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No. 23 Harvard Men's Basketball Continues Ivy Road Swing, Visits Yale, Brown

Related URL : /sports/mbkb/2011-12/videos/20120128-1xgnlsib

Kyle Casey and the Crimson are tied with Yale and Penn for first place in the Ivy League (Gil Talbot).

The Particulars
No. 23 Harvard (16-2, 2-0 Ivy) sits in a first-place tie in the Ivy League standings and will visit Yale (12-4, 2-0 Ivy) in a key Ancient Eight contest Friday evening at 7 p.m. Penn (10-9, 2-0 Ivy) is also tied for first in the Ivy League. The Crimson will then visit Brown (6-13, 0-2 Ivy) Saturday at 6 p.m.

The Crimson is off to the best start of an Ivy League school since Princeton in 1997-98 (17-1). Harvard's 16-2 start is also the best for the program since going 17-1 to begin the 1945-46 campaign.
 
Game Coverage
For Friday, live video will be available for free at YaleBulldogs.com. WHRB's Charlie Hobbs and Scott Reed will have the audio call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.

 
For Saturday, live video will be available for a subscription at BrownBears.com. WHRB's Charlie Hobbs and Matt Patton will have the audio call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.

Series History (vs. Yale)
Harvard and Yale first met during the 1900-01 season. The Bulldogs own a 113-69 advantage in the all-time series, but the Crimson has taken four of the last five meetings between the archrivals. Yale downed Harvard, 70-69, the last time the teams met Feb, 26, 2011 at Lee Amphitheater.

The Crimson is looking to snap a two-game losing streak at Lee Amphitheater after falling to Princeton, 63-62, during last season's Ivy League playoff March 12, 2011.
 
Series History (vs. Brown)
The Crimson holds a n 89-72 advantage in the all-time series against the Bears, dating back to 1900-01. Harvard has won four straight against Brown and five of the last six overall vs. the Bears.
 
Harvard's Last Time Out
Corbin Miller came off the bench and led all players with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 from long distance in a 54-38 Harvard win at Dartmouth Jan. 21. Steve Moundou-Missi added nine points and three steals, while Keith Wright pulled down seven rebounds. Dartmouth's 38 points was the fewest surrended by the Crimson since a 41-35 win at Dartmouth Jan. 11, 1992.
 
Yale's Last Time Out
Yale improved to 12-4 overall and 2-0 in league play by completing a season sweep of Brown with a 73-60 victory in Providence, R.I., Jan. 21. Greg Mangano led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double, while Reggie Willhite chipped in with 13 points. The Bulldogs held the Bears to 35 percent shooting (21-of-60), and outrebounded Brown, 49-31.

Brown's Last Time Out
The Bears headed into the week 5-13 overall and 0-2 in the Ivy League after being swept in the season series against Yale. Brown was 4-5 at home, but 0-6 on the road and 1-2 in neutral site games.

Stephen Albrecht led the way for the Bears in a 73-60 loss at home to Yale Jan. 21. Albrecht connected on 8-of-19 shots, including 4-of-12 3-point attempts. Sean McGonagill also reached double figures in scoring, tallying 11 points in a losing effort.
 
Coaches vs. Cancer
During this weekend's contests against Yale and Brown, the Harvard coaching staff will wear sneakers with their suits as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign. This charity was founded by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
 
Fans may support this cause by texting COACH to 20222 from any wireless phone to make a $5.00 donation toward Coaches vs. Cancer and help in the search for a cure.
 
All eight Ivy League men's basketball coaches will be participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend. By lacing up sneakers with their suits on the event's eighth annual awareness weekend, college and high school basketball coaches across the country will spotlight the fact that while cancer remains a major health concern, everyone can take daily steps to reduce their risk of the disease.
 
Harvard Against The Ivy League
Over the last two seasons, the Crimson boasts a 14-3 (.824) against Ivy League opponents. During that stretch, the Crimson is 6-2 (.750) against Ancient Eight opponents on the road and 8-0 at home (1.000). This season, Harvard is 2-0 in conference games, having swept Dartmouth.
 
Free-Throw Defense
Entering the weekend, Harvard was fifth in the nation in free throw shooting defense, as opponents are only making 61.6 percent of attempts (167-of-271). South Carolina State (.597) sits in first in the county.
 
Stepping Up On D
The Crimson is allowing only 54.1 points per game this season, good for fourth in the nation in scoring defense. Wisconsin paces the nation, surrendering only 49.0 points per contest. Harvard has only allowed 70 points once and surrendered 50 or less points in nine games.
 
Rejection List
With 31 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks second in program history with 137 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 77 blocks in his career, including 22 this season, ranking him seventh in program history in rejections.
 
