No. 23/24 Harvard Men's Basketball Visits BC Thursday, Game Shown Live on ESPN3
Kyle Casey and the Crimson have defeated the Eagles in each of the last three seasons (Gil Talbot).
No. 23/24 Harvard (10-1) returns to the court after a week off, as the Crimson visits local rival Boston College (5-7) Thursday evening in a game shown live on ESPN3.com. Harvard has won three consecutive games against the Eagles, all at Conte Forum.
Scott Braun and Tim O'Toole will have the call on ESPN3.com. WHRB's Charlie Hobbs will have the audio call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.
Harvard and Boston College have met 43 times on the hardwood, with the Eagles owning a 31-12 lead in the all-time series, which began during the 1905-06 season. The Crimson has won the last three games against BC, including an 82-70 win at Conte Forum Jan. 7, 2010, as Harvard downed then-No. 17 BC for the program's first win over a ranked opponent.
Thursday's game will mark the first time Harvard has been nationally ranked in the series against BC.
Harvard Against The ACC
Harvard is 15-43 all-time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Crimson's last win over an ACC team came earlier this season against then-No. 20 Florida State, 46-41, at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Last Time Out
Keith Wright recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a 63-51 win over Florida Atlantic Dec. 22. Wright shot 6-of-7 from the field, while Brandyn Curry also tallied 12 points, while handing out seven assists and making four steals, as the Crimson won its 20th straight home game.
The Eagles are coming off an 83-73 win at home against Sacred Heart Dec. 21. Matt Humphrey scored a team-high 18 points, Dennis Clifford (16 points), Ryan Anderson (13) and Gabe Moton (12) also reached double figures.
Harvard As a Ranked Team
The No. 23/24 Crimson is 2-1 as a ranked team in program history after defeating Florida Atlantic, 63-51, Dec. 22. Harvard also downed Boston University earlier this season when ranked.
Kings of Massachusetts' Courts
The Crimson is currently on a 13-game winning streak against schools from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since falling to Northeastern in overtime, 76-71, Dec. 10, 2008, including four straight wins over Holy Cross and three against Boston College and Boston University.
Harvard is 3-0 this season against Massachusetts teams, having defeated MIT, Holy Cross and BU.
The Crimson is ranked No. 23 in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and No. 24 in the AP poll, marking the highest respective rankings in program history. Earlier this season, the Crimson became the first Ivy team ranked in the AP poll since Princeton was rated No. 8 in the final poll of the 1997-98 season.
Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received at least one vote in a major national poll this season.
Harvard currently sits at No. 27 in the RPI, according to collegerpi.com. The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2.
The Crimson will play at least seven games on national or regional television this season.
Coming Down With It
With his 11-rebound performance against Florida Atlantic Dec. 22, Keith Wright now has 17 double digit rebound games in his career. Wright also has two double-doubles this season and has led Harvard in rebounding in eight of 11 contests.
Defense Wins Games
The Crimson enters the week 13th in the country in scoring defense (55.0 points allowed per game).
Harvard Against the BCS
The Crimson is 2-1 against BCS teams this season after downing Utah, 75-47, and topping No. 20 Florida State, 46-41. The Crimson fell at No. 9 UConn, 67-53, Dec. 8.
Harvard owns a 7-9 record against BCS conferences under Tommy Amaker. The Crimson has defeated BC three times and has also topped Michigan, Colorado, Utah and Florida State during Amaker's tenure. The Crimson has also defeated at least one BCS team in each of the last five seasons.
The Crimson, which currently owns a 7-1 record in road/neutral sites, will play a total of 18 road/neutral games this winter. Harvard set a program record for road/neutral wins in 2009-10 with 10, and the Crimson followed up with nine road victories last season. Harvard is 4-1 on the road and 3-0 in neutral sites in 2011-12.
Lavietes Is The Place To Be
Harvard is riding a 20-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. Kentucky is enjoying the longest current streak with 42 straight home wins.
Nation's Current Longest Home Win Streaks
Through (Dec. 19)
Ohio State 33
Notre Dame 27
North Carolina 24
Entering the week, Harvard ranked second in the nation in free-throw defense, as opponents had only made 57.6 percent of its foul-shot attempts (98-of-170).
Harvard owns a 6-1 record in night games and a 4-0 mark in day contests in 2011-12.
Tommy Amaker (Duke '87) is in his fifth season as head coach of the Harvard men's basketball team. He registered his 250th career coaching victory Dec. 4, 2011 against Seattle at Lavietes Pavilion. Amaker has guided Harvard to its national ranking, as the Crimson was ranked No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches ranking Dec. 5, 2011. Amaker also led the Crimson to its first Ivy League title as well as the program's first appearance in the NIT. In addition, the Crimson established a program record with 23 victories in 2010-11.
He brings a 252-191 (.569) career head coaching record into today's game, including a 76-52 (.594) mark at Harvard, a 108-84 (.563) record at Michigan and a 68-55 (.553) record at Seton Hall.
With 15 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks second in program history with 121 rejections. Brian Cusworth '07 holds the Harvard record with 147 career blocks. Wright's 54 blocks last year also stand second in Harvard history for a single season. Brian Banks '78 had 59 rejections during the 1977-78 campaign.
Kyle Casey has rejected 69 blocks in his career, including 14 this season, and is just one rejection shy of tying Jeremy Lin '10 for seventh in team history.
Oliver McNally has played in 98 games during his Harvard career. McNally is just 17 games shy of tying Jeremy Lin '10 for the most games played in Harvard history (115).
Curry Among Nation's Best Point Guards
Brandyn Curry was recently selected as a candidate for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball. Almost 60 candidates have been nominated for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award. Entering the week, Curry leads the Ivy League in assist/turnover ratio (2.7) and is second in the conference in steals (2.1 per game) and fourth in assists (4.6 per contest).