their subscription.
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2013-14 marks the fifth straight year, and sixth time overall, that Harvard has earned a postseason tournament bid. The Crimson first went dancing in 1946 before enduring a 64-year postseason drought that ended with a trip to the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Harvard earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament in 2011 and has since followed it up with three trips to the NCAA tournament.
Harvard earned the first postseason victory in program history last year when it upset No. 3 seed New Mexico, 68-62, to reach the NCAA tournament third round. As a 14 seed, Harvard became the lowest seeded Ivy League school to win a game in the NCAA tournament while also marking the first win in March Madness for the Ancient Eight since Cornell's run to the Sweet 16 in 2010.
Harvard earned a 12 seed in the 2014 NCAA tournament, marking the ninth time an Ivy League team has been seeded 12th and the first time since the Crimson received the same seed in 2012. Teams from the Ivy League are 6-8 all-time when seeded 12th, with Cornell being the last team to earn a victory in 2010, 87-69, over Wisconsin.
Rank and File
Harvard was listed as receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 each of the first 14 weeks of the season. The Crimson also received votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll in eight of the first 14 weeks. The Crimson last appeared in either poll the week of Feb. 6, 2012 when the AP had the squad ranked No. 25 and the coaches had it at No. 21.
AP Top 25
Harvard has consistently been among the nation's best in the RPI rankings, regardless of which service you follow.
Rank (as of March 16)
Joining Elite Company
By winning the 2014 Ivy League championship, Harvard has become the first team to win four consecutive Ancient Eight titles since Penn did so from 1993-96.
At 26-4, Harvard has also become the first Ivy League program to reach 20 wins in five straight seasons since Penn did so a record six times from 1970-75. The Crimson's 116 wins during this time, meanwhile, is the third highest win total in Ancient Eight history over a five-year span.
Harvard's 26 wins have matched the 2011-12 squad for most wins in a season, while its 13-1 Ivy League record is the best in program history. The Crimson also completed its first undefeated season on the road in Ancient Eight play with a 7-0 mark.
Wesley Saunders was named the Ivy League Player of the Year, becoming just the third member of the Crimson to earn the award; Joe Carrabino '84-85 (1984), Keith Wright '12 (2011).
Saunders was also a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team for a second straight season, and is just the seventh Crimson to earn the award twice. Don Flemming '82 is the only player in Harvard history to be named to the top squad three times.
Harvard received six total All-Ivy League selections, matching the 1994-95 Penn team for the most in Ivy League history; Wesley Saunders (1st team), Siyani Chambers (2nd team), Steve Moundou-Missi (2nd team), Laurent Rivard (2nd team), Kyle Casey (HM) and Brandyn Curry (HM).
Wesley Saunders was named to the United States Basketball Wristers Association All-District I Team and to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 13 first team, marking the second straight year he has picked up both awards.
Siyani Chambers was also recognized by the NABC, earning second team honors after being picked to the first team a year ago.
Making a Stand
Harvard's defense has shaped up to be one of the best ever under head coach Tommy Amaker. Opponents are scoring just 60.5 ppg, which ranks 13th in the NCAA and is second best in the Amaker era, while shooting 40.7 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from beyond-the-arc, both the lowest totals under Amaker.
• The Crimson held Princeton, Cornell and Columbia to just 47 points in consecutive games, marking the first time since 2011-12 that Harvard has allowed less than 50 points in three straight games.
• Harvard is 14-0 this season when holding opponents to fewer than 60 points, and is 13-0 when opponents shoot under 40.0 percent.
• Harvard held TCU (25.0%, 14-56), Brown (27.3%, 15-55) and MIT (27.9%, 12-43) to under 30.0 percent shooting, the three lowest opponent shooting percentages under head coach Tommy Amaker.
• The Crimson allowed just 37 points to MIT, marking the third time under head coach Tommy Amaker that an opponent has scored fewer than 40 points (most recent at Yale, 65-35, 1/27/12).
Five Crimson currently average in double-figures with a sixth scoring more than 9.0 ppg; Wesley Saunders (14.0), Siyani Chambers (11.1), Steve Moundou-Missi (10.5), Kyle Casey (10.0), Laurent Rivard (10.0), Brandyn Curry (9.3).
Margin of Victory
Under head coach Tommy Amaker, the Crimson has won 35 games by 20 or more points, 10 games by 30 or more points and two games by 40 or more.
• This year's team has set the standard for margin of victory, outscoring opponents by 13.1 ppg while winning nine games by 20 points, five games by 30 and one game by 40.
• Harvard's scoring margin against the Ivy League this season was +15.4 ppg. The team won six Ivy League contests by at least 20 points and three games by at least 30.
• Harvard picked up lopsided victories versus MIT (79-37, Nov. 12) and Howard (76-44, Nov. 15), marking the first time under head coach Tommy Amaker that the Crimson has won back-to-back games by 30-plus points.
