NCAA Tournament Blog

Stay current with all the latest news on the Crimson as it makes its run through March Madness.

Postseason Run Ends to Michigan State, but Harvard Will be Back

The lows and highs of the NCAA tournament.

The low…

Clock: 15:43 remaining in the game. Score: Michigan State 52, Harvard 36. Hope was fleeting. 

And then came the high…

The Crimson started playing like it believed that it would win. A 26-8 run capped by a classic Laurent Rivard three-pointer and the scoreboard read a different story. 

Clock: 7:12. Score: Harvard 62, Michigan State 60. 

The fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Stadium were loud and cheering much louder for the Crimson than for the Spartans. The guys in the vintage green and white jerseys seemed a little rattled but then they showed why so many have them picked to the hoist the championship trophy in North Texas.

And then came the low again…

Michigan State, as it did in the first half of the game, flexed its Big Ten muscle to grab control of the game again. This time, Tom Izzo's squad would not relinquish the lead. 

Final score: Michigan State 80, Harvard 73.

The Crimson's run ended as it did last year with a loss one step away from becoming just the third Ivy League team to reach the Sweet 16 since Cornell's storied run in 2010 and Penn's magical journey to the Final Four in 1979.

While the loss is disappointing at present, there is very little disappointment about the 2013-14 season for this squad. A program record for overall wins. A fourth-straight Ivy League title, this time with a near perfect 13-1 record. A third-straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Another upset in the second round and a valiant effort in the third round in the NCAA tournament. What head coach Tommy Amaker, his staff and players have built with the support from the administration, university, alumni and fans over the past seven years is in a word: incredible.

Key pillars in this historic run were the trio of Kyle Casey, Brandyn Curry and Laurent Rivard. Their contributions on and off the court have been well documented. Their impacts will be felt for years to come. To Kyle, Brandyn and Laurent, the Crimson faithful thanks you.

Their departures do not spell the end for Amaker and company. With a strong nucleus returning and solid newcomers joining next year, Harvard looks to put itself right back in the same position it was in Salt Lake City last year and Spokane tonight. 

Next time, the hope is the glass slipper will fit and the Cinderella wearing Crimson uniforms can experience how sweet it is to play in March Madness' second weekend.


Watch Parties Announced for Harvard vs. Michigan State in NCAA Tournament Third Round – March 21

Members of the Harvard community are invited to attend watch parties at John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House or at Cambridge Queen's Head Pub for Saturday's matchup versus Michigan State. Both viewing parties will begin at 8:15 p.m. and will feature free giveaways while supplies last.

John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
33 Dunster Street
Cambridge, Mass.

Cambridge Queen's Head Pub
45 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Students who are back early from spring break can watch the game at the SOCH where they will be treated to free pizza and giveaways while supplies last.

59 Shepard Street
Cambridge, MA


Harvard Prepares for Michigan State

The calm before the storm.

Harvard enjoyed a short but productive day as a part of its official NCAA tournament schedule on Friday.

Gone were the 10,862 fans on hand to see the Crimson upset Cincinnati. Head coach Tommy Amaker, his staff and players had the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena all to themselves. Well, almost all to themselves, as the team conducted an enthusiastic, afternoon workout in preparation for their third-round matchup against No. 4 seed and Final Four favorite Michigan State.

After practice, it was again time to sit in front of the cameras and talk to the media. The foursome of Siyani Chambers, Brandyn Curry, Laurent Rivard and Wesley Saunders once again represented Harvard in the main interview room, while the assistant coaches and players chatted with media in the Crimson's locker room. Then Amaker took his turn on the dais, fielding questions in his trademark calm and collected style.

After that flurry of activity, things returned to a calm. Then that calm quickly turned into the wait. The long wait of just over 27 hours before taking the court with a chance of the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden on the line.

Probably good to enjoy a little rest and embrace the calm before embarking on the next chapter of the whirlwind journey simply known as March Madness.



The Dance Continues; Harvard to Face Michigan State Saturday - March 20

And as the dance continues, the challenges get even greater.