Coming Down With It
With his 15-rebound performance at Monmouth Jan. 10, Keith Wright now has 20 double digit rebound games in his career. Wright also has three double-doubles this season and has led Harvard in rebounding in 13 of 18 contests. Wright stands 10th in program history with 632 career rebounds. Harvard has outrebounded eight of its last nine opponents.
 
Non-Conference Victories
The Crimson has won 14 non-conference games this season, a program record. Harvard won 11 non-league games in 2009-10 and 11 non-conference contests again in 2010-11.
 
Casting Ballots
The Crimson is ranked No. 23 in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. 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. On Jan. 2, Harvard was No. 21 in the coaches poll and No. 22 in the AP poll, the highest rankings in program history.
 
Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received at least one vote in a major national poll this season. The Crimson has appeared in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll in each of the last six weeks.

Night and Day
Harvard owns a 9-2 record in night games and a 7-0 mark in day contests in 2011-12.

 

Harvard As a Ranked Team
The Crimson is 8-2 as a ranked team in program history with wins this season over Boston University, Florida Atlantic, Boston College, Saint Joseph's, Dartmouth (twice), Monmouth and George Washington. Harvard is 4-0 at home as a ranked squad, while boasting a 4-2 record on the road when ranked nationally.

Double-Double Show
Keith Wright leads the Crimson with three double-doubles (at Holy Cross Nov. 15, Florida Atlantic Dec. 22 and at Monmouth Jan. 10), while Kyle Casey (Saint Joseph's Dec. 31) and Jonah Travis (Seattle Dec. 4) have recorded one apiece this year. Wright has amassed 16 double-doubles over the course of his career in Cambridge.

Lavietes Is The Place To Be
Harvard is riding a 23-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is the fourth longest current streak in the NCAA. Kentucky is enjoying the longest current streak with 47 straight home wins.
 
Nation's Current Longest Home Win Streaks
Through (Jan. 22)
Kentucky      47
Ohio State    36
North Carolina  28
Harvard      23
Long Island 19
Oral Roberts 18
Florida          17
Syracuse       17

RPI Watch
Harvard currently sits at No. 50 in the RPI, according to collegerpi.com. The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2, 2011.

Harvard and Amaker Against Yale and Brown
The Crimson is 4-4 against Yale under head coach Tommy Amaker. Harvard has won three of the last four games in the series.

The Crimson boasts a 5-3 mark against Brown under coach Amaker. Harvard has won five of the last six and four straight vs. the Bears.

Takeaways
Entering the week, Brandyn Curry ranked 41st in the country and second in the Ivy League with 2.1 steals per game.

Hitting Baskets
Keith Wright stands second in the Ivy League in field-goal percentage, hitting 58.9 percent of his attempts this season (83-of-141).
 
Iron Horse
Oliver McNally has played in 105 games during his Harvard career, tying him for seventh most in program history. McNally is just 10 games shy of tying Jeremy Lin '10 for the most games played in Harvard history (115).
 
Sold Out Lavietes
Harvard has had four sellout crowds at Lavietes Pavilion already this season (MIT, Saint Joseph's, Dartmouth and George Washington). In addition, the upcoming games against Cornell, Columbia, Yale, Princeton and Penn are already sold out. The Crimson has the opportunity to have 10 of its 12 home games this season be sold out.
 
Defense Wins Games
The Crimson enters the week fourth in the country in scoring defense (54.1 points allowed per game).
 
Harvard had not allowed more than 49 points in four straight games (Nov. 24-Dec. 1) for the first time since the 1946-47 season, which was prior to the invention of the shot clock and the 3-point line. Over the last two games, Harvard has not allowed more than 48 points. The Crimson has only surrendered more than 60 points in six of 18 games this year.
 
On The Big Screen
The Crimson will play at least seven games on national or regional television this season.
 
Harvard is 5-1 on TV this year after earning wins over Utah (HDNet),  No. 20/22 Florida State (Versus) and Central Florida (Versus) at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Crimson also defeated Boston University (NESN) and  Boston College (ESPN3), but fell on the road at No. 9/9 Connecticut (ESPN2).
 
Road Warriors
The Crimson, which currently owns a 10-2 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 7-2 on the road and 3-0 in neutral sites in 2011-12.
 
Kings of Massachusetts' Courts
The Crimson is currently on a 14-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 Boston College and three against Boston University.
 
Harvard is 4-0 this season against Massachusetts teams, having defeated MIT, Holy Cross, BU and BC.
 
Head Coach Tommy Amaker
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 rated 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 258-192 (.573) career head coaching record into today's game, including a 82-53 (.607) mark at Harvard, a 108-84 (.563) record at Michigan and a 68-55 (.553) record at Seton Hall.