• Harvard's 42-point margin of victory against MIT on Nov. 12 was the second largest under head coach Tommy Amaker, behind only a 94-51 triumph against Daniel Webster on Dec. 28, 2008.
Cousy Award Watch List
Siyani Chambers has been named as one of 23 watch list finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. The list of 23 watch list finalists will be narrowed down to a final five by early March. The Cousy Award winner will be presented the honor on Championship Monday in Dallas at the Hall of Fame's Class of 2014 Announcement and Press Conference.
Chambers was originally listed among 80 watch list candidates for the award, along with teammate Brandyn Curry.
Players of the Week
Wesley Saunders (Dec. 3, Dec. 9, Jan. 6), Siyani Chambers (Dec. 23, Dec. 30, Feb. 24) and Steve Moundou-Missi (March 10) have combined to earn seven Ivy League Player of the Week awards this season, matching the program record for most awards in one year.
Saunders' eight career player of the week honors are the second most in league history, trailing only Princeton's Ian Hummer and Brown's Earl Hunt who own the all-time mark with nine. Saunders' latest accolade also tied him with Kyle Snowden '97 for the most by a member of the Crimson.
Chambers' three honors give him nine career weekly awards after having been named the conference's rookie of the week six times last year.
Moundou-Missi's player of the week award was the first of his career. He was also named rookie of the week once in 2011-12.
Moving on Up
Head coach Tommy Amaker continues to move up the ranks of the Ivy League's winningest coaches. Amaker's 138 wins at Harvard are the 11th most since the conference began competition in 1956, while his 67 Ivy League victories rank 14th.
Amaker has led Harvard to four straight Ivy League championships, tying him with former Princeton head coach Butch van Breda Kolff and fomer Penn head coach Chuck Daly for the fourth most Ivy titles won.
Stuffing the Stat Sheet
Wesley Saunders, a unanimous All-Ivy League first team selection a year ago, finished the regular season ranked in the Ancient Eight's top 10 in seven categories; scoring (8th, 14.0 ppg), assists (3rd, 3.9 apg), steals (1st, 1.7 spg), blocks (9th, 0.8 bpg), field goal percentage (10th, 46.6 pct.), assist-to-turnover ratio (4th, 1.7), minutes (4th, 33.7 min.).
Born to Assist
Siyani Chambers, who finished the regular season ranked second in the Ivy League in assists (4.7), has dished out at least five assists 14 times this season and has dropped eight dimes or more five times. The sophomore boasts 34 career games with five or more assists and has 10 games of eight or more assists, including four double-digit performances.
Laurent Rivard is Harvard's all-time leader in three-pointers with 282 and ranks second in Ivy League history. The senior has shot a career-best 42.6 percent from beyond-the-arc this season, including a 48.3 percent clip during Ivy League play.
Protecting the Paint
Kyle Casey joined Brian Cusworth '07, Matt Stehle '06 and Keith Wright '12 as one of four players in Crimson history to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 100 blocks. Casey currently ranks 14th in program history with 1,234 points, 10th with 646 rebounds and third with 125 blocks.
Join the Club
Seniors Kyle Casey and Laurent Rivard each eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau against Green Bay, bringing Harvard's total number of 1,000 point scorers to 30. Rivard currently ranks 12th in program history with 1,252 points while Casey is 14th with 1,234.
Home is Where the Wins Are
Harvard recently enjoyed a 20-game home win streak at Lavietes Pavilion which spanned from Dec. 1, 2012 to Feb. 7, 2014. At the time, the streak stood as the sixth-longest in the NCAA.
The program record for consecutive home wins stands at 28 games set between Feb. 19, 2010 and Feb. 24, 2012.
Getting Off on the Right Foot
Harvard began Ivy League play with five straight wins, marking the third year in a row the Crimson has begun the conference slate 5-0 or better. The 2011-12 squad owns the program record for best start to the conference schedule at 7-0.
Pouring It On
Harvard scored at least 80 points in three straight games against Dartmouth, Princeton and Penn, marking the first time the team had done so since February of 2010. The Crimson has scored 80-plus points in at least four straight games nine times in program history, including in 1971-72 when it accomplished the feat six games in a row.
Harvard's 98 points scored at Brown were the most since Feb. 28, 1998 when it defeated the Bears, 111-63
Wesley Saunders' full arsenal of skills was on display against Princeton as the junior led the Crimson in points (24), rebounds (9), assists (7) and steals (3). Saunders shot 9-of-13 from the floor for his fifth 20-point performance of the year while notching his fifth game with five or more assists.
Saunders became the first individual to lead Harvard in points, rebounds, assists and steals since Jeremy Lin '10 did so on Dec. 30, 2009 against George Washington. Saunders has led Harvard in points, rebounds and assists three times in his career.