In really no surprise, Harvard's next NCAA Tournament opponent is No. 4 seed Michigan State. Inked in thousands of brackets to cut the nets down at AT&T Stadium in 18 days, the Spartans made easy work of its second-round foe, 13th-seeded Delaware, paced by a career-high 41 points from Adreian Payne.

Now it is the Crimson and the Spartans colliding with the chance to go to the Sweet 16 at the World's Most Famous Arena, hosting NCAA Tournament games for the first time in 50 years.

Harvard is one step of away from being a part of that history and extending its own history to reaches almost never thought of from a team that took a 66-year hiatus from dancing in March and is now in the middle of its fifth-straight postseason appearance.

The task will be daunting. The game will be intriguing. The chance to make another One Shining Moment will be...priceless. 



CINDERELLA AGAIN! Harvard knocks off Cincinnati - March 20

Game day.

This game day was familiar like so many others but had a newness to it, also like so many others. 

The familiar was the routine -- enjoying a team meal and final pregame instructions, heading to the gym and taking the floor to warm up for another 40-minute battle.

What was new this time was that 12th-seeded Harvard men's basketball was picked by many to upset fifth-seeded Cincinnati in Spokane with a national television audience watching on TNT. What was new this time was the Crimson came in more confident as a three-time participant in the Big Dance and a four-time owner of the Ivy League title.

But in order for Tommy Amaker's team to create a new memory in the familiar setting of the NCAA tournament, his Crimson would have to do what it has done all season to reach a new program record of 27 wins -- protect the basketball, score the basketball and stay discipline on defense.

Harvard did not protect the basketball as well as it would have liked (12 turnovers). Nor did the Crimson shoot well from the free throw line (17-of-28). But what was familiar was the result. 

Harvard tied the game with just under five minutes expired and took the lead at 9-6 with 13:34 remaining in the first half. The Crimson never trailed again. And then came something that never gets too familiar -- a chance to dance in the Big Dance for a couple more days.



Harvard Attends Media Day, Holds Open Practice - March 19

March Madness got underway in earnest for Harvard with its open practice and official news conference in Spokane, Wash.

The Crimson made the short trip from its team hotel to get its first feel of this year's NCAA Tournament with a 30-minute media session followed by 40-minute workout in front of a small but excited crowd at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

Despite Harvard being first on the day's schedule, the building was already buzzing for the 12th-seed Ivy League champions as Siyani Chambers, Brandyn Curry, Laurent Rivard and Wesley Saunders took to the interview room dais to field questions from the media before head coach Tommy Amaker had his turn to answer questions from the growing crowd of reporters. 

The interviews did not stop there. Saunders and Rivard sat down with Jaime Maggio, sideline reporter for TNT. Amaker caught up with P.J. Carlesimo, in town to call the game for Westwood One. Many wanted to talk about how the last year's upset win over New Mexico fuels this year's squad going into its matchup against fifth-seeded Cincinnati.

The conversations subsided for a bit while the Crimson conducted a short but focused workout on the game floor. Practice concluded on a light note as the team waved to and talked with fans in attendance, and signed autographs for kids to close the official portion of its schedule for the day.



Harvard Arrives in Spokane, Readies for NCAA Tournament Appearance – March 18

After leaving Cambridge Monday evening, the Crimson arrived in the scenic city of Spokane, Wash. Harvard held its first team practice out west Tuesday morning, as the squad continues to prepare for its second-round matchup with Cincinnati.

Several Harvard administrators went to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena to get a lay of the land ahead of tomorrow's media day and open practice at the venue. Tickets for the site have done well, and we are looking forward to seeing hundreds of Harvard students, alumni and fans root for the Crimson on Thursday.



Watch Parties Announced for Harvard vs. Crincinnati in NCAA Tournament Second Round - March 18

Join Harvard community members at John Harvard's in Harvard Square as the 12th-seeded Crimson take on fifth-seeded Cincinnati Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The viewing party begins at 1:30 p.m. with tip off scheduled for 2:10 p.m. live on TNT. Fans in attendance will be treated to free appetizers, rally towels and foam fingers (limited quantities available).

