Go Time: Men's Basketball Plays at Appalachian State in CIT on Wednesday
Already having posted the most wins in school history, Harvard will make its first postseason appearance since the 1945-46 season when it advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Harvard will play in the CollegeInsider.com (CIT) Tournament, a 16-team field, against Appalachian State out of the Southern Conference on Wednesday.
Follow at Home
All games in the tournament will be available live online at FoxCollegeSports.com.
Head Coach Tommy Amaker
Tommy Amaker (Duke ’87) begins his third season as head coach of the Harvard men’s basketball team. He registered his 200th career coaching victory Nov. 13 in the 2009-10 season opener at Holy Cross.
He brings a 220-181 career head coaching record into the game, including a 109-83 record at Michigan at a 68-55 record at Seton Hall.
Amaker came to Harvard after a six year stint as Michigan’s head coach. Inheriting a program that was reeling from institutional and NCAA sanctions, he led the Wolverines to the postseason three times, winning the 2004 NIT title, reaching the championship game of the 2006 NIT, and advancing to the second round of the 2007 tournament. The 2006-07 season was Michigan’s second straight 20-win campaign and its third in four years. The Wolverines were ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation during the 2005-06 season.
The two programs have never met on the hardwood.
2010 CIT First Round:
Pairings for the CIT are based on teams’ ability to host games. Harvard was unable to host a first round postseason game at Lavietes Pavilion. Second round matchups will be held on March 22.
Tuesday March 16
Fairfield (22-10) @ George Mason (17-14)
Western Carolina (22-11) @ Marshall (23-9)
South Dakota (22-9) @ Creighton (16-15)
Wednesday March 17
Harvard (21-7) @ Appalachian St. (22-10)
Middle Tennessee St. (19-13) @ Missouri St. (20-12)
Portland (21-10) @ Northern Colorado (24-7)
Pacific (20-11) @ Loyola Marymount (18-14)
Thursday March 18
Southern Mississippi (20-13) @ Louisiana Tech (23-10)
Last Time Out
Harvard last played on March 6, dropping a 54-51 decision at Princeton in a foul-filled game with 44 combined whistles.
A 3-pointer from Brandyn Curry put the Crimson ahead 51-50 with 1:15 left in the game but Princeton’s Marcus Schroeder then made four free throws down the stretch to get the win, likely denying Harvard of an NIT bid as the Crimson just missed the 32-team field.
Curry paced Harvard with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Appalachian State held Wofford without a point for 10 minutes in the second half of the SoCon championship game but it wasn’t enough in a 56-51 loss on March 8. Andre Williamson scored 12 points and Ryann Abraham added 11, but the Mountaineers shot just 29 percent. Their top two scorers -- Donald Sims and Kellen Brand -- combined to shoot 2 of 23.
About Appalachian State
ASU is led by a pair of solid guards in Donald Sims and Kellen Brand. Sims is averaging 20.0 points per game and is shooting a robust .953 from the free throw line and .420 from 3-point range. He leads the nation in the former category and is 16th in the latter. The junior has already scored 1,459 career points and is a 41 percent. Brand averages 11.5 points and has scored 1,370 career points.
Overall, the Mountaineers are a 48 percent shooting team and very dangerous from long range with better than a 39 percent mark. The team is also outstanding at the free throw line with a 74 percent success rate. The team assists on just 12 baskets per game however and, like Harvard, is turnover prone with 15.1 per contest.
The Mountaineers have notched wins over three conference champions this season (Robert Morris, Winthrop and Wofford) and nearly took out a fourth (ETSU). The team played an odd array of non-league opponents including two Division II teams and an NAIA school – losing one of its Division II games. Since a loss to King College on Feb. 1, ASU has gone 10-2 with a one-point loss to Charleston and its loss to Wofford in the SoCon title game.
Records & Ratings
Harvard boasts the second-best record in the CIT field behind Northern Colorado.
The Crimson’s RPI of 100 is just ahead of Appalachian state (101) and is fifth-best in the field.
Harvard is 0-3 all-time against current members of the Southern Conference. The Crimson played Furman in 1959-60 (69-87 loss), Davidson in 1988-89 (62-70 loss) and UNC Greensboro in 19945-95 (65-76 loss).
Don’t I Know You?
The head coaches in this game are familiar with each other. Buzz Peterson (North Carolina) and Tommy Amaker (Duke) competed against each other for three seasons in the ACC in the 1980s.
Ivy League Look-In
This year marked the first time in Ivy League history that three teams won 20+ games. Harvard and Cornell reached the marks first, becoming just the seventh duo to win 20 in a season. Princeton added to the list with a strong finish. All three teams are in the postseason with Cornell taking on Temple in the NCAA and Princeton hosting Duquesne in the CBI.
Jeremy Lin on the Ivy
Harvard’s Jeremy Lin became the first player in the history of the Ivy League to record 1,450 points (1,471), 450 rebounds (487), 400 assists (401) and 200 steals (224). At the end of the regular season, he ranks first all-time in games played (114) at the school, fifth in points (1,471), fifth in assists (401) and second in steals (224).
Harvard’s freshmen class has combined to score nearly 31 of Harvard’s 74.1 points per game while playing over 93 minutes per game (out of 200). The freshman class shot an astounding 81 percent from the free throw line (230-284) with 180 assists, 42 blocks and 89 steals.
Kyle Casey (Ivy coaches, rookie of the year) has been named the league’s top rookie by every publication and was also named the Ivy’s 6th Man of the Year as well as all-freshman team by RTC. he was joined on the all-rookie team by Christian Webster and Brandyn Curry, giving Harvard three of the six mentions by first-year players.
The sophomore class, despite numerous injuries to three of its four players, has scored 18.3 points per game this season with Keith Wright owning a team-best 32 blocks and Oliver McNally boasting a gaudy assist-to-turnover ratio of 83-to-38. The class was rated a Top 25 recruiting class by ESPN two years ago.
Freshmen guards Brandyn Curry (Huntersville) and Dee Giger (Arden) are North Carolina natives.
Complete Game Notes
For the complete game notes package, click at the link on the top of this page.