They're On Fire
Harvard shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from beyond-the-arc at Dartmouth to set a school record for highest three-point percentage with a minimum of 10 attempts. The Crimson's 65.9 percent performance from the field, meanwhile, was the highest field goal percentage for Harvard under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Harvard won nine straight games overall between Nov. 28 and Jan. 4, the third longest win streak in program history. The Crimson enjoyed a program record 13-game win streak in 1945-46 en route to a 19-3 record and the team's first trip to the NCAA Tournament, and won 10 in-a-row in 1904-05 to finish with an 11-5 mark.
Harvard defeated Denver, Green Bay and TCU en route to winning the 2013 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. Wesley Saunders was named the tournament's most outstanding player, and was joined on the all-tournament team by Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi.
This marked the first tournament title for the Crimson since taking the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis in 2011, and was the first Great Alaska Shootout title for Tommy Amaker after having also coached in the tournament with Seton Hall (head coach, 1997) and Duke (assistant coach, 1995).
Evan Cummins recorded six blocks against TCU, setting a new Great Alaska Shootout championship game record. The previous mark of five had been held by Sheldon Williams (Duke, 2003) and Keith Owens (UCLA, 1990).
Harvard recorded double-digit steals in four straight games from Nov. 12 - Nov. 24, matching the longest stretch of double-digit steal performances under head coach Tommy Amaker, and has come away with at least 10 steals in seven contests this season.
Harvard's home-opening 79-37 win versus MIT was highlighted by the Crimson's play at the defensive end, which resulted in several noteable statistics;
• Harvard's 42-point margin of victory was the second largest under head coach Tommy Amaker, behind only a 94-51 triumph against Daniel Webster on Dec. 28, 2008.
• The Crimson allowed just 37 points to MIT, marking the third time under head coach Tommy Amaker that an opponent has scored fewer than 40 points (most recent at Yale, 65-35, 1/27/12).
• The Engineers shot just 27.9 percent from the field, which at the time stood as the lowest opponent field goal percentage in the Amaker era.
• Harvard forced 29 MIT turnovers, the most for the Crimson under head coach Tommy Amaker.
• Harvard's 19 steals versus the Engineers were one shy of the program record of 20, which has been accomplished four times (most recent vs. Hartford, 1/30/01).
2013-14 Dunk Tally
The Crimson is approaching or has already reached several milestones this season;
• Laurent Rivard became the program's all-time leader in three-pointers (282) and ranks second in Ivy League history.
• Kyle Casey (1,234) and Laurent Rivard (1,252) became the 29th and 30th members of Harvard's 1,000-point club. Wesley Saunders is on pace to become the next member of the Crimson to reach the milestone with 978 career points.
• Kyle Casey became just the fourth member of the Crimson to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 100 blocks.
• Laurent Rivard (121 app.), Kyle Casey (116 app.) and Brandyn Curry (111 app.) have each appeared in 100 career games.
• Head coach Tommy Amaker moved into third place for wins by a Harvard head coach (138) and registered his 300th career victory.
• The Crimson won its 250th game at Lavietes.
Hoop And The Harm
Senior Laurent Rivard, who ranks first in program history and second in Ivy League annals with 282 career three-pointers, has been fouled 30 times while shooting from beyond the arc. 10 of those fouls have resulted in an and-one.
Lou Henson Preseason All-America
Wesley Saunders was named to the 2013 Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team as one of the top 25 student-athletes from mid-major conferences. Following the season, the Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major student-athlete in Division I college basketball. The award is named in honor of Lou Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years.
Three Crimson had the honor of representing their country over the summer as a member of their respective national teams; Steve Moundou-Missi (Cameroon Senior National Team), Agunwa Okolie (Canadian Men's Junior National Team) and Laurent Rivard (Canadian Developmental National Team).
In The Spotlight
Twelve of Harvard's 30 regular season games were picked up for national or regional television broadcasts. The Crimson appeared on TV a program record 17 times last season, including a record four televised games at Lavietes Pavilion.
Harvard played in front of a capacity crowd at Lavietes Pavilion a total of seven times this year. Harvard has now sold out 23 games over the last three years, including a record 10 during the 2011-12 campaign.
Home Court Advantage
The Harvard men's and women's basketball teams have combined for a 110-13 record at home in Lavietes Pavilion since 2009-10 while going 60-9 against the Ivy League. The Crimson men are 60-5 (.923) overall, 31-4 (.886) against the Ancient Eight, with the women going 50-9 (.847) overall, 29-6 (.829) in conference. The men's team's run of dominance includes a program record 28-game home win streak that lasted more than two calendar years between Feb. 19, 2010 and Feb. 24, 2012.
On The Sidelines
With 138 victories under his belt, Tommy Amaker ranks third all-time in Harvard coaching annals.
Frank Sullivan, 1991-07
Amaker's .663 win percentage, meanwhile, ranks first among Harvard coaches who have spent at least two seasons at the helm of the team.
Tommy Amaker, 2007-present