John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
33 Dunster Street
Cambridge, Mass.

The Harvard Club of Boston will also be hosting a watch party open to active members of the Harvard Club and Varsity Club. Click here for more information.

Harvard Club of Boston
375 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, Mass.



Amaker Profiled on CBS Evening News – March 17

Harvard men's basketball head coach Tommy Amaker was profiled by CBS Evening News Monday night. Hosted by alumnus James Brown '73, the piece takes a look at how Amaker has helped to influence the Harvard community while building the men's basketball program into a perennial Ivy League contender.

CBS Evening News, hosted by Scott Pelley, airs nationally on CBS weeknights at 6:30 p.m. EST. For more information on the show, click here.

About James Brown '73: James Brown graduated from Harvard in 1973 with a degree in American Government. A standout on the basketball court, he received All-Ivy League honors in his last three seasons and captained the team in his senior year. At the time of his graduation, Brown ranked as the second leading scorer in program history with 1,242 points and a career average of 16.1 ppg.

Brown currently serves as host for the CBS Television Network's NFL pre-game show, THE NFL TODAY. He has previously hosted the Net­work's Super Bowl pre-game show for its coverage of Super Bowl XLIV (2010) and Super Bowl XLI (2007) in Miami, and will do so again this year for Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Earlier this year, he was named Special Correspondent for CBS News contributing to 60 MINUTES, CBS THIS MORNING and CBS EVENING NEWS.



The Ivy League as a 12 Seed - March 16

Harvard earned a 12 seed in the 2014 NCAA tournament, marking the ninth time an Ivy League team has been seeded 12th in the Big Dance. The Crimson was also a 12 seed two years ago when it lost to Vanderbilt in the second round of the 2012 tournament, 79-70, but this year will be looking to capture the magic of the 2010 Cornell team which advanced to the Sweet 16.

That version of the Big Red became one of the darlings of the NCAA tournament as it defeated fifth-seeded Temple in its opening matchup, 78-65, then dispatched fourth-seeded Wisconsin, 87-69, to reach the regionals. In doing so, the 2010 Cornell team became the first Ivy League team to reach the Sweet 16 since the 1979 Penn Quakers went to the national semifinal, and eventually placed third with a 96-93 win over DePaul.





Ivy League 12 Seed




San Diego
North Carolina A&T
Oklahoma State
Boston College
St. John's
Washington State

Round of 64
Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet 16
Round of 64
Round of 64
Preliminary Round
Round of 64
Preliminary Round
Round of 64
Round of 32
Round of 64
Round of 64
Round of 32

L, 79-70
W, 78-65
W, 87-69
L, 62-45
L, 55-52
L, 91-85 OT
W, 65-56
L, 68-56
W, 53-41
W, 56-53
L, 51-42
L, 66-56
W, 62-55
L, 52-42



Harvard Heading to NCAAs for Third Straight Year - March 16

For the third consecutive year and fourth time in program history, the Harvard men's basketball team is heading to the Big Dance! 

The Crimson was one of 20 teams from across the country to be featured live on CBS's NCAA Selection Show Sunday evening. Harvard hosted a watch party in the Hall of History in the Murr Center, as hundreds of students, fans and alumni cheered on the squad, who will be seeded 12th in the East Region.

Harvard will travel west to Spokane, Wash., to take on fifth-seeded Cincinnati Thursday, March 20. Michigan State is the No. 4 seed and will take on 13th-seeded Delaware in the other matchup in the bracket Thursday.

Harvard, which was a No. 14 seed last year, was a No. 12 seed in 2012 when the Crimson returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 66 years. 

Following the selection show, head coach Tommy Amaker and the team's six All-Ivy League selections (Brandyn Curry, Laurent Rivard, Kyle Casey, Wesley Saunders, Steve Moundou-Missi and Siyani Chambers) met with the media in a press conference in the Murr Center Lounge. 

The Crimson will now prepare for its matchup with the Bearcats on Thursday in the Pacific Northwest. #GoCrimson